The Crimson Five series

Crawling out of the Corona Cave

Guys. It’s been MONTHS since I’ve checked in with you. At first that was because I was focusing on other things, like getting my college kids to Orlando for their internships with the Walt Disney Company and drafting my new middle grade manuscript. But then… the world imploded. So much as changed for all of us and blogging was not in the front of my mind. I have been feeling so guilty about that, but today, I finally just made myself sit down to write this post. And to be honest, I have no idea where it’s going. There are so many things I want to say and I don’t have the right words. So maybe this post will make sense. Maybe it will be nothing more than a page filled with random thoughts. But either way, I wanted to finally emerge from my quarantine cave to say, “Hey.”

I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’re safe and healthy. I hope, at this point, if your world has been turned upside down, you’re finding the ways (and strength) to make it right again. Or as right as you can given this weird situation the coronavirus pandemic has put us all in.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately feeling grateful to the people on the front lines. They’re sacrificing their own health and family time to make things easier for the rest of us. I don’t have the right words to say thank you but if you’re one of the people that’s making sure that my family and I can function, just know that I see you and I’m beyond grateful to you. Hang in there. Hopefully the world will get back to it’s new normal soon.

It’s hard not to feel guilty right now. My life has not been impacted as much as other people’s have. We’re healthy and I’m quarantined with my family. I work from home already. My husband’s job is secure and he mostly works from home too. My kids are home with us when they normally would have been living on campus, or in this case working in Orlando. So, we have unexpected family time right now and it feels like a gift.

That’s not to say these last six weeks have been without challenges. My parents and in-laws are immune compromised and it’s been my constant worry that they will catch this awful virus. Getting groceries to them and having through the door visits has been both a blessing and heartbreaking. I just want to have a real visit with them again—inside the house!

My kids have had to deal with the disspointment that came with having their experience of working in Walt Disney World cut short. My son misses his job on Mission Space, the friends he made, and his college friends. My daughter was loving making magic for princes and princesses in the Bibbidy Bobbidi Boutique and living in an apartment with her best friend… working in the happiest place on earth. On top of that, her college graduation won’t be happening next month. I won’t get to watch her walk the stage at my college alma mater—unless the ceremony gets rescheduled.

My writing routine skidded to a halt. Before this pandemic occurred, I had gotten to 33K on my middle grade WIP. Since the kids have been home from Florida, I’ve had a hard time focusing on it and I’m so bummed about that. But I guess the uncertainty of the world is really to blame—not my full house.

Publishing has taken a hit too. Many book releases have (understandably) been postponed including mine. Pop the Bronze Balloon, the third book in the Crimson Five series has been pushed back from August 4, 2020 to November 10, 2020. But rest assured it IS coming…and it’s still coming in 2020.

If you guys know me at all, you know I always look on the bright side though. Again, we’re healthy and we’re together. And even though I’m not working on the things I thought I would this Spring, I’ve tackled a few things that I wouldn’t have been able to. I’ve been working out six days a week. That’s a big deal for me and helping me to stay positive. I created an online school visit presentation… because even when schools do reopen, they most likely won’t have big budgets to bring authors in. So I figured, offering online lessons and presentations makes more sense. I finally have time to create educational resources for my books. I painted my living room, dining room, and back hallway. I upped my game on Instagram. I figured if I’m having trouble writing right now, I may as well connect with other people and make some new online friends! It’s a helpful marketing tool too. But most of all, I’ve been spending more time with my husband and my kids. I can’t tell you how many walks we’ve taken, talks we’ve had, puzzles we’ve done, rooms we’ve organized, movies we’ve watched, books we’ve read, and meals we’ve eaten together. Like I said, it has been an absolute gift to have this time together!

I guess I just wanted to check in and reach out to you. If this time is frustrating, just know it won’t last forever. Hang in there and do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do. If writing is your thing and you can keep writing, that’s amazing. If you need a break, that’s okay too. The words will be there when you’re ready.

Writing has always been my positive, creative outlet. I always feel better when I get words down on the page. After writing this post, I realize that this pandemic hasn’t changed everything. Writing still makes me happy. Maybe I can open up my manuscript and write a paragragh or too soon. Maybe!

Random afternoon spent with my daughter while social distancing… Taking pictures around town. Standing against random walls. Coffee brought from home. 🙂

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