How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend… some hurts that go too deep… that have taken hold. Bilbo once told me his part in this tale would end… that each of us must come and go in the telling. Bilbo’s story was now over. There would be no more journeys for him… save one. My dear Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be and to do. Your part in the story will go on.
Frodo’s narration at the end of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is meant to be told to Sam, but really, it’s for all of us. After spending the better part of a year traveling through mines, fighting orcs, climbing into a volcano, and saving the world, Frodo is back at his humble home in the Shire, looking to start his life again. I think a part of him wants to go back to who he was before the fellowship of the ring; innocent, ignorant of the dangers of the world. But knowing what he knows now—seeing what he’s seen—he knows there is no going back. That world he used to live in is gone, replaced with a new one, a new perspective. It may look the same, but pull back the curtain and you will be able to spot the differences from a mile away.
Right now, we’re all stuck. As the coronavirus continues to spread, each of us in our own way is affected. Most of us are stuck at home. Some are stuck without work. Even worse, some of us are stuck eating the same thing every day (ok … not so bad; I have been dipping into the freezer quite regularly). We’re all stuck without an ending in sight. When we finally get unstuck, the world that we used to be a part of will have changed. Things we used to do on the regular might be different now. The important thing is to use the time we have now (that is, the time we have stuck inside of our homes) to continue to evolve. So, what are you doing in this time of stuckness (not a word, I know)?
As for me, I’ve found it hard to get into a good rhythm with writing, but I’ve managed to start working on a couple of grand things. First, I am almost finished with my basement bathroom remodel. Everything is coming out almost better than the original plan. Next, I am almost finished with my novella PAPER MUSHY which was one of the original ideas I had outlined at my writer’s retreat years ago. It’s still in the editing stages, but I hope to post it online soon. Lastly, I started outlining the biggest book I will ever work on: THE SEVEN. I don’t expect to start writing it for at least five years, but getting the characters and ideas down has been a lot of fun to work on in the wee hours of the night (my new bedtime is 2:30 AM).
I prefer to do a lot of my writing outside of my home, but with that not being a viable option at the moment, it has been interesting to see how much of a schedule I can stick to. This week, I plan on beginning to email agents my book BANNER OVER ME. Hopefully, as the country begins to reopen, I will be able to give you some good news about that.
Things are going to be different from now on, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all bad. While you’re stuck, think about what you can do now. Like Frodo says, your part of the story will go on. You only need to continue writing it.
I have decided to put my first novel online for free, so if you have been looking for a new book to read look no further!