#FlashFiction Prompt: Finding the New Normal

Life has taken a bit of a strange turn recently, and one way or another it’s affecting us all.  Here at Fiction Can Be Fun, we could just chose to ignore recent events and run with the prompt that we’d planned months ago, but that’s not really our style!  But as you’d expect, we’ve got our own take on this.

You may have come across the term ‘finding the new normal’: it’s cropped up in several places over the last decade or so, but one that we want to highlight is the work of Dr Ellie Atkins, a Clinical Psychologist based at St George’s Hospital in London.  Ellie specialises in supporting families with children who are in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).  Her work has been published and you can find it here.  She’s also recently produced some videos on dealing with anxiety.  There is a 15 minute version here for children, another here, designed for adults, and a longer one of an hour designed for people who are working in support roles at the moment, such as mental health charities.

Anyway, back to the business of a writing prompt.  In Ellie’s world, finding the new normal is usually used in terms of the time after a bereavement or after a period of significant stress.  Children who have been on PICU tend to be so for a while, and one way or another life changes: once that time passes, you can’t go back to how it was before, you need to find a new normal.  The implications of Covid-19 are going to be profound: many of us are dealing with loss and change in a variety of ways.  (In this context, loss doesn’t just mean a death in the family; it could be that a big event that you’ve been working towards for years has been cancelled, or perhaps losing touch with a friend because they’ve had to move away).  What will life be like when we’re all out of lock-down?

So, we’d very much like to see your stories on finding a new normal, post Covid-19.  This isn’t a story about living through the difficult bit, it’s about settling into new routines and moving on from the losses and changes   We’re looking for something that engenders hope, and gives people something to look forward to.  What good things have come out of the current situation that will be part of life moving forward?  Or what lessons can we find from past events to help us deal with the current situation?  What are you looking forward to?  What have you been taking for granted that you have a new appreciation for?

I know some people are delighted that they have so much spare time at the moment, although I have not been blessed in that manner.  So…

Word count: whatever you can manage before the deadline
Deadline: 8 am on Sunday, 12th April 2020.

Drop a link to your story in the comments and we’ll add them to next week’s post.

Don’t forgot, if you miss the deadline, you can always post your story to our #TortoiseFlashFiction page 

Happy writing!

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