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Shanghai Noir

You can find this magnificent water lily at Hortus Botanicus Leiden. I was there a few weeks ago with a friend. We wandered and talked, mostly about writing. Teaching it, reading it and, above all, just doing it. A lovely break from what has turned out to be a 24/7 effort to rewrite my novel manuscript, Peace Court.

The end is finally in sight. One last run to look for tics and typos. By tics, I mean the words we all unconsciously use as filler. In my case: just, even, only. I hope to finish today, in which case, I will officially and totally be ready to go!

15 more days, can you believe it? That makes this newsletter #3 in the countdown. I didn't screw up this time. I've got a blog post for you, too, in part inspired by that day at Hortus Leiden.

In the Chinese Garden is about gardens, real and fictitious, and all the plants that grow there. They might be medicinal herbs like the ones at Hortus Leiden. Or the amazing assortment of edibles catalogued by The Cleaver Quarterly. I've copped a couple of those for my novel, like the mushrooms grown by Farmer Ren in his rooftop garden at Peace Court.

If you, too, are looking for inspiration of the non-vegetal kind, then check out this podcast. Last month, I had the pleasure of facilitating a master class by the lovely Irish writer, Caoilinn Hughes. You can listen in on that conversation here. (Hint: Caoilinn is the one with the Irish accent.)

2 more newsletters / blogs to go!

The Black Hands
My Favorite Things
The Royal We
The Devil’s Bargain
Banned Books

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