Let’s start with a good part: Free audiobooks
As we say in Ukraine, “З паршивого кабана хоч вишкварки,” which roughly translates as Half a loaf is better than no bread. So, while Amazon is an evil corporation that treats its workers horribly, sometimes we can get something useful from it. Because like many other evil corporations, Amazon tries to keep a nice facade for its customers. Usually it means that from time to time it does something socially liberal while being fiscally conservative.
For example, this year they decided to cheer us up during a pandemic. Right now Audible gives everyone, not only members, access to a limited selection of children and teen books in several languages. You can listen to these audiobooks for free here:
Personally, I’m plowing through their Japanese titles. Several days ago I finished 「日本神話」 (Japanese Mythology), a version for kids. At last! I already own two versions of 「古事記」 (which starts with the stories about gods): original in modern adaptation and a simplified retelling. I wanted to read them both as a part of my research for my current novel, starting with the simpler one. Now I can save time by skipping the gods’ part and going right to the historical figures.
What’s not going very well
Contrary to common sense, sitting home all day doesn’t help me write more. Anxiety about the current events plays its role, of course, because I’m not very productive when I’m anxious. The main factor, however, is confinement and lack of new impressions. Great ideas often come to me while I’m walking and thinking about the story. In the worst-case scenario, if I come up with nothing, at least I bring home some interesting photos to post here or on Instagram. Without walking… I’m trying to do some bare-minimum writing, but the monotony of self-isolation effectively kills my creative sparkle.
So, for now it’s mostly listening to audiobooks for free and catching up on video classes on writing and photography. And hoping the pandemic ends soon. Take care!