I feel like I'm living in a time warp. Always playing catch-up.
It's because when I write these blogs a month before they get posted, occasionally I'm a bit out of step with current events. Like last month when I told you all about the writer's workshop I attended in early March. When the blogs were posted in April, they were being read by a quarantined public! And I wonder how that light subject matter came across to readers who are frustratingly stuck, their lives on hold, and with many more important things on their minds.
And to add insult to injury, at the same time I posted the fourth and final installment of the Grand Illusion series ... all about getting out to the mall and the park to do live sketching! Talk about being out of touch with my readers! Yeesh!!
Now here I am about to do it again. It's late March and I'm getting blogs and website updates for May written and ready to turn in by mid-April. And thinking, What can I write that will be relevant in 4-5 weeks? Who can tell what life's going to look like the first week in May?
It's been interesting to watch how people are responding to having their lives put on hold. For some it has been merely an inconvenience and a bit aggravating. For others it's been tragic and hard ... job and income loss, sickness and death. Remember to pray for friends and family and help when you can. My friends who sew are making masks. The Fayette Samaritans, where my husband volunteers, has found ways to safely distribute food to needy families. Our church in Atlanta – formerly Woodland Hills, and now United Church – was supposed to have their grand kick off March 22nd after months of rennovations and updates on our old building. That got postponed and meetings and gatherings moved online. Thank goodness for the amazing technology we have! Life got interrupted, but goes on. And it's fun to see all the innovative solutions people come up with to make life work in these new circumstances.
If you are a story writer, it's a great time to be observing life and human nature. After all the recent blogs and articles I've posted about observing life for the influence it will have on your story-making, I can't help but wonder about all the stories that are being played out right now in people's lives. Because that's what our lives are, stories being played out. Those stories can be tragic, funny, inspiring or mundane. It will be fun when we come out of isolation and we're able to share our stories with each other about the challenges, heartaches and changes we went through.
A thousand years ago we'd likely be getting our stories orally from the family patriarch. Today we can get on social media sites and tell our stories to one another in real time as they unfold. All our voices on the internet, all at one time ... the world is getting noisy! All of us telling our own story! And all of us being able to hear and be inspired by the stories of others!
Some of us like to wait until the end and tell the whole story with it's final outcome. Some of us like to tell our story in installments, day-by-day, as it plays out. The teller and the listener can experience the unfolding in real time! No matter how you like to tell it, just TELL IT! And give ear to the other stories being told around you.
The most important part of any story is, of course, the characters. So for May, I thought it'd be fun to talk about some different types of characters, and what it would be like to spend weeks and weeks in quarantine with them.
Judging by what I see on Facebook, we are finding out a whole lot about all the characters under our own roofs! Now we have hard evidence to support what we always suspected, as well as solid verification of what we absolutely knew. Knowledge is power, but before you get too carried away sharing what you know about the characters in your house, remember that discretion is the wisest path here ... because those characters have the goods on you, too! We'd better tread lightly when telling our tales, because they will be telling the same tales from a very different perspective!
So being the coward that I am, I'm going to play it safe and stick to fictional characters. I got to thinking about some of my own favorite characters from television and books, and thought it would be fun to share them with you. The particular three I came up with are so very different from each other, and if they were real people, they'd each have their own unique reaction to life in a world with Covid-19. Within these three we have a cynic, a psychotic, and a swashbuckler.
I thought it'd be fun to keep the blogs light, but then these are serious times, and I wanted to address that, too. So here is an article called A Tale of Two Kingdoms. While not specifically addressing a world-wide pandemic, I think the message is very appropriate for these times. It's very serious subject matter told in my ususal off-the-wall way. Check it out if you are so inclined ...
Meanwhile, meet me back here next week and I'll introduce you to my favorite cynic ...