Hi, folks,

I thought it would be nice to let you folks hear from a voice other than mine now and then. So, I’ve asked some friends who have an interest in being creative to write a few words here and there.

Chell and I were childhood friends (through our parents knowing each other). We’d hang out together frequently when we were kids, but as we grew up and time piled on the years, we drifted apart. A couple of years ago, Chell bumped into my mum and we reconnected. You know how it is when old friends reconnect…it’s like somehow the 30 years between talking to each other had never happened. Like we’d never been apart. She’s now embarking on her own writing journey and I’m very proud of her for what she’s doing! So, I invited her to come and say a few words about her journey.

So, without further ado, here’s my first guest blogger…over to you, Chell.

They say everyone has a book in them.

A story to tell.

A few years ago, a story started to develop in my mind. It was just shadows of ideas that over time became more solid. I have always had a very creative imagination but never thought to write down these concepts. This idea was different from all the others I’d had and, though it persevered in my head, I still I didn’t write it down. I never thought I would do anything with it.

Then I was reunited with my dear friend Jonathan. Author Jon Ford to you. After twenty-seven years of being out of touch, we had a lot to catch up on, including his passion for writing, which led to me being the first person to read ‘Hunters‘ and am currently reading the early work-in-progress draft of ‘Blood to Earth‘, the second book in the series. Boy, are you lot in for a literary treat! They are fantastic and I can’t wait for the others.

Through the reading and Jonathan giving me a nudge, I decided to try it for myself and get my story idea out of my head and onto paper.

Notebooks bought, secondhand laptop too, and away I went. Between work and family life, my time spent at the laptop is horribly limited. Next to nothing. Half hour at the end of a tiring day or a chilled Saturday – not much actual writing has been achieved in the last eighteen months. However, I have started.

I have the whole story plotted out and I developed the characters. It’s funny how you become connected to them as they start to come to life I asked three of my best friends to read what I had written to see if it provoked interest and, although I knew it would be a slightly biased opinion, they liked it and thought with work and development it could be a good story. One of those best friends is Jonathan. Now that was daunting. I mean, that man can write!

Now it is April 2020.

We are in lockdown due to coronavirus. It’s a very worrying time for us and everyone around the world. Finding things to do for my family and myself within our four walls is harder than I ever dreamed. Home schooling, playing games, and drawing fill up a few hours. But what to do with the rest of this enforced leisure time? The silver lining is you can fill the hours with something you love, like a hobby. For my stepson and husband, it’s X-Box gaming. For me, writing – brilliant!

Except it’s not. I have become afraid to continue.

Why?

Well, my idea, my story, is based around a virus that wipes out the human race leaving a few people behind in its wake. Although I’m confident the coronavirus won’t do that, as the governments and powers-that-be are doing everything they can to protect the world’s residents, I now feel like it’s not a story I can continue with.

Can I?

My story is based on hope and human strength, rebirth and new beginnings. See, it all gets a bit familiar to today’s news.

I am not writing this to tell you about the story – only time will tell if I actually get it out of my head and notebook. Jonathan asked me to write this blog to put on his fab webpage. Maybe to give me something to do, or to get me back to the laptop, but it’s the clever nudge I needed. Thank you!

Jonathan and my lovely husband Joe are being as supportive as always. Both think I should continue with it.

Should I?

I think I need to remind myself why I wanted to do this. Maybe that will help. So, I will continue to read Jonathan’s book as my source of inspiration. I very much want to finish my story.

Today I am going to read back through what I have already written and look at my notebooks to try to reignite the same passion I found a few years ago and irradiate my current concerns. At the moment, there seems to be no end in sight to the lockdown.  Watching the government briefings, the news reporters, and reading social media posts is disturbing. The scale of damage this virus is causing is frightening on its own, but actually the fear surrounding it is more damaging.

There will be an end to it…there has to be!

Human strength at its best in modern times will have been witness. Lessons will be learned. Maybe even world peace will be achieved! Who knows!

When this ends, there will be amazing outcomes, albeit in a very different world. 

I shall be back with updates if Jonathan allows me to. Until then, stay safe and well.

And, go wash your hands!!

Thanks Chell! I for one am looking forward to your updates and can’t wait to read your finished book!

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10 Comments

  1. Emily K.

    Reply

    What a ride. My thoughts while reading, “You go girl! Getting started is often the hardest part for me. Even 30 minutes a day is better than nothing and it shows your determination. I dig your writing style and tone if this blog entry is anything to go by. Way to use this time to get your personal projects done. I should stop binge-watching comedies and get back to being productive myself. I’m glad I read this. It’s motivating me to get back to writing. Man, that story sounds cool – Oh! Okay. Yeah, I can see how that throws a wrench into things.”

    What I’m not sure about is whether it’s a problem for you, as in it demoralizes you to write about another virus since we’re going through upheaval and uncertain times; or, whether you’re afraid that no one will want to read it because the death and destruction from the conronavirus will still be on peoples’ minds.

    • Liam

      Reply

      Right? If the issue is about wrecking your mental health in order to complete your novel, then that doesn’t sound worth it. Maybe table that story for when the crisis is over. However, if the issue over an assumption that people won’t want to read it, then I’d like to dispel that belief. I think fictional stories about diseases can be highly motivational and a good way to work out your fears. I know I felt pumped after watching Outbreak and Contagion. Both are films about humans overcoming a deadly virus. Sure, I know those are fiction, but I also know that humans have handled diseases in the past, and we’ll handle the coronavirus too.

      • Chell Lovell

        Reply

        Hi Liam
        I agree with fictional stories being motivating and can also help knowing that your not alone showing that others fear similar things.
        My mental health has been a factor in not wanting to complete my story but I figured out that it was the fear of the real situation that I was allowing it to affect me. I realised 18 months ago that writing is my saviour to my anxiety. So, having reminded myself of this I got back in front of the laptop and started typing away again.
        Fingers crossed I will keep those fears away and get my story written.
        Stay safe and Take Care.

    • Chell Lovell

      Reply

      Emily. I actually couldn’t believe that anyone would read anything I wrote especially when I thought I just waffled on about my book and then you replied, it certainly gave me a boost. I have picked up my story where I left it and making some progress. Thank you.
      I enjoy a binge of comedy, usually stand up however I am not a huge fan of television in general and through this lockdown its become even more of a drag to watch. Thank God for movies!
      I think my concerns came from the upheaval of what’s going on around us and the fear of upsetting people who have been devastated by Covid-19, would they read something new about a virus. Yes, there have been other books and movies covering virus’ but would anything new on that subject be too soon.
      Mind you the rate I am typing I see us all being out the other side and celebrating another decade that has past. Haha.
      Hope you are well and staying safe.
      Take Care

  2. KarieS

    Reply

    Very interesting indeed! It’s a great time to write, being in quarantine and your hubs playing video games. I think it’s pretty impressive that you already have the characters all planned out. What would be more interesting to me is to see if they change. You know, from how you planned years ago to how they come out on paper now. I say go for it. I do have to say that I have been binge watching Netflix, I won’t watch any movies that remind me of this horrible nightmare of a pandemic we are living. I am from New York and it is pretty bad here!

    • RaeY

      Reply

      I would not want to tell anyone not to write if they wanted to. Personally though, I would not read a book about any pandemic right now. I am only reading or watching things that are taking my mind off the “real world”. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

    • Chell Lovell

      Reply

      Hi Karies
      My characters have developed from how they started off but more in the way of personalities. I am using my own feelings and reactions to this awful pandemic and the flat written names are inflating them into life.
      Sending prayers to you and all in New York
      There will be an end to this awfulness and it will be beautiful
      Take Care

  3. Jim H

    Reply

    If it helps, remember that if the story ever gets completed, goes though publishing and marketing, it might be out a year from now or even longer. You have to keep your special awareness with time in mind when writing fiction that is now more based in reality than ever. If it were me, I would write it from the perspective of how much better things became after it was all said done.

    These are hard times for everyone, so you want to give a story a positive vibe. This also might help in you getting started and going with more ferver.

  4. Robert P

    Reply

    Maybe if you set the story in a world that is different from our own? Like maybe a world where everyone is more connected due to not as many cultures as we currently have. Not as many countries, borders, languages, currencies, customs, etc….

    A world where there are many more tangible similarities rather than differences. There is variety of course, just not nearly on the scale as what we have now.

  5. Sean T

    Reply

    I’ve been in your shoes Chell, and it was hard to keep walking in them. This virus thing though, makes this sort of “writers block” feel a lot different. You certainly don’t want to write a book simply to ward off the boredom, but it can be a great way to pass the time.

    Just do it. You might be surprised that the outcome may be a lot different than you imagine.

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