Dispatches from the Pandemic


I hope you haven’t been coming here for the latest news and updates regarding my writing career. Because I have been a complete failure at updating this blog! I’m really going to try harder to do so. Like many of you, I have struggled with my life in the Covid States of America and navigating life during the pandemic. For some, it’s been a productive and creative time. For me it’s been… I really don’t know. 

I’m in a cheetah-print disapproving librarian phase.

I just got my second COVID-19 vaccine shot yesterday, and we’ve passed the one-year anniversary of when the world turned upside-down. These milestones are providing me with a little more stability and focus, and I hope to turn back towards my writing and creative life. 

A step in the right direction was writing a story for Vivian Caethe’s upcoming anthology We Cryptids. My story is titled “Three Collapses” and takes place in a small town in West Virginia. I based a lot of the conflict in the tale on the uproar caused by my local school board deciding on a mask mandate so that we could go back to school full time and in person. There have been a lot of crazy-ass board meetings that make ya regret the “public comment” stipulation. However, it’s made interesting fodder for my submission to We Cryptids — which was accepted! I’m so excited to read the other stories in the anthology and tickled pink (or any other color of the rainbow) to work with Vivian again. I’ll let you know when you can get your copy. You can reserve copies and do other fun stuff on the kickstarter page. 

My proposed cover for the anthology.

Additionally, I did do some amazing things over quarantine with my writing career. I got to appear on an episode of Cyclops Road and play a collaborative world-building game with other creative types. Imagine Other Worlds with Authors had a seriously fun online event via facebook where I got to appear on some panels and produce a video showing off my church-house and my ducks. I also meet once a month with my incomparably cool writers’ workshop crew via Google Meet and we are making headway into the first round of edits for Cultbreakers, which is coming up on its 7th birthday as a novel and still hasn’t been published. However, with these new edits I have hope that it’ll find a home, preferably with an agent. 

I always have a million works in progress at any given time. Such is the nature of ADHD. Oh, I don’t think I told you — I was diagnosed with adult ADHD inattentive and I’m now medicated. Adderall is changing my life in so many positive ways. The amount of mental energy I used to expend to keep my ADHD in check can now be re-routed to other things. 

One thing I did, starting in November of this year, was write a book JUST FOR ME. Literally. As in you will never, ever read it. It’s a romance novel and it’s pretty much just fanfiction of my own characters. How is this possible? In the words of one of my favorite vines, “try me bitch.”  I created a bunch of characters in my youth and young adulthood in various stories and unfinished works, and they came back together to hook up and have emotions. I just did it because I wanted to, and swiggity swag we got 400 pages in the bag! 

That was a LOT of writing that didn’t do anything to further my career, but it did further my understanding of myself as a person, a romantic partner, and a writer. I created some turns of phrase that I will definitely use again because they were freakin’ awesome descriptions. But yeah, for BRITISH EYES ONLY — I mean AMELIA’S EYES ONLY. The only other person I’ve talked about it with is my therapist. 

Another way that quarantine has affected me was getting back into reliable therapy with a therapist I’m really clicking with. The telehealth revolution has made a huge difference for me. I love getting to go to therapy in my office and drink a beer while I’m talking with my gal. I can wear PJs and I don’t have to go anywhere or try and get childcare. One of the things about COVID that I think has changed the world for the better is the accessibility of telehealth. 

Only one quarter left of school! My job continues to be extremely challenging and fulfilling. On any given day I’m teaching squirrelly 7th graders math, working with a student on an online course, teaching gifted 8th graders reading and writing, listening to podcasts with the Anatomy and Physiology class, helping teachers make rubrics, doing behavioral observations, collaborating with special education professionals, talking to parents, getting kids into therapy, or teaching a small section of an art class how to do embroidery. Yep, that’s my messy, fantastic, one-of-a-kind position at Lisbon CSD. 

Living in a 1906-constructed Catholic Church has its own set of challenges! I do spend a lot more time on home repairs and working on “sweat equity.” I’m really looking forward to gardening again this year. As of now, the church-house has a new laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom. Once we get the sanctuary floor refinished, we will have completed phase 1 of the remodel. Click here to see pics! And yes my house is messy. 

My house is the coolest

Stay strong, everybody. Keep wearing your mask and get your vaccination.