March 20 ~ Q & As
By Ana Brazil
March 19, 2020

This Friday, as the entire world seems to hold its breath in anxiety and confusion, and many of us in California are sheltering in place, the Paper Lantern Writers consider Creativity and Writing in the Time of COVID-19 as Ana asks: Is anyone having any success in reading, writing, or researching historical fiction this week?

“I started back into my WIP,” says Linda, “but didn’t get as far as I wanted to.

I’m spending more time on social media, reading humorous and serious posts about the virus and posting to support friends who are launching new books. I’ve always worked better in a structured environment with too much to fill the hours. Now I have more hours, and I drift from task to task and don’t get much done. Tomorrow I plan to make a daily schedule. I’m also going to find time for myself where I’m not worried about my sick dog, or my son out of state, or my husband who’s in a ‘compromised group’ or how I’m going to get food on the table.”

Katie shares more in her Tuesday blog post: WHEN WE NEED ART

Katie reports in, “I have had far less time this week than any other week for writing or creative activity.

From connecting with far-flung loved ones to taking care of my little dude, there has been no time for creativity and barely any time for research. I am behind on all projects and expect to stay that way.”

Kathryn says “Fortunately, a newspaper editor contacted me at the beginning of the week and asked for a few coronovirus–related stories, so I have some impetus to create the news, not just consume it.

To combat anxiety, I’m checking in with friends and family, taking walks with my now working-from-home husband and tackling spring clean-up tasks in my garden. I’m also enjoying Louise Erdrich’s latest novel, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN, based on her grandfather’s life and set in the 1950s—something we would now consider historical fiction, yes?

And I’m watching FX’s Devs, a sci-fi series featuring a quantum computer program that allows glimpses into historical events. Much like we historical fiction writers try to do.”

C.V. boldly shares her WIP!

C.V. shares that “During my time of seclusion, I am taking advantage of not being able to work and focusing on completing my second draft.

There is an amazing amount of re-writing and editing that needs to be done. I hope this opportunity will push the date of completion ahead of my anticipated schedule. I am also beginning the research and outline for the sequel.”

Eliza J. Nicholson!

Finally, Ana adds, “My very-split focus has been on getting my taxes completed and watching the same terrifying news over and over again.

Now that my taxes are done, I’ve finally accepted what I can and cannot control about COVID-19 and I am getting back to HistFic.

I’m working on my PLW blog for next Tuesday. Our theme for March is The Written Word and I’m writing about the diverse New Orleans newspapers that Fanny Newcomb and her settlement house colleagues devoured daily. My post also celebrates Eliza J. Nicholson, the very progressive late 19th century editor of The (New Orleans) Daily Picayune and one of the preeminent newspaper women of her times.

Only bummer, I was reminded that Eliza died from influenza (aka la grippe) in February 1896, just a few days after her husband died from the same.

HistFic isn’t quite the refuge from COVID-19 that I was hoping it would be.”

Ana Brazil
Written by Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil writes historical crime fiction celebrating bodacious American heroines. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Historical Novel Society, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers.
Ana’s award-winning historical mystery FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER is set in Gilded Age New Orleans. Her upcoming October 17 2023 release is THE RED-HOT BLUES CHANTEUSE, a Viola Vermillion Vaudeville mystery set in 1919 San Francisco.

View Ana’s PLW Profile

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