Josh at the Door

I’m currently facing the oddest form of writer’s block I can imagine. Over the past year or so, I’ve been sketching out a new novel tentatively titled Josh at the Door. Like all my fiction, it’s based on real events, in this case my twenty-year-plus relationship with a woman. The male protagonist is called Josh. The woman he loves is named Mimi. The original outline of the book showed how they met, how their relationship developed, how it ended when Josh died, and how Mimi shows the courage to go on living without him.

That all changed when the real woman in my life died at the end of March 2020. I found myself grieving in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, forced to stay isolated at home and to avoid all human contact. I was suddenly in a new world unlike any I’d ever encountered before.

So Josh at the Door as I originally conceived it no longer works. The book now must be about mourning during the lockdown. I suspect the story will be told in flashbacks, as Josh remembers how he met Mimi and their lives converged, their adventures together, her sickness, and her death. It will end as he finds the strength to go on without her.

I know what I have to do, but, so far at least, I haven’t been able to do it. I’ve tried repeatedly to work on the draft, but I can’t write. Grieving won’t let me.

All that said, I know in my soul that this is a story I must tell. I’ll keep at it until the words begin to flow. Something tells me that when that happens, it will be an avalanche. I’ll be writing all day every day. I must be ready when the dam breaks.

More tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Josh at the Door”

  1. Tom, I feel so sorry for you. I can relate albeit can a much lesser way. My four year relationship with Dinh came to an end in late January, but really didn’t end until this week. It has been an agonizing and heart-wrenching break up for me. And like you, I have spent the entire time alone in my condo. I have remarked many times to others in my building that people who have families or are a couple don’t understand the loneliness that this extended solitary existence brings to those of us who are in pain.

    it is interesting that you are talking about writer’s block at the same time that I just posted on Facebook that I am thinking about writing a fictitious short story based on true events. It would be called The Woman with the Golden Heart: 4 years of True Love, Lies and Deceit.

    I wish you all the best in overcoming the writer’s block, but perhaps right now is not the time to do it. Perhaps right now is the time for you to heal your heart and soul. Knowing you, when the time is right you will write again.




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