Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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.


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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.

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