Day 1: I arrived at 2Pm. Spent the rest of the afternoon getting settled. Ate dinner with the other residents. Home for the next four weeks is a converted barn. There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor and four studios on the second floor. From 9pm until 1AM, I devised a work plan. I decided to order the first 100 pages of my working draft chronologically. I didn’t think my novel would be linear, but a haze was developing in my head and I needed to find some sense of order.
Day 2: I reminisced with two residents who are also native New Yorkers about my misspent youth, admitted to shoplifting from Sounds and Kim’s Underground (two East Village music stores popular in the 80s and 90s). I wondered what kids in NYC are doing these days. Where are the spots? What does one steal? I guessed it was all about designer shit. After dinner, I went back to my studio, made a french press pot of coffee, and settled in for the night. With LCD Soundsystem playing softly in the background, I mapped out the first part of the novel. I mapped the childhood pieces thematically: memory, neglect, abandonment, life lesson, omen, and break point. I started with a mind-map construct, but then I imagined concentric circles. Not sure yet where I was going with this new construct. Each piece was a circle inside a bigger circle. A crisis building, but to what end?