I have returned from my long absence.

By David Joe.l Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

So much to do and so little time.

A lot of things have taken place over the summer, which has cut into my time for creative pursuits. Despite my best efforts, I found it difficult to keep up on everything over the summer. Initially, I thought that with the pandemic working from home would result in an increase in productivity, and while it did, sort of, increase my productivity in some areas, some of the things have had to go on to back burners. So, here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to and what I hope to get to as we move into the fall and winter months.

I’ve completed my online teacher certification classes.

When the pandemic first came on the scene, no one had any idea how we would need to react to it. There’s still a lot of confusion and disagreement that we are all having to muddle through.

One result was that the community college I teach at moved almost all of its classes online. Learning all the ins and outs of a new online platform, we are using Canvas, has been a challenge.

In addition to learning the platform, I had to create new material and convert the material I had been using for online use. I’ve added sound to all my PowerPoints and converted most of them to videos. I’m still working on slicing some of the longer videos up into shorter segments to make them more watchable and adding some of the material I would have talked about had you been in the class.

With more people vaccinated and more people used to the idea of taking certain risks in order to go back out into the world, more and more of the classes which were moved online will be back in the physical classroom.

Will I be returning to the classroom?

This is still up in the air. While I’ve had two vaccines and probably will get the booster as soon as it is available, I do know that vaccinated or not, the older you get, the more the risks if you do catch Covid. Well into my seventies, I’m aware that my risks of dying should I catch Covid are a lot higher than a faculty member who is in their thirties or forties. Having spent five days in the Covid ICU last November, the realities of the risks are very much on my mind. Fortunately, last November, I did not have Covid, and I recovered relatively quickly. I’m fully aware; however, that should I catch Covid, I probably would not be so fortunate next time.

Will I continue to teach online?

I certainly would like to. I’m hopeful that the classes I taught in the classroom in the past will be approved as online classes in the future. Additionally, exploring the possibility of teaching online courses either in substance use disorders, mental health, or simply having a happy life for another college or university.

I’m exploring the possibility of creating some online classes.

A lot of exciting new things are happening in the online education field. Not every class necessarily needs to come with units leading towards a degree. This is an exciting time in which to live. I have been investigating several platforms for creating online classes and considering what topic I might want to teach. I know there’s going to be some time needed to create that class, especially to make it interesting and engaging. As I progress with my plans for online courses, I’ll keep you informed.

If you have any ideas for a class you would like to see me teach, please leave a comment or use the contact me form. As my ideas get firmed up, I intend to conduct a survey and get all my readers’ input on the ideas I’ve come up with. Hey, if I’m going to teach a class, it ought to be one that my current readers would like to take.

Whatever happened to my YouTube channel?

Ever since Covid, all my efforts on YouTube have been directed towards short videos on substance use disorders. I stayed with a simple format and produced videos that were primarily for my students in the substance abuse counseling classes. Surprisingly to me, anyway, the number of viewers I’ve had on YouTube has continued to increase, and many of those new subscribers were not students in the classes I taught. That tells me that some of you would like to see videos on mental health topics rather than read long blog posts. Any ideas for a video you’d like to see?

Some of you have asked what happened to my writing?

My writing time has been extremely limited over the last year. I did manage to turn out a few blog posts. But my nonfiction and my novels have been on hold. Typically I write a first draft of a novel every year during the NaNoWriMo writing contest. I hope to start another novel this year, though, with less than a week to go till November. My ideas still aren’t fully developed. Maybe this year will be my year to write a half-baked novel.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Today’s not Monday, is it?

Man writing

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any busier.

For some of you who have been reading this blog over the preceding years, you’ve noticed that I rarely miss publishing a post on Mondays. But in the frantic activity of the last week, Monday of this week was overlooked. I decided to take this opportunity to tell you why Monday didn’t get its appropriate respect this week.

The usual schedule for the counselorssoapbox blog has been a post every Sunday about a feeling related word. I try to include a picture that illustrates the idea along with some quotations featuring the word of the week. Some of these quotations are humorous, and some are insightful.

Monday has typically been reserved for a post on mental health, substance abuse, or having a happy life. I suppose skipping this week’s Monday post was my way of doing a little personal self-care.

Sometimes Wednesday features a Writing Wednesday post about my fiction and nonfiction books and my writing process. And when possible, the other days of the week might feature anything else; I’ve managed to write. I just never know what these will be until I get them finished.

There are new things in the works.

Starting next week, I will be teaching another class about drugs, alcohol, and substance use disorders, The topic, and the material are very similar to the way I’ve taught this class in the classroom in the past. But the content has been redesigned. Over the summer, I took a course on how to teach online and my class on The Effects Of Drugs And Alcohol On The Body and The Brain, also known as the Physical and Psychological Effects of Drugs, and sometimes called Chemical Dependency Counseling has been completely redesigned. If you’d like to look at the videos for this class, you will find them on my counselorssoapbox YouTube channel on the playlist SUD-CD. To get academic credit for the course, you would need to be enrolled through Fresno City College.

Two new novels are due to be published shortly.

I spent the first seven months of this year working on several new novels. Two of these novels are currently in the revision and proofreading stages. Since sometimes, the details change when I go to publish them. I will tell you more about them as we get closer to the publication date.

Both are in new genres. Having started my novel writing efforts so late in life, I’ve approached novel writing the same way most people approach relationships as a teenager. I tried to date as many genres as possible without getting married to anyone genre category.

Throughout my life, I’ve read widely, and I can’t say there’s any single category of book, either fiction or nonfiction, which doesn’t interest me. So, I must at least spend some time with some new genres in my writing.

One of the novels I plan to publish before the year is out will be a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel about a country that takes over the control of social media to control the way people think. This novel is not necessarily connected to the recent COVID-19 pandemic or current political events. As a teenager, I thoroughly enjoyed reading both Utopian and dystopian novels. Brave New World and 1984 were two of my favorite books. The working title for this book is Story Bureau.

The second novel features a reporter exploring the paranormal phenomena. This book will include both a ghost story and a mystery, and the current working title for this book is Oaktree Hotel Hauntings. For those of you who read and liked my time travel adventure titled Sasquatch Attacks, this novel features the return of reporter Nancy Nusbaum who is now working for the Paranormal News.

The Counselorssoapbox YouTube channel continues to grow.

I’ve added several new videos to the Counselorssoapbox YouTube channel. Some of these are shorter videos on substance use disorders. I’m also working on some new mental health videos. While I enjoy all the things I’m doing, I still need to take some time out to eat and sleep.

The mental health field continues to change.

Both my private practice clients and the supervision I do have moved online. Staying mentally healthy in the coronavirus era has been a challenge for both clients and counselors. As humans, we all need some social connection, but we also need to be careful to minimize our contacts and the spread of the virus. My self-care plan also includes an emphasis on devoting some time out of my schedule to stay in touch with those people in my support system who I currently can’t see is much as I would like.

So that’s an update on my life both personally and professionally. How are you all taking care of yourself these days? Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment box below or use the contact me form.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel