Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Let’s Hear It for Virtual Everything!

by Saralyn Richard 

The year 2020 will go down in history for a lot of negative things, but one silver lining for me has been the proliferation of virtual meetings. Prior to 2020, I had used FaceTime to visit with far-flung family, but in the past year I have elevated virtual meetings to a regular staple on every day’s menu of activities, both personal and business.

Here are a few of the ways I have used FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft, Eventbrite, and other platforms to stay connected with important people in my life:

  • ·         I teach my classes in creative writing and literature for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
  • ·         I attend meetings and conferences sponsored by writers’ organizations.
  • ·         I meet with book clubs all over the country.
  • ·         I meet with readers who subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
  • ·         I attend classes to improve my craft.
  • ·         I participate in writers’ critique group meetings.
  • ·         I meet with my publisher and other authors.
  • ·         I attend religious services and funerals.
  • ·         I attend birthday parties and other celebrations.
  • ·         I have certain medical appointments.

Most of these events have had more participation from people located all over the world than ever would have been possible in person.

Earlier this month, I had a new book released, A MURDER OF PRINCIPAL. Thanks to Rachele Baker at  Authors Live! Online, I was able to have a celebratory virtual book launch party that was almost as good as being there. (If you're interested, contact Rachele at https://www.authorsliveonline.com/learn-more-about-our-services-for-authors.) A few bookstores have offered to host virtual book events, too. Except for autographing and giving hugs, there isn’t much the virtual events leave out compared to in-person events. And there are advantages in being able to attend from the comfort of home, both for attendees and hosts.

I often think of how isolated people must have been during pandemics prior to the internet. I’m grateful, if I had to live through such a long time socially distanced, that I can talk face-to-face with people as easily as clicking on a link.

Whenever we go back to in-person meetings, I’ll be among the first to kick up my stilettos, but for some things, I hope we are able to keep our virtual meetings, as well. Meanwhile, I wish each of you a happy new year with good health, much joy, and lots of personal connections, virtual and otherwise.

Want to connect with Saralyn virtually? Subscribe to her monthly newsletter or contact her at http://www.saralynrichard.com.




  1. You're using your time wisely! I am excited to read your new book too!

  2. I think I'm becoming a bit spoiled with all the virtual stuff going on. It will be an adjustment to going back to face to face meetings and events when this is over.

  3. I agree, Saralyn. There are a lot of benefits of meeting virtually. I think it will continue even after COVID.

  4. Congrats on your new book. Like you, I hope we keep some of the virtual events. It's been nice being able to be active with people from all over the country -- or the world.

  5. Best benefit of all: Saving on travel!

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone. I'm sure virtual meetings are here to stay, at least as an option. As much as we all complained about losing face-to-face meetings, like Mark, we are becoming spoiled by the easy access and savings of time and money. Not to mention wardrobe!