I’ve been self-isolating now, as most of us have, for about three weeks. I’m fortunate to be able to work at home and have a beautiful little patio so I don’t feel so boxed into the city apartment my fiancé and I share. I am finding happiness in little things, staying busy, developing my craft and embracing the calmer life that has come with Covid-19.
Last year I graduated from the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. I consider myself lucky to have had an amazing year connecting with other writers, improving my craft, and participating in workshops with my mentor. The Writers Studio looks very different for the class of 2020. All classes are now online. While I have no doubt they will receive the same diligent guidance for their work in progress, they will miss out on the personal camaraderie of working in a group together.
I had the privilege of doing a public reading of an excerpt of my work from The Writer’s Studio publication, Emerge. After that experience, I participated in another public reading of my work in progress at a local café. I intended to do more, and then Covid-19 hit – but this doesn’t mean sharing my work with readers and writers should stop. It just needs to take on a new form.
Partly to entertain myself and partly to stimulate my creative life during Covid-19, I created a You Tube channel. I really had no idea what I wanted to do with it. But now I think it’s the perfect platform to continue sharing my work as a writer. Writers need to share their work with their peers and their readers. It helps us to hear the cadence of our words, how our stories flow, and demonstrates where problems might be in plot, character and narrative. It’s no easy feat to write a novel. We depend on our writing community for encouragement and inspiration.
I miss meeting up with my writing community, but with the technology we have today, I can keep the flow going. Please enjoy this little excerpt from my work in progress. It’s a story about a small town in the 1970’s, written through the eyes of three characters.
This excerpt is from Chapter Two. John is a stranger who drifted into a small town looking for work and a place to lay low while running from his own dirty past – but is the secret hidden in this small town worse than what he left behind?
Happy Writing everyone. Stay safe.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
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