How are you? How are you coping right now? At my house, it’s just Studly Doright, Scout (our elderly cat), and me. Currently we have toilet paper and a plan in place in case that runs out. You really don’t want to know the details of that plan.
We have food enough for at least two weeks, more if we dig into our stash of things we aren’t crazy about eating, but will if we have to. I’m not sure how we manage to buy items that we think we’ll eat, but never do. Some of it is left over from the last time the grandkids visited, but most of the unwanted foods were purchased with good intentions.
Studly is working from home with lots of help from Scout, who now makes sure he’s up and ready to head to the office around 6 a.m. Her favorite thing is helping him with conference calls. She’s probably saved the company a fortune simply by adding her occasional meow to the conversations.
I’m sort of a loner anyway, so except for the fact that now 99% of my time is spent at home all day every day, nothing much has changed. Before the pandemic, I’d go on solo expeditions looking for things to use as blog fodder.
I worry about our kids and grandkids, my brothers and their families and Studly’s mom and his siblings. Worry isn’t productive, though, so I pray for them all every day, often more than once. I hope someone out there is praying for me.
Oh, and I think about all of the bloggers I follow. If I don’t see a post from the regulars fairly often I begin to fear the worst. Please post something, even if it’s just a meme or a photo or a reassuring sentence. Let me know you’re okay. Same with those who follow me. You’re important to me.
I’ve been working on my novel daily, and I’m closing in on 60,000 words. I like my characters, even though they still talk way too much.
So question number one is: How much dialogue is too much? Is there a golden ratio that can be applied or should I just let them talk?
Question #2: I’m afraid I hit the story’s climax way too soon. How do I create some new tension to keep the story going, OR, should I create some additional tension before the perceived climax and delay the denouement?
Question #3: What is the meaning of life in the age of COVID-19? And is it too frivolous to be working on a novel during such a time?
I wrote a little over 1,000 words this morning and now I’m snuggled up with the cat. One moment I’m able to put the pandemic totally out of my mind, while the next moment I’m contemplating how horrible it must be to be hooked to a ventilator and that makes me need to wipe tears onto my shirt sleeve.
On Facebook a couple of days ago I asked friends what books they loved, but would NOT recommend people read during a pandemic. I started the conversation off with a couple of my personal favorites.
First on my list is The Stand by Stephen King. Every now and then I reread King’s tale of a biological weapon unleashed on an unsuspecting and unprepared world. The weapon, in the form of an awful disease nicknamed “Captain Trips” wipes out all but about 4% of the population worldwide.
Of course, being vintage Stephen King, supernatural forces also come into play. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough. Every time I’ve read the book I’ve ended up with either an upper respiratory virus or a digestive illness, and become fairly certain that I’ve contracted Captain Trips. I definitely will NOT read it in the near future.
Another book I enjoyed and will at some point reread once we’re past the current crisis is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Her novel follows several individuals who have survived a rapidly spreading disease and are trying to make their way in a new kind of society. Multiple story lines explore how different characters cope with the initial panic, the decimation of the population, and the aftermath of the pandemic years later. It’s well written, creatively imagined. and thought-provoking. I just can’t read it right now.
There are a few more I could list, but I want your best DON’T READ RIGHT NOW BOOKS. These should be books you really like, but probably would just ramp up anxiety if read right now. And I’m changing my mind even as I write this. Maybe you LIKE to read books that parallel our current situation. I’d like your thoughts, as well. Ready, set, go.