Working through these strange times

My family and I have been working through the phases of the lock down and pandemic here in Seattle, Washington.

I have to say it was pretty scary in the beginning, knowing that my area was hit first. I watched what was happening in Italy before people seemed to realize that the same could happen here.

I am heartbroken that New York was hit so hard, but also thankful that leadership here in Washington and a lack of population density kept us relatively safe. Our physical health is only one factor in all of this, though. Our mental health has definitely been affected by the changes to our lives.

We miss our community, we miss our roller derby activities, and we miss the certainty of our lives before.

Good has come of it, though.

My kiddo is doing well enough at his at home learning.  I home schooled once. I didn’t enjoy it. This is much easier. Having teachers create lesson plans and assignments, who do virtual lessons and chats online, makes distance learning work for us.

It’s also nice to have bonding time. My kid is great about doing chores and is enjoying all the bread making and home cooked meals. P.E. is regular walks and going out trail skating whenever weather allows.

My husband has really gotten into house and yard maintenance, which is great. We’re finally taking care of all the things we had let go for too long. We got chickens again, and I’m just about ready to start a garden.

I am also writing again. I am working on fiction almost daily.

I have a Chick Lit novel that I feel pretty good about. It is nearing 30,000 words.

I’m also editing a draft of my fantasy novel and posting it regularly to a couple of sites. I realized part way in to the process that I had an outline for a rewrite of this novel drafted.  The outline is quite an improvement. So while I’m still posting the original draft online, I have a few readers, and I like to follow through on promises made to them, I’m also working on the rewrite. Not exactly the best way to work on a novel, but it is what it is.

As I continue on my writing journey after a long time away, I’m feeling a need to talk about my writing process on occasion. I’m also feeling the need for an outlet for some of the thoughts and feelings that being exposed to too much social media and not enough real life is causing.

Without roller derby to prop up my mental health, I lack the confidence I need to be able to feel good about just sharing myself with the world. Writing fiction is intimate enough.

So I’m in a strange place in my desire to write. Writing fiction is fulfilling in it’s way, but I also just want to work out my thoughts and also feel connected to the world. Other social media platforms don’t really seem like a safe place for that. Perhaps a blog isn’t either.

I have overshared things on this blog in the past that I still cringe at. Yet I leave the posts because maybe they serve a purpose. Perhaps they reached someone and helped them to not feel as alone.

With that thought in mind, I am going to attempt to do this blog thing again, from time to time. Mostly for myself, but also for whoever is out there that might find a spark of connection with my words.

 

_________________

 

For those who are interested in my fiction, I’m currently posting chapters of “The Wind Shifts” daily at Dreame.com.

I’ve posted a few chapters of the Chick Lit story I mentioned there too. It is called “Pivot”.

I have a collection of short stories currently available through Kindle. It is called “Tales from the Tower World”

I also have a number of works available at Wattpad.com

One thought on “Working through these strange times

  1. I don’t really consider what you wrote in your other posts oversharing. You’re just being real. The world has become a cruel place so I can see why you are hesitant to put yourself out there, but I feel that’s what the cruel people want; to stifle human expression and force people to stay isolated because of their petty competitiveness. I have adopted a no-holds-barred style ever since I came out as an Aspie, and I think genuine authenticity of self is what will ultimately win against those who would like us to stay pushed into dark corners in silence. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many nice people will support you.

    I have a Youtube channel with some pretty raw stuff on it. I don’t do make-up vlogs, diet or exercise tips, or inspiration porn. What I do is bring important topics that need light shone on them and content that other people may be afraid to post but can help others. I wait until I have something really important to say before I upload. For instance, I am an animal person and soon will be making a video about an uncomfortable situation I recently encountered regarding the darker side of the hobby. Though it might be viewed as controversial I think it’s important to say what needs to be said, and maybe I will hear from others who have had the same experience who previously felt they were alone with it.

    During the pandemic with many people being at home, it seems more important to connect with people online than ever. I sense that most people are not looking for an escape, but for something deeper they can relate to. I think this situation has forced people to stop the constant motion and avoidance of feeling and to listen to themselves and everything around them. I believe people have come to use work and being busy all the time as a crutch and it’s become an addiction, so now lots of people are basically in withdrawal because in being still one begins to notice sometimes inconvenient truths. Maybe some experience this as a mental health crisis, but instead of a breakdown it just might be a breakthrough. It’s not so much a matter of being at home causing mental health problems but of allowing us to know what was already there but previously suppressed because of our perpetual motion. We can’t change what we don’t know or acknowledge, so this new awareness is the first step in making things better, both within ourselves, and in the world out there.
    The hustle and bustle of daily life has actually served to divide us from one another and this becomes a pattern over the years.

    It’s ironic that in this era of “social distancing” in many ways people have been brought closer together because we have more time to think, value our relationships, and prioritize what really matters. Just knowing that the people in our lives could be gone tomorrow because of this virus gives us more incentive to spend quality time talking with them even if not in-person. It also gives us the opportunity to look at our government and assess what works and what needs changing and how we can be a part of making the world a better place.

    Like

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