Saturday, April 18, 2020

Art,Take Me Away....

Times of stress in my life or in the world...that's when I find myself back here. 

Not a good thing, but it is what it is. When the world seems to be falling down around me, I find myself drawn to one main source of comfort. Art. Any shape, any form, as long as it's art. Music, movies, paintings, TV shows, comics, pottery, and most of all books. Ah, hello old friend. Writing has been difficult for me during all of this. When the idea of a shelter in place/social distancing was first floated, someone told me to take the time as a gift and write as much as I could to finish my current project. Any writer has had that dream - a cabin in the woods, no technological distractions, nature outside our window, and endless time in front of us to write the great American novel.

This is not that scenario.

This is walls closing in, attempting to work from home while fighting technology. This is worrying about a danger we can't see, being cut off from friends and family, while also worrying about them, and the world in general. You would think that going into your head and escaping from reality would be the perfect remedy, and it probably would be, if everything listed above didn't give you the attention span of a gnat. 

Yes, a gnat.

Surprisingly, I'm sleeping well. But I'm exhausted every morning, and when the workday ends, my brain feels like it's run a 5K (if a brain could actually run.) You can't shut out the reality of what's going on either. Yes, you can avoid watching the news, but you can't avoid friends and family checking in, reminding you of what you're missing. You can't miss the discussions with colleagues, or the fact that you can't (or shouldn't) leave your house. Oddly, one of the biggest reminders for me is the constant stream of people walking by my house as I sit at my desk. We live a quiet, little neighborhood with sidewalks perfectly made for walking. But, the volume of people I see every day makes me feel like they are busing people in. It's a wonderful sight, but it's a sad reminder of how little time we made for walks before all of this insanity.

Despite all of this, I am trying. I'm about 8K words into my newest WIP. This mainly happens on the weekends, when I have a couple of uninterrupted hours to sit and stare at the screen, trying to string some sentences together. My main character lives with a heightened sense of anxiety. I'm developing a new appreciation for her. I have friends who are trying to read my last project, and God bless them for it. Most of my writing friends are feeling the same way about their attention span.

So, back to that source of comfort. Art in its many shapes and forms - here's what I've been using to get me through this:

Schitt's Creek - My husband and I are obsessed with the quirky characters and their beautiful messiness. And David and Patrick are my little ray of hope. We're spacing out the final season as long as possible.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - The cast, costumes, and dialogue are amazing. I have one episode left...sigghh.

Little Fires Everywhere - I'm only 3 episodes in, but I can feel the roller coaster coming. Reese and Kerry are perfectly cast.

Movies....I love movies. I love going to the movies, the previews, the popcorn...
Sadly, I have not found the ability to sit and watch a new movie (other than a couple of light comedies with friends for a Netflix party.) I have so many movies that I have wanted to see, but just haven't been able to make myself connect to anything right now. But I am open to any suggestions people want to give me! (I wrote this yesterday morning, but I need to add an update to this. Last night's movie choice was a small, independent film called The Fundamentals of Caring with Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts. It was quirky, heartbreaking, and hysterical. I highly recommend it.

Joshua Radin (Live from the Village) 
Talking Heads 
Sara Bareilles (Especially her live stuff)
Meg Myers
Mumford & Sons
Tori Amos

Books (I multitask when it comes to reading. I have multiple books going at once. I rotate through them reading a chapter here and there. I never know what mood I'll be in and again with the attention span....)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - Abbi Waxman (Fun romance. Great for people who love books and trivia)
Heroine - Mindy McGinnis (Tough read, but such an important story.)
Anti/Hero - Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta (My friend's new middle-grade, graphic novel. Loved it!)
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones (Another hard story, but such gorgeous language.)
B*Witch - Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin (I won an ARC of this from a charity fundraiser and only a few pages in so far.) 
Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart (I loved We Were Liars, so fingers crossed.)

Before I go, here's one more piece of art that's bringing joy to my life right now. My hand made, coffee mug from my husband's cousin. Artists and their art... this is what will keep us going.

What's keeping you going right now?

~ Adrienne