Wow. Three months ago, I was really excited about 2020. I was going to sell books at all the local comic cons this year, give my cemetery postcards talk at the Gravestone Studies conference in Texas, and finish a new cemetery travel book, once I got the Angelus Rose novel published. I had so many plans!
I’m betting you had a list of things you were looking forward to this year, too. How is that working out for you now?
Things started to fall apart for me in February. The Indie Author UnCon was great. I came away with a list of new things to try and a bad cold that knocked me out for a solid week — as well as the start of a construction project my husband and I had been putting off since we bought this house 20 years ago. We were finally going to remove the asbestos popcorn ceiling in the living room, tear out the ugly plastic sconces in the walls, add some decent lighting, and refinish the hardwood floors. We got as far as sealing up the walls before the first stay-at-home directive came down. We can’t paint yet and the electricity hasn’t been reconnected.
I feel like I lived the whole month of March hunched over and huddled up, waiting for something terrible to happen. My dad checked himself out of a nursing home so he could be with my mom, rather than in quarantine where he was safe, because they both were lonely. I had the hardest conversation of my life with my mom, when I told her I wasn’t coming home to be with her because I was afraid the borders would close and I wouldn’t be able to get back to my chronically ill kid. Now, at the dawn of April, everyone is doing okay so far. I’m counting my blessings.
Two of my dearest friends are in the process of surviving the virus, although they couldn’t actually get tested, despite repeated begging. I hope they are over the worst of it, finally, but I was frightened by how sick they got.
It’s spring in San Francisco. My lemon tree is covered in blossoms and buzzing bees. The lilac is blooming. It looks like hope, but I haven’t walked any farther than the post office around the corner. The parks and playgrounds are closed, as is the parking lot at Ocean Beach. Our city supervisor wrote to say that people dressed in masks and scrubs have started going door to door, claiming to be from the health department and demanding to be let into people’s houses. Despite that, the crime rate is down because most people are staying home.
My mood swings from contentment — really, this isn’t too much different than staying home with my kid before the virus came — to panic. I come from a rich lineage of hoarders, so I have plenty of projects to complete, more than enough books to read, and I think we have enough food, although the flour is running out and it’s been hard to find more. My husband is being obsessive about decontaminating the mail and washing all the groceries. I think we’ll be okay, unless society completely collapses.
But how are you? I heard that school is out in Virginia until the Fall. The news out of New York City is alarming. Are things shut down where you are? Are people being cautious? Can you buy flour or toilet paper?
Check in, say hi, and let me know what you’re doing to keep yourself healthy and sane.
And finally, if you’re looking for something to take your mind off things, the blog tour for the As Above, So Below books is winding down. There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card, if you’d like to enter to win. Here’s the link: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/as-above-so-below-book-tour-and-giveaway.