the Author

Social Distancing Journal: Short Story: When a Child Cries

Posted in writing.

This is not Monday, but — Monday was the first day the book­store was open for customers. It was a partial opening, and will remain so for a while; while we’re allowed to open, the list of condi­tions for safe opening require a lot of social distancing, ster­il­izing of things people touch, and face masks. And people :). Our store is not phys­i­cally large, so at the moment we’re taking appoint­ments in 30 minute blocks, for a max of 3 people in the store. Also: hand sani­tizer is used on entry to the store, and face masks are neces­sary.

Having said all that, it was nice to see people in the store again :)

I was hot and surpris­ingly tired and came home and fell over, so I missed Monday.

So, today’s not-Monday short story is When a Child Cries. It was written at the request of Richard Gilliam, someone I knew only through GEnie. And it was still short.

As usual the .pdf is here; links to the book avail­able at the usual places here.

13 Responses to Social Distancing Journal: Short Story: When a Child Cries

  1. Lianne says:

    I’ll bet that your customers were almost teary at being able to do some­thing so… normal as going to their favorite book­store, even with those restric­tions.

  2. michelle says:

    One person did phone because he wanted to come in when were open prop­erly. The thing is: Phase 2 opening is happening in Toronto now, but opening is subject to a host of restric­tions — all of which make sense, but are pretty incon­ve­nient.

    Complying with the new restric­tions essen­tially means no normal opening. We could have gone with “max number of people” and someone at the door to count them — but in the summer, waiting around outside in the heat is… awful. So we’re trying to “make an appoint­ment” thing now. With time between people to clean things like the pin pad, etc.

  3. Joey says:

    Are there pics of The Author in the store wearing mask & gloves, and wielding hand sani­tizer?

  4. Lesa Thomas says:

    I hate this virus. I miss so call normal. Staying in is getting very hard. I just know that it will keep everyone safe. 😢

  5. michelle says:

    @Joey: There had better not be -.-

    @Lesa: I get that. I would love for the old normal to be the new normal =/.

  6. Mary Allen says:

    I hate that this normal means my 97 year old mother is in lock down at a Assisted Living facility and hasn’t seen my oldest son for their normal Wednesday night dinner since February. They have been having dinner together every Wednesday since he was in his 20’s . He is now 42.. My husband and I have been allowed to wave at her from our car three times since February. My youngest son has seen her twice. On Easter she (my mother ) was able to use face­time on her ipad to see her youngest grandson my youngest son, his wife and their chil­dren but it was an acci­dent she has no idea how she did it. One of the only things that has saved my moth­er’s sanity is the libby app that allows her to down­load books to read. I am praying that this ends soon. I miss going to the books store and library. I am sorry for venting and appre­ciate that I have access to your books on my i‑pad and own all the Sun Sword and House
    War books

  7. michelle says:

    @Mary Allen: Venting a bit is not a problem — and as my moth­er’s the youngest of nine, I’ve seen the same thing; she’s at home, but she couldn’t visit her sister at all before her sister died =/. Her kids could come and see her through the glass doors — she was in a wheel-chair inside and they could wave at her (and did), but that was it; no one was allowed inside.

  8. Mary Allen says:

    I heard one bright light this morning about testing on uv light to kill the virus. It could be used in public eleva­tors etc. My hope is with all the tech­nology avail­able to speed up testing on all kinds of ideas we will have a way to let everyone go out soon. I have been writing rather than calling some of my older friends to keep in touch.

  9. Joey says:

    How sad for your aunt(?) and family! Was there no special arrange­ment if they knew she didn’t have a lot of time left?

  10. Jenni says:

    The orga­ni­za­tion I work for has us still working from home due to the vulner­able clients we deal with face to face. I have always been a soli­tary person and I never thought I would miss going in to the office and thought I would enjoy the change. Now I am like your customers waiting to be let in.
    I’ve just finished reading ‘When a child cries’. I found it a very emotional read and cried most of the way through, sobbing at the end. Nothing has affected me like that for a long time. Thank you.

  11. michelle says:

    @Joey: No. She had conges­tive heart failure — but her heart specialist told her he thought she should be dead 30 years ago, and even at 94 years of age, she was… incred­ibly healthy. So the down­hill slope was very quick, but again, not timing predictable, and she wasn’t allowed visi­tors at all.

  12. michelle says:

    @Jenni: Thank you.

  13. Lynne Phillips says:

    I was in Camp­bell River (Vancouver Island) expecting to visit a favourite used book­store. (Your books are never there. People horde them I think. Certainly I do.) Anyway, it was closed due to the virus. I searched for another book­store in town, and up came Coho Books — a tiny, perfect brand new store that holds three, max. These people had the temerity to open a book­store in the middle of a pandemic! I had to visit. Not having high expec­ta­tions, I was pleased to find a small fantasy section. Then, staring me in the face, was Cast in Wisdom!!! I could not believe it! In this small fishing town on the western edge of the country during COVID-19, the latest Michelle Sagara book! How lucky could a girl (woman) be? I had to buy it.

    For me it will always be the book that lifted my locked-down spirits.

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