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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Writerly Inspiration

With the daily news full of nothing but Corona, it's hard for anyone to find inspiration, especially writers. But we've been through this before, and each time, the people living through it are certain life will never return to normal. But it has, and it will again. I recently wrote an article for my History Imagined blog about how the Native Americans were nearly decimated by the diseases brought to America's shores by the Europeans. You can read the entire article on Virgin Soil Epidemics here:

Having done the research on that, and fully aware that the earth will right itself, some friends of mine were putting together an anthology on finding love in spite of the virus and asked me to participate. I initially thought the subject too depressing and declined. But then, I saw a photo in my local paper featuring the senior citizens all queued up in the dark, waiting for the grocery store to open at 6AM for dedicated Senior hour. Inspiration suddenly took hold and I prepared a short story about finding love in the Senior queue. It's cute, clean, and was a hoot to write. I didn't need to stray too far from reality to write the story, since it's about a historical romance writer who lives in North Carolina in a condo overlooking a golf course. Since all the other stories in the anthology were young people abandoning the six foot rule and throwing caution to the wind, I thought a story about senior citizens who don't take many chances would be a nice counter balance. The anthology is called Love In The Time of Corona, Vol. 2, and will be available on Amazon on April 22. I'm sharing a bit of my story here today. It's called Choosing My Own Bananas. Hope you'll enjoy it.

This was a mistake. She should have listened to her sister, who implored her to figure out how to use the on-line ordering system for her groceries. Then, all she would have had to do was drive up, pay an extra fee to have her groceries already bagged up and waiting to be loaded into her car. But other than having to pay someone to shop for her, an indulgence she could ill afford, she just couldn’t wrap her head around someone else picking out her bananas for her. Instead, she got out of bed before the sun broke over the golf course, and drove herself to the store, where she waited in the dark with all the other old folks in town. At least it seemed like every other senior citizen was queued up and waiting.
“Good morning, Sunshine!” The man in front of her in line turned and saluted her with his coffee in its sparkling white container, wrapped with a slice of cardboard to keep his fingers safe. Maybe, if she’d thought to grab a cup of coffee before she left home, she’d feel a bit more sunny. As it was, she merely nodded to him and stared at her empty cart. 
“You’re Esther Williams, aren’t you?” The man attempted another tack of conversation. She should just ignore him, but Esther Williams? She glanced up at him. 
She checked behind her, but she was last in line, so he couldn’t be speaking to anyone else. “Are you talking to me?” 
“Yeah. You’re always in the pool at the health club, down at the shallow end. You wear that black suit with the see-through bits at the hip.” 
Holy crap! Seriously, she should have taken the time to get some coffee. Her brain was working at only a snail’s pace, but he had described her bathing suit in perfect detail. Who was this guy? And where was the snappy retort she should have had at the ready?


  1. Aw, what a lovely idea! I love that excerpt. We are never too old to find love.

    1. I'm glad you liked the excerpt, C.A. I really had a good time writing the story. Maybe my next career will be writing seasoned romances.

  2. There are very few romance stories involving older couples and to have it play out with Covid-19 as a backdrop, well shoot, Becky, this story is already unique and timely.
    All the best, Becky!

  3. Wishing you well on this story. It sounds like a charmer.

  4. What a timely anthology. I wish you success.