After the death of my mother on the 23 November 2019 I have been in a state of mourning and my muse has been on hiatus. I was in enforced isolation as I struggled to process. Now we are all in lockdown and the enforced recovery time has prompted my muse back to my life. I want to write a daily online diary dealing with this time for myself and share it for catharsis and posterity.
Today's writing update:
My goal today was to write. I'm attempting to maintain a loose routine so after breakfast my daughter and I went for a bike ride and then I sat down to write.
I'm working on a chapter where Srebrenica is layed to siege as the UN debates a resolution to make it a safe zone. I notice already how the current circumstances are changing my view of the action within the book. So far I have been very focussed on the external forces that are impacting on the family, the war conditions and deprivations, but today my chapter was very focussed on the intimate interactions between family. It is as if my own focus on intimacy with my husband and daughter have brought this into sharp focus.
I also feel such a sense of gratitude that I am living in the country that I am, that we are taking the precautions that we're taking, and that I have my family close at hand to get me through this, and this is bleeding through onto the page.
So today I wrote 1,000 words and even though I've had a four month break from the manuscript, I'm snapping back quickly. I've written so much of the book and dedicated so much research time that it is so real to me.
What I'm reading:
Novel: I am still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall-about a young girl left for dead in Canadian wilderness. It seems reality and escapism keep converging and this sense of being isolated in a bubble is making me want to find ways of processing.
Non fiction: this article by Christos Tsoilkas about our new uncertainty is so beautiful and poignant. He captures so well the reality of writers today.
What I'm watching:
Supernatural on Stan-on season 5 and am so entertained by the constant changes in tone and genre from episode to episode.
Unorthodox on Netflix-about a orthodox Jewish young woman escaping her community. It's a limited season and am on episode two. It is so fascinating getting an insight into the community practices.
Tangled on Disney Plus-loved re-watching this. Started crying during the finale. My daughter was mildly exasperated and then relieved. "At least you're crying during the appropriate moment." I cried four times during Moana last time, most of them during the songs.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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