The first time I went to New York I was seventeen. It was also the first time I had ridden on a plane, and the first time I went anywhere by myself. I was visiting a friend. It was January, snowy, and I had to walk to meet him what seemed like twenty miles. I was carrying my suitcase and freezing. Nevertheless, I was enthralled by the city. He took me all over. We visited another, older friend and her husband in their loft. It was barren and huge. I bet that same loft today would be worth millions. I wonder what happened to that couple. I never heard of or from either of them again. The boy I visited became famous as a musician and lyricist. He had shows on Broadway. Ever since that trip and multiple trips after, I have (as you know if you read my blog) had a fantasy of living in New York.
Our recent trip to the Big Apple only intensified my desire.
At the same time, my publisher has asked me to write my fourth novel. He has major expectations, and he and I have been working on a plot. The characters are all alive: their names are Orla, Edward, Letty, and Bink (her name is Aurelia, but she was dubbed Bink as a baby, and it stuck). I begin the real work of writing next week, once the holiday is over.
And guess what? I took a huge step. I booked an apartment on the street above in New York for two weeks in September to work on the book. By myself. All alone. It took me 60 odd years to work up the nerve, but I will finally experience living in New York. I am both excited and a little scared. What if I sit down to write and nothing comes out? What if the book is trash? What if I get lost on the subway? But then again–the shopping, the High Line, Central Park, and bagels. New York bagels. 30 Rock and pizza.
Wish me luck. Send up a prayer to the fiction gods to be good to me on this one. A lot is riding on it. I will keep you posted.