I’m distracted. I think we’re all distracted, right now. Times are a bit distracting. And unsettled. Mrs. Dave is back on a more or less normal work schedule, and the Wee Horde are officially on “Summer Break,” whatever that means this year. In reality, we’re pushing ahead with a slightly more diffuse academic schedule. They’re both about two years ahead in real terms, so it’s fairly light, but the 20/21 academic year is still up in the air, so we’re pursuing keeping them up on at least some mental exertion, rather than turning them into free-roaming savagelings until September.
Me? Oh, I’m keeping on. The bad brain days are getting more numerous, and I’m … concerned for the future, and angry. Like a lot of people. The hypocrisy on parade is sickening, the damage to life and livelihood is possibly unrecoverable. I dunno, folks. It’s hard to think about fiction right now.
Or is it? If I let my imagination run wild, I have little vignettes popping up constantly, inspired by the latest madness to float across my feed. Times of great tension and conflict are amazing at bringing drama to the forefront. For my own work, and the stories I’ve enjoyed, it’s often manufactured drama (in more than the sense that all fiction is manufactured (even the hand-crafted artisan fiction with the multigrain crust on the surface, and the special, flaky sea salt harvested by naked virgins under the light of the full moon)), where a shadowy cabal is exploiting simmering tensions for its own ends.
What I’m saying is, as unpleasant and uncomfortable as current events continue to be, they’re rich fodder for imaginative and realistic storytelling. (Of course, that said, if you’re a lot closer to points of conflagration, see to your safety before settling in to work. I know how writers are, for I are one, and we’re likely to miss a riot while in the flow.) Current events IN SPAAAACE is an excellent way to gin up conflict for your characters.