Welcome to Pandemic Pandemonium 2020, which sadly is far from over and, at this writing, has resulted in more than 680,000 deaths worldwide. Far too many of those were here in the US, where a more timely and organized response could have saved lives.
So far I’ve eluded the clutches of this awful disease and hope you have too.
But for me it did mean the mid-journey grounding of a long-planned, long-saved-for ramble through Europe and the Balkans that was supposed to run at least a year and allow the completion of my first novel’s draft.
I wound up sheltering solo in Passau, Germany for nearly three months.
Frightening, lonely, and disturbing as hell? Yes.
Unexpectedly inspiring, educational, and transcendent? Also yes.
I managed to repatriate in early June, but not before gaining a profound insight into German life, language, and culture—particularly the unforgettable Bavarian crossroads of Passau.
While there I did publish two pieces with New York’s spiritual literature site The Dewdrop: the poem “Cloud Distancing” and the lockdown nonfiction narrative “Cathedral Town.”
And I just learned about my third thumbs-up resulting from a Passau-era sendout: my Silicon Valley satire “Self-Driving Fridge/Toilet Disrupts Disruption Itself,” which will appear in the Portland-based magazine High Shelf in mid-August 2020.
My short story “Soul Survivor” won first place in the humor division of the 2018 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition (the Sue Granzella Humor Prize), and at long last it’s found a publishing home in Summer 2020 with BULL: Men’s Fiction. (Hint to my fellow women writers: BULL does take work from us if it’s on the subject of men!)
Speaking of summer, it was just about a year ago when my short piece “Diary: Art Challenge” was chosen by Australia’s Womankind magazine. It was my first overseas publishing credit, and an honor to be part of such an excellent publication.
Meanwhile, my career as a highly specialized proofreader and copyeditor will continue as I get my home practice up and running.
Thanks for checking in. You can follow my exploits on Instagram at [jen.burke.anderson].
Let’s stay healthy and safe, aim high, and hope that very soon we’ll all meet again.