Eight years ago as of February, I sat down and started writing my first novel, THE TESTIMONIUM. That act opened a floodgate of literary creativity that kept going for almost eight years straight. Between 2002 and 2020, I completed seven novels, and saw five of them published. I wrote something like twenty short stories, some pretty good, some just silly, and sent them to friends or published them here in my blog. I also edited my novels and put them through multiple drafts and fine-tuning runs. I began this blog in 2014 and faithfully updated it, sometimes several times a month, and sometimes just once a month, but never less than that!
This year, I finished PRESIDENT HAMILTON, my newest novel (see previous entry) in the first week of March, let it rest for a couple of weeks, and then went back in from the beginning and started the work of editing and re-writing. I got as far as Ch. 11 - a little over a third of the way through the story - and spring break came along, with my daughter Rachel's marriage coming on the last day thereof. I put the story aside to help my family get the "Big Day" out of the way.
Then COVID-19 happened.
I'd heard of it before then, of course. The pandemic was sending its first tendrils slithering across the country, infecting people here and there, but the death toll was still very small, and the threat seemed far away. We got the wedding done just under the wire on March 14. Then my school announced they were extending Spring Break by a week. Suddenly everything shut down - school was postponed, then canceled, for the rest of the year (except for online classes and ZOOM lessons). My college course suddenly became an online course. The NBA, MLB, and NHL canceled or delayed their seasons. My house became a classroom, my home PC a work PC.
And my muse took off for parts unknown.
I have stared at this blog every day or two for two months now, and couldn't think of a thing to write. I haven't opened the file to continue editing HAMILTON since the week of the wedding. I write in my journal, I engage in vigorous debates on social media, I have lengthy email conversations with friends and relatives, and I obsessively track the daily level of infections and deaths due to the Corona Virus. But creative writing? Editing? Blogging? Short stories?
Sorry, no one's home.
So if you see my muse flitting around your keyboard, shoo her away and tell her it's time to come home. She's two inches tall, blond, wears a Roman-style toga and a Revolutionary era tricorn hat, and has iridescent green wings. She'll start spouting Latin swear words if you startle her.
Tell her I miss her.
And my stories miss her, too.