I had no idea how to title this post. Everything was either too flippant or too depressing.
Someone said something about living in the midst of History and that we are all going to be first-hand accounts of said History being made and…
All I can say is that it’s done quite a number on my ability to write fiction, and I don’t even write contemporary.
I was working on a story for the Not-Christmas holiday anthology and it’s vaguely contemporary — whew. It’s stalled out in part because it’s so hard to write fluffy-happy when I’m terrified, and in part because I don’t know if I want to allude to any of the Everything TM going on right now.
Alluding to it pretty much means the story probably can’t happen because technically we should all be social distancing if we can.
Not alluding to it feels like erasure of all the on-going tragedy.
I finally decided that since Qixi is around August, it would have to be in 2019 and at that point everything was “fine”.
No one can know what August 2020 looks like, and that is both hopeful and terrifying. Perhaps we will be in a better place than we fear. Perhaps we will be in a worse place than we imagine.
As for non-fiction…
So much of this terror is… I compared it to suddenly becoming a military spouse.
You get on with your “normal”, whatever that is at the moment, and so much of your life revolves around the usual “being alive”, but there’s always this dread hovering, where you’re just waiting for the axe to fall.
It’s banal and terrifying all at the same time.
I made more chiffon cake today, beating the egg whites by hand to relieve some of the on-going panic attack that’s been sitting on my chest since mid-December of last year. I have not written a single word in days, and it is all I can do to stop myself from running onto the streets and howling my rage. Everything is the same. Nothing is the same. Evil appears to be winning. There is nothing I can do, no magic sword to wield, no cursed shield to uncurse with the blood of a thousand battles, nothing to do except whip egg white as viciously as I wish to whip billionaires.
Rinse and repeat.
I debated this post, but in the end I decided, sure, here’s my account of the history happening now. I can’t be the only person who needs a little bit of reassurance about how it’s not all crackly photogenic loaves of bread and cheerful singalongs.
If you’re also terrified – you’re not alone.
If you’re also angry – oh jeez, you’re not alone.
If you can’t string together two braincells to save your life – you are so totally not alone.
As my dear friend Shaula said, all we can do is to take this moment by moment and do our best with and for our friends.
Love will be what carries us through this.