What a spring! Definitely here as attested to by this wild choke cherry across my street.
Hunkering down at home is the normal course of events for a writer. We usually spend hours chasing the elusive mot juste, polishing prose and searching for typos. Hours can go by before we notice that something is burning on the stove or that odd noise that has been at the edge of our consciousness is the dog who somehow got locked out of the house.
Since it’s spring, the garden beckons and I can plant those vegetables I hope to raise–in spite of hungry raccoons and foraging birds.
But this spring is different. We can stay home and write but we must stay home. Our governments’ directives on keeping a social distance, if not outright socially isolating ourselves, seems to fit into this writer’s lifestyle. However, now that I am practicing it, I realize how social a person I am. We’ve been asked to stay home except for trips to the grocery store, pharmacy and gas station. I spend every morning at my computer as I usually do, but I am amazingly restricted in the afternoons and evenings. Social distancing if not social isolation is going to be with us for many weeks yet, so I am working away at Book III of The British Book Tour Mysteries and will receive Book II from the line editor soon. I am still working which is a privilege in a world when so many are prevented from doing their jobs at this difficult time.
Of course, I cancelled my trip to England when I expected to do the research for Book IV. I’ll re-book it when it is possible and safe to do so. I have been to the Cotswolds where I set the fourth book so I have a vision of what it is like.This spring’s trip would have enabled me to pick up details. I’ll have to go later.The whole world is on “pause”, so I won’t complain.
Many author events have been cancelled, not postponed, simply cancelled, leaving conferences, book launches, and education sessions abandoned. We can’t meet our readers and listen to their impressions of our writing; we can’t pick up the latest gossip about publishers, other authors and trends. We can still create. I’ve been impressed with the ways in which authors are trying to create on-line events with video meetings and interactions with readers. I’m learning about Zoom, of course Skype, Big Blue Button and other hubs of social interaction.
I can see the chaos and fear that comes in areas where there is no health system support, or government support for those off work. I have faith in the resilience of people to act sensibly under such duress when they understand the nature of the threat. My neighbourhood is acting under the direction of our provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, whom everyday, gives us a report on the situation and advice on what to do. We simply do it.
It’s a new world.