1.113 virus, food delivery, writer’s meeting, novel

Tuesday 3/23/2020

Hey, ya wanna see the prettiest little graph? From the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 4.05.45 PM

Like that? That, folks, is what the Moore’s Law exhibit at CHM looks like. The world is entering the jet-powered vertical climb part of an exponential curve.

Here at the senior center, we got our new meal instructions at lunch. We get a weekly menu showing what’s on for breakfast lunch and dinner each day. You can cross-out any item you don’t want. Turn that sheet in at the start of the week. Your meals will be delivered to your door.

The CH Writer’s group met via Zoom at 10:30. Thirteen people at the peak, all women except me and Peter. Smart women and good writers, mostly. They had been given a “prompt” and most had prepared a short piece based on it, and read it aloud. I was a late addition and didn’t have anything to read. I made appreciative nods and noises. The meeting logistics went quite well, although the first half hour was mostly people working out how the interface worked.

Later I read more Query Shark; but I am feeling pretty sure my current query letter is as good as it can be. In the morning at the usual 4am or so — I think I have my bladder to thank for my best obsessing spells — I realized there was a logical hole, or more aptly a needless complication, in the climax of the book. And worked out how to fix it. In a semi-dream state I actually heard the characters say the dialog that would fix the problem.

I had also been increasingly aware that, since most agent submissions ask for a few, 5 or 10, pages from the book, that my opening scene needed a little tightening, a bit snappier dialog. So in the hour before the meeting, I fixed those two things: polished the opening scene, and rewrote the climactic confrontation with new dialog.

After lunch I went for a 2-mile walk. Saw maybe four other walkers. We all avoided each other.

When picking up my take-out supper for the last time, I got the detailed instructions on the new meal system. Meals will be delivered in specific time slots, for the sixth floor those being 8:15, 12:15 and 6:15. Pickup of the trays is one hour later. One must be in one’s room when the server knocks. Staff won’t enter any room; you have to come to the door and take the tray. Or it goes back to the kitchen and you can call to arrange a later delivery.

This is going to force a change in my routines, mornings especially. I can no longer go for a run early. I have to be here at 8:15 (possibly later; it remains to be seen which end of the long hallway they will start at). So henceforth I will go out for exercise more like 10am, every day I guess, to run or to walk.

So it goes.


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