New Year’s Update

Happy New Year to everyone. Welcome back to my more or less weekly update on progress on my writing efforts. I, like millions of others, yearned for the end of 2020. Our little province was hit hard by COVID’s first wave and clamped down harder than many. Then, we were slower than most to ease restrictions in the early summer. The policies were apparently successful because the four Atlantic Canadian provinces have suffered through a much smaller second wave than almost anywhere else.

I was doing okay, keeping mostly to myself, working on home and yard maintenance and my writing projects until November when the Evergreen Writing Group decided on a virtual launch of Water’s Edge, our latest short story anthology. This effort forced me out of my self-imposed isolation because we couldn’t manage the entire process with virtual meetings.

Our timing was terrible. Our launch date coinciding with our government’s renewed imposition of restrictions. But we pulled it off, sold a handful of books, and generated a little pre-Christmas interest in bookstores that stocked copies of our book. A victory over COVID and a feeling of accomplishment for the authors who helped make it happen.

The effort left me in a funk, probably because I was forced out of my precautionary approach to fighting the pandemic. I hope the new year and the amazing progress with COVID vaccines gets me going again.

I think I’ve turned an important corner in my Environmental Armageddon saga. Comments from beta readers convinced me I must increase the conflict between my protagonists and human antagonists. Previously, my source of conflict was almost entirely between my protagonists and nebulous forces preventing action on climate change. Insufficient drama, a lack of clashes between characters, and no diabolical human adversary, they said.

Well, I’m finishing a chapter with the untimely death of a character and revelations of hidden diabolical intentions of another. It’s been a struggle, and it may fail, but I saw no closure if I didn’t respond to my readers’ suggestions by pursuing this new approach.

Enough of this. Time to return to my unfinished chapter. The damn thing won’t write itself.

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