It’s great to be back in Colorado after a week in New York City. The trip was a week-long get-together with about 30 people from work, most of whom I’d never met before. The other people turned out to be great, and the whole event was structured in a way that allowed us to interact and get to know each other – we even spent one afternoon at a baseball game (Mets vs. Orioles).I had not only never been to New York before, it also didn’t occur to me to look anything up ahead of time, so I didn’t know anything about the way the city is structured. I also didn’t realize how close it was to New Jersey until I asked one of my co-workers to take a photo of me with some buildings in the background, and she said you want Jersey behind you in the picture instead of Manhattan? 🙂
It turns out I have an aunt and uncle who live in New Jersey, about an hour and a half away from the company offices, but I didn’t figure that out until it was too late to see them. I didn’t get to Lower Manhattan until my last night there, when my friend Steph took me on a fun whirlwind tour. That was my favorite part of the city, and I’m definitely going back next time I’m in town.
Being in New York was also helpful writing-wise. One of my on-hold projects is a novel that’s either set in New York City or in a city very much like it, so being there gave me more of a sense of what the setting would be like. I don’t have time to work on this story for a while, but I can think about it. I kind of like the idea of making up a city, since then I can make up whatever I need. But if I do that, I need to figure out how to make it clear to the reader from the start that it’s a made-up city. This story is a contemporary fantasy set in an alternate version of our present world, so if I use a fictional city its existence has to be reasonably plausible – and if I base my city off of New York I also have to do so in a believable way. Both approaches feel challenging, so hopefully I can think this through more and figure out what to do before I get back to the book.
I now have a raised garden bed, and it was not only awesome to not have to worry about whether or not it was getting enough water while I was out of town, but I also got to come home to see my seeds had sprouted! I planted seeds for marigolds, nasturtiums, and borage – the rest of the plants are herbs, peppers, tomatillos, and there’s one cherry tomato plant.
My week was super busy with work-related activities, so I didn’t have the time to write that I’d expected, and am now trying hard to catch up. I finished a short story last night and sent it to my favorite copy editor (hi Mom!) for review, and have three more stories to finish this month. I’m also working on getting the third volume in A Procession of Faeries out, and have a few other projects going on that I need to work on as well. There are nineteen whole days left in the month, so this is all totally doable, right? 🙂