Marking the time
Some weeks, there is nothing really to remark upon. The novel progresses, the making of it steady and daily. And the rest of life progresses, and is sometimes more interesting and always more pressing. I am tempted to skip a weekly update here and there, but I like the way these letters mount, week after week, revealing the ups and downs — and the vast middle ground in between — of the creative process. So here’s just a little snapshot of the week, to mark it more than anything.
The manuscript hit 150 pages. That’s double-spaced, with page breaks for new chapters, so there’s probably 50-100 more to go in the draft. But 150 feels kind of big.
Anna and I met up at Camillo for a book dinner. I’ve been watching Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, and it made me want to go get the cacio e pepe. We did not get that, though, so I guess I’ll have to go back.
We also did not break as much story as I was hoping (blame the strong cocktails), so I’ve been feeling my way forward in the dark, but that’s often how I write anyway. I decided to make one of the characters get into preserving butterflies because I felt like reading about Nabokov.
This morning, I applied for a grant from a foundation that has rejected me three years in a row. Fourth time’s a charm, right?
My friend Arianna resurrected her Substack to publish book reviews that have been killed, and I’m here for it.
Almost done with The Answers, my third Catherine Lacey of 2023.