Writers have the good fortune of retreating into their imaginations during times like this; we have our safe spots, our happy places, our fantasy worlds we created to escape the harsh reality around us. But I wonder if the subconscious monsters don't invade us while we're there, wrapped in that warmth; if somehow a dark inspiration isn't leeched from the gruesome sights we witness and shadows that other world.
It almost feels insensitive to talk of characters and motivation and inspiration at a time like this. It feels a little pointless in the grand scheme of things. But I think that's when these characters become more important, when they must step up and help us cope, if only by redirecting our minds from the unanswered questions and immeasurable sorrow.
But not today. Jarrad and Xander and Emily and Nicky can't help me today and I don't want them sloshing around in the acid of my thoughts right now anyway. I'll let Howl or Gatsby or Elizabeth Bennet bare the brunt of that burden, to keep me focused on something less awful, to distract me from asking questions that have no answers right now and even if they did, nothing acceptable anyway - there's never really a good enough answer for chaos, destruction and loss.
So hug your stories, if hugging real people hurts too much and we'll be back to writing them tomorrow, when a few more sunsets has put some distance between us and this mad, mad world.
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.