The Opposite of Writer’s Block…

OK, I know we were just talking about writer’s block in the early part of last month. Writer’s block is a real thing, and it stuck with me for a while. It may have had something to do with the fact that all my energy was taken up with job searching (long story) and I had no time for fiction (which is, after all, a hobby for me at the moment).

Then I got a job, and went on vacation for a week to the beach, which is my happy place. (I’d like my happy place to be Paris–today’s Paris, not the Paris that Rebecca gets to see, but I can’t afford a Paris vacation once a year, so the beach it is…). I relaxed and saw new things and experienced something besides the four walls of my house and my creative brain got bigger. NOW my problem is that I have too many ideas, all rolling around in my head and I’m having trouble organizing all of them and getting them down on paper. The possibilities are endless, and I think that’s as much of an issue as not having any ideas at all. Rebecca could be still in World War 2–a time period with which we’re both very familiar–or she could go almost anywhere. My initial idea was to have her at Los Alamos while the US is building the atomic bomb (if you haven’t seen the TV Show Manhattan, I highly recommend it). What an interesting place to set a story! All the secrecy and the science, people living in close quarters, all these strangers coming together to accomplish a common goal…it was such an appealing venue, so full of mystery and glamour…

Until I started doing research on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can’t even imagine the horror that people experienced. People who were just going about their mornings as usual, people who had no idea what was coming. A lot like September 11th, 2001. I read some eyewitness accounts of the horrors at Hiroshima, and suddenly, writing about it didn’t seem as palatable. Maybe I’m getting more sensitive as I get older, or maybe it’s just that the last three years have been filled with so much chaos, so much ugliness. Back when I first learned about WW2, we had no idea what war was like. Those of us born in the 70’s and 80’s were trained to hide under our desks because of the Cold War, but we didn’t understand –what actual war looked like–when our friends and relatives went to war and didn’t come back. There were a few skirmishes, but we lived largely in blissful ignorance until 9/11.

Recently, of course, we’ve had more than our fair share of ugliness, sadness, anger, frustration. My dad always use to say “The world’s going to hell”, and I used to nod and smile and say, “I think every generation thinks that about their own timeline–it’s really not that bad.” Lately, I’m beginning to think my dad was right. So to combat that, when I next take up my pen (or pick up my laptop) to write something, it’s either going to contain and express all that anger and frustration and ugliness…or it’s going to be something distracting and diverting (Bridgerton without all the sex?)–an escape from all the anger (because we all need those sometimes). OR, it may be both. (Because who says you can’t write two books at the same time?). I’ll keep you posted.

(*Note: I am not going to write another Bridgerton. It’s already been done very masterfully by Julia Quinn, and if you like historical fiction, it’s really fun to read and very well-written. I’m now making my way through the prequels.)

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