What’s Up Wednesday

Ready Set Write

As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie NowodazkijAlison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, and Jaime Morrow will be hosting a summer-long initiative called Ready. Set. Write! Participants will share weekly, monthly, or overall goals in the “What I’m Writing” section of the weekly posts.

What I’m Writing

I’ve passed 408,000 words in my current WIP, up to Chapter 50, the penultimate chapter of Part II (finally!). At this point, I think it’s more realistic to up the projected length to 550,000 words. When it’s eventually time to publish it (after the first and second books are polished and ready for indie or e-publication), I’m thinking of, at least initially, putting it out as four volumes. It would be made clear that they’re all part of one large book, though, not four different books.

Tatyana has just married Nikolay, and she’s taken back Ivan as her father and ditched Boris’s last name and patronymic. Her new surname is Tvardovskaya-Koneva, modeled after the Spanish naming custom. Nikolay has a double last name, Kutuzov-Tvardovskiy, and Tvardovskiy is his father’s name. When his younger sister Novomira marries Tatyana’s brother Fedya, their kids are going to get the name Kutuzov(a)-Konev(a).

For a reconciliary present, Tatyana got Ivan a lacquer box with an image of the Kursk-Root Ikon, which I was lucky enough to see when it stopped at the local Russian Orthodox church. This ikon should’ve been destroyed several times over, but it always miraculously survived attacks. She has a personal message engraved on a silver plaque inside the lid.

What I’m Reading

Still reading Judith B. Geller’s Titanic: Women and Children First. As I mentioned, some of the accuracy is a bit off. In one story in particular, her math was all over the place. She gave several ages for all three of the people, and they didn’t all match up with the supposed birth years provided. And I know this was considered proper in 1912, but it’s like nails on a chalkboard to see a woman identified as Mrs. Husband’s Full Name. The book came out in 1998, so I don’t see why Ms. Geller couldn’t have used their real names throughout.

What Inspires Me

I’ve got a really special anniversary coming up on Monday, my 10-year anniversary with the incredible album All Things Must Pass. George is my favorite solo Beatle, and I can’t say enough marvelous things about what he and his music mean to me. That man had such an amazing soul, believed so much in humanity and our potential to change the world and ourselves, and seemed like a really nice guy, very humble and approachable.

I normally stay far away from things surrounded by massive hype, and have been very disappointed at some hyped things I took a chance on (coughthebookthiefcough), but this is one of those things that’s really worth all that hype. Every time I listen to this album, I’m blown away and feel this intense spiritual high. From “I’d Have You Anytime” to “Hear Me Lord” (I don’t listen to or count the jam sessions tacked onto the end), it’s near-perfection.

Thank you, George, for sharing your talents and message with the world, and thank you Hashem (God) for giving George these talents in the first place.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Also on Monday, I’m starting my third summer as a counselor at the local Orthodox day camp. I love interacting with the kids, going on the field trips with them, helping them with crafts, watching them learn how to daven (pray) at more advanced levels as they get older, and seeing them grow year by year. The first year I was there, I even helped to teach one of my rabbi and rebbetzin’s daughters (who was extremely aquaphobic) to swim. Some of my pictures from that first year include us smiling together at the JCC indoor pool.

I’ve been childfree far longer than I ever dreamt. At this point, I’ll feel lucky if I have even one kid as a single mom by choice before I’m 40. But helping with taking care of other children goes a long way towards filling that space. There are other ways to be fruitful and multiply beyond having children. Even if I never reproduce or adopt, I’ll feel fulfilled by having created my books and amateur artwork, and served as a surrogate maternal figure/friend to other children.


16 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Horny Hump Day—Inna and Arkasha « carrieannebrownian

  2. Wow Carrie-Anne, your output is pretty stunning. It looks like you’ve been so productive! That icon is gorgeous, and I agree– there’s more than one way to impact the life of a child. Happy writing next week!


  3. You’re making crazy progress, lady! Your summer counseling job sounds incredibly inspiring. When my girlie gets a a little older, I’d love to do some sort of volunteer work with her… maybe something with animals, like at a shelter. 🙂 Best of luck with your writing this week!


  4. Wow, talk about crazy-productive! Word counts in the hundreds of thousands amaze me, even if split up into volumes. It’s obvious how much you love the WIP, so I’m psyched to cheer you on! Love the ikon, too. So inspiring to see something like that in person.
    Enjoy your work with the kids this summer–sounds like the perfect break from all your hard work!


  5. Your progress is incredibly inspiring! WOW! And I love all the work you are doing for children! That’s inspiring too!

    I hope you have another great week!


  6. Once again your word counts leave my jaw on the floor. WOW! So, so, so impressive!

    Ugh, yes, Mrs Husbands-Full-Name is SO annoying. And you’re right – if the book’s from 1998, it’s totally unnecessary.

    Best of luck with the counselling work too 🙂 That sounds very rewarding.


  7. I used to work as a camp counsellor all through high school and into college too. I was such a rewarding thing to do. What you’re doing is very important! Sounds like you’re making awesome progress on your story. Good luck with this week’s goals! 🙂


  8. I agree with you that there are many ways to be fulfilled in life beyond having children. Sometimes it seems people wander into parenthood so ill prepared, not a thought has occured to them whether it’s the right choice for them. Adoption has always been something on the edge of my mind simply because so many children don’t have families, even in our own country. The tough part for a lot of people is those kids often come with siblings and they are older, not little fresh-faced newborns. Working as a camp counselor is such a cool way to give back. Props to you!

    Also, I now see you are irked by The Book Thief. Haha, yeah I also did not connect as much with that book as I thought I would.


  9. Your word count is inspiring, and so is your work as a camp counselor. I also don’t have children–but there are many ways to be fulfilled in life and to be supportive in a child’s life.


  10. I’ve enjoyed following your writing progress and will be equally intrigued by your publishing plans.

    Also, as a parent, I appreciate loving people like you willing to invest in kids’ lives. It can make such a difference.


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