I was asked by Female First to share what I’ve been doing during the pandemic. Here are the main ways I’ve been spending my time:

All the Stars and Teeth

All the Stars and Teeth

1 – I’ve been hunting down my creativity. Being creative amid a global pandemic is a difficult thing. When bookstores shut down and publishing began layoffs, I was scared. Being an author is already an unstable job, but add being a debut author in a time where bookstores were closed, and my stress was off the charts. Fortunately, I had deadlines that required me to at least attempt working, though it felt like pulling teeth for months. Everything I wrote felt stilted. There was no sparkle. No shine. But slowly, I started to figure things out again. As we all started to adjust, I met my deadline. I finished my series, and spent time considering what stories I felt like I could write, next. I sold more projects, and finally found my footing again. It’s wild what a little piece of stability during these times can feel like. I still don’t check the news during the day, but the words are coming easier now than they were at the start of this, and for that I’m thankful.

2 – I binge on media. Television gets a bad reputation. With everything going on, sometimes it feels amazing to just become one with your couch and catch up on some shows. I’m finally getting caught up on the books and shows I’ve been wanting to watch for years. I’ve found myself leaning heavily toward K dramas in particular, as I find many to be sweeter and more soothing for the soul than most American television. If you’re new to K drama but want to try one out, I highly recommend Goblin, also called Guardian: The Great Lonely God, which is a romantic paranormal fantasy you can watch on Viki, a free streaming website. It might be my favorite show ever, but I’d also recommend The King: Eternal Monarch (Netflix) for a touch of time travel across multiple dimensions, or The Best Hit (Viki) if contemporary is more your style!

3. I’ve been renovating a house. My partner and I moved into a house just weeks before quarantine. Because of this, we’ve ended up having to do the renovations we’d planned to have done by ourselves. I’ve painted endless walls, have torn out an excessive amount of carpet, ripped my nails pulling staples and nails from the bare floors, and even tore down some walls. Renovations are so much more work than I ever anticipated!

4. I found a new hobby. I’ve always loved art, but my skills were worse than those talented elephants you watch drawing with their trunks on YouTube. However, I’ve always heard that art is more of a skill and less of a talent, so I figured I’d try my hand at learning digital art. I bought myself a tablet, a stylus, and the Procreate app, and have been practicing drawing nearly every day for nearly a month so far! I’ve been on the hunt for a new hobby ever since writing became my career, and I figured that if ever there was a time to get serious about one, this was it. Because I apparently love embarrassing myself, I’ve been sharing my progress on my Instagram stories (@authoradalyngrace) for anyone who wants to follow along. I may even dig out an old keyboard from the garage and pick that up as another hobby soon, too . . . though maybe I won’t share that one on Instagram, for the sake of everyone’s ears.