Adventures in New York City

Denisa and I took the train into New York yesterday for some authorly adventures. Up on the agenda? Lunch with my new editor, dinner with my agents, tours of offices, exploring the city, and then finishing it all off by taking in a performance of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The only problem is I’ve been trying to write a blog post that doesn’t come across as inordinately braggy, and it’s not working, so I’m going to just not comment much on the meals–which were lovely and full of interesting conversations–and focus more on the things around them: the city, the show, etc.

It was a gorgeous day in New York. Sunny and in the high sixties at least, I’d guess. For a couple down from Maine, it was a tad on the sweltering side for November. We walked a ton–17,000 steps total!–but since it was broken up into smaller chunks, it was much easier to handle. By the end, my feet were certainly tired, but I didn’t feel like I was going to collapse or anything. Jogging in place wins again!

Going from western Maine to New York City is certainly a big culture shift, and I feel very much like the city mouse who went away to live in the country for a very long time, only to return to the city at long last, if only for a day. The strange thing for me was that I found myself falling back into the same habits I had when I used to work in New York, even though it was only for 6 months. Denisa commented at the end of the day how strange it had been to be without the kids the whole day (they stayed with my mom in PA), and I hadn’t even really noticed it that much. It was New York–a place I didn’t have kids. So it was natural that I shouldn’t have kids when I was back again. (Though no worries–I did remember I had voracious readers when I was at Egmont’s office. Picked up quite the haul of books for TRC, and a few for DC too. (They had more Middle Grade/YA stuff that would appeal to him.))

I’m continually surprised by the sheer variety of people you see in New York. Everything from the business men to the street performers. We were sitting in St. Patrick’s cathedral taking a breather, and suddenly a man next to us starts shouting out gibberish. Angry gibberish. Security showed up to give him a nice escort out of the building. You don’t see that happen in Maine every day.

The show itself was really good, although the tickets I bought (way up high in the balcony) were certainly not the best seats I’ve ever had. They were high enough up that it was hard to see the expressions on the faces of the actors, which was too bad. Bad enough that I wished I’d paid an extra $70 per ticket for a better view? Not quite. Though maybe I’m getting to the point in the not too distant future where that will be different. In any case, it was funny throughout, with great songs and acting–almost the entire original cast still with the production. Dark humor, but sometimes that’s the best kind.

Getting in and out of the city is a long affair. Two hours in, two hours back. Very hard for me to believe I used to do that every workday. Makes a guy glad he’s got such a short “commute” these days. 5 minutes is much better than 2 hours, believe me.

Denisa and I had a long conversation about why in the world people would like to live in a city like that. (Recognizing, of course, that for some people, there’s no choice involved. It’s the only place they *can* live.) Joshua and Eddie seem to thoroughly prefer it, and Eddie grew up in a smaller town than where I live now. It was exciting working there when I was younger, but these days I like to be able to go home and night and listen to a whole lot of nothing outside my windows. In the city there’s so much activity and buzz–I think it would just be exhausting after a while. Here I am the next day, and my brain is still sort of just whirling.

Had some good conversations about my writing, and I have a general idea what I’m going to do for the next bit. Looks like THE MEMORY THIEF edits won’t be coming until January at the earliest, which is dandy by me. That means I’ll be able to finish up my NaNoWriMo work, then turn to some structural edits of OUR LADY which Joshua pointed out after his read through of the book. Some significant changes, but I think I have a plan of attack now. I’ll have some alpha readers looking at the NaNo piece in the meantime. It’s always a jugging routine, keeping all these different projects moving forward.

Speaking of writing, I got none of it done yesterday, meaning that all my NaNo padding has evaporated. Time for me to bring this post to a close and get to work on more important things. It was a grand day out. Had a great time in the city, and it’s very nice now and then to feel like a “real” author, as opposed to just sitting up in my house in Maine and writing by myself. Have a great Tuesday everybody!

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