(TWIP: This Week In Progress)
Forty-nine weeks ago (according to Instagram, because my moleskine from that time period is about a hundred miles away at my house), I had just plunked down in Nottingham, England. Since then, it seems I’ve been in a state of tumult. Not bad tumult, but tumult nonetheless; like I'm being hurtled through a bunch of fascinating things and I can't quite focus on a single one.
In Nottingham, I was overloaded with adventure and culture saturation. I climbed towards ancient Scottish priories in the rain, dyed my hair purple, and succumbed to drinking tea when, for literally months prior, you’d catch me making leaf-water/Boston Tea Party/Revolutionary War jokes. Then I returned home and got slammed with junior year work, acclimating back to more stoic professors and the intense American school system. Summer appeared in a blazing rush and I got hired at a wonderful, semi-elite bookstore while also working as a paid (!) research assistant. And now here I sit on a carmine-colored couch in a very white apartment usually filled with some really great girls. My eyes ache (I had to switch out my contacts after Ancient Greek Civilizations), I’m itchy with sweat because my apartment exists on the third floor, and I’ve drunk alcohol on two different occasions already.
It’s only Wednesday.
Yesterday, I was headed to the library to get some Spanish packets highlighted while thinking, "I can grab Costa after this. I can't wait. I love Costa coffee!" Only, Costa exists at Nottingham, not here at my college, and Nottingham is some 3,000+ miles away. I paused for a minute, just a little confused as to where I was.
It probably didn't help that my bookstore job wasn't too taxing on my brain and now I'm operating at maximum usage.
What I’m trying to say is, a lot can change in a year. And my life only seems to be going faster. So I just needed to write it all down somewhere. Expulse my thoughts between trying to not lose my temper at John Locke’s long-windedness and planning my senior thesis and
accepting another research assistant job. Gotta pad that résumé.
Also, I just drank a mug of coffee, finished it, and an oddly Gollum-like thought of MORE slunk through my mind. This is gonna be quite the semester.
A new story idea scratched at the inside of my skull a few hours ago and I’m trying really hard not to scare it away. I bought plane tickets for New York City this coming January to visit my friends just as I promised freshman year; I’m applying for graduate schools next year (London and Edinburgh are looking especially dashing).
On the very plus side, Nicholas is being released this winter (you can read the first chapter here) and possibly even my first published novel, Shubiao’s Girls. Nicholas started off, as my other novella, The Christmas Lights, did, as a Christmas present for my mom. I feel no shame whatsoever of buying into the cliché of a charming London thief. I feel like everyone should write about London thieves at least once. Or any thief, actually.
Nicholas was adapted from a loose plot of a book I wanted to write called Jamie’s Mercy (still really proud of that title). Jamie was a teenage pirate with a one-man sailing ship and a penchant for wandering rooftops. Mercy was a headstrong bishop’s daughter who discovered a treasure map on a document in her father’s church, which brought her to the attention of loads of loathsome ruffians. However, for whatever reason I couldn’t create more than that (and even now it raises questions such as, ‘Aren’t bishops celibate? Should she be a nun or novice-nun, then?’)
And so, I nipped up Jamie and switched his name, dropping him in Westminster, London, into the vague eighteenth century, and let him loose. He quickly stole stories from the top of a palace tower and discovered the very strong Crown Princess—the teller of the stories—was soon to fall into a plot almost as dark as her tales. Nicholas is much more “fairy-tale” than my other books: hence the princess, and a villain who is only referred to as “the duke.” I didn’t feel the need to let the read in on his name. He was too despicable; too hateful of his title—for why would a king’s twin brother be merely referred to as a duke? Some love lost there, I assume.
I’m eagerly awaiting cover art and the Final Galley for Nicholas and cannot wait for people to learn about him and HRH Alexandrina.
I’m just realizing now that this is a bit long, and think I’ll gush about Shubiao’s Girls a bit later, perhaps in a week or two.
Hope everyone's weeks are manageable!