• Pandemic: General Discussion

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in CoronaVirus     Comments 97 comments
    Mar
    21

     

    Discussion question: No question. Just talk about whatever you want to talk about.

     

    During this weird time I wanted to run a bunch of discussion posts where we can all keep in touch and talk about specific things like what we’re writing and what we’re reading, and general things like… how we’re making it through this. Find links to the other posts at the bottom of this one.

     

    For this discussion post, let’s just… discuss.

    I want this to be a space where we can just keep in touch with each other and talk or vent about whatever the hell is on our minds during this lockdown.

    What’s the vibe in your house? Your town or city? Your state? Your country?

    What are the biggest struggles you’re facing right now?

    How are you staying in touch with friends and family?

    What are you doing to stay healthy, physically and mentally?

    What’s making you smile? What’s making you laugh?

    What movies and TV shows are you watching during this weird time?

    How much toilet paper did you stock up on?

    Share your experiences in the comments below. And don’t be afraid to offer some words of support, encouragement, and advice to your fellow WriteByNighters.

     

    Here are links to our other three discussion posts:

    What we’re writing during this pandemic

    How we’re writing during this pandemic

    What we’re reading during this pandemic

    Stay safe, friends. Stay healthy. Stay home, as much as you can.

     

    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2020 writing project you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. If you have a manuscript that’s ready for some editorial care, check out our various critiquing, editorial, and proofing servicesJoin our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    Barbara Mealer

    I’m opting for the general discussion. Because I and my significant other are out of a job right now, it’s making it so that we are in survival mode. Luckily, I’m one of “those” people who has enough food to last for up to six months. Thing like milk, bread, eggs and anything else that is fresh, I’ll have to get. I learned when I lived in FL to have at least 3 weeks of food on hand that you could fix. I also learned to keep cash on hand because if your card doesn’t work, you have no access… Read more »

    Barbara Mealer

    The more I’ve learned about this covid-19 it was lab virus that got loose. But, it isn’t as deadly as SARS would have been had it become a pandemic. All of the lockdowns are to prevent overwhelming out medical systems. All of this is overkill. Simply, everyone who is sick, needs to stay at home for at least 14 days. During that time, clean and disinfect everything that person touches daily. Keep up that routine until well. The major way of spreading is air and touch. Air would be using mask like you would for TB, but those you can’t… Read more »

    adrien leslie

    My favorite short read was yesterday’s google logo of Ignaz Semmelweis who pioneered hand washing for doctors. Just seeing his name took me to the day my father finished reading a fictionalized version of his life (The Cry and the Covenant) and handed it off to 8-year-old me. Although sad and far from girly, I gobbled up the tragic story. I haven’t thought of the book or the doctor in years, but the logo reminded me the significance of sharing books and more important; the sharing of good reads between parent and child.

    adrien leslie

    Ok, we’re probably not twins but, my Dad was David and my son is David too. Yes, Dad & I talked about C/C. It was when I learned the term antisemitism (key to the story), but most of all I remember my father being genuinely moved by Semmelweis’ tortured soul in a time when big strong men weren’t supposed to. Our reading thing didn’t last long either–maybe they’re not supposed to–
    As always, David, you shake my writer’s mind TY
    Stay safe
    PS in the 90’s, I was underlining every other sentence in Angela’s Ashes:)

    adrien leslie

    beautiful and not weird at all
    I see it with you- Molly teaching , the La-Z-Boy holding you both. I’m sorry you lost Dad and Molly long ago, but glad that whenever you miss them-this memory obliges a visit—good stuff!
    As for the La-Z-Boy, recently while I was
    fetching something from my closet, I realized most of my ‘stuff’ will outlive me–now, that’s weird;)

    adrien leslie

    Im returning your memory to you right now! Eeuw. ???

    adrien leslie

    Clothing with labels, still attached, that I still haven’t worn. Waiting for the perfect occasion..I think that may be a girl thing.

    adrien leslie

    What?! my ecru leather skirt from Coach original price $898 reduced to 59.95 wasted at home where no one can marvel at my exquisite taste and shopping prowess–never!

    Elissa Malcohn

    My partner and I are hunkered down but not stressed out. We’re into problem-solving mode, like employing power strips that we can work with our feet. In the absence of hand sanitizer on store shelves, I made DIY sanitizer. (Bottom line: make sure the mixture has at least 60% isopropyl alcohol. That means getting 91% alcohol and mixing two parts of that to one part of aloe gel. My store was also out of aloe gel so I used aloe lotion; all it means is that I shake the mixture thoroughly before I apply it.) Since I’m the one doing… Read more »

    Susan

    Live long and prosper! I love that. I think I will start using that too. I have some Spock ears I bought for Halloween once; maybe I’ll wear those too.

    Elissa Malcohn

    DIY hand sanitizer recipe in text: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hand-sanitizer-coronavirus-make-your-own/ And video: https://youtu.be/I8KjePawdL4 I’ve also bookmarked a video that looks scientifically thought out, which uses grain alcohol (if you can get it) if the stores are out of isopropyl 91%. Vastly different recipe of the type that calls for a pipette. I can post that link, too, if you’re interested.

    Susan

    What’s making me smile lately is the duo Glenn and Ronan, I discovered this up and coming duo from Ireland while sending musical St. Patrick’s greetings to my family. Such beautiful voices. Their harmony on The Fields of Athenry was exquisite. I have listened to it about a hundred times. And of course the ballad is medicine for my craving for maudlin. What’s making me laugh: Stephen Colbert. What will get us through–small kindnesses and new connections. My niece suddenly lost her day care, which threatens her ability to work, and I mentioned it to my upstairs neighbor, who called… Read more »

    Susan

    Music, sweet music! I shared this article with my writing group and want to share it with you all too. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/great-writers-on-the-power-of-music?utm_source=pocket-newtab
    It’s great writers writing about music. Inspired me to stop and listen to Ennio Morricone, specifically Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission. Just… just…. oh, just so… mmm,mmmn,mmmmn! (I don’t know how to spell that word.) Music is calming, healing, evocative, uplifting…

    Jerry Schwartz

    Samuel Johnson: Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    I am in Santa Fe, NM near four of my grandchildren. We are in touch with various electronic means, also writing letters instead of email. My daughter is concerned about my potential exposure. While I feel 25 most days, the reality is I am not. It is fortunate I can roam quietly in nature. Take away the shopping and you can find a myriad of other activities. The schools are closed. We are trying to distance learn together. I am an English teacher right now. I am sure many ideas and stories will come from our distancing. Great Courses is… Read more »

    Susan

    Barnabas Collins has to live long because he’s a vampire, so he’s got to make it to at least forever. When I was young(er) I used to rush home from school to see Dark Shadows every day. Writing letters instead of email. I like that idea a lot.

    Elissa Malcohn

    At 4PM every weekday, my grade school friend and I snuggled on the carpet in front of the TV, just a few inches from the screen, and watched Dark Shadows, mesmerized.

    Susan

    Did you have a crush on Barnabas?

    Elissa Malcohn

    I liked him well enough, but my crush was on James T. Kirk. :-)

    Susan

    yes! Him too.

    Susan

    What?! David, are you serious? You have never seen Dark Shadows? I though you were a highly cultured person. Now I am forced to come to terms with the realization that the David Duhr I thought I knew is somebody else altogether…
    Unless…wait, your comment comes right underneath Elissa’s crush on James T. Kirk. Surely you’ve seen that show? Please say yes.

    Susan

    It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve watched the show. I could let you know once I get refamiliar with individual episodes. Maybe Cheryl has a suggestion?

    Jerry Schwartz

    There was a movie adaptation, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Susan

    Okay, I didn’t know there was a TUBI. I just found it and Dark Shadows too? I am scared of anything that claims to be free. Is it really? Or is it like when I first signed up for “free” ancestry.com, but I had to give my credit card number and you could “cancel at any time” but you really couldn’t because they never answered their customer service phone! (They don’t do that anymore.) Maybe we should start a Dark Shadows watch club… or a fan fiction novella..

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Susan, TUBI is really free. So go ahead and enjoy it. I understand about Ancestry. I get a new offer every few days. However, due to a free weekend on the site, I have started a novel based on an interesting woman I discovered in our family lore. If you start a fanfiction novella, I want to know

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    David, Schools have closed in New Mexico for the remainder of the year (usually ending the third week in May). I have been helping home school English, literature, and history. Do you have friends or family who could use the help?

    Charles Dikmak

    COVID Grocery Shopping Went out grocery shopping early: 5:30 a.m.! here is my account: Oh My Goodness, what a sad lot of elderly we are! (present company excluded (you and me)) this was the saddest, most ragtag group of 5:30 a.m. people I have ever seen. The array of alternative homemade PPE (personal protective equipment) was almost comedic, if it wasn’t sad. Folks with their white, and blue, and lilac-colored hair straight on end, crashing their carts and Larks into one another, because elderly men in particular seem to think there’s no one else in the world but them ,… Read more »

    Susan

    Maybe this charming and funny video of Grandpa teaching fitness will restore your faith in seniors. This is what they need to be doing during the pandemic. This really did make me feel better. The link is to the newspaper page and then you scroll down a bit for the video. https://www.irishpost.com/news/watch-irish-grandfather-lifts-spirits-hilarious-fitness-elderly-video-182421

    david lemke

    Situation-wise, we’re fine, Three freezers full, a big one and one on each refrigerator. This isn’t because we hoard, we always get stuff on sale, or shop hungry. Sue doesn’t make meal plans so we often over-shop. the pantries are full. I’m retired and Sue is partially retired. I’m sure my investment have taken a hit but if I avoid looking at them, I won’t panic sell although soon I’m going to go in and bargain hunt. We even have plenty of TP because she buys on sales. We’ve been cooped up, watched a few movies, red some books and… Read more »

    david lemke

    My hip was hurting when I got up. Went for a walk anyway but took my cane (I use it rarely) The walk was too much and had to use the cane to get around for the next to days. Much better now. I don’t yet feel cabin fever. How is it for you in the city? Do you walk? When we were out walking, it wasn’t a nice day, cold, dreary, we saw 2 other people. Does the stress, life changes and uncharted waters affect your writing?

    Susan

    Okay, so walking dogs today with a friend and going through extraordinary lengths to stay six feet apart and then she tells me I can’t pet her dog because she might have the virus and it stays on dog fur like any other surface. The distancing thing is hard. I’m tired of walking into patient rooms looking like a martian–I mean I often in the past had to throw on a gown and gloves, but now it’s gown, double gloves, two masks and a giant face shield and elaborate, precise donning and doffing procedures. In and out of rooms quickly,… Read more »

    Susan

    Yes, I’m fine. Are you? I am actually off work on sick leave–NOT the virus and nothing too serious. Amazing that other illnesses and disorders still find any expression. So, it’s actually a nice reprieve. I am still reading At Swim Two Birds and so far enjoying it immensely. Also working on a writing prompt from someone in our group, and it’s turning into a long story, but it’s been good distraction. I try to watch all the late night comedians, but they don’t do too well from home without the studio audience, except for Conan O’Brien. He doesn’t even… Read more »

    Susan

    Quiet, empty. It feels a little like the calm before the storm. The other day I got screamed at in Whole Foods for standing still too long. The poor woman was at the end of her rope, obviously, but I thought, “Now it begins. Soon we’ll all be like that.” (Seriously, I’m sure we won’t.) It feels a little like the Twilight Zone. I keep pretending I’m Will Smith in whatever the name of that movie is where he and his dog are the last survivors, and he watches a Blockbuster video from every letter of the alphabet in turn.… Read more »

    Susan

    Thanks for suggesting the Julia Cameron video. I just watched it. Whiny, petty, grumpy…that I can do!

    Susan

    I got the whiny, petty, grumpy part pretty well mastered. I haven’t done the brain drain in the morning thing yet. I will try it next time I wake up.

    Susan

    Oh! Either I haven’t woken up yet, or I forgot. Maybe tomorrow.

    Susan

    Okay, I did it this morning. Just three hastily scrawled pages of things I saw, was thinking, fears. No great insights or imagery. Then tore it up. I will say I did feel a little more energetic, and I did write after that a little more and a little better than yesterday.

    Hans De Leo

    We are in a time of uncertainty where no one knows what’s going to happen. At least not for sure. Predictions go from “we’re all going to die” to “not a big deal.” As usual, the truth is somewhere between to two extremes. Okay, so I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to work from home. Being a professional has its advantages. Now I have to let my wife know when I’m in a (virtual) meeting so she doesn’t play music loud or barge into the office to ask a question. Thank God for the “mute” button. All in… Read more »

    Hans De Leo

    Oh yeah, mostly we rested and just took in the scenery. I did manage to get some writing in, sitting on the kitchen table facing a window that overlooked Lake Superior.
    Just thinking about that relaxes me a little.

    Hans De Leo

    You’re right that it’s more about headspace. Man, I thought I’d get lots of writing done now that the extra hours are gone and I I don’t have that commute time. Part of the problem is that I’ve been out of it for a while and it’s taking a bit to get back into it. Then there’s all the changes in schedule and routine. Getting back into the headspace is a process, unfortunately. The good news is That’s happening albeit not as quickly as I’d like.
    On the upside, I’m liking what I’m producing so far.

    dennis

    I’m reading books on the Battle of Second Bull. It appears the Union army should not have lost that battle at least not that bad. It appears one Union General didn’t want General Pope to win. Union troops were held back and were not far from the fighting. Now that library’s are closes I stop. Dennis Boisvert

    dennis

    I’ll find other books to read. Some libraries put out unwanted books for free and now and then I find something. Some old book stores do put out some books. I got a Clive Cussler from
    one book store. Dennis

    Susan

    April 10th is Encourage a Young Writer Day. That includes any writer 120 years or younger. Read about it here. https://nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-encourage-a-young-writer-day-april-10/

    Susan

    David, I just read your “Go on, help a writer” email. A few things: First of all, you are helping keep me sane. I love having this space to keep company with other writers, and I truly appreciate that you always respond and you always say the nicest things. I am so proud you are my nephew. I am so happy I found Write by Night. Secondly, politics aside, Nancy Pelosi is my mom, and I saw her on the Colbert show with the advice, “Wash your hands, hydrate, pray, and you can never dance too much.” She went on… Read more »

    stephen Glick

    I am not sure which discussion topic I am jumping on. My routine sad as it is has not changed minus I wear my shoulder holster on my side during my waking hours. And have a small armory next to my bed light. Ready for the zombies. Yes! All kidding aside. Keep safe all!

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    I have been sitting with something for a couple of days, trying to process the dichotomy of the events of my birthday on the 2nd. I had not been able to see my grandchildren for a number of weeks, even though we live 45 minutes apart. After self-quarantining for almost three weeks, my daughter and I decided that a social distancing birthday party on my deck was in order. We celebrated, singing, eating cake, reading cards, and poems. We were unaware of what happened one house over. We had noted a police presence, but our street is a favorite cut-through… Read more »

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Is anyone having a funny or interesting dream? Last night my daughter, granddaughter and myself, who are all dancers, danced the coronavirus out of town and off the planet like Pied Pipers. That’s what I get for listening to the Chieftains before bed.

    Elissa Malcohn

    I get the occasional weird, detailed dream, but no specific coronavirus dreams yet. Enough people are dreaming them, though, so that there’s a survey collecting details. The link to the survey is in this article: https://www.thecut.com/2020/04/coronavirus-weird-dreams.html
    Love your dream. Keep dancing! :-)

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Very odd historical fact…during the 1918 flu pandemic the British PM
    (David Lloyd George) became ill, was hospitalized, ventilated and survived. Wishing PM Johnson well.

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Just for fun, Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a sonnet a day on Twitter.

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    There is nothing like a classically trained Royal Shakespeare Theatre voice. Enjoy.

    Susan

    Happy thing: Someone or someones, or its a popular trend, leave little painted rocks on the ground around town, and they have uplifting messages. I found a larger one on the curbside grass the other day: Hope and fear can’t occupy the same space. Invite one in. Maya Angelou
    Sad Thing: John Prine died. He is one of the best songwriters ever.
    Mad as Hell Thing: I live in Wisconsin. On Tuesday I was disenfranchised. This is the first time I’ve ever not voted, and I felt like I was assaulted and robbed.

    Susan

    Well, I might get kicked out of this century back to one where I belong for saying this, but I don’t own a cell phone! I will be dog-walking with my neighbor this Thursday, and I’ll ask her to take a picture and send it to me so I can forward it.

    Shirley Lopez

    I sometimes miss being a freelancer working for writing content company where the assignments were given and had to be completed in certain amount of time. —Now since I am writing biography’s and novels for others I find it to be a pain at time. Laugh a minute, and ever challenging. Book more than half done and client presents me with 50 pictures to put into the story. Now to reset the chapters, and fit all these pictures where they belong. Should I just add a page and put the picture? Or try to fit the picture in where it… Read more »

    Shirley Lopez

    Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2020 16:28:34 -0400 Subject: Re: New Reply Yes, I am responsible for the books, the layout and getting it published. That is what my company that I created last year, is all about. Generally most people give me their journals and pictures at the same time she gave me 5 and said that is all she wanted. Unfortunately, I had not stipulated I can’t accept pictures later. She had made the remark she might add a couple more later. So I just said that be fine—-then she sent me 50 pictures that’s not a few. I… Read more »




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