I framed the puzzle and hung it in my daughter's former bedroom, where guests now sleep. It was a good distraction from what I really needed to be doing, which was working. I'm doing a lot of thinking rather than writing on the new book right now. I've drafted a first chapter and hit a wall on the second. I've written words, maybe a thousand of them, but they feel unanchored to any purpose. Story for story's sake, rather than story for the sake of advancing the reader's understanding. The muse is being elusive. All I've managed of work today is banging out in all caps at the top of the chapter: "What is the point here? What do you want the reader to know about your subject at the end of this chapter? What do you want readers to feel as they read?" I've decided it's enough to simply mull these questions for now, and hope for epiphanies.
I've had a fairly challenging week socially. It included lunch with my thin and impossibly elegant agent to celebrate the past year's work, an engagement I had to make myself not cancel, feeling ungainly as I do. I wore my favorite mask, the deep satiny red of it making me bold. Lunch was fine, we were fine, we laughed and caught up and now I've shown up and I don't have to angstily breathe deeply and anticipate it any more. My name does seem to be more out there lately, as I've been fielding fairly regular inquiries from agents looking for a collaborative writer for a client. It's the bane of freelancing, the worry that these inquiries will dry up when I actually have time to take on new work once more.
The kids are coming over tomorrow. My daughter and her love proposed an ice cream party for Father's Day, as they have an ice cream maker and have become rather innovative in creating new flavors. We're doing it on Saturday because our son has to work on Sunday, but planned to spend Saturday with us for some pre-Father's Day quality time. Neither my husband nor I need ice cream, as we're both working the Noom program right now (lucky me, having that man cook all the healthy yet yummy recipes), but one has to also enjoy one's life, and an ice cream party with one's children is a rather lovely interlude.
In the midst of this post, my friend Leslie sent me this text. I posted it on my Insta story, in tears. Can I just pause to say a heartfelt thank you to each of you who read Mazie's book. I am proud of it. But I have also felt what Leslie so generously expresses in her text, that it's an important book, because it documents what actually happened in these fraught times.