I figured out how to put pictures in this thing.
That’s an aerial image of a piece of Guilford County, circa 1937. It contains the parcel of land where Granny grew up.
Her family didn’t buy the property until 1960, but I’m trying to find out how much can I know about that piece of land. How far back do the ownership records go? How long has it been owned? What was there before people decided they could own it?
This is what it looks like now:
I’m pretty impressed with the Guilford County GIS website - don’t think I could get a historical aerial photo of our block in Philadelphia on demand like that.
You can still see that Y-shaped section of road. That’s where the house is, in the triangle piece. Uncle Mike lives there now. We’ll go visit when we’re down there. I want to interview him, particularly about being at Guilford College as a Vietnam vet.
I’m in another writing workshop through Blue Stoop, focusing on “literary reportage.” I’m hoping it will help me draft a book chapter.
We went around and named a piece of nonfiction we had read recently as an introductory lexcercise (I talked about Say Nothing because I’m still fixated on the Troubles). Some of the titles mentioned fell into a pattern: The Book of Unconformities. The Book of Eels. The Book of Crying. There’s also a lot of The Secret Life/Lives of ______.
My working title has been The Proximity. It’s the name of the first cotton mill the Cone brothers opened in Greensboro. And it’s also about how the past....is like…still really close?
But I’m not sure I can get away with something so vague without a long, too-wordy subtitle tacked on. My goal is to not have to have a subtitle at all, but it seems to be required. Even The Book of Eels – perfectly self-explanatory – gets saddled with “Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World.” Fiction doesn’t have this problem. You just call it whatever and say “a novel” or “stories” on the cover.
Honestly, I should stop worrying about it; in some sense it’s a very cart-before-the-horse problem and even talking about it feels like it will draw the evil eye down upon me. But on the other hand if I’m applying for grants and things, the title is part of the application. As a grants professional I’m qualified to say that the title should probably be good.
It still sort of embarasses me to talk about the book project, but I’m trying to get over it. I got an MFA for precisely this reason! It would be weird if I wasn’t working on something!
Today was your last day of kindergarten. You brought home your journal, which is full of drawings of Among Us and Cartoon Cat and Siren Head. I am trying to take inspiration from one of your Among Us entries: “I’m the Impostr. Its cool being one. I’m good at it.”
Who cares if I feel like an imposter. It’s cool and I’m good at it!!