writing

The New Norm

It’s day 40 since I’ve isolated myself and family because I’m immune-compromised (thanks, ulcerative colitis.) Thankfully, I’m an introvert so being at home isn’t as mentally straining as it is for my extroverted friends who I keep checking on. They are NOT okay. I am also fortunate that my day job allows me to work from home and that I am tech-savvy enough to find new ways of doing things. I know not everyone is, and that sense of isolation from the world must be horrific.

The hardest thing to accept is that life will not just magically return to normal when State restrictions are lifted. At least not for me. Because I take medicines to actually weaken my immune system (to make me better, ironically) I will be super cautious dipping my toe back into the social pool. That means my UPS delivery man is going to be making frequent stops at my house. My online ordering skills have been homed and primed if nothing else.

I’ll admit that for the first few weeks of isolation, I sat in a daze, trying to relearn how to do everything from the confines of my house. How do I get kids settled into online schooling, how do I get them fed? When do I get to do theatre again? (Midcoast Actors Studio has some fun Zoom projects I’ve been working on if you’re looking for some free entertainment.) Is the show I was in the middle of performing still going to go on? (Mental note, run those lines today, kay?) What about the end of the year ceremonies my kids were looking forward to. Summer camp? Summer theatre? So much is on hold that it makes it hard to get unstuck.

For a while, I couldn’t write either. Couldn’t edit the words my editor was waiting on. I couldn’t ever read the new books I’d purchase for this quarantine time. My muse had hidden under the covers, too afraid to show herself.

That’s when I turned to some old favorites in both films and books. Movies and books I’d read countless times. They provided a much-needed sense of comfort and predictability. There was no anxiety about how the stories would play out. The rhythm of storytelling was refreshed, and I was finally able to edit my words and pick up a new book to read. The creativity gates had been opened. My brain had finally accepted this was going to be a long road and that this unknown reality was now my new norm. Which means, no more stalling. Get back in the chair and write.

So, I am. No more fretting about what tomorrow brings. That’s tomorrow’s problem. Today, I’m diving back into the project with Randy Hunt which you can read about here. He’s finished the 2nd draft of his script so I have a good sense of where his play is going to land. That means my first draft of the novel around his play can begin. Yay for new words!

Stay tuned for news of an upcoming release in the next few months…Yeah, for real. And I’ve also sent off a Young Adult novel to my editor for a possible fall release. The back jacket blurb for this was actually selected as a finalist in the Maine Romance Writers Strut Your Stuff Contest, along with my Contemporary Romance Cover and Blurb for The First 100 Kisses. Readers can vote on the cover and blurb for the published books. The unpublished works, like my YA finalist, are being judged by a literary agent which is all kinds of cool.

If you’d like to cast your vote for Contemporary Romance Cover and Blurb, you can do so below. You can vote for a cover AND for a blurb by looking under the entry for a row of stars. They go from 1 star to 5. It’s a little confusing but even I was able to figure it out after a moment. Ha.

Can you see mine? This is all the genre covers. Mine is up against 5 others in my category.

Voting is open until MONDAY, MAY 11, 2020
The place to cast your vote is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VMW8J6S

In the meantime, I have some new words to write, and soon, some new words for you to read.

Danielle Bannister, author, and accepter of the new normhttp://bit.ly/DanielleBannister

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