Regardless of your opinion on Covid-19, the reality of the situation is that our world is a different place than it was two years ago. Not wanting to dive into the politics, on masks, vaccines, and the like, I simply will share that I have noticed that daily routines and interactions are not what they used to be. Now when I shop or leave the house, I go out of my way to go in the earlier hours where there are less people. It has nothing to do with being the first to get a deal but simply to avoid large groups and drama.
I should bold the word drama. That's the big change for me. It seems people are in a rush, are less considerate than before, and frankly are too wrapped up in themselves and their stuff to be mindful of those around them. It's not just with shopping. One can see this out on the roads or even in the neighborhoods or communities they reside. Across the board, this behavior is rampant. There is a reason why I avoid popular hiking trails on these perfect fall days. Between the selfie and dog brigades, good luck enjoying any sense of nature unless you truly do get off the beaten path. If you want to call people out for blocking the trail for their picture-perfect moment, be ready for an earful.
In the past I have written on such topics, so I don’t want to repeat myself. And yet, I had a reminder over the weekend when for the first time in fifteen months I went inside to eat at a local dining establishment. A place I frequented often prior to the pandemic was just what I was hankering. Low and behold when I got inside, within twenty minutes I was ready to run for the door. It wasn't necessarily the food that sent me running, but this same rude behavior that has carried over to everything and everywhere. It’s that same negativity that runs wild on the news and at times in our schools.
I watched couples come in, sit at the bar, and without any sense of courtesy demand for multiple televisions to be changed to a specific football game even though the majority of the seats were taken, and many eyes were fixated on the different screens. Next were comments about the need for an extra bottle and to make sure it's chilled for an already cold beer. Another person wanted the volume turned up because it was hard to hear the game in a crowded bar while another lambasted their date while they both were glued to their phones.
The entire scene struck me as odd, because I would think after months of being cooped up, people would be flexible when out and in the very least courteous with one another. Instead, it seems people at least where I went to eat were more demanding and needy. I don't know whether that’s the norm now, or I happen to hit the jackpot.
What has your experience been? Are people kinder and more understanding when you’re out or have you seen this shift as well?
Writing has always been a personal process. I have gone through phases where I complete 70,000 word novels in less than three weeks, to the agonizing process of being 15,000 words into a story only to have to put it down for three years. I marvel at writers who are able to grind away daily, regardless on whether they are feeling the words. I have been in those shoes. And yet, I still am unsure whether I feel those pages completed are as good as the ones that form in my free wheeling times.
Last week was a funny one. I switched to the science fiction piece, thinking that the mystery story was too dark. Not wanting to rush the process, I did a 1000 words a day, and then when I was driving home on Friday, a few plot points from the mystery book jumped onto my notebook. Realizing that I could change things up and not make the story as dark as it originally appeared, I shifted to writing a few more notes and then I got to writing more of that tale. Now, funny enough, I just crossed the 10,000 word mark.
It appears though the mystery story, tenatively titled Lolita is taking the lead. We will see how things play out in the weeks ahead. Knowing my brain, we will flipflop back and forth with the other story, which would be a first in my writing tenure.
Welcome to a new month and for many a busy season ahead. After taking some time away from my blog, I decided it was time to start fresh. Gone are my previous posts and commentary, replaced with new ideas, topics, and musings.
While there are no new books to discuss, I started writing again this past weekend. I began with a mystery novel, but truth be told it was too dark for my liking. This morning I realized I wanted to find a story I would enjoy creating while stilll dealing with this continued pandemic and heightened news cycle. The idea of dealing with characters in the modern world seems daunting and not much of an escape.
Knowing this, I decided to return to the Alliance, the Varissi, and other characters from the Marcus Files. Whether this is book four or a spinoff series remains to be seen. If all goes well, I hope to have a draft of the new book by Thanksgiving and then we'll go from there.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, have you read The Varissian Affair or any of the books in the series?