Saturday, March 28, 2020

Because it's all about positivity and attitude


And this is the second week of semi-forced-self-isolation. During the first week, I have been noticing a decrease in motivation, particularly concerning writing.
It felt as if words didn't want to flow, and my imaginary friends stopped telling me what they were thinking or wanted to do.

You can call it writer's block, but I believe it had a deeper meaning than simply a lack of ideas or some stress.

I am almost sure that for me, it was a question of reshaping my life into a new routine.
So far, my life consisted of waking up early in the morning, at about six o'clock, walking 3km to reach my office and stay there until three o'clock. Then, at the end of my working day, I would have enjoyed the walk back home, maybe even taking a longer route through the woods.

Being home, after a shower, I could easily put myself to write until the time also my husband would have returned home.

Now, being forced to work from home, I wake up in the morning, and there isn't anymore the refreshing walk to my office. There isn't a change of environment and direct interaction with my colleagues, and particularly there isn't any walk back home. Everything is happening between the walls of my house.

Indeed, I can still have a short walk in the woods, but even that is now a bit restricted and I can't stay out for as long as I wish.

Then, one thing blinked in my mind, like a little lamp that got switched on.
Suddenly, I recalled all the little works inside the house, those I always needed to do but I never had the time. Those I considered too tedious when the time wasn't an issue.
And so, I started to plan them.

It worked like a charm. I have found back my inspiration as I went through all those little projects. Also, since this winter we didn't have any snow at all, it means that I can take care of the garden earlier than usual.
Therefore, tomorrow will be the turn of my garden to be assessed and cleared up. It was a blessing, not having any snow this winter. I can start working on the garden and on the greenhouse earlier this spring.

Meantime, I hope this emergency will be soon over, and our lives can start once again.



Saturday, March 21, 2020

Quarantine, and some side effects

We all have been doing at least some social distancing, but many of us have been forced to quarantine or prefer to stay safe and self-quarantine until the situation clears up.

As for me, since my job can be carried out also from home, my employer suggested that those who can, should stay home until further notice, cooperating through skype or telephone and working remotely connected tho the main server of the firm.
For me and for my husband, it was quite a fine solution, but we are not alone in the house.
Carolina, the human-eating rabbit, declared not to be pleased with the actual arrangements.
In her opinion, our presence disrupted two main things, her beauty sleep and her need for meditating in silence.

Diary of an exasperated rabbit:

"You know what is worse? When they are taking a pause and decide that I am too cute not to be pet! Really?! Get a dog if you want someone to snuggle!

Then of course, when I slap their hands away, they seem to be offended; well, I was sleeping!
It is then quite frustrating because they know I have a soft spot:
RAISINS!
According to their (poor) judgment, I should not eat many of those. But how to resist their juiciness, sweetness, and yumminess?
Yet, they know it's a great way to bribe a snuggle out of me. What a poor rabbit has to do to get some treats. This has been the first week of their self-quarantine. I barely survived the noise and their presence, and... hold on they are speaking at the phone..."

...

"Damn! They will have at least another week of quarantine from the work. Do you know what this means? It means that I will have to stand their constant presence for another week, and Rabbit-God only knows for how long still.


I just hope there will still be raisins for sale in the shop, because there is no way I can calm my nerves, in such a stressful situation.
Oh, I just came to know that all their holiday plans have been canceled. I don't have certainly to explain to you that this means having them around even during the holidays.
Rabbit-God give me some strength!


Meantime, you keep yourself safe and if you have pets, for the grace of the Pet-Lord leave them be!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Something to lighten up the mood

Recently, the coronavirus that has been spread like an oil patch in the calm sea has taken over social media. Undeniably, talking about it it's positive and gives he right awareness to a problem that touches everyone on this planet.
Nevertheless, as in many other cases, there is a lot of misinformation spreading on the internet. People are strongly suggested, for their own sake, to follow only the recommendations of their local healthcare institutions. Refrain from believing that lemon will save you from the virus or to start producing at home a cure that might compromise your health, and also your life.

Today, I wish instead to bring something to light up the mood of the people. It's my contribution to lighten up the mood and give a safe medication: A smile.
I know there isn't any proven medical effect on diseases, but if you are quarantined at home, having something that brings a good mood is better than being reclused and sad.
I have two things to offer:
My pictures, a passion that has been with me since I was a little child, and my books.
So, today I will share them with you, and I hope you will like them:













Photography is also a fuel for my writing. 
What I see, inspires me to write the next story. It can be a scenery, a bird, or a particular shade from where flowers seem to glow with their own light.
It's on the people I meet during my travels or the stories they tell. Whatever it is, my books reflect my experiences, not just as a traveler, but as an observer of this planet.
If you, just like me and many others, are forced to stay home and be in quarantine because of the virus, I guess there isn't a better way to pass the time then by reading a good book. 
Something that can bring you far away from the dullness and sadness of forced confinement. 
Better than toilette paper! 
You can find them here:
https://www.amazon.com/author/pjmann
or visiting my website:
https://www.pjmannauthor.com

Take care of yourself and of those close to you be them your neighbor, your family or the elderly lady you haven't seen today.






Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Wandering Writer and the Coronavirus

For a person like me who has been traveled around the world for a long time, I feel absolutely frustrated about the restrictions Coronavirus is putting on my best source of information and knowledge.

The new coronavirus has a very fast spreading rate, yet, the mortality rate (<3%) is far lower than the SARS (10%), MERS (34%), and Ebola (70%).

Nevertheless, it is to be noted that the concern is not the mortality, but it is on the speed with which the virus spread across the globe.
This is higher than any other outbreaks in the last century.
In my opinion, the biggest concern is not truly related to the mortality rate, but to its economical repercussions.

Having a large portion of the population set in quarantine for an undefined period can cause a large negative impact on the economy of a country.

When I was traveling to Africa during the latest period of the Ebola outbreak. In that case, we didn't get any particular restriction for that.

I am wondering whether this has something to do with the well-known theory that nobody gives a penny about Africa, and only when something touches western countries we do care.

I have scheduled travels to Italy (the reddest spot in Europe) and Iraq, which are threatened by the spreading of the virus.

Iraq doesn't have any particular restriction as they hadn't yet recorded any infection. However, the neighboring country, Iran is a red spot in the middle east, there might be the chance that Iraq will close the airport and the boundaries. My only hope is that they won't close it for the flights coming from relatively safe countries.

Nevertheless, regardless of everything, whether they can keep me away from Iraq, nobody can keep me away from Italy. I could not stay away from my family and friends, and I am ready to risk being quarantined if this will be necessary.

Try not to get overwhelmed by the paranoia.
Have a sparkling weekend!

Back from the cave

I've been deserted social media recently to get deeper into the preparation for the next novel. People who aren't in the writing bus...