Well, here we are. A month ago, we were going about our lives, maybe washing our hands a little more often, making the usual plans, going to work, doing the Target run, meeting friends and family for coffee or dinner or a movie, looking forward to spring break or Memorial Day weekend or summer vacation.
Now most of us are shut in our houses. If we’re lucky, we can work from home, juggling Zoom meetings and kids’ online classes and messy kitchens and obsessive scrolling for news. Some of us would work from home if we could, but our jobs have evaporated and our secure futures with them. And some of us—the heroes—still head out every day to police our streets, repair our power lines, stock our grocery shelves, drive our buses, put out our fires, and care for our sick and dying.
Me, I’m the luckiest of all. I’ve been Working From Home (#WFH, as we now say) for years. I know all about setting routines and eating healthy food. I know about staggering out of bed to go for a run first thing, or you’ll never get around to it; I know the importance of showering and dressing and putting on lipstick, even if no one else will see or care; I know that no matter how many signs I put on my office door, I’ll be interrupted five times an hour and I just have to roll with it. I know all about the temptation to procrastibake, procrastishop, procrastilaunder, procrastitext, and how to resist said temptation, even if I don’t always succeed. Not only that, I know that I’ll be paid for this book I’m currently writing, because I’m under contract, and that people are reading more than ever right now. I have my husband and kids and pets gathered around me, in an area with very few reported infections, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way.
So I’m looking around me at all the heroes out there, saving lives and keeping supply lines running, and I’m wondering what I can do to help. After all, I’m just a writer. I tell stories for a living. My novels do not feed the hungry or heal the sick. People read them to pass the time, or to escape from the world for an hour or two, or to examine the lived experience of the past for some kind of insight into the present. This is hardly vital service, but it’s what I do, it’s what I have to give you, and so I thought I might try to just write something new, right here on my website, for you to read when you need a diversion from this mad alternative universe in which we’ve found ourselves.
Readers, I present to you Episode 1 of The Library Passage, a serial novel that will appear here weekly (or so) for as long as it takes to tell the story. It’s a bit different from my usual, but it shares the same substance, and I’ll be discovering this world and these characters as we go along, side by side. (Please remember that I’m working without an editor or a professional proofreader, so excuse any typos and errors along the way.) I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed writing it. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find out what happens next!