The kids are at sleepaway camp till the end of this week. And, oh, have I been living it up! What exciting things have I done while they’re away that I can’t do when they’re at home?

  • left the fridge open while scooping out my yogurt;
  • slept until 8 a.m. on a weekday;
  • eaten dinner at restaurants that don’t serve burgers;
  • stayed up late binge watching Stranger Things, which would scare the heck out of them [Note, this one backfired: It scared the heck out of me and I’ve had nightmares for three nights];
  • gone to non-animated movies in the theater.

Adam and I are living the wild life, aren’t we?

Truth be told I spent an entire week of their camp time in New York, and with the exception of one night in an ice cage at a Bulgarian bar,* it was action-packed but not particularly crazy. For the beginning of the week, I was solo and stayed with my parents. For the end of the week, Adam came to town and we slipped off to a hotel.

The days solo were 100 percent about writing. I filled it with writer meetings, writer events, and even a writing group.

The rest of the time I spent holed up in the New York Public Library absolutely lost in research. I read old newspapers, poured over street maps, discovered guidebooks to Prohibition-era restaurants.

With this final week, I plan on taking all the research and weaving it into the next novel (I wish I could give you a working title for novel #2 but I’ve changed my mind on it almost daily, so for now, it’s just “next novel” or “novel #2” [yes, I know, it’s not really novel #2, but it’s easier to say than “the second novel I hope to publish but the fourth of fifth novel I’ve written”]). I hope to make some real progress before the kids come home and I drown in bar mitzvah prep (I’m ignoring the fact that we’re fewer than five weeks away from my son’s big day). So for now, off to write!

*Bulgarian ice cage? My sister’s friend had a surprise party at Mehanata, which is indeed a Bulgarian bar. In the basement is an ice cage (a refrigerator of sorts), where you don Soviet jackets and hats and drink as much vodka from ice shot glasses that you can in two minutes. It was an experience. The kind of experience that leads to pierogis and chicken soup at Veselka at 1 a.m., but that’s a good thing.

In the ice cage

I’d like it noted that it takes an incredibly secure person to post a photo like this of herself!