Welcome to Sharon Marchisello my next guest on my new feature – Isolation For Writers.
How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.
How is Sharon coping with this enforced isolation?
Here’s her answer:
Thoughts About Isolation
I’m supposed to be on a cruise right now. But instead of lounging on our balcony, scanning the waves for dolphins and watching the sun sink below the horizon as the ship glides across the Atlantic, we’re watching the sun set behind the pine trees in our own backyard. First-world suffering, I know. We’re healthy and have plenty to eat; we even have enough toilet paper. We live in a community with an extensive network of golf-cart paths, and these remain open so residents have access to fresh air and exercise.
Another positive: we’re getting our house painted. We’ve been trying for several years to accomplish this task, but the contractors are always so busy. No one calls you back. In the past, we’ve even had painters come over and give us an estimate, schedule a date to get started, and then never show up. But now, they’re hungry for work. People are losing their jobs and putting off discretionary expenses—like home projects. Contractors are happy to negotiate with anyone who can still afford their services.
I’ve been retired since 2015, and like many writers, I’m an introvert, so staying home every day staring at my computer is normal. State-imposed isolation is almost welcome—it’s a good excuse to not have to go anywhere. What has changed about my life is my participation in extracurricular writer and volunteer activities, which used to occupy a lot of my time. I’m on the board of directors for the Fayette Humane Society; our meetings now take place on Zoom. We’ve canceled our public pet adoptions and fundraising events. Neither my book club nor my critique group has met for two months. My husband and I both are Master Gardener volunteers; our projects are all on hold, and our homeowner enrichment classes and team meetings now take place on Zoom. So, I’m saving travel time but I’m not sure I’m getting much more accomplished writing-wise or around the house. And in an online meeting, I don’t feel as connected as I do when we meet face to face.
I write a personal finance blog, Countdown to Financial Fitness (https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/) to promote my nonfiction book Live Well, Grow Wealth.
When I started the blog at the end of 2015, I thought I’d publish once a week. That quickly changed to biweekly. Then a little less often than biweekly; soon it was more like monthly. And then it was just whenever I felt I had something to say. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been posting much more frequently; there’s a lot to say now. The economic fallout from this global pandemic might prove worse than the health crisis. Many of the principles I write about in my book—building an emergency fund, allocating investments among different asset types, conserving resources, looking for opportunities whether the market is up or down—are relevant now more than ever.
My publisher released my latest novel, Secrets of the Galapagos, just before the pandemic.
The usual occasions for connecting with new readers–conferences, signings in bookstores, talks in libraries—have all been canceled or postponed. Amazon has designated selling books as nonessential. I haven’t even held a launch party yet. Again, a selfish inconvenience. People are dying, families can’t pay their bills, and I’m fretting about lost book sales.
Here are the buy links for the Secrets of The Galapagos:
My emotions during this surreal period have been mixed. On one hand, I feel a heartwarming sense of solidarity with people all over the world who are experiencing the same fears and isolation, trying to adjust to the ever-changing norms of social distancing and personal protection. On the other hand, I’m frustrated by the constant bickering and politicizing of the crisis, the conflicting messages we get from leadership and the media. We’re making this up as we go along, acting on the best information we have at the time. It’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback, sit home and criticize the authorities for what they should or shouldn’t have done, for overreacting or for not acting soon or decisively enough. We could get through this crisis better if everyone would cut each other some slack and come together. One can only hope…
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press: Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019).
Going Home is a whodunit inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who couldn’t rely on her memory. Secrets of the Galapagos is a mystery with a touch of romance set on a luxury cruise ship exploring the Galapagos islands.
Her other publications include travel articles, corporate training manuals, short stories, book reviews, the blog Countdown to Financial Fitness, and a nonfiction book about personal finance, Live Well, Grow Wealth. She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is an active member of Sisters in Crime. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she now lives in Georgia and does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society.
Website or blog: https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/
Thank you so much to Sharon for sharing her thoughts on isolation, along with her diverse interests and publications, including her new book: Secrets of The Galapagos which I am pleased to share here.
I wish Sharon much success, good luck, health and happiness.
Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook