I love what I do. How many people are fortunate enough to feel that way? For me, opening up the laptop and entering my stories is as exciting as going on vacation. It's much the same in many ways. I think about it constantly, I prepare with enthusiasm and I disappear into the pages of another world, one totally disconnected with my own. Just like a holiday, right?
Yet, lately, I haven't been able to successfully immerse myself in my writing. The world keeps knocking on my brain, popping up and distracting me, distressing me. I have considered staying away from all social media until Mags's story is complete, but I have Cutting to the Chase to launch next month. So it's not a good time to disappear from avenues of promotion.
Despite the staggering sense of doom that abounds everywhere you turn in the media, I fervently check throughout the day. It's like coming upon a car crash and knowing you should look away but some insane part of you stares, riveted to the scene. I keep waiting for the punchline to this very bad joke, and it isn't coming. Trickles of human insanity have always infiltrated our lives but this all-out bombardment is more than disconcerting; it is unnerving and leaves me wondering where our world is heading.
Accompanying this sense of ever-growing anxiety is worry for my many friends who are grappling daily with acts of racism and hate, struggling for their rights and despairing that their country will not survive the environmental impact of decisions being made. Heck, the world is worried about it.
I also worry about us. I'm concerned about our complacency, about the surety that it won't happen here. I wish I were confident that we have indelible moral fortitude, that our Canadian-ness is truly infallible in its kindness. But Kellie Leitch, who says that Trump's win is an "exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada", and Kevin O'Leary, who has no political experience and is a loudmouth reality TV show personality (if that doesn't send chills down your spine, then you're doing a better job blocking out the news south of us than I am), are being presented as legitimate possibilities for leadership of the PC party. Not to mention, we just have to remember that Toronto elected Rob Ford not so long ago. It can happen here. It might happen here if the ugly rhetoric we hear daily starts to feel normal.
I don't yet know how to balance my concerns with my writing. I'm certainly not willing to bury my head in the sand and ignore what is going on. But, through the centuries, writers have shown us that stories are important too. They provide insight, give us a cathartic outlet and help us navigate our own world. And, sometimes, they just provide a much needed escape. It's why I read. It's why I must find a way to block the noise and write.