Culture, Cancelled

What a *bleeping* time to be alive

Hi all. Well.

Uh.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to write, but I want to write something, since it feels insane not to. I’m currently in Houston in my parent’s apartment, with a view of the bayou and the Texas Medical Center. My sister and I got a call out of the blue last week informing us that my Uncle Tom, my mom’s oldest brother, had passed away suddenly in his sleep. No, it wasn’t the ‘rona. He hadn’t been in great health for a while, but we thought we had more time with him.

I guess the thing that these last few weeks have taught me is that there isn’t more time. There’s only now, and what we do with it. And I’m not going to turn this into a “You can make ART in this time of STRESS when you are STUCK inSIDE” post, because I certainly haven’t been making art or being “productive” while everything collapses around us.

So what can you do now? Hug your loved ones. Reach out to the ones you don’t live near. Maybe don’t drink eight quarantine bottles of wine in one night. You gotta make those last. Don’t hoard toilet paper or hand sanitizer either.

And most importantly, stay inside if you can. Stay inside and call your elected officials and tell them to take this seriously because it is serious. It’s serious now and it’s only going to get more serious, and then when it’s all over we’ll have to face the task of rebuilding a society that was broken before it caught on fire.

In the next weeks and months as has already been happening, authors will have books coming out. The grind of the publishing schedule is continuing, whether people are able to go to bookstores or not. One thing that I’m sure will come out of this is a large-scale recalibration of the way we think about book marketing. It’s hard to see what that will look like with bookstores threatened by people, y’know, not leaving their houses, but it’ll happen nonetheless. If you are able to buy books now, please do so. If you’re able to check them out from the library, please do so. Regardless, be kind to yourself for whatever you can or can’t do. Even if you can’t concentrate to *read* those books now, that’s OK. So many people are going to be living precariously for a while. Whatever you do is OK.

Me, I’m trying to figure out what to do. I’m probably in Houston for a while, and all I brought with me was enough clothes for a week. I’ll have to figure out a new skin care routine because I have a face like rough concrete from the gross Houston tap water. At least I have my laptop, and the internet, and all of you.

Be kind to one another. Be kind to yourself. We’ll get through this.