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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

Total heaven! - another exhibition of impressionism at the Met Museum!

Camille or The Green Dress by the 25-year-old Claude Monet
My friend Kimberly and I took the cross town bus in NYC on Saturday night and in fifteen minutes, were standing at the entrance of the amazing exhibition "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And the very first painting we saw was Monet's painting of Camille when she was nineteen in a borrowed green and black walking dress; I never saw the original as it hangs normally in a museum in Bremen.

(The Met opened in 1872, seven years after this painting was created.)

There were also several other original paintings borrowed from other museums of Camille...plus dress reproductions, parasols, fans, cosmetic boxes, prints from  Read More 
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Water lilies and other Monet garden paintings from NYC MOMA exhibit

It took me a long time to get down to the much-loved exhibit of six of Monet’s late garden paintings, created in his 70s and 80s at Giverny. Fortunately, though the one large exhibit room was crowded, one could still spend some time with the paintings which I did.

Two are very large ( Read More 
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working away on a new novel!

It feels quite wonderful. I won't say what it is just yet but it got chosen among several contenders. We'll see! I can breathe more quietly now. Writing CLAUDE & CAMILLE was a very intense experience for me, and now I go another way while my publisher continues with their work on it. In the  Read More 
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living with many research books

It is an overcast, cold day in New York City and I am wondering how I ever got so many research books. I write in many periods and sometimes these are for novels not yet finished. I gave a great many books away so I could see the ones I have which are more than sufficient and still it seems that they have grown to fill the space. I think books follow me home; they slip in when I open the door like a friendly cat and climb on a shelf before I turn around. There could be no other explanation for the number of them.

My new novel "Claude and Camille" was bought by Crown two months ago and many people ask me, "Well, you must be resting now." Not exactly...I manage to spend three or four whole days sometimes doing something in the house besides reading books or listening to music (perhaps chasing the dust balls which also slip in the door when I open it). I am working on two or three new novels, one a story I am finally pulling together after writing it on and off for a very long time. It is enormously exciting to me.

Meanwhile a cup of tea and a research book is calling me. Oh no...I just opened the door and three dust balls and four books rushed in and have settled on the shelves and under the chairs. There is no help for it... Read More 
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