Upside Down

By Linda O. Johnston

upside down natural-2728146_640Apologies.  I’m late with this blog.  But… well, as I’m sure all of you reading this know, life is different now from what it’s been.

The pandemic.  Potential danger to all of us.  Lots to learn about how to protect ourselves.  Staying home most of the time–and only going out to buy essentials or bring in take-home food… occasionally.

What’s good about it?  Well, for writers, our lives may not have to change as much as other people’s.  We’re often home a lot anyway, staring at our computers and hopefully being productive on them.

 But… well, for me, some of the changes include not getting together with other people for exercise classes.  Or attending writers’ group meetings–which now have been canceled.  Or even considering attending writers’ conferences, which are also mostly canceled anyway.

 And then there were a couple of trips with family that we’ve had to cancel.

 I am walking our dogs more than before, which they enjoy–though of course staying more than six feet away from also-walking neighbors.  Our pups also enjoy having my husband and me around nearly all the time, to give them even more attention and treats.

 So yes, that part is good.  But considering how things will progress, when this might end, the situation regarding nearly the entire world… we’re upside down.

And then there’s this blog.  Being late didn’t help, but my mind obviously is on other things.  And though yes, I’m editing some stories I’ve been working on and plotting more–and my mind is also roiling around possible scenarios in which I can include this horrible situation in a book–things are different enough that I’m clearly not planning or focusing as I should be.

 I’d like to be focusing here on an aspect of writing.  That’s what we often do on the Writers in Residence blog.  And in a way, I am.  I’m suggesting that writers can do their job no matter what’s going on around them.  Focus on fiction, perhaps, to help your mind deal with the difficult facts.

I’m suggesting that writers can do their job no matter what’s going on around them.  Focus on fiction, perhaps, to help your mind deal with the difficult facts.

 Perhaps the hardest thing for me is not seeing family.  We have a son in our area but not right next door, and for now I’ve told him not to visit, at least for a while.

 What’s the hardest thing for you?  What kind of fiction are you focusing on to help you through this?

 How are you upside down?


This article was posted for Linda O. Johnston by Jackie Houchin (Photojaq)


Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

19 thoughts on “Upside Down”

  1. How am I upside down? Well, for me, the incurable “happy wanderer” my wings have been clipped. A mission trip to Africa was cancelled. As was one to… Italy. (Duh!) Staying a home around town has not been too difficult. I still go to my doctor’s appointment, the pharmacy, bank, and grocery store. Actually THAT part has been kind of fun. I’m let off from many responsibilities. Another way, it’s been challenging. How to teach a Sunday School class to 4th-6th graders? I am not saavy on all that technical streaming, so I fallback on snail mail, and video clips to their parents’ phones.
    We will muddle through. And I love your quote – Focus on Fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry your trips had to be canceled, too, and hope you’re able to get the 4th-6th graders to enjoy your class in whatever way you present it. Glad you enjoy my quote–and thanks for your patience with my lateness with this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m working on a historical fiction series of four books. I’ve tentatively entitled it The Century of Crisis. The first book is set in the time of Diocletian, the second during Constantine, the third during Julian the apostate, and the fourth during the reign of Theodosius. This takes the church from being the persecuted church to being the persecuting church. Or from being an illegal movement to being the state church of the Roman empire. This entails a lot of research, which keeps my mind occupied. My wife and I traveled on Mar 17 and have been in isolation since that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you didn’t catch anything, Lester and wife. Wow, I would say that entitles a lot of research. Thankfully you can do that at your computer at home. Good work!


  3. Travel, parties, dining out, going to the theater and movies, or just wandering in and out of shops for fun – so much of our lives have been put on hold. My biggest regret – despite all the time I have now to write, I can’t seem to get my brain stimulated enough to do it. Part of the problem is that I’m writing historical fiction in the post WWI period. I’ve spent the last few months researching the Spanish flu for my book, and what I’ve learned frightens me. Part is exhaustion; Husband and I took on a laborious project, redesigning a section of our garden. I feel like I’m in a chain gang every time I heave my pick axe or shovel out rocks and clay soil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my goodness! You were already researching a dangerous pandemic. You probably have a lot more knowledge about potential consequences than most of us. But maybe the physical activity in your gardening will help your state of mind.


  4. That’s a good way of looking at it: Our world really does seem to be upside-down, Linda.
    Part of me is concerned about the Woman’s Club of Hollywood and the people dependent on it. Then, I had to cancel my trip to visit my family in England – and I had great ticket deals!
    But I know that this bizarre situation is making us all re-evaluate our priorities. I am using this much-welcome home time catching up on Woman’s Club paperwork, lots of cleaning and mending in my apartment – and dedicating hours to my Lottie Topaz novels – yeah!
    My family call me constantly from England: how come their phone providers include free international calls? Note to AT&T and Verizon!! So I think that this is bringing out the best in people overall. And this, too shall pass. We will come through this more appreciative and considerate of each other. Thanks, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds as if you are using your time productively, but I’m sure it’s difficult to cancel a trip like that. I know it was with ours to be with family, and those were here in the U.S. Good luck with phone calls!


  5. Upside down… Oh, I thought it was my glasses. I have been waiting over two months to have new ones made. And resolve a few minor health problems that are slowly being addressed. And waiting for the weather to warm up. Of course there is the pandemic… I’m praying that they find a remedy like tomorrow. Lots on our plate, but we are a tough bunch, so it will right itself eventually. And you know what? I’m going to pull out the laptop and start working on my next book. I already have a few chapters written. Looks like a fine time to get back to it. Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely–write on! And yes, from what I’ve seen on the news there are a lot of people working hard to find a remedy. Tomorrow would be a good day for it to occur.


  6. As I work from home, that part of my day to day life isn’t too impacted. My daily walks go on, but my social activities that I’ve often said took up too much of my time are on hold. I’m trying everything in my power to keep the virus at bay, and that includes a lot of prayer. Technology is sure a blessing during what I hear called “The Great Pause.” Stay healthy!


  7. Linda, well-expressed sentiments. You’re right about writers isolating themselves and I find myself just carrying on as usual. I have about finished ghosting one book and have written a tiny bit on the next. I still walk, too. I notice more residents here than usual out for a stroll, which is a good thing. How interesting that we have modern methods of communicating to aid our solitude such as email and telephone. I have always stocked up well on tea – what more could one want?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Writing (less than it seems like I could be doing?), eating lots of ice cream, watching TV, DVDs, reading, and napping. Of course, there’s always catering to spoiled dogs! Feeling lucky on many fronts, and not complaining. Excellent, thoughtful, post.


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