distractions / new york city / novels / writing


Transitioning into writing this new novel while I know there are still revisions to come on another is a strange experience, like standing with one foot on ground and one in the bath. I’m getting excited though, too excited. I want to throw myself in with all the bubbles, dunk my head under and hold my breath till the very last second and I have to come up.

I love writing.

The transitions in the chapter I’m working on—the soon-to-be infamous Chapter 1, I can see this one taking weeks to sculpt—are giving me pause. There’s the opening bit about R. The next bit about the parents. The bit with the talking. The bit with the setup and the reveal. And the bit in the pool, where we end, and I’m all drawn into that moment though I have to write everything else that comes first. Each bit needs a natural transition between it. The flow between one to the next to the next needs to feel real.

I’m using chapter titles again—who knows if they’ll stick in the end. Using chapter titles when writing a novel feels to me like transitioning between short stories and something way larger: a whole house. The titles keep my head in the game, give me some control. So ignore them if you hate them, okay?

I really do love writing.

Tomorrow I won’t get to write. It’s a holiday here in the U.S. The transition from the comfort of my island city into the place surrounded by trees that’s not even really a town takes just a couple hours of traveling, but it feels far farther than that. It’s dark up there. Every year I come home, late at night on a holiday, dragging my bags and leftover food, and all I want is egg-drop soup. It’s not that I’m hungry for Chinese food at two in the morning. It’s that I’m in the city, where the Chinese place is still open. It’s because I can. How I transitioned from an upstate kid into a city person—I really don’t know when that happened.

The transition from this table at the café—writing, writing, sip mocha, write post, more writing—to the subway and to work… let’s not think of that one yet.

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