Welcome to 2021!
This is my first official newsletter of the year. What does 2021 have in store for us? Will it be better than 2020? Well, we can only hope. *knock on wood*.
I want to use this email to let you know me and more about my life here in China, about my writing, and just about general things I find fascinating going on right now across the world. In the "Rewind" section, I'll be talking about any new developments happening within the past month. And in the "Fast-Forward" section, I'll be talking about what's going to happen in the upcoming months. Finally, I always like reading and will be recommending at least one book each month!
This month I have been diligently working on the next installment of the Guardian of the Core series. I am happy to inform you all that it is in the hands of my beta-readers now. Once I receive feedback from them, I can go in and edit it once more before I finally publish it later this year.
For everyone who hasn’t gone on to check out the Guardian of the Core series, you can find more information here. Currently, I have two out of the five novels published, and everything is written. The other three books just need revising, so be patient with me as I publish those within the coming year or two.
Another big piece of news that I wanted to share with you all is that my Master’s Program has officially started again. I am going for my Master’s Degree right now in Digital Strategy from the University of Florida. It’s an online program and I’m learning so many useful things from it. Truly, it’s amazing. My courses for this semester focus a lot on social media branding and content creation, and I’m using the course as an opportunity to grow my own author brand. If you’d like to have more constant contact with me, I encourage you all to follow me on any of the social platforms below.
Finally, I've joined a writer's circle here in Suzhou, and I've been using them to get feedback on a non-fiction book idea I've been thinking about. While I don't have a title for it yet, it will discuss how we can keep our lives away from the trudges of monotony even in times such as these where we aren't able to travel. Essentially, I want all readers to not take their life for granted and to find positivity and joyfulness even in the most mundane of activities. I'll be posting bi-monthly content (at the very least) related to the topic of positivity and mindsets on my blog, be sure to check it out!
During the month of February, not much is going to happen here in China besides lots of travel! (or not!) For those of you who don’t know, China celebrates Chinese New Year (CNY) according to the lunar calendar. This year it is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 12th. It will officially be the year of the Ox. During this time many Chinese have a week off and they use that time to go home to their families and celebrate. This year is a little bit different because China is having a resurgence of covid-19 cases. Some cities are even offering stipends of 1,000 RMB (150 dollars) to citizens who don’t travel.
Unfortunately, I cannot travel anywhere this year. I have been actively avoiding winters for the past six years, and so I will finally have to face the winter winds and stay put here in Suzhou. I will be passing a majority of my time, though, in coffee shops doing my online master’s program and getting further ahead to make things more manageable when I go back to school to teach.
Finally, it’s with great joy that I also announce I’ve finally started plotting for the next novel in my universe. It will be a spin-off story to wrap up some of the incomplete parts in one character’s life, but I have hopes of making it a very cool trilogy or more. Stay tuned for more info about that!
Current Book Reads
For those who have made resolutions and find it hard to stick to them, it is as simple as building a habit system. This book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear is one of the best, most-realistic books I’ve read on building AND sustaining habits. I recommend it for all of those wanting to make little bits of their life more routine.
Seeing as this is my first e-mail to all of my awesome subscribers, I want to know more about what you guys hope to find out. I’d love to continue updating you with things about my writing, my career as an educator here in China, and perhaps even more about Chinese Culture. My hope is that these newsletters are informative and beneficial to you!
What do you want to find out more about?
What goals do you have in the New Year?
What are you looking forward to most in 2021?
Can't wait to hear back from you!
Until next time: stay safe, stay healthy, continue reading, and as always, stay positive!
Michael E. Thies
Michael E. Thies | 4266 Bonmaur Terrace, Slinger