Book 4 of The Manhattan Series is taking a little longer for me to write. There are the usual distractions: foreseen and unforeseen events, changes in personal situations, updates and attentions on the earlier books… But in the meantime, there are also some unexpected pleasures and treasures around this time of year that relate to the rhythm of the seasons and the story I’m writing.
Posts & Stories
Working on my book series—I’m in the middle of writing Book 4 of The Manhattan Series—I’ve been thinking a lot about drumming.
Historically, drumming has been at the center of many cultures’ lifestyles for hundreds if not thousands of years. Drums are not just musical instruments but channels to something much deeper: a rhythmic life force. Drumming allows the drummers to interact with a higher power.
I’d never seen the Potomac River frozen. It was solid ice all the way to the Virginia side. But full of lumps and chunks. Not smooth like at the skating rink where I took lessons.
“We’re going to skate across?” I asked, my stomach tumbling when I looked to the far shore.
“You bet we are,” said my Dad, play-punching me on the shoulder. “It doesn’t freeze hard like this much. You’re never going to forget this day.”
A recent Gallup Poll has some good news for people reading—and writing—books:
— 35% say they read more than 11 books in the past year
— 53% of young adults read between one and 10 books in the past year
While there are some questions about the methodology of Gallup’s research, the study headline is a great one: Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated (if you don’t know, that’s a play on the Mark Twain quote about him being dead).
Do you know the scene in the 1931 movie Frankenstein? The one that includes the famous line uttered by mad scientist Henry Frankenstein, who exclaims ghoulishly when his creation of a monster starts to move: “It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!” Well, except for the mad-scientist part, and the part where the monster (Boris Karloff) hurls Frankenstein off the top of an old mill, that’s how I feel now that my first creation in the book series The Manhattan Novellas — 1609 — is out in the world. It’s alive!
But a lot of things went on behind the scenes before this book’s release. Here’s a peek behind the curtain…
So there I was, standing on the north shore of Governors Island and looking over the water to the tip of Lower Manhattan. It seemed so close. Even though I knew that the original shoreline on September 12, 1609 (when Henry Hudson sailed right past where I stood) was about a block inland, I figured that it was about 4-5 bow shots across. That’s assuming I was a Munsee-speaking, Algonquin native in 1609 calculating the distance. That’s how they did it back then.