To say the month of March was a tad unusual would be grossly understating the case. But you’re right there with me, aren’t you?
I’m fine. My family is fine. We have the enormous privilege of working and/or attending a state university. That means when my husband’s job was put on administrative leave, he kept his salary and benefits. His second job is deemed essential, so he’s still working a few days a week. My son’s job has had its hours cut, but he still has some income. And we are all working our way through the semester via the wonders of Zoom.
I have been in the house for coming up on four weeks, with a few brief exceptions: a doctor’s appointment and two brief trips for supplies when the menfolk were unavailable. Immune-compromised means I was sheltering in place before there was a state order. I am teaching my class in a Zoom chatroom, I am working my way through my final semester from home, and if the thesis weren’t a hot mess, I’d actually be just fine.
But I am privileged. We still have money coming in, and we got a nice big tax return just in time to help us through the worst of it. We kept our health insurance – very important for a house with as many prescriptions as I do – and we are in no danger of eviction or starvation.
Not everyone is so privileged. Some of the people I know are in dire straits. There are emergency funds popping up for journalists, for artists and writers, for students, for others in my circle that are devastated by the current mess. I urge you to seek them out – and to buy work from those artists and writers, because we are all going to need a little beauty to survive this.
And give a little extra love to the journalists. They were talking about this before it came here, and people mocked them. Then they were warning of disaster, and people ignored them. Then they were reporting on the disaster we predicted (or rather, the scientists they quoted predicted) and people blamed them. Now the disaster has hit their own organizations, and they’re being furloughed and laid off even as they were risking their own lives to give you the information you desperately need more than ever.
Support journalists, subscribe to a good paper if you can afford it, and maybe hop into the comment section once in a while to say something nice about it. Don’t stay too long – the mire might get on your shoes. But a supportive, intelligent comment on a news story would make a huge difference.
If you’re a journalist who has been laid off, here are some resources to help you. If you’d like to support good journalism, pick a fund here.
In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to this month. It’s not as much as you’d expect from someone who’s been mostly housebound, but may I remind you… THESIS.
An abundance of caution (Medium)
Highland inching closer to new pool (Highland News-Leader)
Highland paramedics move to neighboring fire station during renovation (Highland News-Leader)
Highland takes steps to combat coronavirus (Highland News-Leader)
Highland citizens vote down marijuana dispensaries in advisory referendum (Highland News-Leader)
Highland bus drivers stay on salary amid coronavirus shutdown (Highland News-Leader)
Coppice and Brake launched with a short story from me titled “Shiny People”! Here’s a blog post about it, and you can buy the dead-tree version or the ebook version right now.
And here’s a podcast of a radio interview with me and Crone Girls Press publisher Rachel Brune about Coppice and Brake, the creative process, the convention life, the changing gender dynamics in horror, and random other subjects that came to mind. Thanks to Adam Messer of WRUU for hosting me!
The River Bluff Review launched its annual edition earlier in March, including two short stories of mine titled “Dear Katrina” and “Sergeant Curious.” It’s a literary magazine and while “Dear Katrina” is part of the Blackfire series, “Sergeant Curious” has no supernatural or horror elements at all. It was an unusual honor to be selected for publication in a literary magazine outside of my usual genres. Unfortunately River Bluff Review is only available through the university.
Tempting to sing ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ (Donald Media)
The end is nigh… (Patreon)
The Cheshire Inn (Patreon)
That’s all the news that fits… um, except for that one other thing. That’s going to be its own blog post. Stay tuned, citizens.