The sun is out on Slaveykov Square, and we’re on the balcony, looking out at the closed-down library building, and planning our next course online. This one is for MA students at Sofia University, for whom we’ll be delivering a specially-adapted version of our memoir, life-writing and nonfiction course.
Here in Bulgaria, things are pretty much closed down due to Covid-19. In the last week, the government has declared a state of emergency, and everything has since then ground to a halt. A few shops are opening for groceries and things like that, but otherwise we’re all being advised to maintain social distancing. We’re hoping that this will slow the progress of the virus.
The changes of the last few weeks have meant that we have had to put all our other courses on hold, as well as our writers’ and activists’ café with Greenpeace. But we’ve got plenty of writing to be getting on with, we’re working on mentoring a number of writers, and we’re looking forward to working with the postgraduate students at Sofia University.
We’ve also been reading some fabulous books, keeping in touch with friends and family in the UK and around the world, and getting creative in the kitchen, baking lots of good things (Will’s jam tart is above: next-up, walnut bread…). Interestingly, the word for ‘dough’, and the word ‘fiction’ share an etymological root, the proto-Indo-European *dheigh– meaning “to form” or “to build.” We like this idea: that when you are kneading away in the kitchen, you are doing something not dissimilar from what you are doing when you are kneading words, images and ideas.
We hope you are all keeping well and are being well looked-after. Get in touch if you want to say hello. And all best wishes from the Wind&Bones headquarters!
Will & Hannah