For a writer, admitting you don’t have the right words is tough. As I stare at this white space and to fill it, I face the same problem I’ve had over the last six months.
How to contain and process 2020 into a blog post? Impossible, though many writers more eloquent than me have tried. Railing about politics, shutdowns, and our leaders’ actions, will only spark argument with someone who thinks differently. After months, if not years, of arguing, I’m tired of it. I think we all are.
Talking about good things, usually my default, doesn’t feel quite right either. That’s not to say there haven’t been blessings for which I’m incredibly grateful. But too many are weighed down with struggles that seem insurmountable. There’s lots of anger, lots of fear and few answers.
That’s why lately I’ve found the past a more comfortable place to be. The TV shows we’ve binged, most recently The Queen’s Gambit, have all taken me to a different time and place. I’ve been reading historical romance and historical fiction almost exclusively.
I’ve been writing it, too. The book I’ve just released, The Runaway Debutante, is set in the 1870s. It’s sequel, The Backstairs Heiress, takes place 20 years later.
Historical fiction allows me to immerse myself in a real-life world that’s far removed from my own, and in the lives of characters who are also facing difficult times. While The Runaway Debutante is for the most part, a feel-good story, it’s set in the gritty East End of London, among folks who’ve turned to crime to survive. An emerging theme of The Backstairs Heiress is the struggle women of the early 20th century faced in trying to pursue their dreams.
Yet the characters ultimately triumph, and find their happily ever afters, just as many real-life people have during challenging times in the past.
So at the end, I’m clinging to hope. Hope for healing, for peace and for good things in the future. They’ve always come before, and I have faith they will again.
What’s helping you through 2020? What are you most looking forward to in 2021?