The view from my house these days. Pretty but cold!
Photographed in my studio: some of my favorite research books these days.
First, ice. Photographed outside my kitchen window this morning.
This charred book is a relic from a fire that devastated my author friend Kate Quinn’s house last week. Yes, the title of the book is A Day of Fire, which has just been shortlisted for a Historical Novel Society best book award. Yes, Kate is one of the authors listed on the cover. And, as fellow author Sophie Perinot remarked, “In true Kate style, she appreciated the irony.”
This is all preamble to letting you know about a fundraiser to help Kate and her family get back on their feet. Thankfully, everyone survived the fire. However, her house suffered extensive damage, and all of their possessions were lost.
So, if you’re in the mood to do a good deed (and I hope you are), head over to the Kate Quinn House Recovery Fund. You can give as little as the cost of a latte, and it will give you the non-caffeinated buzz of Doing Good. Alternately, you can pre-order Kate’s latest historical novel, Lady of the Eternal City—pre-orders are just the thing to help an author out. And thanks!
Aaaannnd I’m back from my writer’s residency fellowship at the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts. My goal at the VCCA: to finish up a draft of the Next Novel. The good news: I met my goal—I now have a completed draft of about 400 pages. Even better news: I returned to Brooklyn inspired and excited about my work. Nothing like two weeks at an artist colony to invigorate the creative process!
My little studio in the woods.
Though I’ve gone to plenty of writer’s retreats and conferences, the VCCA was my first experience at an artist colony. I truly loved it.
The view from my room in the residence hall.
Imagine a place where everything you need as an artist and writer is provided to you and then some: you’re given a private studio to work in, delicious meals to eat, beautiful private gardens and woods to explore. If that’s not wonderful enough, you’re surrounded by like-minded souls—writers, composers, and visual artists—all who respect your process and are creating fascinating work.
View of the studio complex.
This is the VCCA.
Private path amid the private gardens of the VCCA.
I hope to return one day.
The famed VCCA cows. Their grazing field was across from the studio complex.
Photographed late last year at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn using the Hipstamatic tintype app.