This is my third trip to NYC and I’ve decided I don’t like it very much. There’s a dark and gritty texture to this city, a thick seam of poverty and desperation layered beneath its skin. So many people working shitty service jobs. Not teenagers out to gain experience like you’d find back home. Older people trapped into submission, this being the only work they could get.

Traveled the subway to Brooklyn to meet my agent Cheryl for the first time. Her instructions were clear but the NYC train system is still confusing, especially compared to London’s tube, which is so clear cut and colour coded. The street seemed ordinary enough until I got a glimpse out of her 33rd floor office window. What an astonishing view! NYC‘s intriguing architecture layered in sunlight and shimmer. Alas, there are no photos of my day — only this snap taken on her iphone in the sushi restaurant by the waiter.

Post-Atwood workshop, I’ve added so many fresh ideas, tweaks and enhancements to Blue Lotus, frantically scribbling notes on aeroplanes, in departure lounges and hotel rooms. The narrative is still blooming. At this stage it’s more a case of locking it down than crafting it.

Planning a visit to the Met today followed by dinner with Ellen Datlow and friends.


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