When I talk to—or, more frequently, read about—writers these days, they seem to fall into two camps with regard to writing during the COVID-19 pandemic: paralysis fueled by anxiety and extra work- or family-related demands or extreme productivity allowed by unprecedented time away from other people. My guess is that most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes or swing wildly between them, sometimes in a single day.
I have been fortunate to have mostly landed on the productivity end of the spectrum. While my blog and social media accounts have all but fallen silent, the social justice movement accompanying the pandemic having inspired me to listen more than I talk, in my personal writing I’m busy pecking away. My current project, about nature and my children when they were small, allows me to delve into an earlier, more innocent time time, when my kids were sweet and full of wonder, before I was shut in at home with moody teenagers and a scary virus lurking outside.
Perhaps it’s self-indulgent to exist on this other, fantasy plane for a few hours each day. But it’s also necessary for my mental health to remember and envision a world where toddlers chase frogs and preschoolers snack on violets and the breath of other humans isn’t potentially deadly. I hope that, in the same way, the stories and poems in this issue of Literary Mama give you a few moments of respite from the world as it is.
In case you missed it, please see Literary Mama’s statement on Black Lives Matter and our commitment to expanding the diversity of our staff and the writers whose words fill our pages.
Finally, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you our newly redesigned, mobile-friendly website. We hope that you love our new look as much as we do!
Be well and stay safe,