Hey cHEwY gum gums.

Hope you are staying safe/sane in your pandemic life.

My past week has been a rhythm of writing, learning tech for my virtual author visits and early morning jogs around my local park. There may have been a burger too haha.

You’ve probably been told this a million times by now, but things will never be the same again. Adults and kids know it.

So should we reflect this in our upcoming stories?

As a contemporary writer, my books are always set in today’s time. My current WIP (work in progress) What About Thao contains kids stuff. Riding bikes to the park. Giving a high five to friends. Being outside in a group.

You know, normal stuff. Well, it used to be normal. So when I’m writing my next book, I can’t help but wonder, should I acknowledge this quarantine life? No, I won’t be forcing Thao to stay at home, remote learning as his parents fight over home office space. I’m talking about when this pandemic is over (yes, it will happen, someday, insert hopeful cheesy quote here hehe). Should I mention it in a line, to show that this is happening post-pandemic? PP. After Rona?

It makes me think about stories written after World War 2, did those authors mention the hardships of war? Everybody has been affected by this pandemic, so everyone can relate to it. If I can geek out for a moment, Spiderman: Far From Home was the first movie after the Avengers: EndGame event (*spoiler alert* half the world disappeared and then reappeared) and the kids in that movie called it the blip. It was a tiny mention, and then it was back to their normal lives.

Or maybe we just ignore it, and continue to write stories as if life hasn’t changed. Except we’ll be washing our hands more often now. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, we read books to escape this world, and books are so important more than ever in this current age.

Yet, books are also wonderful outlets for kids to talk about their feelings when they empathise with characters. I can see YA and picture books leading the way in this, they always find ways to deal with serious issues in a kind manner.

Meanwhile, my other characters from previous books are whispering in my ear. How would Lengy feel as his Thai-riffic! restaurant becomes take-away only? Would Connor from Con-nerd draw cartoons and post them up everyday, dealing with the fact that his mum’s a nurse on the front line? All these seeds are planted inside my head, and I’m keen to sprout these in some kind of anthology down the track.

All I’m doing for now is observing, jotting notes, listening, taking it all in. Maybe I will write about all of this in a book called Homebound. The funny writer and stand-up comic side of me is beginning to find the lighter side to all of this, it’ll just need time.

How much time? Well, let’s talk about that, post-pandemic 🙂

O.W