|Hiking on Vancouver Island, with Physical Distancing|
I'm pleased to report that the revisions to my novel have been going very well recently. This is officially draft number 3. I've expanded the ending, added scenes, and tweaked characters. I've also slashed out a lot of stodgy prose -- adverbs, nominal phrases, redundancies, and the like. It's leaner and punchier. I've managed to cut 5,000 words, which is good, because it's too long.
Unfortunately, when I'm successfully working on my novels, my blog writing doesn't fare as well. So today, I'm taking some time out to post an update.
Pandemic PanicLike so many others, I was quite calm about staying home and sheltering in place at first. It was an adventure -- a chance to cook new things and use up supplies in the back of the cupboard. "Staying at home for a couple of weeks: how hard can this be?" I said to myself.
But then, I found myself staring at the screen in horror as the death tolls mounted in Italy and Spain. I stayed up into the wee hours poring over corona virus statistics from John Hopkins University, Worldometer, CBC, and the BC Centre for Disease Control. I spent 3 to 5 hours online every day reading news articles, watching videos and live broadcasts, and tracking the statistics. I became a fan of Dr. Bonnie Henry, the top public health officer for BC, and watched her daily update without fail.
|Will the Rain Never End?|
The five stages of grief and loss -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- I've been going through them all.
You'd think that staying at home with everything wiped off my calendar would give me ample time for my creative pursuits, writing and painting, which I never seem to have enough time for. But no. For the first six weeks, I couldn't work on my novels. I couldn't seem to focus. I was too anxious. I had to spend all my time reading about the corona virus.
Perhaps the fact that I'm writing a three-novel apocalyptic trilogy had something to do with it. It's a little creepy when bizarre things I made up and wrote about in my fictional tale have suddenly started happening in real life.
Settling InIt's now Day 69 for us. Tomorrow we'll hit the 10 week mark.
We're starting to settle in. This is our life. We're getting used to it.
(I'm writing this knowing, with immense gratitude, that I and my family have been extremely fortunate. We're fortunate to be living in BC, where wise Dr. Bonnie Henry has led the provincial epidemic response informed by science, and where the residents of the province have been very socially responsible in following public health guidelines. I'm fortunate to have not lost anyone in my social circle to the virus.)
Settling in means I'm getting comfortable with my life with its new, more restrictive parameters. I'm happy to have time to write, even though it's because so many of the other things I was doing have been put on hold.
One of my friends said to me, looking a bit guilty as she said it, "I kind of like just staying home."
AdaptingI'm moving on with my life (while adhering strictly to the public health guidelines). Yes, things are different now, but that doesn't mean my life is on hold. I'm adapting to the new circumstances.
One of the advantages of being 63 years old is that I've had lots of practice at this. No, not with pandemics, but with difficult, wrenching life changes.
I've moved a lot. Every move has meant leaving behind friends, my home, my job, favourite restaurants, and favourite walking trails.
I've had injuries that have impacted my mobility. There were times I thought I'd never ski again because of knee injuries. I've learned to ski differently. I once broke a bone in my foot that wouldn't heal. I was in a cast for four months. I wondered if I'd ever walk normally again.
|Keeping in Touch|
Moving OnLiving in the age of the novel corona virus means finding new ways to do things, and continue to live a satisfying, fulfilling life.
I've started texting with my grandsons on Messenger. They love playing with the photo options and other media features.
We enjoyed a physically distanced Mother's Day picnic with my daughter's family.
|Mother's Day Picnic|
However, our Lions club has been out with other community members cutting broom. Scotch broom is an invasive plant species that is a problem on Vancouver Island.
We can stay apart but be together while we cut broom.
|Rob with Broom|
|Clematis in Bloom|
I have spent a lot of time out working in my lovely garden. Although the weeds are endless and I'll never keep up with them, I've been enjoying my gardening time.
I have planted tomatoes, herbs and a few other things in containers on my deck.
The flowering shrubs bring joy. And I'm quite pleased with my little vegetable patch, tucked in amongst the decorative plantings.
Another way in which we have adapted is that Rob and I are going for more walks together. To celebrate our recent anniversary, we picked up take-out sushi and ate it at a picnic table in the park. Then we went for a lovely walk around the harbour.
|Not Too Old for Selfies|