five things: icy cold edition

Weeeeekly wrap-up!

1. The last stop on the Show and Tell press tour was on Tuesday over at Babbling About Books, in which I discussed the brave new world of writing in a different genre.

And Joyfully Jay gave the book 4.5 stars!

I guess I have to sell another book now so that I have something else to spam you all with. Ha!

2. What is there to say about this week except that it was frickin’ cold. As I write this, it is a balmy 16°F in New York City. I get that it’s winter, and I guess our last few winters have been so mild that this seems freakish, but I am displeased.

I have often contended that my life would be perfect if New York could just be transported to someplace with a better climate, like San Diego. But I guess if we didn’t have awful winters and oppressive summers, it wouldn’t be New York.

3. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Jacob Tomsky’s Heads in Beds, a memoir of working in hotels, and there’s a bit in the book (chapter 14, I think) when he talks about how New York chips away at you.

I’m sure this experience is different for natives, but that section resonated with me. Of course, then he says that you have to leave or the city will continue to chip away with you, but there, I think he’s wrong. There’s a hump to get over. No doubt, New York is a hard place to live, and I had some lean years in the mid-aughts when I was trying to pay for a studio in Manhattan on a publishing salary and I was in a romantic relationship that was falling apart. I had one bad winter in which I came very close to packing up and leaving. But I think if you can survive that, well, Mr. Sinatra explained that pretty well. You get through the worst of it and then suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opens up. I love this place, I really do. Like, the city really puts you through the wringer and if you can get through that, you can do anything and then finally, the city will start to love you back.

4. Last weekend I took myself on an “artist’s date” to the Brooklyn Museum which is, conveniently, a less-than-ten-minute walk from my apartment. I’ve been a little blocked creatively lately and I needed to refill the well, as a friend put it. The Brooklyn Museum is curated in a really interesting, modern way and is definitely worth the visit if you ever find yourself in Brooklyn. Highlights for me include: 1) The American art section on the top floor, and I recommend the audio tour; 2) The feminist art wing, especially Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, is MUST SEE; 3) The Egyptian art department CAT-scanned some mummies a couple of years ago and the science is fascinating.

From the American Art exhibit, I really liked this painting—m/m writers, I think there’s a story there.

I love museums, as you may have gathered from reading my books. I actually had to rewrite a scene in Show and Tell wherein Dan and Malcolm go to the Met because the American Wing was remodeled in 2011 and all the stuff was moved around. The case of glass bottles they find is not real, but I could tell you exactly where I’d put it if I were in the museum. (Near the Tiffany glass.)

I also went to Vogue Knitting Live on Saturday with a few friends who are far more industrious knitters than I. But, man, if you are the sort of person who likes to go to yarn shops to molest the fiber (which I certainly am) the marketplace there was like heaven. Any kind of fiber in any color you could have dreamed of! I bought enough yarn for two projects. Well, I bought a 300-yard hank of some super soft alpaca blend with glittery thread spun into it that was just too pretty not to buy. (The lady at the booth said it’s enough yarn for two cowls, but I think I will just make a shawl or wrap or something.) And then I bought some superwash wool that was being sold in super bulk (so, cheap) that I’ve already started knitting into a cardigan. The colorway is nuts; I think the sweater will be insane and glorious in the end.

5. I finished the first draft of a short story last night—including the sex scene, which inspired a lively conversation with some fellow authors on Twitter yesterday afternoon in which we alternately celebrated/lamented having to write sexy times. I’m going through a phase right now where I really hate writing sex scenes. (Like, you’ll notice that Lead Us Not doesn’t even have one—I was like, This is a free short, it’s not like an editor will come along and say, “There should be sex here.” I can do what I want.) I don’t feel inhibited so much as I fear writing the same scene over and over again, and I worry my sex writing has gotten a little stale. Also in this case, I sat there and was like, “I don’t know what these boys like to do in bed together.” But the story seemed to call for it—it had to happen for plot-related reasons, and I guess I could have faded to black, but it seemed like a good opportunity to develop these characters and their relationship. So I wrote it. I am glad I did! I think it adds to the story!

And so, until next week…