Published in Pen America, 7/1/2020
I won’t lie. I’ve been finding it very hard to write these days. My brain can’t seem to hold a thought with enough quiet space around it to blossom into a well-ordered sentence. The air is thick with alarm, or despair, or contagion, or fatigue. I’ve gone from code-red, sleep-depriving distress—was that cough, THE cough?—into a numbing routine of cleaning and sanitizing and masking and quarantining. And now the world has erupted again, in anguish and rage. How to start a new project, when the country is stumbling into the first chapter of a Cormac McCarthy novel? How could anything I write compare to the sheer magnitude of the events of the day?