The novel is in design. That means its basically done, even if there are still a good number of months before publication. This week I felt a switch in my brain flip over: the physical writing of the book – this book – is no longer my core work. It is no longer my mountain.
Speaking of mountains. I’m flying to Asia at the end of July. First to Shanghai for a month with Dad, in my parents’ new apartment near a soon-to-be-built subway line. Then I’m meeting DB in Japan for a couple weeks, and from there it’s off to Nepal and Annapurna. The other parameters of the trip are relatively open; only three flights are booked – a round-trip from Shanghai to Tokyo, and a one-way from Detroit to Shanghai.
After South America three winters ago, I feel a little more prepared for this trip. I have a better sense of what I need to get before I go (a real backpack, altitude sickness meds, a healthy set of intentions) and what I can figure out once I’m there (pretty much everything else). My motto for this (and maybe all things) is, Plan enough so you’re not constantly dealing with emergencies, don’t plan so much that you’re just checking things off a list.
And all the preparation I’m doing right now – it feels not unlike preparing to enter a new novel …