Running on Almost Empty

A lot of us probably feel like that’s what we’ve been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic — running on empty, emotionally spent.

Dire circumstances abound in these uncertain times. All we have to do is turn on a TV or radio to hear the latest breaking news, and in so doing it’s so very easy to become overwhelmed.

That happened to me shortly after Western Washington became the epicenter of the pandemic.

I hadn’t felt such a heavy, heart-squeezing sense of sorrow since I lost my mother. I didn’t write. I wasn’t much interested in eating until I rediscovered the joy of baking. (Fortunately, we had a jar of yeast on hand because that’s become an item of scarcity in my local markets.) I’m sure my hips would attest that they have no need of the yeasty goodness of something buttery and home-baked, but now’s not the time to listen to such nonsense.

Now is the time to be good to yourself and to your neighbor, who may need a helping hand.

This is a time of excrutiatingly high stress for a lot of us. If you’re a writer who is finding it next to impossible to focus and string a few words together, I get it. Truly. You may need to cut yourself some slack. I know I did. And according to lot of other authors on social media, we are not alone in this wretched boat. Many book release dates will be pushed back this year, including mine. It may take a lot of long walks and a couple of seasons of Gilmore Girls (love the snappy dialogue) for your muse to feel like it’s safe to come out and play, but she’ll make an reappearance eventually. Until then, give yourself permission to refill your creative well however you need to.

If you’re a reader who has stopped by for a bit of good news about the next book in my Working Stiffs Mystery series, while this post may give you the impression that it’s all doom and gloom and baking at my house, it’s really not. Char and Steve, along with Lucille, Gram, Alice, Duke and Marietta refuse to let that happen. There will be a murder mystery to be solved later in the year. When? I should have an approximate date sometime this summer, so be sure to stop back for news updates!

Until then be kind to yourself — bake, binge a favorite show, read the feel-good books you love, and hug the loved ones you don’t have to keep a physical distance from. And don’t forget to hydrate!

Most importantly, stay healthy and safe!