Part of being a writer (and a good human) is noticing what’s happening around you and in you. Using some of the below, write a piece that begins “In this time of coronavirus, I…”
- Go outside and sit in your yard. Listen. What sounds do you hear? How are they different from before?
- Go for a walk. What do you see? How is this different from before?
- Think of everything you have done today and list it. What have you done or not done? How is this different from before?
Pick from Your Box of Chocolates
Close your eyes and use your finger to pick one of these to write about. Think about each in specific, sensory detail, rather than vague generalities or ideas.
- What is the strangest thing you’ve seen since this started?
- Where were you when you first heard about the lockdown order?
- What did you buy extras of that might strike other people as odd?
- What was the first Covid-related thing that made you cry? (Mine was watching the gardeners empty out Miller Fountain on Trinity’s Campus the afternoon the “work at home” order came. It was like they were putting the campus to sleep.)
The Country of Quarantine
Creative nonfiction uses elements of the imagination to make facts more compelling. Practice with this prompt:
Imagine that Quarantine is an actual, physical place—a country—with borders, a language, history, national dress, customs, distinctive music and visual art, an ecology, laws. I love imaging Quarantine as a country, because it lets me pretend my loved ones and I are in the same place. Now, think about your own personal experience of these Covid times, and write about your Country of Quarantine. How do they greet one another in Quarantine? What’s the word for "hello?" How do they make love in Quarantine? Or dance? What is the national anthem? What customs might strike outsiders as quirky? Their favorite foods? What is the national pastime? Do they wear trousers in Quarantine? Or shoes? (Shoes are definitely out of fashion in my region of Quarantine.)
Excerpt from Catalogue of Objects in Trinity University Studio 403 in Relation to Colleagues Kristina Reinis and Raquel Belden
Recorded by Kristina Reinis ’20 after moving out of the studio following the closure of campus as a result of COVID-19
ITEM #001: GREEN CHAIR
ITEM #042: DICKIES MEN’S SHORT-SLEEVED COVERALLS
ITEM #031: CARDBOARD SCRAPS
ITEM #200: SCRAPBOOK