But can we really go back? We’re pushing hard to return to “normal,” but should that be everything that was before? What are the consequences of returning to 2019, a reality that spawned the pandemic, when you live in 2021, and are trying to make a way post-pandemic.
I do hope we’ve learned some things. I certainly don’t think or feel the same way about life and the world that I did a year ago. Some things shift your paradigm and cause permanent changes within you that cause a jolt when you try to go back to the way things were. It’s hard enough to transition to working from home to returning to the office; even harder when you aren’t the same person who left last year. We may talk a good game, but the truth is that this past year has traumatized us, and we’re all struggling to figure out the reality we have now. Say you’re excited to “get back to it” all you want, but the truth is that nobody knows what comes next. We don’t know what the post-pandemic world looks like yet. We’re taking it a step at a time and watching it unfold as we go. That’s often how life goes.
One thing I learned about myself is that I’m more of an introvert than I realized. I’ve always been in that awkward place where I teeter between being withdrawn and wanting to talk to people, but as the world shut down, I found that I was becoming more comfortable with myself. That, in turn, caused me to become more comfortable with others, so when I was out and about, I was more willing and able to talk to them. But only to a point. I still need to pull in to process it all; in fact, maybe a bit more than I did before. It was nice to have that time and space during the pandemic to deal with life and all of the changes happening in the past year.
I wonder if more of you have discovered this about yourself. The reason I say this is because I’ve heard several readers say that they loved Domino, Book One of The Sentience Series, perhaps more than my other works to date. I’m happy that readers like the novella and it resonates with them, but one thing about Domino is that it’s more confined that my other novels. Most of my other works have my characters thrust out into the big, bad world, fighting it along with their personal demons. Domino (and the rest of The Sentience Series) breaks from this with fewer characters and a limited setting. While The Earthside Box Set had a worldwide scope and characters joining or conflicting with one another from various outside interests trying to manipulate them, The Sentience Series is limited to the research team and the lab they work in. The conflict in The Sentience Series has a worldwide impact, but the focus is almost exclusively on the research team who developed the technology in question, and a couple of parties from the outside that were drawn in by the conflict. The world is mentioned, but they are in a situation where they almost have to shut it out in order to resolve the problem. It’s a bit of a reversal from the scope of my normal work.
And yet, people seem to like it. My reviewer and beta readers have reacted positively to Phantasm, Book Two of The Sentience Series, to date. While readers are more introspective and introverted as a group, it makes me wonder if the events of the past year have drawn you to realizations about yourself that are similar to my own. It’s good to connect, and interesting to see how this change is resonating with readers more than my previous works.
The good thing about fiction is that readers draw their own meaning and message from the work. As writers, we hope that we’re offering something that resonates with you, and helps you to feel less alone in this world that’s gone crazier than usual in the past year.
I think the truth is that we’re all different now than we were a year ago, and that’s ok. Things do change you – that’s how you grow. Let’s just hope that we, both as individuals and as a society, continue to grow in a right way and a good direction.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.