Covid year 2 - 2021 review

Does time stand still? Groundhog year or a year of productive writing. Glass half-full or half-empty,
The second calendar year of Covid is not so different from the first: restrictions come and go and return, optimism and fear also. The good news is the creation of vaccines, which promise to blunt the danger of the virus, but the bad news is the mutation of strain after strain, with the concern that perhaps a strain, deadlier than before, would arrive and propagate before a vaccine can be developed.

Whn travel is permitted, I choose destinations in the open, hiking&walking rather than cultural events or locations. In 2020 I had been booked for festivals in Ghana and hikes in Guatemala. Both were cancelled - I might have felt comfortable in 2021 with a volcano hike, but Guatemala feels too far and its health system is under strain. I remain in Europe. I am permitted to visit my parents, both of whom have coped well with Covid restrictions.

My focus remains on writing, supplemented with online music workshops and the sorting of photographs, mostly pre-Covid but also from walks in the UK (my collection of photos of street art and murals grows). The long short story that I had in progress in Dec 2020 grows into a 30-40k novella and then, in Sept 2021, is the text I workshop when one of my writing institutions reopens its physical doors. My ambition: a short novel (working title 'Waiting for Saul'). Another story, worked on in parallel in early 2021, grows to 40-50k but is unfinished as I focus on editing the former. I also confinue workshopping the Argentine novel and edit my short stories. I begin tidying shorter pieces for submssions.

I write more non-fiction, most importantly on my experiences in New Guinea, which I anticipate might become a book or at least a series of pieces. I decide (perhaps wrongly) to write them all and then see what I want to do with the text... and when 'Waiting for Saul' progresses well, I find that my New Guinea project goes onto hold.

A new idea - stories set in a fictional police state - inspires me in the autumn. I have been to so many countries with some form of unusual culture that I know I can produce a series of pieces. The first 'The Eyes of Golden Stefan' gets good reactions and I carry on.