COVID and Creativity Restart

I’ve been stuck in a COVID-19-generated rut for some time. I suspect, based on observations from my battened down bunker, that many others are suffering similarly. Our province, Nova Scotia, Canada, has been lightly impacted by the second wave that’s really hammered much of the world. But the need to hunker down, only leave home on essential trips, take continuous contact avoidance precautions almost a year after the first cases reached our shores is sapping everyone’s stamina. Add the hypocrisy of so many of our political and industrial leaders to the growing awareness the vaccines will not magically make the problems disappear in a timely manner. It’s no wonder we’re getting frustrated.

Despite all the above, I’ve made progress on my big novel project over the past weeks. I now have a pretty solid view of where I stand, and the finish line I hope I’ll soon reach. Not the first time I’ve felt the end was in sight, and possibly not the last, but here’s where I stand.

I have a two-part project. The first part comprises three novellas that follow the exploits of three interconnected groups of protagonists struggling with the big problem that drives my project—how to convince humanity to take climate change seriously. The second part is a novel that imagines the chaos we’ll see if we keep ignoring the problem.

The first novella, The Souring Seas, follows scientists investigating ecological impacts of ocean acidification, a climate change effect that will have a major impact on human life. The impacts are decades away, and society sees no need to tackle them in the short term.

The second novella, An Industrial Solution, looks at an ecological impact that could affect our lives during the next decade or two, and imagines a flawed industrial solution. The Souring Seas and An Industrial Solution have been drafted, reviewed, revised, and reassessed numerous times. I hope they’re close to their final form.

The third novella, Future Imperfect, looks further into the future to a time when the impacts of ignoring climate change start to bite. It’s also drafted, reviewed, and revised more than once. The basic story’s finished, but I’m still dickering with the most effective way to tell it.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve completed a semi-polished draft of the second part of my big project—an attempt at a more dramatic and hard-hitting novel that begins when the situation unravels and chaos ensues. It should soon be ready to show to reviewers.

The three novellas taken together are The Road to Environmental Armageddon. The novel describes Environmental Armageddon.

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