In general, I like to have a single topic to write about in my blog posts, then maybe to share a couple of extra things at the bottom. This post is going to be a hodge-podge of stuff. Things are so different now during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have various things I want to share. Maybe when I get these down for you, it will free my mind to come up with some bigger things to write about.

Feel free to skip any section that doesn’t interest you.

 

Life During the Pandemic

 

If you’re like me, you get scared every time you have to go out for an essential task, like getting groceries. I have a full-time writing job that I get to do from home, and have for the last five years, and I know I’m lucky. Before COVID-19 started spreading, I was also doing Uber Eats about two hours a day. Yes, I’ve stopped doing Uber. I did it for about a week into the pandemic, and then I just got too uncomfortable. Some people weren’t observing social distancing. I witnessed restaurants where people were crowded together as though they were all getting into an airplane. This means I’m making about $30 less a day, so I’m looking for small writing gigs to make up the difference.

Being an introvert, anyway, I’m Okay staying at home. When my son and I do have to go out, we have masks that my mom made and sent to us. I maintain at least 6 feet of distance from anyone I see, wear my mask, have my son wait in the car, use hand sanitizer when I get back in the car, and disinfect our groceries as soon as we get home. I hope all of you are doing the same.

My local writing group is now online, which is great! We had a three-hour Skype meeting the other day. There are so many good writers in that group. I enjoyed hearing chapters from everyone else’s books, and I read the second scene from Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, my current novel and sequel to Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western.

How are you handling social distancing and sheltering in place? How do you think this will change culture and society? Please feel free to share below.

 

Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake

 

Yes, I’m working on this novel! I used to write books by knowing the characters and setting very well, then figuring out the story as I went along. Yes, I was a pantser. Now, I’ve learned to outline, and while I still have to figure things out as I go, I have a structure to fit it all into.

I recently outlined the major beats in this novel and am busy writing it. I have a lot of other writing to do for work, so sometimes I don’t get done as much as I’d like, but it is coming along. I’m on Chapter 2 now, moving toward the “inciting incident,” where the status quo changes and Creed’s real adventure for the story starts.

For those of you who are writers and artists, what are you working on? Are you using this period to get to some of your personal projects? Hey, if not, that’s all right! We’re all dealing with the pandemic in our own way.

 

When Will Disneyland Open?

 

For that matter, when will the world open? But this is my question because I live a mile away from Disneyland. We don’t live in the most upscale place in the world, but we do live in a nice apartment in a middle-class, gated community. We have a pool here that I assume will be safe to swim in at some point.

For the last few years, I’ve considered having Disneyland annual passports a cost of living here in Anaheim. If you lived here, you might, too. My son and I had been going often, sometimes just for a few hours after he gets out of school. On our passports, parking was covered, so often I’d only pay about $6.00 to get Clark an ice cream, and we’d go on several rides, enjoy the atmosphere, then go home.

It just feels so weird knowing that Disneyland is closed. More than anything, that’s making this very real for me. I mean, our passports expired just before shelter in place started, but it doesn’t even make sense for me to renew them until this blows over. I know, I’m lucky at the moment that this is the thing that makes it seem the most real. None of my friends have gotten sick. I hope it stays that way for a long time.

Let’s face it, this period is pretty surreal. What makes it seem real for you?

 

Writers: Read This Book

 

Back in January, I got to go to Pasadena Comic-Con, and I’m so glad I did. I met author Russell Nohelty and purchased two of his books, including How to Become a Successful Author. I’m just 40% into it, but wow is it packed with helpful information! Russell lays out so much about how to churn out good books, how to build your audience, why you want to write several interlinked book series, and much more. If you’re a writer and struggling to build your career, read this book. It will help you from making tons of mistakes, as I have. I wish this had existed (and that I had found it) twenty years ago.

That all for now! Again, I’d love to hear from any of you in the comments.

Disclaimer: The book links herein use my Amazon Associates account, so I get a tiny bit of any purchase made using them. I don’t think that’s a big deal, but Amazon wants associates to share that information.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King

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