Life in the Time of Coronavirus

The Moniack Mhor writers group, led by Cynthia Rogerson, has been meeting remotely during the Lockdown. They have been writing pieces inspired by the situation. This piece is by Anne-Mary Paterson. We’ll be presenting more of these as we go along, so keep an eye on the blog. 

In some ways the lockdown suits me because I can get on with writing my book. It is something I can concentrate on and forget about this virus while I am busy!
I was at the Moniack Mhor Retreat in March when I really got up momentum. The following week the lockdown started so my momentum is still with me. Today, Sunday, I am having a day off to do other things. This afternoon, I am going out to the garden to sow some of my vegetables.
I wondered if I should go to the Retreat as the virus seemed to be spreading. People would be coming from all over the place where there was far more infection than in NHS Highland. While there I worked in my room most of the time but of course we had to gather for meals. This is one of the nice parts of Moniack Mhor as everyone is in the same boat – writing something so we can exchange experiences and make new friends.
Writing can be a lonely job. When my husband was alive, he was very keen that we should go to events where I could meet other writers. Since he died suddenly two- and a-bit years ago I have joined other writing activities – The Highland Lit and Moniack Mhor Writing Group and of course I still have all the advantages, social and professional of the Society of Authors. I am sure he will be pleased with my activities. But now we are ordered to self-isolate. All these events are cancelled. We are all learning new ways to keep in contact with Zoom and YouTube, etc. There is the telephone and emails of course.
When I woke up the other morning, I started worrying that when the pandemic is over all the bookshops will have gone bankrupt. So, what is the point of writing a book if there is only Amazon? Waterstones is the only bookshop in Inverness so what would we do? No lovely Marjory in her amazing shop in Grantown-on-Spey or anywhere to buy a book in Dingwall or Dornoch. Well I hope this does not come to pass so I am pressing on with my book.
More news when it is published. I do have a publisher. I spoke to my editor on the phone the other day. All is well except that there are visits I should make and now I am stuck at home so my writing may grind to a halt. Surprise, surprise, a kind member of the writing group sent me just the photographs I need so I can just make up the rest of it – I have been to the place before.
I can always get on with the list of articles I have in mind and make some money!

Views/opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not represent those of any individual from Moniack Mhor or Moniack Mhor itself. Copyright remains with the author.

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