I love it when technology works.  Take a look at my wonderful little widget on the right displaying the progress I’m making on novel number 2.  Thanks to JJ, it’s now functioning so well I have moved it up top as a constant reminder (to me) of where I’ve been on this book and where I’m going.  And that makes me think about travel in general and how strange and amazing it is that as I sit here in London, it was my friend from Bangkok who sorted it out for me.  And, of course, the novel is set in Cambodia, a place I have traveled to once before, fell in love with and now have very much at the front of my brain.  So Thailand, Cambodia, Britain….then add to it that last night I played in the Kensington Philharmonic Orchestra‘s first concert of the season and it was devoted to all Russian music: Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Rimsky-Korsakov.  And, of course, Tangled Roots is largely set in Russia and that is always in my mind somewhere.  So now my imaginary trip is Thailand to Cambodia to Russia to Britain. Where is all this leading?

Growing up in suburban New York, I never dreamed beyond the “tri-state” area.  I was the first person in my family to move beyond New York or New Jersey, and that was when I headed off to Boston.  People where I grew up, when I grew up, didn’t move around very much and if they did, they didn’t move far.  It was as if somewhere in the familial past the long trek had already been made — from Ireland or Poland or Germany or Russia, like my family — and now that they were here they’re staying put, thank you very much.  Except for me.  I took the leap and went from New York to Boston (via Connecticut and North Carolina, which was, perhaps, the biggest leap of all), and then to London from where I have been lucky enough to travel throughout Europe, into a tiny bit of Africa and then Asia.  For a supposedly settled person I do tend to ramble about.  And it shows in my writing.   A lot.
I have thought quite a bit about how place affects what I write. Even the play I am now writing has the setting ( a London bistro) listed actually as a character.  And the more I write novel 2, the more evident it is to me that in it I am very much exploring the definition of patriotism and the meaning of the word “home.”  Does this make me a “global citizen”?  Or does this just make me lost?  That’s a question I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to answer.
But now, rambling back to my opening statement about technology, some of you might have noticed how I’ve been putting lots of clips from Youtube up lately.  I love the way I can go there, search any old weird thing or other, find exactly the video I had been dreaming of, and then insert it here to share with you.  Amazing.  So here’s another one.  This is the last movement, Gallop, of Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Suite,” which we played last night.  This isn’t us playing, but we did it just as fast!  My fingers are still recovering.  Salut!