Social Distancing and the Introverted life

It is amazing to me how crazy self-quarantine and social distancing makes people. Our society is being flipped on its head because the world is made for extroverts. When there is a disaster, what do people do? They congregate, they come together, and they definitely don’t isolate themselves. 

The method to stem the spread of this virus is exactly the opposite of what is natural for society. However, introverts (like myself) are reveling in the copious amount of alone time. (I fully intend to spend time writing since I can’t do my real job and maybe by the end of this I’ll have a manuscript. One can dream!)

What does a day look like under quarantine?

I still have classes online. There are certain times when I still have to go online to meet with my classes. This is rather annoying to me. I find myself more likely to fall asleep. I have never fallen asleep during class before. However, the drone of an online class is enough to force anyone to sleep.

I am, also, reading a lot more. All of my books are back together after more than a year of only have a portion of my collection, we now share the same room. I am not sure if this is a benefit or a detriment. They whisper to me. Which is helpful with writing, to a degree, but is detrimental to my sleep. Last night, when I was trying to fall asleep, my mind was whirring and new ideas for my novels kept hitting my brain and I knew I needed to write them time because they would not remain until morning. All that to say, I am trying my best to take this extra time and use it to work on my stories and read books that have been on my TBR list for way too long. 

How am I affected as an introvert?

I thought that I would be completely unaffected, or be better off. However, I have realized that, although I love my alone time, people are a great source of inspiration and ideas. I need to observe the way that humans act and interact, which is difficult under quarantine. I, also, have trouble being stuck at home with two of my rather extroverted siblings. (my little sister, the social butterfly, is not fairing well which is in and of itself an interesting thing to study). 

How to roll with the punches

Every day it seems that there is a new development…or five. It can be a little bit overwhelming. However, for me, I just ignore most of it. We have been told to stay home and my schooling is all online. This means that I am stuck where I am, for the time being. Whenever things get to be too much, I just grab one of my books, curl up, and read. It calms me down and times flies more quickly when I read. Time, as a concept, under quarantine is an odd thing. It feels like there is tons of time but, at the same time, there is no time to do anything. Finding your new normal is the name of the game. Try to build a little structure in your day. I am working my way up to getting up between 4am and 5am so I can write before class and get in a quick workout. 

How to make a positive out of the chaos (I am feeding on the chaos)

Throughout this experience thus far, I have felt an odd sort of energy. My whole life I have felt like I was playing on autopilot. I am a survivalist who found survival too easy. There was no challenge (this may sound bad but I was bored). However, now we have something to struggle against, not as one country but as the world. Unfortunately, it is not something that you can really fight. I thought the “apocalypse” would be more interesting. I thought that I would be able to grab a baseball bat and hit the “beasts” that attacked us. There would be tactics involved. There would be things that I could actually fight. I can’t fight germs other than by staying inside, which feels like doing nothing. So, I am left with chaotic energy and being stuck inside (Side note: I am a true neutral but everyone who I asked about what they thought I was said I am chaotic evil without hesitation. This is interesting because that is how I wish to come off. Comment below if you would like a post dedicated to the 9 alignments). This means I need to channel that chaos into my writing and make it better through the energy. I would suggest finding something that that you find interesting, a creative outlet, and give yourself your own purpose in this “purposeless” downtime. 

What are some goals for this Quasi-break? (it’s not a real break because I have online classes. 

Write, write, write! I have to work on my stories. I am writing random scenes. Coming up with ideas. Cataloging. The other day I went through the 400+ notes on my phone and wrote down all my ideas on a “working ideas” google doc. That page is over seven pages and 3,000 words of just ideas. There is so much that I have going on in my mind that it can be difficult to sit down and actually start writing because I don’t know where to begin. Writing is something so deeply important to me and I am looking at this time as a gift for my writing. When else would I get so much time to just write? Take advantage of this time. 

READING! I have so many books that I have not had the time to read due to the copious amount of reading that I had to do for the honors college in school. Now I have time. The biggest issue is balancing my time between reading and writing. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in one or the other and I do not want to spend all my time reading because I have books to write. 

Other things 🙂 I want to do some art: sketching, painting, and crafts. I like to book bind, so I am working on that craft. Another thing that I want to spend some time on is exercise. It is necessary to keep moving. All of the other things that I mentioned doing were stationary activities and it is necessary to offset that by setting times to exercise and stretch deliberately.

What are you doing during quarantine? Are you reading or watching anything good? What creative outlets are you utilizing?

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

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-Evi. L. Holmes

Tolkien Movie Review and Other Thoughts

Yup, that’s right, It’s movie review time! *SPOILERS* duh but honestly of you have not seen this movie by now do you even like tolkien? 🙂

On Tolkien 

(this will be brief as I fully intend to write about him in great length in multiple posts.)

I just saw a wonderful movie, Tolkien. If you are unfamiliar, the movie is a story about Tolkien’s life from late childhood to early adulthood. He is a brilliant Author, as anyone who has read his work can attest. He also was a brilliant Philologist. His ability with language was astounding and quite useful in has fantasy novels. Because of his gifts, he was able to create a whole language and fragments of others for his stories.  He has inspired and influenced many authors and much of the modern Fantasy genre has been shaped by his work, and is one of the many influnces on my own writing and a reason I write at all.

Cinematic Artistry and Visual Art

The depiction of how Tolkien saw the world was nothing short of epic. He saw dragons and the world of fairytales right alongside the world he was living in.  As he fought in the war there were monsters and dragons that cut through the gas in the same way that Smaug did on the misty mountain. They showed how he might have seen the world and how vast and beautiful his mind and imagination were. The visual nature of the movie helped to amplify the art that Tolkien did through sketching the world he saw in his head.

Writing, Language, and Inspiration

Something amazing the movie taught me was that language, culture, and history are inextricably linked. The way that Tolkien would come up with a word and that word had a whole story behind it and a specific story was mesmerizing. Language follows culture, the way we move our mouth and tongue as we speak, whether the sound is harsh, guttural, or lilted, and the myths, lore, and legends, they are all tied together beautifully and create such diversity among languages. The geography can even determine the sounds of speech. I have always wanted to create my own language but never got into it because I did not know where to start. The movie gave me an idea to just come up with a word and then write a story about it and eventually I will get used to that. Then I can begin to build the music and culture behind the language that builds the fabric of the world which created it. The ability to think of a word and make a world from the one little combination of letters has opened up a brand new way of writing and so many doors to new worlds that were always in my brain but I had no tools to write.

Acting and Characters

The actors who depicted him were brilliant in the masterful portrayal of a fantastical minded man. Nicholas Holt and Harry Gilby did a fantastic job of portraying the same person with continuity and such similarities that created an accurate depiction of how Tolkien might have been. I have always wished to have been born a boy and I think that part of this is because of my personality not fitting as a girl (but truthfully I would not fit as a boy either) and also because of the groups of boys and young men who had a certain bond that women just do not seem to acquire. This was portrayed in this movie. The group of school boys that Tolkien hung out with was a soceity unto itself. I love these kinds of relationships and this society forshadows the writing group the Tolkien would later be a part of alongside or C.S. Lewis. That group was called the Inklings.

Conclusion

Tolkien is such an inspiration so it is unsurprising that a movie about him would be inspirational. It is always a treat to see the person behind a really wonderful story and that is what the movie was able to do. It was also so helpful to see a potential way that he saw the world and how seeing things differently is not always a bad thing and it can actually be a defining feature and your greatest asset. There are common themes that I see in his life, in my life, and in the life of many writers that showed me that regardless of where I am in my journey I am still a writer. Many people do not realize that he did not publish Lord of the Rings until he was in his sixties. My take away is that everyone’s journey is different. In the words of Aslan (I know its Lewis and not Tolkien, but hey it fits) “things never happen the same way twice.” There will be things along the journey that mold you and events will always be different for you than for someone else. Do not compare to others but let their stories and experiences guide your own.

Personal Thoughts

This movie was part of the reason I got back into writing. It is rather difficult to stay in the same type of work for an extended period of time. I have so many interests and I tend to bounce around in them. This movie was able to show me that I want writing to be what I do primarily. This blog is only a small piece of this. Part of the reason I only publish once a week is because I am worldbuilding and writing some fantasty stories as well. I hope to publish some short stories but is difficult to get anywhere if I split my time between too many things. If I can publish a book then I will have more time to do all my writing because I will not have to work another job. Once I am done with school I hope to publish and then hopefully be able to give you some short stories. The most important thing is that I intend to write and continue writing. I only hope that someone will care enough to read my work.

What do you love about Tolkien? What did you think of the moview Tolkien?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas. I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

-Evi. L. Holmes