Yesterday the entire city of New York was pretty much in shock. The streets, even when busy, were quiet. My sense is that none of us knew what to do or what to say.
The office was much the same way. Wednesday is our all-hands-on-deck meeting, and thus we were all together (which was really nice.)
After the meeting I sat at my desk and I knew I couldn't read anything while I was feeling so anguished. So, I did one small good thing. I sent out a signed, numbered bookmark for Laird Barron's Swift to Chase.
And I fielded some calls from clients.
And made some calls to friends I knew were as anguished as I.
When unsettling and disturbing things happen, my plan is always to have a plan. Plan A. Plan B. And if all hell breaks loose Plans C through Z. I like plans a lot. Lists. Spreadsheets. A sense of what to do, even if zombies are in the building.
Well, I've got nothing here. No plan of any kind. Unmoored.
Then, I realized I needed to just escape for a while. Collect my wits.
I got on the M20 bus and headed down to Mysterious Bookshop.
Walked in, seized the new Jack Reacher novel, and the new Michael Connelly novel, handed over my credit card, and exited. (Well, I said hi to Rob Hart too of course!)
Came home. Went to Night School with Jack Reacher.
I'm not finished reading yet. I'm going to hit the office and try to do some work, but mostly I'm going to be cocooning in these pages for a couple days.
Why is this important to you? Because you're novelists, most of you. You're the people who are going to make these next four years survivable. You're going to write the books that keep us from despair. That let us escape from reality for a while, so our brains can start working on Plan Q, R, S and T.
We are going to need you more than ever. If you're feeling like you can't write just now, I understand. I'm having a hard time working too. But this I know for sure: we won't get through this without stories. Stories to explain this new place we're in. Stories to help us forget this new place we're in. Stories that explain other people to us. Stories that let us imagine other places, other times, other challenges that illuminate where we are now.
And this, I know for sure: when the world is on fire, writers are the fire fighters. Consider this blog post your alarm. Get in to your turnouts, slide down the pole, grab on to the truck, and get moving.