Quarantine for COVID-19 is quite a trip. As of posting, I have been work from home for a full month. I haven’t spent this much time on social media since college. My dog loves the extra snacks, my wife is happy to have me home all the time to spell the childcare, and it turns out I love it too. I see so much negativity online that I can’t help but reflect on my own experience, and the reality is: I don’t hate it. I haven’t driven my car in two weeks. I get to just skip the communte time and reclaim that time for the family. We are living in an unprecedented time, something it was insane to consider just a few months ago, but we are really lucky.
“The quarantine has allowed me to be myself by staying home all the time”Josh’s Colleague
In my post about our birth experience I mentioned that we moved with a two week old baby. While stressful at the time, I am so so grateful we did. I can’t imagine being stuck in our old townhouse, and I can’t imagine how difficult the quarantine is for those of you in studio or one bedroom apartments around the world. We are lucky enough to not have concerns about the ability to pay rent, or be furloughed. We are not high risk for getting COVID, so the quarantine, although stressful, is not debilitatingly so.
We have separate space, I work from home downstairs in the basement now. We have a fully fenced yard for the first time, so when the sun decides to show itself, we can be outside with the dog and not stress too much. All in all, we are really blessed. We can take that intensely stressful time moving and count it as life store credit that we are cashing in now that we are quarantined.
The other great thing about this quarantine is that it gets to act as a second, transitional paternity leave. Obviously with me working full time, I am not able to help as much as a real paternity leave, but it is still beneficial. If needed I can run upstairs and grab the baby and take her downstairs with me so mom can take a shower, make herself some foot, or just have time to herself.
As this is supposed to be a writing blog, I suppose I should address how that process has been coming along. Long story short, it’s been painful. I have re-written the majority of my first act, and after completing it I sat back and said “ugh”. I have found myself more interested in new characters that were not point of view characters last draft, and found my protagonists less compelling then draft one. As you can imagine, this has been quite disheartening as I am more interested in writing about things that aren’t driving the plot forward than I am about important original character development chapters. Asking how people have managed this on twitter was helpful, and I got some good suggestions, but the problem isn’t solved.
I need to have a more compelling first acts. It needs to be one where my two main characters Por and Xero draw the audience in. Right now, they are flat and boring and not exciting. But that doesn’t mean I am giving up. I am plowing ahead with draft two while I continue to get to know my characters better and better. It turns out Xero loves animals while still being a murderous outlaw. And one of my antagonists Ambroos is an intensely self-conscious hypochondriac. I have read that irony is key, so I am trying to weave more irony into my story. One example of this is that Por loves nature and the natural order of the world, but is absolutely terrified of leaving the city.
I hope to continue posting to this blog more, there is lots of time sitting at home but I am prioritizing the book first!
Thoughts or comments? Let me know!