Pepys Day 7!

31 Dec

Christmas PuddingI’m celebrating the end of Week 35 with the tastiest looking picture of a Christmas pudding I’ve ever seen. Samuel Pepys would approve, I’m sure. As for the work of the day, I shouldn’t be surprised that 350 years ago on December 31, Samuel Pepys used his diary to assess his situation and that of his country as a new year dawned. It was a time of political unrest in England, and that got me thinking about the two words “resolution”—that word we obsess over whenever January 1 comes calling—and “revolution,” and how I might connect them. That was the germ for the day’s shorty, which is playful and not about much of anything. What a remarkable week! Many thanks to old Sam, to Phil Gyford, who runs the site where I read the diary entries, and to all the lovely people who have been leaving annotations on the entries. Even when I was exhausted, which is the whole week, I got such a kick out of thinking, ahh, Sam wrote his diary entry exactly 350 years ago today, and here I am, making a story inspired by what he wrote. It’s like I’ve been carrying around a bit of Pepys’s writer-DNA. Very satisfying.

Working Title: New Year Revolution
1st Sentence: At some point, probably in college, when she’d shattered the high school self so carefully constructed, emerged from the scraps of that shell like a fresh-skinned superhero on a righteous mission, Melanie decided that the birth of a new year called not for the formulating of resolutions, but for the fomenting of revolutions.
Favorite Sentence: Into her forties, now, the mother of middle-schoolers, the wife of a moody, detached, golf-loving dentist who keeps disappearing her Victoria’s Secret catalogs for purposes unconfessed, she is anxious as ever for more wins to tuck under her tightly cinched belt.
Word Length: 1,000

Photo by Man vyi 12/2006.

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