The New Reality

When Clare and I started planning our research trip to Whitstable for One Golden Summer, our cowrite, neither of us had an inkling how quickly world events would change.

In February, I started reading stories about the virus plaguing China. I found the news troubling, but I had no idea how bad it would get. Then, the news out of Italy was terrible.

By the time I got on the plane early in March, in Boston heading to London, the news was becoming more alarming, but neither the British nor American governments were offering a lot of guidance. What they did say was to wash your hands a lot and thoroughly. I’ve always been a compulsive handwasher, so I felt like I had a handle on that part.

Halfway through my time in London, the WHO declared the virus a pandemic.

The shite was getting real.

Still, though, it seemed like something that wasn’t impacting the US or UK. Of course, it was, but neither government was offering a lot of practical advice.

Then Trump declared he wasn’t going to allow travelers from Europe into the country. This caused a lot of panic, and as it turned out, he wasn’t banning American citizens from arriving in the US.

I looked into rebooking my flight for earlier, but the prices were astronomical, and there were Americans who didn’t already have a way home.

Throughout all of this, Clare and her wife tried to keep me calm. We all did our best to enjoy the time we had, which involved watching a lot of telly. Turns out, Clare’s a good cook. I didn’t know that before.

On the day of my scheduled flight home, I was exhausted from all the stress. The trip from London to Boston, one I’d done a few times before, was one of the longest days ever. It was also the first time I had to fill out a health certificate in order to get on a plane.

The flight home was weird. Only a handful of people wore masks (at the time, we were still being told not to buy masks so healthcare workers would have access). Quite a few people on the flight had a cough. The woman sitting two seats over didn’t look like she felt well.

I tried to keep my head down and continued using wet wipes to clean my hands, still the only practical advice either government was issuing.

By the time I landed at Logan Airport, I just wanted to get home to my apartment for my fourteen-day quarantine. Yet, another first.

I got home on March 17th.

On March 23rd, Britain locked down, and on the same day, the governor of Massachusetts issued a stay-at-home order. Even now, it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around everything that’s happened since.

A few days later, I became sick. At the time, tests weren’t readily available in the US, and I never got ill enough to go to the hospital. But whatever I had still hasn’t gone away completely, and comes and goes in waves.

Before February, if you told me any of this was a possibility, I would have thought you a conspiracy nut. Now, I cringe over my naivety.

Also, I have several face masks, and whenever I leave the house, I have one in my pocket and another in my bag.

We’re living in a new world, and I’m still not used to it.

One Golden Summer:

Would you trade fame for love?

Saffron Oliver is the golden girl. Golden hair. Golden skin. Golden movie career.

Only one problem: she hates it.

She flees to her sister’s seaside town – where she meets the confident & charming Kirsty McBride.

Kirsty is everything Saffron wants to be. Perhaps also, everything she wants.

But Saffron can’t have it all. So now, she has to decide: does she crave Kirsty enough to blow up her golden life?

Best-selling lesbian romance authors Clare Lydon & TB Markinson have written a sizzling lesbian love story about not being afraid and going after what you really want.


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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4 Responses to The New Reality

  1. 19shelly61 says:

    Hang in there TB. We can all give each other a virtual hug and grasp hands for an adventure. We are all learning as we go. I know you are a history major and what we are experiencing is history in the making. You will reflect back on this time and say “looks like we made it!!!” Big hug coming your way.

  2. Sandy says:

    I read “One Golden Summer” and enjoyed it tremendously! I already gave it a thumbs up review.— I can relate to your T-shirt order fiasco. I thought my computer just didn’t like me but I guess not. I’ll have to find another excuse. On another note you could have an antibody test for Covid. If positive you would know if you had it. Your plasma suddenly becomes prime real estate to be shared with others in need. Be safe. Devoted fan of You, Miranda and Clare.

    • TBM says:

      I use the computer excuse a lot, but after so many incidents people are starting to figure out the problem is me. Thanks so much for your kind words.

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