A Most Productive Session

I had a most productive journaling session this morning which has prompted me to want to share. I’m editing out the parts which include top secret novel plot info, ha! I am so excited and have a renewed sense of writing purpose. So much so that I have hired myself to rewrite my comfort novel. I start on Monday. I sure hope I liken my supervisor…

***

This is what’s here.

COVID-19 and social unrest and budding fascism and terror and despair.

This is what’s here.

Humans refusing to be silenced, out in the streets like revolutionary times, being the Americans again who founded this country. Americans who are dying of disease and violence and misinformation and distrust of science.

This is what’s here.

What am I going to do with it? Hunkered in my apartment where it’s safe to breathe freely and not through cotton, my little studio apartmentwhere my compromised body is safe. I haven’t been able to write. Not really write. I opened the manuscript folder for my beloved song adult novel with a teenaged girl version of me, the hero of her story. The folder contains drafts of the novel I’ve worked on since 2010 when the story was set in Connecticut, until my dear friend Ricardo suggested I set it in Arizona. He was write. I’ve never been to Connecticut. At the time, I chatted daily in what used to be called iChat, with a friend who lived in Connecticut and I wrote in a world full of snow and scarves and steaming cups of chocolate-infused coffee. When I moved the story to Arizona and created a fictional town there, the world came to life.

Set slightly in the future, {plot points omitted} The novel has been my passion project and my comfort, the one I turn to when my inner teen parts need soothing. I love the story and the characters, especially the guide dog, and my protagonist’s friendship with her best friend Georgie, who inspired her own short story which I rewrote and rewrote with the help of many friends and submitted to an anthology. The story wasn’t write for the publication, but it got compliments and praise from the editors. I’ve held onto it, not feeling right about submitting it again. And now I know why. It wasn’t the right time for that world.

The novel has been beckoning. Blog posts have beckoned. Facebook posts have beckoned. Ideas for essays to send to The Atlantic have beckoned. How Going Blind in Sobriety Helps Me Survive During a Pandemic. Blah blah. I know it would be helpful for some. But I can’t seem to write about reality.

This morning I read my daily Writer Unboxed email and the author talked about how the pandemic is finding its way into people’s works in progress. Feelings of panic and despair injected into scenes and making them stronger. Senses of hope weaving their way into scenes of sadness. My eyes opened wide as I realized what this means for my beloved WIP.

The pandemic changes it entirely. My fictional world is set slightly in the future. Therefore the pandemic has major influence. Panic. Panic for my story. Panic and despair. Oh no. What does this mean. Do I need to let the story go. It will take so much work to go back through it and inject the pandemic and everything it means into my fictional world, loosely based on the reality of our present. Thoughts of defeat wending their way through my synapses.

The obstacle is the way.

Hold on. Wait…my world involves a {plot points omitted}

Hope. Dawning light. This is the perfect time to write this story! I need to start from scratch, yes, but the characters and the world are already here and I can mine my manuscript for scenes and dialogue that I love. This world I created in 2010, a wish-fulfillment world that benefited my protagonist and her blindness in the way that the world as we know it does not benefit myself as a woman who is blind, this world and the the technology that I invented for her is perfectly suited for a post-pandemic world of the future. YES!

Oh YES!

Onward and upward. I will “write like I’m running out of time”.

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