Josh at the Door (2)

By dint of sheer will power, I’ve begun writing Josh at the Door. I started at the end of the story with Josh in May 2020 grieving over the loss of his beloved, Mimi. As I wrote, I discovered that Mimi died of covid-19. So Josh, in a very real sense, is a victim of the pandemic.

In the process, I also learned that Josh is a Vietnam veteran with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) and plays the piano. I don’t know very much about Mimi yet except that she, like Josh, is retired and volunteers at a local senior center.

Readers often express surprise at the way I describe my writing process. I experience it as if some voice outside myself were feeding me the story and telling me to write it down. I just do what I’m told.

I’m sure that voice is really my own subconscious pouring the story into my conscious mind, sometimes faster than I can write. I don’t plan ahead of time. I don’t think through the story. I simply write what the voice tells me. Later I’ll go back and revise and improve and reshape and clean up. But for now what’s essential is getting the story on paper before the voice loses patience with me.

And the voice is overloading me. I have lost the person dearest to me. As a lung cancer survivor and older man, I’m a prime target for covis-19. I’m living with my grief alone and without human contact because of the pandemic. I am living the story my unconscious commands me to write. But I live to write.

I’ll do it.

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