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Back in it
Celebrating every single tiny milestone
Friday, at the Center for Fiction, in my favorite green chair near the big windows upstairs, I wrote over a thousand words toward the pond novel. It felt so nice to be back in it.
Across the street, a gust of wind blew open a back door at 300 Ashland and sent an industrial laundry cart careening into the street, where it tipped over and would have blocked traffic except this is Brooklyn and people will get where they are going. Eventually someone realized it was missing and emerged from the building and retrieved it from the street, fighting the wind the whole way. A man with a bullhorn walked by shouting something about the end times and Twitter.
I drank a cup of coffee and kept writing, and then I met up with my friend Chris at the new Books Are Magic (lovely). We walked from Brooklyn Heights to Prospect Lefferts, and then I took the bus the rest of the way to Flatbush. It was cold but not too cold and I was content because writing has been happening in fits and starts lately (holidays + two daycare viruses in one month, oof) and yes, these seasons of frustration are getting easier because I am certain now that they end, but still.
Last week, Anna and I met up at our favorite neighborhood spot, King Mother (also lovely, but we already knew that), and it took a lot of talking but we think we figured out a key piece of the central mystery of the novel. It felt like a real breakthrough! I was excited! I think she was too!
My friend Emily was working at KM that day. I know Emily from CRIT, which I did in 2019 when I was 7-9 months pregnant (literally my last meeting with Tony was mere days before I gave birth, and applying at that time in my life was maybe inadvisable but I have zero regrets and some funny stories and a friend named Emily now, so). I told her how Anna and I are talking out the novel plot, breaking the story together, and how I always wanted a TV writers’ room but for novels and this actually does feel the closest I’ve come to that. Novel writers’ rooms. Let’s make them a thing.
We surpassed 33,000 words this week, and that’s not really a milestone but I am celebrating everything these days.
A few things!
I am going to AWP. Will I see you there? Which off-sites are we going to?
It has come to my attention that the link I shared last week to my story in TriQuarterly was busted, so let’s try this again! Read it here, and thank you to everyone who has already read and messaged me/shared/stayed totally silent. I really, really appreciate it.
A book to put on your pre-order radar is Blair Hurley’s Minor Prophets. I love Blair’s writing and this apparently attacks some of the same themes as her debut novel The Devoted (which was fantastic). Blair said that this novel goes even deeper and also has bears, wolves, and the Chicago Cubs, so I am sold. It’s out in April.