|“Every leaf speaks bliss to
me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”
~~ Emily Brontë
I somehow ended up working on not one but two stories.
So, as per usual these days, this is a bit thrown
together. And probably has some weird typos.
Been noticing an uptick of those which I'll choose to blame
on my poor sleeping habits. At least I actually
remembered to take my melatonin these past two nights!
Anyway, I hope you're all doing well and staying safe and
able to enjoy the spooky season!
Quarantine Q and A- Six-ish Months In
So I decided we've been at this whole pandemic thing for over
half a year and maybe I should do a check-in of sorts.
And that seemed easiest in a Q and A format so here goes...
How has this impacted your writing?
Well, it finally allowed me to get that "Haunting of Hill
House" story done since, given it was about characters
watching a TV show, it was pandemic-friendly.
It did, however, delay a story I planned for early 2020
dealing with Joccy and Takoda going through a difficult
time. I'm currently working on that and it's now set in
September 2020. I had to let go of some ideas I had that
weren't conducive to social distancing and such. But I
think what I came up with is pretty good. It did strand
Mary and Lucius in NYC for waaaay longer than I ever intended
but I think that's okay with them.
After that's finished, I think I might look into doing some
stories set in the past. Weirdly, I've realized that I'm
actually more at peace with my life during the pandemic than I
am with my characters' lives. I'm a homebody so other
than just fretting over people's health, this hasn't been that
difficult for me. But it was really heartbreaking to not
be able to have the Friends all mingling and hugging and just
doing their thing. So I'll probably step away from
writing current stories for a bit. I haven't decided
what that means for the annual Christmas story. Maybe it
will all be set in the past. Maybe it'll be relatively
short vignettes of the assorted groups doing smaller, more
intimate Christmas celebrations. I don't start writing
that until December usually so there's time for things to
And change they will... Just in the couple of days since
writing the above, I ended up writing (and am still tinkering
with) a very short story in which Andrew returns to his AOD
work. That's pretty much how things have been...
One day I'll want to escape from the pandemic with writing,
the next day I want to tackle it head-on. And when I
look at the Story Index, three of the four stories I've
written since March were at least partially inspired by
current events and weren't in any way planned. So that
adds another layer of uncertainty. But some things I can
say with relative certainty so...
How are the Friends handling the pandemic?
I think I cover Andrew, JenniAnn, and their household
enough in "God in the Gloom" so I'll leave them alone except
to say, again, that Andrew is now dividing his time between
Dyeland and his assignments. Otherwise, things are much
the same as they were in March except Max, Rose, and Landon
have started going home on the weekends. Violeta still
mostly stays at Willowveil but sometimes stays at Serendipity.
Initially, Arthur and Monica made the difficult decision for
her to remain in Dyeland with Liam and Arthur to stay in New
York to staff True Light. That separation lasted for a
couple of months. After that, Arthur and Zeke started
rotating their schedules so while one is off for two weeks,
the other works. Then they switch. So after he
tests negative, Arthur returns to Dyeland and his family for
two weeks. It's helped the trio immensely.
Diana and Zeke are adjusting to their new life, too.
Hailey's back at the house, teaching remotely along with
Diana. Kendra is also at home, attending college classes
online. And Manny is remotely connecting with his class
in the Tunnels. They're adjusting to no longer having Sy
around the house but glad that they can occasionally visit him
in Dyeland now... even if it is with masks and social
Sy and Ivy... now Ivy Lee-Wilson... are happily settling into
married life. This certainly isn't how they intended to
start their marriage but, all things considered, they're doing
well. Leo and T'Challa, their dog and cat, are keeping
them busy as are remote classes. Ivy is continuing to
pursue her advanced degrees at Fordham while Sy is in his
final year of undergrad work.
And maybe I'll just make it a thing where every newsletter I
update on another few characters so I'll stop there for now.
Now some just for fun...
Which character do you think is handling lockdown the
While I think he has a lot on his plate what with being
the leader of the Tunnel community, I'm gonna say
Vincent. His life has probably changed the least of all
the characters. The first few weeks were probably rough
since there wasn't any passage between Dyeland and the
Tunnels. But after they opened that back up, Vincent was
able to move about as freely as he ever could. I mean
it's not like he was ever able to just stroll into a theater
or work out in a packed gym. His biggest issue would
just be concern about loved ones getting sick which is true
for all of the characters. Also, his biggest hobby is
reading which is a very pandemic-friendly hobby to have.
What new skills do you think characters have learned
while staying home?
Hmm... I'm sure many of them had big plans that
didn't exactly pan out... But a few probably
accomplished some things.
Since Owen is sequestered alone in an apartment for most of
the day, I could see him taking up baking. He probably
sends treats into the hospital with Graham.
Given they can't be together physically with the regularity
and closeness they're used to, I can imagine some of the
Friends finding some sort of online game to play
together. Maybe Logan's leading an RPG or something.
Maybe Adam is giving knitting classes via Zoom. I could
see a lot of the Friends getting into that. Seems like
it could be calming.
I'd like to think they even figured out a way to make
Spin-the-Bottle: Dyeland Style happen on Zoom. I'm sure
they miss singing together.
Could be Andrew and JenniAnn learned a new dance. Maybe
So what are they doing for Halloween since I assume
their usual party is out?
Given the Halloween bonfire is outdoors, they might stick
with that albeit with social distancing and masks. Like
instead of it being a free-for-all, households might be
assigned times for picking a pumpkin, decorating cookies, or
playing a game or whatever so specific areas don't get
congested. And the Fields of Gold is a large enough spot
that everyone could spread out for a viewing of Hocus
Pocus or something.
Andrew is probably even more adamantly anti-Grim Reaper
imagery these days. But, other than that, I think this
might be the year where even he goes all out decorating
Willowveil. Given JenniAnn hasn't left Dyeland and the
Tunnels for over half a year, I think he'd want to make
Willowveil as festive and exciting for her as possible.
So, yeah, he probably got her a
gigantic Halloween lawn spider or something. Or maybe he
just built her a bunch of bat houses.
More Jigsaw Puzzles for the
Bored Among Us
So I've been feeling like doing jigsaw
puzzles again so I cranked three new ones out if anyone's
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye
for keeping me from real boredom. I mean how is it
that I've largely been staying home for six months and am
somehow not caught up on web site updates?
(Photo Credits: The
photographs used on this page are from
Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. They are not being used
to seek profit.)