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What to do when the hordes come: Editor's Notes #397
August 09, 2023

horde. …a large unorganized group of individuals: a teeming crowd or throng….

In this issue:

1. What to do when the hordes come
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1.What to do when the hordes come
For the purposes of this issue of Editor’s Notes, hordes are defined by the opening quote and can include people (read guests), expectations, a series of unhappy events, health issues, or, in the case of a concert pianist from Mariupol, Ukraine, the Russian military. This is not an exhaustive list, but I am not including Zombies because I don’t know enough about that sort of horde, and I suspect that they are not beating down your door.

The horde can bring a welcome stimulant or a sense of disorientation and being overwhelmed. It disrupts life as we know it.

It’s pretty hard to ignore a horde. So what does a writer do when the horde comes?

Sometimes a horde comes out of nowhere. Suddenly an avalanche hits you and you are struggling to breathe while you have no idea which way is up. Other times you can see the hoard approaching. Sometimes a horde sweeps through and is gone as suddenly as it arrived. Other times, the horde sets up camp in your neighbourhood, eats up all your food and sends you to the shed while others live in your house and sleep in your bed.

The attack that comes without warning leaves little time to adjust to new conditions, so the first thing to do is to give yourself permission to cut back on even important things or to pause them entirely. Take a moment to think clearly before you do any task to evaluate whether it is vital or only important. If you have a firm deadline for a writing project, it might be considered vital. If the deadline is part of your plan to get your project done, you might set it aside for a short time.

When you see the hoard coming, you have more time to readjust your priorities. If possible, make boundaries to protect your writing time. This can take some reordering of your schedule. Can you get up a little earlier, go to bed a little later? Can you leave the house for some alone time in the middle of the day?

If the horde has no respect for your need for writing time, plan to take advantage of shorter times you can grab as they appear unexpectedly. Keep your writing materials ready to use at a moment’s notice. Perhaps have a to-do list that puts items in order according to how much time you estimate for various writing tasks. Having thought things out ahead of time, you can get down to business quickly whenever possible.

However dire the horde invasion seems, hold onto your art. You need it. The world needs it. Pay attention to Interesting Web site below for one example of what a woman did when shelled by an enemy military.

2.Tickled my funny bone
I ran out of toilet paper and had to start using newspaper. Times are rough.

3. Interesting Web site
With Russian military shells hitting her home, this Ukrainian concert pianist still bring tears to my eyes as she defiantly plays before escaping westward.

4. Writing prompt
Write about a time you or one of your characters was overwhelmed by a horde. What changed as a result? I always like to see the result of your using the writing prompt if possible.

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