Structure

For several days, I’ve been immersed in figuring out my next book–a biography of the friendship between the legendary fighters for women’s rights–Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Figuring out for me means finding the structure that ends up as the table of contents. It’s about what to put in, what to leave out, what to connect to what, what to highlight, themes, etc. I’m at our bungalow, a really small house, on a barrier island off the coast of NJ–that probably sounds pretension, but it isn’t, it’s merely descriptive. Our very small house is on a lagoon so I can lift my kayak over the bulkhead into the water and paddle out to Barnegat Bay. To the east, the ocean is just a 5 minute walk. It’s great to be here because the lure of outside activities–bike riding, walking, kayaking, swimming–overrides my tendency to forget to exercise when I’m immersed in a writing project. That’s what happens when I’m writing at home–I just sit and write and write and write and write. Yesterday during my bike ride a structure came to me–knitting something with a pattern, i.e., I’ve got two main skeins of yarn–ECS (I’m thinking she’s orange) and SBA (perhaps green) and I’ll be picking up stitches from other skeins as I go–that’s roughly the structure I “saw” as I pedaled along.

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