Sunday, April 5, 2020

Writing in Troubled Times


I'm never sure how it is for non-writers, but for writers, turning to our books is an escape, a haven, a release.

An escape because the writing pulls you in. Forces you to direct your thoughts to the story you're unfolding.


A haven because it's taken you away from whatever trouble roils around you. When I'm writing about three women on a mountaintop top one hundred and fifty years ago, I can't be thinking much about a virus. Or the fact that I can't visit my grandchildren. That I worry just getting groceries. Okay, gonna stop listing things to worry about. I'm sure you can all supply your own.


A release because honestly, nothing lifts the valve on the pressure cooker of my stress, my tension, my very non-confrontational lifestyle, than shooting someone.
I don't know how you people who write sweet contemporary romances do it.
And Amish? When was the last time there was a shoot-out in an Amish romance. This is reason number one why I should try to ever write one.

How are you holding up? Do you have enough worries that writing is hard? Or is it good that you can exit reality for a while and be someone else, somewhere else, doing something else?

Sweet baby girl, missing her grandma!!
Or does this invade your creativity and leave you struggling? If so, it might help to let off some steam and talk about it.

Let's talk Escape, Havens and Release today on Seekerville.

I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter.
And maybe some books, too. One for sure, but we'll see how the day goes!


http://www.maryconnealy.com

Just to be gratuitously cute, a picture of my six week old granddaughter that I CAN'T SEE BECAUSE OF THIS STUPID VIRUS.


93 comments:

  1. I vascillate between finding writing a haven and being unable to get to that creative place when I'm anxious. I've set myself a small goal for this month, and hopefully I'll get it accomplished. Sometimes it's easy to feel overwhelmed these days, even when there's nothing I have to do...more like there's nothing I CAN do...that gets me overwhelmed. I've been escaping into other people's writing more than I've been escaping into my own.

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    1. Erica, I feel that way when I'm stressed and overwhelmed, too. I have a hard time accomplishing things when anxiety hits. I didn't get my mom's gene that let her work best under pressure. She thought nothing of sewing the hem in our prom dress an hour before my date was supposed to be there!

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    2. Erica, I know. I'm a fixer and a do-er and it's hard for me to accept that there is Absolutely Nothing I can do to a. move things forward or b. turn back the clock. When I'm stressed I want to go faster and harder, while my husband slows to a crawl. It has been an interesting 45 years.

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    3. Erica, You always seem like the calm and cool type to me. I'm surprised to hear you get anxious.
      Yes, it's so weird that we just can't DO anything to stop this. Except do nothing. Stay home.
      Weird experience.
      I predict we'll remember this one for all time.
      2020, the year of the pandemic.

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    4. Probably even more than the ‘scare’ of Y2K!!

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    5. I seem to be busier than ever. Go figure. And I don't mean because I'm writing...in fact, I'm behind on my WIP. Corona brain, I'm calling it! Maybe I'm just running around in circles!

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  2. Well, I'm not a writer, so I probably shouldn't shoot anyone! I'm just happy that all you writers keep churning out amazing books to take my mind off of everything that's happening, although occasionally when I've been reading lately I freak out when characters are hugging and kissing. LOL

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    1. Winnie, yeah, about that. I freak out when I see it on the teevee, of which I am watching a lot more.

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    2. I am the same way. How will we get back to thinking that is normal?

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    3. Winnie, maybe you should work up a novella where there are outlaws!

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    4. Too funny, Winnie, but so true. In my current story, I keep thinking about social distancing! :)

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    5. Mary, I'm afraid I'll have to leave the writing to you! I don't have enough ambition to write a novella! LOL

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  3. Mary that baby is beautiful and I love her smile -- her smile for "Grandma" even though she doesn't know it yet.
    I don't necessarily escape to my writing, because my characters, especially in the historicals, are going through way more than I usually am. Like the cholera epidemic in "Westward Hope." Imagine doing THAT without the CDC. But I can channel what I'm feeling now into my WIP. Helplessness translates across the generations and so does fear. And loneliness and longing and second-guessing yourself, all of which figure big in the White Bear/Jenny story line. I don't escape from my troubles, I use them.
    I also have guns going off in my sweet contemporaries, which is probably why they haven't sold yet.
    I am feeling better today, I think the cold is gone, and also some of the depression from last week and I am ready to tackle what's left of my life and career. Kaybee is rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Covid 19. Or some such nonsense. Do you have any upcoming blogs on METAPHORS?
    Back later,
    KB

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    1. How many books have you got in mind for the series? I think it's such a cool idea.

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    2. If you're like me, every time you sneeze or cough (and it's allergy season in GA) you wonder if it's the virus. Glad you're feeling better, dear KB!

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  4. Oh, my that baby is sweet! You can add gratuitous cuteness like that all day! I'll be honest that I started my current WIP in January as an escape from my mother's cancer diagnosis. Who knew that I'd need it as an escape from a lot of other things as well? I've actually been writing more this year than I have in awhile, so writing must be a great channel for my anxiety. Plus a lot of things on my personal calendar like my son's senior year activities have effectively been cancelled, so I find myself with unexpected time on my hands, which I'm trying to make good use of. It's only April, but what a LONG year this has been for all of us.

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    1. I'll also add that I'm finding it much easier to write than read. I've had a tough couple of years in getting through books. My TBR pile just keeps growing with no end in sight :)

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    2. Glynis, how's your mom doing?

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    3. Praying for your son, Glynis. So hard on those wonderful seniors!

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    4. Sweet of you to ask, Mary. She's doing as well as can be. She just had her second chemo infusion this morning. So far no changes in pain level but we're praying and trusting.

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    5. Still praying for your mom, Glynis. And for your son. What a disappointing senior year for so many!

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  5. What a cute baby!! Thanks for writing so many great books for us avid readers, Mary! I love escaping through books especially during this virus. Thanks for your giveaway!

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    1. Jackie, isn't she adorable? And I get short videos of her too. I have HICCUPS. YAWNING and general wiggling. Lots of little sweet videos. It's not close to enough. It's like an appetizer that only makes you hungry.

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  6. I’m so sorry you can’t see your grandbaby! I have the opposite issue in that I’ve become homeschool mother to mine. Mandatory homeschool in the state of Washington in unreal still. At any rate, it’s hard to write with everyone home all day wanting snacks and needing help with phonics and math. My husband is a paramedic and Captain so is essential - which means our the door.
    I’d love to write more. I am pretty happy on the ranch in the spring though. I have baby goats and kittens and the sheep to get sheared. I feel sorry for those in small apartments. I might not be so content to ride out this Covid quarantine if that were me.
    Thanks for the encouragement today :)

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    1. Dalyn, my daughter of three is now homeschooling. She's a stay-at-home mom so she's not trying to work at the same time the kids are there. Her husband goes to work everyday. He's a doctor, but they have restricted the patients to emergency only AND they only now see patients with non-infectious needs. Those with even a cold are sent elsewhere.
      Then I have a daughter of two who's husband is working from home...which is a lot of time on the phone.
      And her four year old likes to stand outside the locked office (spare bedroom) door and hammer on it and yell, "Daddy, Let me in."
      While my daughter tries to drag her away while juggling a wriggling 16 month old.

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    2. Dayln, your farm sounds lovely. Lots of room for the children to roam. Praying for your husband. Bless him for what he's doing!

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  7. Mary, yesterday I was working on my WIP and when I looked up three hours had passed! So writing had pulled me into my story world and it is definitely an escape for me. Love your post and your grandbaby is just adorable! Have you Skyped with your family? I have grt-grands in Tennessee and we visited the other day; they had been boating and their mama sent me some cute pictures. Have a blessed Easter!

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    1. Karen we do Facetime a lot. I just found out my television has a Skype app. How cool would it be to talk to the family on the TV? I'd like to try that sometime.
      My husband has gone to Omaha twice now and seen the grandkids. But I just let him go. I'm trying to take the stay at home thing very seriously.

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    2. Oh wow, I didn't know about the TV Skype that would be awesome. Thanks for telling me about it. Yes, I'm serious also about staying home. Stay safe!

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    3. Yesterday we clicked on all the apps, trying to figure out how to get pureflix on the TV. I ended up giving up and watching The Chosen on my computer. Really well done, powerful, especially after Jesus steps onto the screen. The first episode is setting that up.
      But I just could NOT get it to come up on my TV. It's got this whole APPS section I just almost never tap into.
      I'm a...what's the word I'm looking for...barbarian?
      That's not it. But it's sort of close.
      Neanderthal? Caveman?
      If I think of it, I'll come back and add it.
      WAIT...I think it's Philistine! :)

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  8. What an adorable grandbaby! Alas, I do not have any, but maybe someday. :)
    I want so much to be able to lose myself in the story, but I've found the joy sucked right out. I think there may be two reasons for this:
    1. My husband is home and in our teeny-tiny house, I hear EVERYTHING and I can't concentrate. He is also a social butterfly and interrupts me...for various reasons. I ordered some noise cancelling headphones and am using them today to see if that helps. :)
    2. Instead of writing a medieval romance, I am trying my hand at a sweet contemporary! After reading this post, I am wondering if I need to start another medieval so I can get out some angst with a few sword fights and battles.
    Thanks for the post. It sure made me think through some of my frustrations with my writing. :)

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    1. Sherrinda, don't you hate it when they interrupt you? I mean, it's not that we don't love them, but when we're head down at the computer and they come and stand in the doorway and we can feel them watching us, it's so annoying. But not near as annoying as when you finally acknowledge them and they say, "Are you writing?" And then we say yes, they say, "I won't bother you then." Too late, bucko. You already did. (rolling eyes)

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    2. LOL....Mindy, yesssss! That scenario EXACTLY! lol Oh my goodness, I needed a laugh today. Hahahaha!!!

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    3. I have a desk in a corner of the dining room. I printed out an 8.5"x11" sign that I put in a plastic stand-up holder: "Unless You Are BLEEDING or Having a HEART ATTACK Do NOT Speak To ME!!!". I put it on the corner of my desk. :) Hubby came up to say something even though I was working, read it, then went and got sticky tape and made a big deal out of putting tape on the floor about 3 feet out from my desk, but he was laughing as he did it. No more interruptions!

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    4. Sword fights?! Now that's sweet! (well maybe SWEET isn't the right word!)

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    5. Laurie, seriously, teach them to field dress a wound. And 911...that's just a super expensive Uber if they need medical attention.

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    6. Hahaha! Laurie, that's hilarious!

      And Mary...yes, sword fights. Hard to write a medieval without a sword fight and a wound or two. ;)

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  9. That sweet baby...! Mary, I know it's just killing you not to see her, hold her and smell that sweet baby scent.

    Writing is, indeed, an escape, though sometimes I get distracted by the news. Then I get overwhelmed and, well, it's just best to step away and go back to writing. Or bake something. Then I eat it. Then I feel bad about eating it, but I still want more. Comfort food can be a vicious cycle.

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    1. I have a neighbor who said she and her husband of 40 years...will either end up killing each other, gaining 50 pounds or becoming alcoholics...maybe all three.

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  10. Mary, great post! Love the picture of your granddaughter! My son moved to Florida mid-January after getting engaged over Christmas. He moved there to be near his fiance. We were supposed to go see them the last week of March. We didn't get to go, and now we don't know when we'll get down there. Their wedding is planned for July 18. Everything is so unsure right now. We did finally use Zoom last week, so I could see him and talk to him at the same time. That did help, but I need one of his hugs lol. To see him to make sure he's okay. Know what I mean? I've been doing a lot of reading trying to escape what's going on. My job was moved to working from home. Who knew working from home was so hard?! So many distractions! I'm ready to go back to my nice, quiet, door-almost shut office. I love reading through the comments and seeing how others are coping. Together alone we will get through this! Or is that alone together??

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    1. So is the wedding still on? My daughter knows two, April weddings, both cancelled. Wow, what a huge hassle. She's not sure if they'll go ahead and get married or what. They were still in the chaos stage of cancelling.

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    2. As of right now it's still on. Then they were taking a week to come back to Virginia to see everyone after the wedding. The wedding could probably still go on, without guests, but I guess not the traveling.

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    3. July 18th is a long time from now. Surely things will have straightened up by then.

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    4. My niece had to postpone her April 25 wedding. They are still planning to marry with hopefully parents there, then reschedule for later on for the full wedding and reception.

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  11. Hi Mary:

    I do find writing fiction to be more 'in reality' than reading fiction. I don't experience writing as an escape from reality but more a dive into an even deeper reality. In writing you have to make it seem real, in effect a hyper-reality, but in reality you don't have to try. Reality can be a lot stranger than fiction but fiction cannot be stranger than reality. Even in writing fantasy you have to follow whatever rules of reality the world you created requires.

    I do find fiction to be an escape but it is not always without its own troubles. For while the fictional experience may be safely vicarious, the emotions of fear and terror experienced are very real.

    For example, I'm reading a book now, which I assume is a romance, and so far, 24% into the book, I've been vicariously burned, frozen, and had my leg smashed in a bear trap. Yet, I'm not even sure who the heroine is and the hero and heroine have almost had no interactions. If that is I have the hero and heroine properly identified.

    Since you are right here, can you tell me what genera of book "The Reluctant Warrior" is? I thought "Petticoat Ranch" was a great romance. So I know you write romances. Even when that horrible, family-wrecking, wife-poacher, Tom, stole the heroine and her three adorable daughters in the third book of the trilogy, I have to admit that even that was a fine romance! :)

    I know, I know. Even Louis L'Amour had his, "The Last of the Breed", and Tony Hillerman had his "Finding Moon", however, in the final analysis, they are not best loved for those efforts.

    Please tell me that there is a romance in "The Reluctant Warrior".

    BTW: that's a wonderful price for the audio edition of "The Accidental Guardian". I did not even know that there was a second source for these editions. The question I have is this: will that file play in my Audible player? Do you happen to know if a different player must be used?

    Come to think of it, this post was somewhat an escape from reality in itself. I have not even turned the news on yet for a real reality update. I wonder how 'writing about reading fiction' fits into the equation? I'll have to figure that out. :L

    Vince

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    1. Vince hang in there. The romance in The Reluctant Warrior is wonderful and it starts pretty soon now, if his leg is out of the bear trap. :) I'm literally sitting her grinning. Sorry about your leg.

      The romance blooms when my heroine starts trying to teach the bossy soldier how to relate to two small children and enforces her instructions by slapping Cam in the back of the head everytime he barks out an order.

      I was informed about The Accidental Guardian sale. I had never heard of bookbub Chirp. I just have no idea what to tell you about it. You'd think it'd work anywhere an audio download works. But that's sure not true of Kindle books vs other formats.

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    2. Unfortunately I don't think the chirp versions work in audible. Chirp has its own app. But don't quote me on it.

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    3. Hi Mary:

      That's good news about the kids. I think you write the best kid characters because they have real personalities and are needed in the plot. I find 'adorable' kids that are only there because they are adorable to be little more than pretty wallpaper. I think Mark Twain would have been proud to have created the kids you have in "Petticoat Ranch". I'm headed for the romance right now. :)

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  12. Mary, I totally agree with you about the joys of writing in a genre that allows you to let off steam with some gunfights, car chases, or hand to hand combat once in awhile. :) And your granddaughter is so precious! It will be all the sweeter to hold her once this is all over. We should be in Ontario right now, celebrating my in-laws 60th anniversary. My FIL is in late stage Alzheimer's but all the family wanted to get together for my MIL's sake. They live with one of my SIL's and her family. It's so hard to be apart, but we do a lot of Zoom "get-togethers".

    I'm just hitting my stride with getting back into my writing and flow. We've been under "stay home" restrictions since March 13th. Praying for everyone in Seekerville this Holy Week. May we all find comfort in our Saviour this Easter.

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    1. Laurie, it's almost perfect that this all happens during Lent and the Easter Holy Season. If ever there was reason to turn to God, it's this life and death virus.

      So sorry about missing your inlaws anniversary. I've done a few Zoom things, too. I don't know how to do it exactly, I only know how to accept an invitation. We did church on Zoom yesterday.

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  13. I don’t write, so I can relax and enjoy all the writing you all do! And during this time of being at home and having to clean, reading is wonderful!

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    1. My sister and her husband, both really hyper-over-achievers are trapped at home together. She said he's cleaning out the whole house, throwing things away until her head is spinning. They raised three kids and are now empty nesters so there is a LOT they can go through. Except I never thought her house looked overly packed with things before. Still he's finding stuff.

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  14. Mary, thanks for your post. I'm one of those who is having a very hard time focusing. I've gotten a little work done on a proposal. I sent it to my cp's and have gotten the critiques back. But I just can't make my brain work, it seems. Thankfully, both have helped me by talking through the story over the phone, and I feel like I have a little direction.

    God is good. And the world will return to a new normal eventually.

    One more thing that's even more pressing on my mind... I'm heartbroken for friends of ours and would appreciate your prayers for the family. Their son (my son's childhood best friend) died from injuries from a car wreck over the weekend. Please pray for them in their devastating loss.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your young friend Missy. So terribly sorry for you, your son and this young man's family.
      I suspect they spend the rest of their lives asking themselves What if we'd done this or that. And when the day comes they can get through it without asking that, they'll feel guilty later that they don't think of him enough.

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    2. Missy, that is so heartbreaking. Can't even imagine. I will pray for them.

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  15. Being retired, my life has not changed a whole lot. Books are definitely a haven, a release, and an escape. Even though I do enjoy the Amish genre and maybe a sweet contemporary romance, I love the shoot-outs too so keep on keeping on!! I feel your pain re not being able to be with the new grand baby!! I don’t have any new ones but I have 6 grands who live out of state and we had plans to visit during this time. Ugh!! So i’ve Been in my sewing room enduring this i-sew-lation. Have a great week and a wonderful Resurrection Day!!

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    1. I am ok reading those sweet books, Anne. I just don't know if I could do justice to them writing them. I think I need to plumb deeper emotional depth. And not solve all my sagging plot holes by shooting someone...that is I need to if I wrote other than westerns! But luckily I DON'T!!!

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  16. Thank You Mary for the Post I Love reading so I have been doing a lot more God Is Good All The Time! Bless You and Your Family I have 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandbabies I haven't got to see them a lot lately either! Your little granddaughter is so adorable ! Thank you all for the amazing post on this blog You all are so amazing!

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    1. 14 grandchildren!!!??? 5 greats? Oh, my children are such slackers. They are all getting a call from Grandma.
      Isn't that baby cute? And cuter every day. sniffle

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  17. Hi Mary! Here's a news flash! Characters die in Amish suspense! LOL!

    What a precious little one. So sorry you can't see her. I'm dying...perhaps the wrong word...to see my grandchildren. But I'm grateful we are all healthy, have food, jobs and will endure this current shelter-in-place. I'm praying for everyone and am thankful for any prayers in return!

    Since we have NO toilet paper in GA, also no paper towels, I was wondering about diapers. I understand they're rationed. Anyone have info about whether moms and dads can find diapers for their little ones?

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    1. Debby, I'm going to have to venture out for TP for the first time this week. I dread it. But our NextDoor app has people announcing anytime they find any. Hopefully that will help. We're okay on paper towels so far. We found some last week.

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    2. I know they die! But I thought they mostly burned to death in house fires or got run over by stampeding horses. I love your Amish suspense, Debby. You do great work.
      I think it's so weird that there's no toilet paper? Just weird.
      My daughter, who has plenty, says she feels an almost knee jerk need to grab any she sees. Of course she never sees any because she never goes out, but it eats at her that she should be searching for it.

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    3. Good luck, Missy, finding TP.

      Mary, too funny--but true--about your daughter's take on toilet paper. I appreciate it more now than I ever have in the past. Oh, and for a Western writer like yourself (whose books I love), you might want to know that I have been saving newspaper. Just in case! :(

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    4. Good luck, Missy, finding TP.

      Mary, too funny--but true--about your daughter's take on toilet paper. I appreciate it more now than I ever have in the past. Oh, and for a Western writer like yourself (whose books I love), you might want to know that I have been saving newspaper. Just in case! :(

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  18. Great post. For the most part, I don't think all this has affected my writing too much. Sometimes, I wish I had more time to myself to write. All and all though, my struggles and strengths in writing are about the same.

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    1. Tonya, that's probably a good sign, don't you think? It means you live a wise and settled spiritual life and don't let things upset you overly. (does that sound like a fortune cookie?)

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  19. Mary, your new granddaughter is beautiful. I'm sorry you don't get to hold her right now. That would be terrible. I just facetimed with my 6 & 4-year old grandsons. The oldest got emotional while we were talking because he realized we couldn't come to their house for OOSTER (Easter). Broke my heart. I've not been anywhere in a month so it was extra hard for me not to just tell him "hang on sweet boy, Grammy will be there in an hour and half." It's hard on us but I think harder for the littles. I'm glad your baby isn't old enough to know she's missing out on amazing cuddles from you!Stay strong and do your thing! This too shall pass! At least that's what I'm telling myself on a daily basis.

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    1. Pat my daughter (three school aged kids) brooched the idea of us coming to Easter and sitting out on her deck, well apart. We didn't settle anything. But I'm tempted!!!

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    2. Not a good idea, Mary. For social distancing to work, people are not supposed to go see anybody. Besides, it is going to be cold and possibly snowy on Easter, so outdoors on the deck wouldn't be fun!

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  20. Mary, you need to expand your Amish reading! Not only do people die in Debby's Amish suspense stories, but I've had shoot-outs in more than one of my Amish historicals. :-)

    But that escape to our story world that you described is wonderful, isn't it? That is, when I can do it. Hubby has been furloughed from his part-time job, so is now home full-time. My brain thinks another person in the house is a reason for distraction.

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    1. You know, that's true. Debby's very cool Amish suspense combo is so great. I love those. I've missed your shoot-outs, Jan. I'll see what of your books I've missed. I'm sorry for underplaying the shooting in Amish fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  21. I loved this, Mary. Yes, there are plenty of things to worry about. With all my guys home, my big struggle has been finding my new normal as far as routine goes.

    I LOVE your picture of your granddaughter. She's absolutely adorable!

    As a family, we've been watching more movies. And, we have even binge-watched an Amazon series, something we've never done before. This has been our main escape.

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    1. Jeanne have you watched The Chosen? Its on pureflix and you can get a free seven day trial of it. I just finished it and I really loved it. A seven episode series on Jesus, acted out. Very inspirational.

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    2. I haven't watched this! Thanks for the recommendation, Mary!

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  22. Great post and your grand baby is so cute. It would be rough not to be able to hold her. For the past ten weeks our household has been out of sorts. My husband has a diabetic wound on his foot that is getting better but the price has been ten weeks without putting any pressure on it. My daughter had out patient surgery this past Friday. I've been spinning in circles too much to sit down and write like I would like to.

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    1. Wow, Jamie, medical troubles on top of this virus, the stay-at-home orders, the reluctance (I feel it) to go to the doctor unless you're really sick for fear of CATCHING SOMETHING from someone in the waiting room
      God bless you and keep you all!!!

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  23. It feels like life has gotten a little busier, because all of my college classes have moved online. But at the same time, I am at home so I can read and write more.

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    1. Angeline, you're doing the last of your college courses online AND writing? Wow, you go girl.

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  24. Mary, love the picture of your granddaughter. I'm so sorry you can't see her now. But we just need to hang in there and get through this time. I am staying home all the time, except to go for walks or a drive. I'm a homebody so this isn't too hard for me. I'm glad I don't have young children. My husband still goes to work, so that hasn't changed. My 25-year-old son who lives with us is working from home, but he is in the office working all day so I have a pretty quiet house. It will be strange being home on Easter, but our forecast here in Kearney is for a 37 degree high and snow that day, so just as well to be in.

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    1. Hi Sandy. Aren't you out in western Nebraska somewhere? They had an outbreak in Grand Island didn't they? Stay safe!

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    2. Mary, I am in Kearney. There have been cases here, including one death. That's why I just stay home.

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  25. Your grand baby is so cute. I like to write as a hobby and I think it is a great haven to escape the stress of the last few weeks. I also like reading during this time for the same reason.

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    1. Isn't she just a little cutie. I talk on the phone to my daughter most everyday. In fact I talk to all four of them most every day. One, a bit less, because I used to talk to her often on her about twenty minute commute home. And now she's working from home so no commute. She said it's so weird just rolling out of bed and being at work in...five steps. She set up her makeshift home office in her kitchen and it's a decent set up except...it's right by a mirror. So she sees herself and is guilted into getting dressed and doing something with her hair.

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  26. Hi Mary
    I love the picture of your granddaughter. Believe it or not, I haven't had any down time during this whole thing. I work for a company deemed essential and also have the ability to work from home the majority of the time - so I'm working. The Gupster spends about three to four hours next to me on the home computer taking care of school work. He's "working" next to momma. He is a social kid though, so he can't wait until this "STUPID Coronavirus" is over and he can be with his friends at school again.
    I'm hoping one of these days I can have some spare time to go read a book. Still, I am extremely grateful that I am not out of work and can work from home. I am truly blessed.

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    1. I talked to my daughter with the two preschool girls today and she'd taken the little one, about 16 months old, out for a drive to get her to take a nap. She was resisting apparently!
      And left the 4.5 year old home with daddy. She likes to help him work. She's gotten so, if they let her in his office (the spare bedroom) she will get a sticker book or coloring book and sit pretty quietly beside him. Good practice for preschool in the fall.

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  27. Reading is definitely my go-to haven, but now that we're isolated at home, I've barely had time! I'm primarily an artist/illustrator, so I'm usually working at home anyway (except for craft sales, which have all been canceled), but suddenly everyone--family, friends, church family, business associates (i.e. author of the book I've been illustrating), college roommates, missionaries we support, prayer group friends from a city we moved from 5 years ago--EVERYONE has to call and talk and have Zoom meetings. All this supposed isolation has left me completely peopled-out.

    But I have managed to squeeze some writing in here and there (and research and research-related rabbit trails), and that is wonderful for escaping the world. Sometimes even as good as reading.

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    1. LOL nothing worse than a crowded quarantine, Rachael. My Cowboy seems like he's on the phone constantly. And he complains if he gets a lot of calls, then complains when no one calls.
      I guess you can vibe out his general demeanor!!!

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  28. Oh man, does this post hit home!!! I miss my grandbabies!!!! I miss the noise and the company. I am so totally not an introvert, and this lack of people is absolutely a pain.... I love people.

    And I love my little kids in the family and friends.

    So this is beyond weird to me.

    However, we shall abide! We shall overcome. We shall get through this on this beautiful Holy Week!!!!!

    I love Holy Week, it's my favorite week of the year because the beautiful services and Masses are so absolutely inspirational, although this year, I'll be watching and participating through technology via computer... but how blessed to have that option, right?

    We've got this.

    And praying for all!

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  29. What a beautiful baby. Praying you can hold her soon.

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  30. Whew! I was doing okay the first couple weeks. I wrote quite a few chapters and got ahead on my blogging and other things. Then, this week, it was like everything hit and I'm fighting to make myself do anything productive. This marks our fourth week of being home together, the third of my husband teaching lessons through zoom at the kitchen table. My two preschoolers basically haven't been anywhere in three weeks. And you can tell. I might need to take a walk later. That seems to help some. And then, I need to write, because you're right. It does help to focus on other people's problems, and boy do my characters have issues.

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  31. Losing myself in a good story is the best way to escape, whether I'm reading or writing.

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  32. Hi Mary, I'm currently reading No way up, hooked by Heath & Sadie, here in the south of France. I wish all of you well and renewed inwardly by God's grace ! Babies do grow but lavished love will mend the gap, and in the meanwhile, stay home, stay safe, with gloves & masks and safety from above.

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