Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 20: The Day Before the Day Before Christmas…

Oh, my friends. Time for a recap of this year that has lasted a decade. I sincerely hope we are heading towards a dawn because the darkness has been wearying in teh extreme.

I don’t know about all y’all but I suspect everybody is shouldering a certain amount of exhaustion and ennui by now. For myself, the year started with my mom suffering a minor stroke and a concomitant stay in hospital and a nursing home (for recovery) during January and February of this year – in the teeth of Real Winter which made me drive into screaming blizzards because I had to because there was nobody else to do it even though I am terrified of driving on ice and snow and don’t do it unless I absolutely see no other option. At the end of all this… she came to me for a few weeks to recover, and arrived with a galloping case of Clostridium difficile she picked up at the hospital. (no, you go look it up. I’ll wait…) We survived THAT, and then she went home again and home health care was arranged for a while and then that dried up but then we hit real issues with her health insurance situation and I had to fight that battle well into the spring… by which time Covid was in full swing and both of us were pretty much locked up in our respective abodes. With her over at her place and getting lockupitis in a major way (she was going stir crazy after a while and driving ME there…) and me with a high-risk husband over at my house, and me the only driver, and me the only person who could hop in a car and go buy FOOD or drive anybody to any appointments… I feel I’ve been running all year, and finding no place to stop.

So the year started with a hospital.

It’s ending with one too. This time it’s hubby, who went in with a Situation (a large wound in his leg that was starting to turn really ugly…) and he endured about five days of this at home, in increasing pain and mainlining Tylenol, before we went to see his doctor, who sent him to the ER, who admitted him to hospital, and that’s where he stayed. for WEEKS. Still in pain. WHile they tried to do things about the wound and to give him some physical therapy to get bacK SOME of lost moblity and function.

In the meantime, at the center of dealing with all the administrivia to do with this latest health issue, at the center of all the caregiving necessary for mom, there’s still me, running. This week I had a day of four back-to-back appointments and missed one anyway because it was physically impossible to get there from here. In a single week I have Husband, Mother, Cats (they have their annual vet Thang coming up and especially after this summer’s uriniary blockage scare with my little boy this is important…) and taking the car back to the shop because a repair that was recently done was not done properly (I took it in because there was A Noise, and they did things and charged me $600 for those things and threw the car back at me and dammit I can *still hear that noise*…).

And somewhere in between all that I had four books come out this year.

People, I iz tired. I iz very tired. I needs to lie down and go to sleep for a while. Hibernation is looking very good from here.. Except… I can’t… because there is nobody else to take over.

Christmas is the day after tomorrow. Year’s end, only a handful of days after that.

Let’s hope for a better 2021…



About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 20: The Day Before the Day Before Christmas… — 4 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry. Such a dreadful, squeezed, frightening, exhausting year. It would have been horrid in any case, but the pandemic must have made it nigh unendurable. Your perseverance and courage are gold medal. Ya, you say you have no choice. But just recognizing that and carrying on is tremendous bravery.

    Wishing you and yours an improved 2021.

  2. I’m so sorry. Any one of those things would be a show-stopper. To experience them all is too stressful for words. May 2021 be a better year for everyone.

  3. Alma, the pandemic and economy of the year was enough to try any soul. Add into that family health, your own health, your critters, and any weirdness from politics & pandemic, and it is amazing that we are still moving.

    And still getting books out! Sending you virtual hugs and hopes that 2021 will be calmer, happier, and successful. 🙂