As the world takes on a somewhat different cast these days I thought I’d give everyone a quick update on my general state of being and a brief assurance that I’m definitely not dead.
- Still editing the manuscript known tentatively as “Eggs & Rice”
- Gently plugging away at a low-effort long-term writing project which may or may not ever bear book-shaped fruit
- Producing the odd short story and poem for markets that may or may not accept them (titles including “The Black Orchid Chandelier” and “Down Time”), and submitting those.
- Writing on my pro blog about Art in the Time of Plague
- Refusing to look at any helpful videos as I attempt to problem-solve my way through to bookbinding via trial and error
- Learning to climb trees, a respectable and sensible activity for man approaching 40
- Working on my long-term comics project with collaborator Emma Weakley (located in Aotearoa New Zealand, also under lockdown).
- If you’re morbidly capable of taking in contagion & pandemic media right now, I wrote a book four years ago on this exact subject: The Next Big One. It addresses a much less contagious but considerably more deadly (fictional) illness than COVID-19, and looks at the swathe of responses from different media sources and individuals to living through a pandemic. At the time, my primary sources were the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone and the AIDS crisis of my youth; I have to say, living through this now, I may have been a little too optimistic about the overall moral foundations of the country’s press… you can tell that I wrote it before I’d spent much time working in media monitoring!
- If you’re feeling the absolute opposite and would rather never hear anything about a pandemic again, the opening paragraphs of the above-mentioned blog post on Art in Time of Plague collates arts livestream and virtual gallery tours for those under lockdown, and my personal favourite nonsense TV, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, is on Netflix in its entirety.
- Monterrey Bay Aquarium, the aquarium with the best social media presence, has livestreams of many of its creatures. I’m personally a big fan of the jellyfish.
- If you don’t have the attention span for crochet or the mathematical skills for knitting, you can always learn how to macrame.
In future days, when I haven’t wasted all of my time exploring disused railway lines instead of actually putting any work into the aforementioned projects, using the excuse “I need to get exercise and the gym is closed”, I hope to have a post ready. Suggestions welcome!