What has become my Corona War Trilogy started life with a poem at the onset of the crisis. This is it.
Call to Arms
“Experience keeps a dear school,”
My Mother used to say.
I wonder what she’d think
Of how we live our lives today.
A killer is among us,
Deadly, cruel and savage,
It has just the one ambition,
Our lungs it wants to ravage.
It can’t be seen and moves so fast
It moves at breakneck speed.
Our battle plan has been laid out
But sadly few will heed.
The experts and the government
The rally cry went out to all
“We must unite the nation!”
But sadly there’s an element
In our society
Whose arrogance and selfishness
Defy the niceties.
They have this ‘I’m alright Jack!’
Attitude and culture.
Their first response to crisis?
Well, to strip the shops like vultures.
Whilst others heeded all the rules
And looked out for one another,
This selfish lot just carried on
“Me first! Rules are for others.”
While some stayed in, confined at home,
This lot roamed wide and free.
I care not that they risk themselves
But what of you and me?
These people travel where they will,
They party on all night.
They do not keep safe distance,
Of sanity, they’ve lost sight.
They do not have the wit to see
The more they do their thing,
The longer this goes on for
And they give the killer wings.
So yes, it’s hard, it’s tough alright,
And scary that’s for sure,
But halting this thing in its tracks
Is the best chance of a cure.
You’ve set us back and that’s a fact
But what is so much worse,
You haven’t got the message yet
You still put yourself first.
This has to stop! And right away!
It’s really not a game.
If you got ill you would want care
For which you should feel shame.
Your selfishness has made it harder
For the rest of us
And will prolong the agony
That’s why there’s so much fuss.
Just play your part, wash hands, stay put
And keep your social distance.
And learn the lessons to be learned
From this experience.
I have been writing for years but only started publishing in 2014 after my husband died and someone suggested that if I published and dedicated my books to his memory it would be a nice tribute. So I did. Writers are inspired by all kinds of things often quite random. I can look at all my writing, and recall immediately what the inspiration was whether it be poems, short stories, novellas or my novel. They are all character driven even where the protagonists are animals, but the inspirations are generally quite straightforward. Love, life, friendship, relationships; the usual culprits. But to be inspired by something so dreadful as the Covid-19 pandemic! The thing is, though, it comes back to people in the end. If your genre is action or war the focus is different; people and characters will still be important but the structure is likely to be different. For me it all comes back to the characters driving the story.
In a perverse way the pandemic was a gift; I could not have stretched my imagination to the extremes everyone's lives have been subjected to but that is the backdrop to three books now and has been the narrative as my characters have played out their own personal dramas.
I don't know about other writers but I don't go consciously seeking subject matter to work around, for me it is always a light bulb moment which is probably why I write the way I do. Some writers do extensive research, have a structure all mapped out before they start. I can't do that. The light goes on, I pick up the pen and it flows. And yes I do get very emotionally involved with my characters and when recording audio versions of my books some years ago (since withdrawn pending upgrading), I had awful problems sometimes trying to stem tears.
It has been and continues to be a very strange time that we are living through but for writers, musicians, song writers and artists everywhere it has apparently been a very productive period in our lives. In adversity we find inspiration! Let us hope the creative urge continues when we move into better times!