Tag Archive for: coronavirus

Tempus fugit and tempus repit

by AB Plum

What day is today?

A friend recently wrote me she’s
thinking the above question is a good book title considering our current
shelter-in-place practices.

I’ll admit, it’s the first question I
ask myself every morning while still in bed.

Actually, as soon as I wake up, I
turn the question into a statement: 
Today is Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

Years ago, many doctors took the
ability to accurately state current daily information as a good sign of brain
health. So … I like to hit all the germane calendar considerations:



TOD doesn’t bother me so much. I’m sheltering in place and
don’t need to go anywhere or do anything on an arbitrary timeline. A daily shaft
of sunshine through the blinds helps orient me to the hour within thirty or
forty minutes.

Back in my school days, child-rearing days, corporate-work
days, thirty or forty minutes made a huge difference in managing my day.

Or so I thought. 

Never arriving late carried a certain … virtuousness.
Arriving early put me on the path for sainthood.

Like most humans driven by the minutes flying by, I
expected the same obsession about time from friends, family, and co-workers
because I definitely believed in cramming 48 hours of activities into a day. (I
was adept at multi-tasking. Sleep was overrated.)

Or so I thought.

Writing full time changed my thoughts about time. Freed me
up. Allowed me to get lost in the timeless joy of creating stories.

Productivity wasn’t the goal. I felt just as satisfied producing
one page a day as turning out fifteen. Writing at all hours of the day and
night opened up new A-HAs and fun challenges.

Balance soon became a problem. I didn’t live in a yurt in
Outer Mongolia. My network of friends and family mattered. They wanted to know
about this new adventure/career/paradigm shift. And though I never worried
about burnout, I did worry about sitting in the attic, hunched over my vellum
in the wee hours, with bats flying in the belfry while I tried to recall:

·         DOW
My calendar lies in my closed desk
drawer. No need to review the week every Sunday evening and then in the morning
on each day of the week. I still paste Post-Its on my computer as reminders,
but I’ve cut way back on the number of those visual memory-aids.

What day is today?

It’s a new day. A day when the number
of coronavirus cases are still rising. But a day when I can go outside for a
walk. A day when I realize how little I need and how much I have.

“I wish it need not have
happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so
do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we
have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring  

**** AB Plum lives and writes in Silicon Valley, setting for her latest mystery series, featuring Ryn Davis, a character who never sleeps.


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A Moss Walk–by T.K. Thorne

Writer, humanist,
          dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,
       Lover of solitude
          and the company of good friends,
        New places, new ideas
           and old wisdom.

About 35 years ago, on a trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to visit a Buddhist monastery. I’m sure there were many beautiful objects there, but what has remained in my memory over all those years was a moss garden off a patio looking down the forested mountainside. Made of many different types and shades of moss, it was perfect, not a leaf, a stick or a non-moss plant disturbed the emerald carpet. “How does that happen?” I asked.

“It is tended by hand every morning,” was the reply. 

There is something about moss I find calming and, hence, I’m reluctant to clean it off the old bricks of our walkway. But it is far from perfect. Today, with the coronavirus raging through our world and lives, I decided to put on my monk hat and tend the walkway. It was very slow going because if you just rip out the plants growing in the moss, you rip out chunks of moss as well.  It usually requires two hands, one to hold down the moss and the other to gently extract the opportunist clump of grass or florae.

As I worked, I didn’t think about anything but the patch in front of me, getting satisfaction as each one cleared. I have no idea how long it took because it wasn’t about time.

I say I didn’t think about anything. Not quite true. It occurred to me—not for the first time—that in order to bring about my goal, I had to destroy what was not wanted. Moving toward what we want in life requires dedication, patience, and being willing to pull out the unwanted, even when its roots are wrapped deep.

T.K. is a retired police captain who writes BOOKS, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her. Want a heads up on news about her writing and adventures (and receive two free short stories)? Go HERE.  Thanks for stopping by!

Is My Life That Bad? (Asking for a friend)

by Bethany Maines

Originally I had planned on a post about how technology has
impacted my writing, but COVID-19 has a way of derailing things. My long journey
from Apple iMac in 1998 to laptops to ipads to composing huge swaths of a novel
on my phone has been a constant evolution in an attempt to remove roadblocks in
the process of creating stories. One
such roadblock was born six years ago and we named her Zoe. She’s charming, but she does slow down the
process and specializes in making it inconvenient to sit at a desk for extended
periods of time. In fact, her birth
escalated my search for technological shortcuts in the writing process.  I no longer have the luxury of futzing with
finding the perfect moment to write. I
get the moments I get and I’d better make them count because they won’t be
coming back.
Which brings us to COVID-19, social distancing and
sheltering in place, pausing or whatever else they’re using to mean “don’t
leave the house.” All the social media
is going on about how tragic it is to not leave the house and how they will at least be able to catch up on all
their TV watching, write a novel and learn French because everyone will have so much MORE time. To which I say…

I work from home. 
Grocery shopping is ALREADY my big going out event. Now I just have a child at home with me as I
try to work. Staying at home didn’t magically give me more
time. I have monumentally LESS time.  So basically, my sheltering in place is the
same as always except that the crazies have bought up the toilet paper I
actually do need and now my child wants to steal all the phones to facetime her friends. Also, now I have to
put on make-up in the morning because all the extroverts need to compensate and
want to do video chats.  
I realize that
my complaints are minimal in the greater scheme of things and I will happily wear mascara
to ensure the continued health of my fellow human beings, but sigh…  could everyone either stop complaining about having
to live my life or stop assuming that I’m going to roll out a novel next
week? That would be great.
Although, I am working on a novel. On my phone. 
Because I can “watch” Ducktales with one arm around Zoe and compose one
handed. You know… during all my “free” time.

Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.