One of my favourite views in the city (taken a few years back): western exposure at the Vertigo 42 bar, Bishopsgate. EC London. Yes: 42nd floor (if memory serves).
As quiet as it is in the neighbourhood, there's a sense of normalcy: even with the current pandemic. The weather picks up across the capital, and I still have a sense of normal. Neighbours out in their garden, but no big gatherings. Little traffic, but some. I'm aware of the range of reactions to the pandemic. Fear. Anxiety. Frustration. Anger. Hope. Maybe even denial. I get it. I have no shame in saying that I've gone through these (probably with the exception of denial). Thankfully, I have ways in which I manage that: 1. Pay attention to news from credible sources: medical/scientific professionals 2. Keep an eye out for news updates: good and bad 3. Limit the amount of time poring over the news 4. Engage with friends and family: calls / video chat / etc. 5. Aim for good health: diet / exercise / relaxation / etc. 6. Keep busy I appreciate that this is what works for me and as a result, it might not work for other people. I've been at home for over 30 days now. The house has a front and back garden. Phone and internet keep me in touch with friends, both here and overseas. The exercise is more of a challenge, since I'm used to a daily walk in the neighbourhood, and time in the gym. Exercise is morning and night, but I'm upping the ante. And yes, I'm still writing. Even before the pandemic, there was work being juggled. There's still work being juggled. The Semen novella is the first work published this year, with more due in the near future. Additional projects have come in recently. Again, this is how I function. I'm aware that some might feel disheartened that they're not being productive in whatever way they usually do (writing, music, whatever). I get that. And, for my part, I say your task is to cope and make it through. These can be testing times for everyone. And not everyone copes the same way. Not everyone can cope the same way: and that's okay. As is, I'm still on course to bring the current manuscript to an end this month. It's then on to edits for some other pieces before taking a much-needed break. Pandemic or not, this is something I'd do anyway. Yes, it's a very romantic idea to write non-stop, but it's not practical. Yes, I'm an author, but I'm not slavish to the craft. I write often, but I don't necessarily write a lot at one sitting. I'll aim to hit at least 1000 words a day when I write. A figure that maybe over 3000 words if I have the whole day at my disposal. Outside of writing, I'll exercise. And I'll relax. Balancing work and relaxation is key at any time: pandemic or not. For me, relaxing is talking to friends. Everything from text messages to phone calls and video chats. With friends and family globally, this is great. I'll put my PlayStation 2 to good use (yes: a PS2, as I'm not such a dedicated gamer. Shame, I hear Spider-Man on the PS4 is solid). Play some bass. Binge some boxsets and film, courtesy of Netflix. Amazon Prime too. I might even do some reading. Reading is something I've not done much of lately, outside of writing. The travesty here is that my TBR pile has grown from a number of sources: 1. Books picked up at conventions 2. Books recommended by friends 3. Stuff that looks good while browsing on Amazon 4. Price drops on Amazon As a result, I have a pile where some books are ...some years old. Most likely, when I finish the current manuscript, I'll pull one of those books and read the hell out of it. Yeah.