Writing Fiction in a Time of Folly

Read More Fiction. Review More Art. *original collage by Valerie MacEwan

My mornings are usually spent with the news. Reading Vanity Fair, The New York Times, the Washington Post and others. Then I read some posts on Medium regarding political reactions to extraordinary events. The politics of the day, policy positions, agitations and assignations create a difficult, almost impossible, atmosphere in which to write fiction or memoirs. I struggle to find that part of me that is filled with hope and humor.

I will toe the line of my own dictate. Write fiction. Write short stories. Write memoirs about the wonderful people I’ve known … stay out of my head banging realization that the world is spinning out control right now and return to creative non-fiction about Arkansas and the South (US) and write fiction created from some of my experiences.

It’ll keep me from a chain-smoking, anxiety-ridden, hopeless mindset. So look here for non-political writing but know that’s a fight, my personal PushMe/PullYou approach to sanity. I’ll read what yall write when it comes to the political. I’ll beam proudly when I tell you how my daughter made the five hour trip to participate in the Women’s March. But I’ll not write about it, I’ll leave that to you, my fellow Medium writers. Yall are doing a damn good job of covering my feelings and my fears.

My degrees are in history and political science, so when I stay out of the fray, it is with a hopeful heart that some readers will find a welcome respite from the political and as a panacea to my angst. Carry on in my name. Remember — Read some fiction every day, or a memoir and fill your heart with gladness — as corny as that sounds. There is “Hope In The Dark”, the book I’m currently reading by historican Rebecca Solnit thanks to a recommendation by writer John Biggs.

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Valerie MacEwan

The Dead Mule @deadmule writer, thinker, advocate for an ethical society, publisher www.deadmule.com online for 25 years.