Apparently, one of the important pre-writing preps is to write. By that, I mean journaling and blogging, Apparently, it's related to the length of the writing - short links to other sites, random comments on Facebook, and even journaling that is limited to a few sentences - don't seem to trigger the urge to write.
But, once I begin serious and lengthy journaling, extended blogging posts, or longer posts on FB, boom! I break into The Zone.
After several days of longer writing, last night I woke to an idea - of a Bookstore at the Edge of the Galaxy. I got up, started writing, and only went back to bed after I'd written the intro, and mapped out the rest of the story. I didn't want to forget the ideas, and made sure that I would be able to come back to it.
It only took about an hour to make more progress than I had in months.
OMZ, the relief! I've been spinning my wheels the entire time we've been in shutdown. I blamed myself for sloth, my husband for being underfoot, and the local coffee shops for not being available (I've always done my best writing with coffee and a sweet, plugged into the shop's network, and blissfully NOT surrounded by housework that needed to be done).
What I hadn't realized was that I could jump-start my writing by taking some relatively easy steps in that process. I'm writing this now, not only to make a suggestion that might help others, but to make those steps concrete, in case I get stuck again.