I just pushed “send” on the first chapters of my next novel, winging them to my agent. Soon, I hope, we’ll be on the journey to a second book. A long journey, since there are just these chapters, a plot outline, and mountains of notes. But now what about today? I feel that hollowed out way I remember after a difficult exam in college, unable to start anything new, maybe drifting over to the bookstore or walking around campus to see if anybody I knew was similarly walking around.
The new project, also historical, has a female protagonist, Bianca, a lute and a chess player in the household of Costanza D’Altavilla (1154-1198), who wore the crown you see here, and was married to Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1197) of whom it was said, “No man saw him smile.” He’s here below. Bianca is in my head. She is slightly gap-toothed and being in this household was not her plan. She is beginning a journey.