The Waiting Game, Part VII- A Pandemic Lockdown Tale

1920s Film poster, from Wikimedia Commons

On March 25, 2020, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled “Elegant Pajamas That Make Hibernation a Special Occasion.” It would be super-nice if they’d let me read it without subscribing.

Pajama Girl. That’s me. PJs at 10:31am. They are nice PJs, tho. No holes, and they’re clean and all. Still. There is that lingering icky, self-judgmental little voice telling me that I ought to be doing squats. And to that little voice, I say, in a loud (but-silent-because-fam members are Zooming nearby) voice, Well, tough shit, Icky. No squats today. 

Dorothy McGuire, 1941 photo by Alfred Eisenstat for Life Magazine

Time is a suspension. Asking what day is it? was funny at first, like, a month ago.

The Icky voice has been very active while I lounge. As I write this it is stretched out across the end of the bed, poking at my unshaved ankle, telling me (again) that this would be a good time to start intermittent fasting, and that attic isn’t going to clean itself and I really should make a schedule and stick to it and walk five miles EVERY day, not every-other-day. And Icky SEES those handfuls of Jujyfruits and I should be writing pre-publication essays and blog posts. (!) And really, Liza, TWO glasses of wine are enough.

With a deft foot movement, I shove Icky backward, off the bed, out of my sight and as I hear the small thud and expiring whoosh, I wonder, How is my supply of Hot Tamales and Good n’ Plenty? Is it time to find a new hiding place? Is that shower visibly dirty? How many days have I worn these socks?

At a Zoom meeting of students and alumnx of my low-residence MFA program a few weeks ago, I heard, firsthand, of real hardships in these days. One current student has a husband who’s a doctor. He comes home from work and isolates in his house, separate from his family. The students worried about residency being canceled and not having a graduation ceremony. The faculty worry about student health, and probably about liability and finances, though that wasn’t discussed. I came away feeling solidarity, but also some gratitude, that my family is (so far) healthy and we have what we need. We all have those we are worried about—the elderly, and those with chronic conditions. Now, people we know are getting sick.

So, all in all, being Pajama Girl isn’t so bad.

Doris Kenyon, 1920 from Wilimedia Commons

I feel terrible for authors with books coming out right now, and in the next few months. My novel. ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS is coming out on August 18. At first, I thought all this would be over by then. Now, it doesn’t seem it will. I have a great Senior Publicist at Blackstone Publishing and Ann-Marie Nieves of Get Red PR has come on board to help with promotion and events, be they live or virtual.

I just need to get my ass in gear and keep working (Icky calls, from the floor). You paid for that webinar on email newsletters and you forgot to watch it! Look at your calendar for April! There is NOTHING there, and you forgot to watch the webinar.

But even when concentration is difficult and inspiration is fleeting, I do feel gratitude for a lot of things. I’ve been invited to appear at the Louisiana Book Festival in late October, and other book events are starting to come together. We’ve received some really nice blurbs for my novel recently. I’m so inspired by this and especially thankful that people would take the time to read my advanced reader copies and write a recommendation. In return, I’ve been knitting things for these early readers, spending some of my time on them.


Now I’m knitting a teddy bear, just because I had some brown wool and the pattern. Icky says that’s a waste of time, I need to get the house clean and write a blog post, and yo, bitch, it should be at least 800 words.

Sorry-not-sorry, Icky. Today, 691 words are enough.

Back to playing the Waiting Game.

Thanks for stopping by, and stay well, y’all.

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