Dispatch from Orange, California

Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Date



"Supposedly, Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth during the bubonic plague, and Isaac Newton was thought to be so productive during the plague that this stage of his career was dubbed annus mirabilis. During his so-called astonishing year, Newton had the opportunity to retreat from the close confines of the city, where the black death spread more easily. In the countryside, in relative but not complete isolation, Newton is said to have watched an apple fall from a tree and wondered why in the world it fell straight down, not something most of us think much about. The answers he proposed are the laws of motion and universal gravity. So, as preposterous as it is that anyone will or should use the current global emergency to do their best work, what I glean from social media posts is that this pandemic and its resulting stay-at-home order should provide me every opportunity to finish my novel."


This piece was originally published in Another Chicago Magazine on May 13, 2020.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.