A weekend getaway and a little fireworks history
Quick check-in this week because it’s Monday morning and I want to work on the novel.
This week in writing
I went away with my pond novel collaborator, Anna, this past weekend, and though it wasn’t a writing retreat — we rented a house with a larger group of friends — we got some good book work done.
We made a critical choice about one character, which led to a mini-breakthrough on the plot. And Anna is now officially back in the shared doc, adding notes as I go. We’re picking up speed again!
I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself to finish this draft by a certain deadline, but at the same time I have a different project I’d like to work on in the fall… I keep telling myself that what really matters at this point is showing up every day, and that’s what I’m doing.
This week in reading
I started two books during our weekend getaway, Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake and The Guest by Emma Cline.
Life with Picasso I think I will read more slowly over the next month or so, but The Guest I cannot put down. One of those plots where the main character just keeps making terrible choices and getting themselves into deeper and deeper trouble and you can’t look away.
Down the research rabbit hole
I swear I wasn’t trying to research for the glass house novel this week, but it does keep pulling me back in. Right now I’m just noting my ideas and bookmarking tabs for whenever I return to it. This is one I bookmarked this week: ny1920.com.
New York 1920s: 100 Years Ago Today is, or maybe was, a project sponsored by New York Institute of Technology and run by, it seems, a professor and a handful of students. From the beginning of 2020 until this past February, they were curating from primary sources things that happened in New York on this day 100 years ago. I hope it’s not over for good, but even if it is, they’ve got over three years of historical content on the site — what a treasure trove! I can’t wait to spend hours and hours here.
(I actually stumbled across the site while researching for the pond novel, because I was wondering what fireworks were like in the 1920s, and that search led me to this article about how fireworks were illegal in 1920s NYC. Apparently we’ve been having the same conversations about fireworks for more than a century.)
Back next week, with hopefully a word count update — I am hoping to break 50k!