Posted in Photography, Third Russian novel, Writing

What’s Up Wednesday


What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Writing

I spent the majority of the last week writing my final paper for Organization of Information. It ended up at 15 pages, with a bibliography a bit over one page. My title page was in Monotype Corsiva, while the main text was in the gorgeous, classy, venerable Janson. Palatino will always be my font soulmate, after 20 years together, but it’s fun to mix it up with other typefaces for papers. Janson is one of the fonts I had to seek out for download, as it didn’t come with my computer.

My topic was the Barnard Archives, coupled with discussing college and university archives as a whole, and how they organize information, use metadata, grant access, appraise their collections, etc. On Tuesday afternoon, I had a Skype interview with one of the archivists. If there’d been more time, I would’ve loved to have taken her up on her invitation to come there in person. I’m still planning a visit there for some research for the future second draft of my WIP.

I’ve managed to find some time every day to work on my WIP as well, though not nearly as much as in the past. Currently I’m up to 527,000 words, still Chapter 67. Fedya and Vasya have officially been sworn into the Army, and have just left on the train to boot camp in Virginia. Vasya’s bride of three months, Dusya (who had the free spirit and guts to wear a black dress for their Halloween wedding), comforted his mother Valeriya by saying her first grandchild may be on the way.

Dusya has been around since Part II of the first book, when she appeared as one of the youngest of antagonist Boris’s students at the religious school. When Tatyana got her job at the church camp in Part II of this book, I decided to make Dusya one of her co-counselors and to make them best friends. I also brought back now-adult alumni Rodya and Patya for this purpose, and made them into main characters too.

Valeriya is Ivan’s aunt, related to him twice over. In her first marriage, she was married to his father’s brother, but she remained his aunt after his father murdered his brother in a drunken rage. She’s also the older sister of Ivan’s now-estranged mother. The only child of her first marriage, Liza, was murdered in 1913 at age about fourteen. Valeriya remarried a former prince, Grigoriy Golitsyn, in 1920, and they had two children when she was in her early forties. Mr. Golitsyn started out as the manager of one of the boarding houses Lyuba and her friends stayed at during the Civil War. Both of them should’ve been grandparents a long time ago, if they hadn’t each lost their first children.

I’m really looking forward to writing Valeriya as a young woman when I eventually write the prequel. She was the first woman in her family to attend university, though she was also married and had a child during those years. She’s also been a big advocate of women’s rights and progressive causes for probably her whole life, in the way someone born in 1877 would be. Valeriya isn’t nearly as radical as Katrin!

What I’m Reading

The journal articles I found for my paper on the Barnard Archives. Not really time for much other reading at this point in the semester.

What Inspires Me

I recently celebrated my 13-year anniversary with my favouritest album, Quadrophenia. It’s such an emotional, sublime, majestic, beautiful, moving, poignant experience that never wears out. Jimmy’s journey is just as meaningful every single time.

What Else I’ve Been Up To


I bought this adorable potato-scrubber when my new (sane!) roommate and I were at Bed, Bath, and Beyond recently. You can’t be a real Hunky (Slovakian) and not love potatoes!


My first attempt at making baked potato wedges. They didn’t taste or look as perfect as my parents,’ but they were edible, and not too firm. Practice makes perfect. Now that I have a potato masher, from the Madison Avenue Price Chopper that’s about five minutes away from the downtown campus, I’m going to try making mashed potatoes! (The Madison Avenue Chopper is respectably proletarian. The so-called “Ghetto Chopper” is over on Delaware Avenue, near my old junior high.)


I was trying to load my little stapler I’ve had since fifth grade with the extra staples my parents gave me. They were too big to fit. I looked in the pencil case I wove during camp when I was twelve, and lo and behold, I still have the original box of staples, with quite a few still left. This box is seriously vintage. And that’s how I found out I have a mini stapler and that it’s apparently hard to find staples this size at most stores.


Writer of historical fiction sagas and series, with elements of women's fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Born in the wrong generation on several fronts.

7 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Valeriya sounds like a fascinating protagonist. I’m really intrigued by all the details about her backstory that you shared. Best of luck writing her story when you get to that prequel.

    Your new potato scrubber is adorable. 🙂


  2. I LOVE the potato scrubber! And 527K? You are my inspiration. Good luck with the writing this week! Hopefully things will die down on the school front and you can get more of your writing in!


  3. I love that you celebrate a personal anniversary like that. I have one for a game, but I don’t always get around to playing it.

    As always, I am in AWE of your wordcount. And Valeriya does sound like a fantastically deep character to base a prequel on.


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