For the first time in months, I have actually sat down and started writing my novel.

It's true that it was mostly revision, and so I probably typed no more than a hundred words altogether today, but considering the days and days of opening up documents and quickly finding new ways to procrastinate, this is actually incredible progress.

I've been stuck on Chapter Two of Resist, the sequel in my Ravage trilogy for almost exactly three months now.  I don't remember the last time I encountered a writing block this big, but it feels good to have chipped away at it a little bit.

Now, onto the question of whether or not I can produce entirely new content, instead of just revising.  Ah, there's the rub.

It's been more than two weeks now that I've been living in Rome.  It's kind of astounding how quickly I acclimated to being in a new country.  Too quickly, it became just another city, and in the same way I pass the Flatiron Building or the Empire State Building on my way to get groceries back home, without note, I can't really push myself to feel in awe of the Pantheon, or the Roman Forums, or even the freaking Colosseum.

And I mean, how strange is that?  I've had the privilege now to live in two of the most romanticized cities on Planet Earth, and I've already lost my sense of wonder.  This is what I always wanted for myself.  I am a walking, talking cliche; the small town girl who worked hard and did everything she could so that she wouldn't stay "stuck".  I made it out.  I got to the suburbs.  Then to New York City.

Now there's a chance I might even have a piece of art exhibited here in Rome.

It is privilege, and I walk into moments of such clarity frequently, in which I stop and look around myself and think, "Damn.  This is really fucking romantic.  Like, I could be a character in a book or movie right now."  And yet the sensation of  understanding the "romance" of such a moment still feels so completely "other".  As if this were a moment that were happening to someone else.  A book-version of me.  A movie-version of me.

Or somebody else entirely.

I wonder sometimes if you can romanticize something so deeply, that even by the time you come to grips with the reality of the thing, it still feels... distant.

Shai Cotten