As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie Nowodazkij, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Erin 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’m currently past 418,000 words in my WIP, the closing chapter of Part II. Best part of writing Chapter 51 has been researching the 1939-40 World’s Fair, from which the chapter gets its title, “The World of Tomorrow.” Tatyana and Nikolay have chosen a fancy hotel in Queens, close to Rockaway Beach and a short drive/walk from the fair, over some fancy honeymoon trip to an exotic beach or popular tourist attraction like Paris or London.
Also in this chapter, Katrin has her surprise sixth child, 12 years after she had an early form of tubal ligation from a compassionate, progressive underground doctor, who was also featured in the second book. (His surname, Scholl, is in honor of Hans and Sophie Scholl of the heroic anti-Nazi group the White Rose.) There’s also a wedding between Patya Siyanchuk (one of Boris’s former students, whom I was surprised to end up using again, this time as a main character) and Vladlena Zyuganova, one of the Soviet characters who came to America in 1937.
In Chapter 50, Tatyana and Nikolay were married. I’ve known both of them since they were born 20 years ago, Tanya since she came into the world in an unplanned unassisted birth and Kolya 12 weeks early, as his parents and their friends were out in the open, fleeing from approaching Bolsheviks, on the night of the October (really November) Revolution. It’s a really special thing to have been with characters since their births, and seen them into adulthood.
Regular readers might know I love writing first-time scenes, be they wedding-night or premarital sex within a serious relationship leading towards marriage anyway. I really enjoy showing the emotional and psychological component, of showing that change and transition, and exploring what “virginity” really means. I decided to make Tanya and Kolya one of my couples who has a little bit of work in learning how to navigate this new aspect of their relationship, esp. when it comes to her physical comfort and pleasure. I also made sure they’re using condoms from the Margaret Sanger Clinic for family planning.
What I’m Reading
I think the next book in my library stack I’d like to tackle is America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation, by Elaine Tyler May. Now that school is out, I’m back to mostly reading historical non-fiction. I’ve also got out a book about 1959 and the history of birth in America from 1750-1950.
What Inspires Me
My 10-year anniversary with All Things Must Pass on July first! Truly one of the greatest albums of all time, that never gets old, still sounds as fresh, moving, and inspirational as it did over 40 years ago. A part of me wants to change George from my favorite solo Beatle to my favorite Beatle period, but it feels kind of wrong after so many years with John as my favorite, after I already changed favorites once.
Later this month, I have two more anniversaries with George solo albums, Living in the Material World and Thirty-Three & 1/3. I also have my five-year anniversary with Rio, which I bought the same day as Thirty-Three & 1/3 and a few other records.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
For the second year in a row, I’ve been put with the nursery bunk in the local Lubavitch day camp I work for. We don’t get to go on many field trips with this group, they don’t get to go to the pool, and there’s not as much intellectual stimulation as comes from working with older kids, but they’re a cute group to work with. In some ways, they’re easier, since they’re easier to mold and shape, and they don’t tend to be as mouthy or wild as older kids can be.
I’m in process of moving into an apartment near the local pond, though I can’t really start living and sleeping there till I’ve got my furniture moved in. This is going to be the first time since really university that I’ll be living within walking distance of shul (synagogue). It’s about a 45-minute walk to the student center where I usually go.
I’ll also need to start moving more of my stuff out of storage at my dysfunctional ex’s controlling, overbearing, greenhorn parents’ basement. Yes, he’s 36 years old and still contentedly living with Mommy and Daddy, and no one in their dysfunctional family sees anything off about that. Honestly, he’s a good person, but I’d rather be single for the rest of my life, be a single mom by choice, and only have my left hand as my lover than marry into a dysfunctional family where I’d be scared to leave my child(ren) anywhere near my in-laws.