Diverse Reader is so excited to have author Kelly Fox on the blog today! This is the first time we've had her on and she's here with a great post and giveaway for all of you. So, sit back and enjoy.
Romance in the time of Corona
Note: What follows is half cursing, half romantic idealization.
What a time to be alive, amiright?
I mean… fuck me sideways; this shit is wiiiiild. Well-played virus. Well. Fucking. Played.
As a creative, it makes me super defiant, because it feels as though COVID-19 has somehow spit out a few sick beats and then mic-drop’d the entire creative community as if we wouldn’t be able to respond.
Now, I’ll admit, we needed a few weeks to adjust, but we’re made of tougher, and softer, stuff than that. In the romance community, for example, we are all waiting for the ultimate forced proximity romance to come out of it. I mean, there will be several very good ones, but somewhere out there in someone’s brain is the beast of all forced proximity romances, and it’s gonna be so fucking good… directly because of what we’re dealing with now. Suck on that, you viral douche canoe.
I nominate Neve Wilder and suggest a couple of guys from Nate and Eric’s frat house. Nudge, nudge, Neve.
Honestly, I’m going to read the hell out of every single one of those stories. Hell, I might even write one, but, like, in October. Or next spring… I dunno, when is this going to be over? Anyway, not really feeling the ‘rona love right now right now because it’s all a little too on the nose.
Like many of us, I have this boulder of grief residing on my chest. It’s mostly because of the suffering that people are experiencing right now. But I also grieve the fact that we are fickle, short-sighted assholes who have a real chance of not learning a damned thing from this experience.
That last part really gets to me, because things don’t have to be this way. When I let my brain soften into that mold, a different kind of romanticism takes over, and I imagine the world made new.
For example, have you ever just… stopped? Just paused midstride to look at something, maybe something beautiful, and took a half-second to experience actual wonder? Maybe it was a small, stolen moment that no one around you experienced, but you were there in that precise moment, finding one of those small beauties that life offers up to us.
In my imagination, the silver lining of the Great Coviding is like that. While the world hasn’t stopped, it has slowed down, and in that slowness is amazing beauty. Think about the before and after pictures of large cities without the stain of smog. Blue skies over LA, New York, and Dehli for the first time in far too long, and so many people who’ve been working to the point of burnout their entire adult lives are suddenly furloughed and told to sit the fuck down (cough*wife*cough).
In my gossamer-winged post-corona world, we’ve decided that we like taking the time to sit down. We want the blue skies and the time with our families and the ability to sleep without needing a prescription for acid reflux. When we go into whatever approximates an office for work, it’s because we’re doing something with purpose and meaning. I imagine a life in which we are all simply good people doing good things for other good people. I mean, we’re also rich and good-looking and forever young, but that’s assumed.
See, so many things, like smog over LA, have seemed so inevitable that we’ve resigned ourselves to it, but… there is the small hope that we can’t unsee those before and after pictures, that we are reminded that we can do better and that doing better will have real, measurable results. Imagine what would happen if, in a post-virus world, we didn’t accept the same, old horseshit?
I mean, what the hell is the purpose of all of this death if we can’t be reminded to actually fucking live?
*rubs sleepy eyes*
*rouses from the daydream*
Ah, I see there’s still work to do. To the drawing board we go, then, to create imperfect characters who want to be those good people doing good things for other good people—say, in a gym for combat vets. I’m off to write about stolen kisses, and redemption arcs, and enemies who were never really enemies to begin with, because here’s the secret thing about romance… if we can write it, and if we read it, we can be it.
So, yeah. Look for those forced-proximity books; they’ll be amazing. In the interim, let romance remind us that connection still exists and that we will all be able to connect again. But keep your eyes peeled for the books in which the skies over LA are always blue, because they can be the blueprints for our future, if we’d only let them.
I hope that you and yours are safe.
Hi there! I write contemporary gay romance, which is to say that I curse way too much, drink exactly the right amount of red wine, and sleep far too little. I'm also lucky enough to live in Central Texas with my wife and three dogs (and usually a foster dog or two), where the astonishing diversity of humans and landscapes and tattoo shops serve as my muse.
Welcome to Wrecked, a gym for combat vets. You don’t need all of your limbs or sanity to work out here, just a history of service to your country. For your ogling pleasure we have the Viking twin Bash Brothers, and Thane, master of the Corner of Heavy Things. If you’re a bear, give Roly a shout, but don’t expect more than a one-time shot. I’d recommend avoiding old man Morris at all costs, but Nick is pretty cool once you get past all of the scowling.
Please remember to wipe down your machines, don’t flip the heavy tires unless you’ve got a spotter, and, if you’re a homophobic asshat, please see yourself to the door, unless you’d like a little help.
PS - Evie brings pizzas on Wednesdays. I’d recommend the rosemary peach (just trust me on this).
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kellyfoxden/
Enter to win an ebook copy of Sanctuary: book one of Wrecked Series
Contest ends May 5th
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