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 now up to almost 440,000 words of my WIP. It’s June 1940, and Lyuba and Ivan’s dear old friend Pyotr Litvinov and his baby sister Yaroslava have just defected to Hudiksvall, Sweden. In the first book, Pyotr risked his life and double-crossed his father and older brothers to get Lyuba, Ivan, Tatyana, and nine other people out of the Soviet Union and to safety in America. Now Pyotr feels it’s time to get out himself, while he’s still in a position to do so with relative ease.
In the next chapter, 54, “Joyful Interlude,” Lyuba and Ivan’s first son Fedya, Ivan’s first blood child, will graduate high school and move to New York to attend Columbia. Kat and Nikolas’s firstborn twins Lyudmila and Raisa will also graduate and move back to the city to attend Barnard. Of course, Fedya’s studies will be interrupted midway through his sophomore year, when he joins the Army together with his cousin Vasya and age-mate uncle Osyenka.
Also in this chapter, sweet little Valentina Kuchma is going to marry her equally-sweet boyfriend Rodya Duranichev. More romance will follow in the next chapter, when young widow Inessa finds a second chance at love with her foster son Damir’s surviving parent Vitya, her old friend Inna’s little brother. Vitya is finally able to leave Persia for America, with his now-6-year-old daughter Velira. It’s just such a natural coupling, and ensures Damir won’t lose the only mother he’s ever known.
What Inspires Me
I’ve got some album anniversaries, though it’s been a number of years since I last followed my long-standing custom of listening to the album as I wrote a journal entry about it. I just got too many albums, and wanted to journal about other things instead of being bound to one topic for certain days.
24 July is my 6-year anniversary with Living in the Material World, the amazing follow-up to All Things Must Pass. This is one of George’s best solo albums besides ATMP, which is in a class all by itself. Such a beautiful love song to the Divine, and to humanity. He was so at his creative prime here, really having come into his own as a songwriter. I’ve also never heard his voice more beautiful. Too bad it was all shot to Hell on the follow-up Dark Hoarse (I mean Dark Horse).
It’s also my 5-year anniversary for Rio and Thirty-Three & 1/3, another of George’s solo albums. Thank God, with that record, he finally got his groove back after Dark Horse and Extra Texture. The less said about Extra Texture, the better! I was embarrassed for George during the three times I played it. A beautiful voice doesn’t cancel out a crappy song.
Life is nothing if not full of surprises. I only got Rio since it was just $2 and I wanted to indulge my Eighties nostalgia. It didn’t do much for me the first few times I played it, partly because I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the songs. I suppose I’d been expecting something different. Then two and a half years later, while I was writing Little Ragdoll, I started becoming a Duranie. That story is far too long and off-topic for this post! The moral of the story is to never discount anything. You never know what interests you might develop, or what kinds of seeds are being planted to be awakened at a later date.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
Still no stove, so I’m eating at my parents’ house, eating foods that don’t need prepared, or eating out. My roommate went to the rental office to ask for a new stove, since she thought the existing one were too difficult to kasher, and they told her we’d get a new stove delivered. You don’t have to tell me this should’ve been taken care of at the start of the month! Hopefully the new stove will arrive soon and I can finally start cooking and baking.
I had to give the following to my parents for storage: A pretty nice toaster oven, a Teflon frying pan they gave me, a small Teflon cookie sheet I used maybe twice, a nice bamboo spoon, a set of utensils with black plastic handles, a nice grater with a plastic measuring cup you can attach to the bottom to catch what you’re grating, two nice glazed earthenware mugs, a set of four earthenware plates matching one of the mugs, and a set of two bowls matching them.
All those materials are cool to be kashered by non-Orthodox standards. They were all in storage for 4 years, and most of them were only used at the apartment I had for a few months in 2009. They were considered tainted by association, simply because I used them in a non-kosher kitchen. All the other kitchenware needs kashered or toveled in a mikvah. Thank God I never used some of my kitchenware, since I’d have even more things tainted by association!