The Fictional Town of Seaview, New Jersey

Here are some screenshots of maps for the area I've set my main fictional town. I also have one in Michigan and one in Kentucky, but I'm getting back to those in a few months.

These are really rough—I just wanted to lay it out as it appears in my head and move on for now.  And I'm not really writing about Rumson/Fair Haven/Sea Bright with altered names; I've reimagined it all as my collective area Seaview, which is highly Italian-American, instead of somewhat.

I would absolutely go back there to live if I had the means, probably slightly farther down in Monmouth Beach.

I've made it in my head so that there is a hill on which sits the Palm Estate. As I recall, it is higher there, but not like it is on the other side of the Navesink River, and so I've reimagined the Navesink area farther down toward Shrewsbury River, and if I were reorganizing the area geographically, Shrewsbury River would sit nearer the Palms and Halladays. In other words, it'd all be squished into a narrower space than it already is. The hills matter for my stories.

This is the area I see all together as one community, with Sandy Hook included because it figures into a later story.

This is the part circled in green.


kill your darlings/jack and robert and a whiskey bottle

I'm writing books now. Books are cool.

Anyway, kill your darlings refers to the absolute understanding that sometimes you must be ruthless in excising text from your manuscript. Well, whoever said that didn't have a computer, a cloud, or the internet.* I can have my cake and eat it, too. This page of my blog will be populated with items that do not make the edit, but that I love anyway. I hope you love them, too.

*Okay, it was William Faulkner, and if anybody would know something on the topic, he would.

The first snippet from Sea View takes place in Violet Palm's house, late one night after she and Jack have their second or third date; I'm undecided on that for now. In case it somehow matters, it is late 2011, and they are in their mid-40s. They are settled comfortably by the fire when first her old friend Robert, then her sister Lily, whom Robert loves, turn up at the door. Drinking ensues, then this bit takes place.

    After another round, Robert held up the bottle. "There isn't enough left in here, Violet, what else you got back there?"
    "Um, it was your bottle, Robert. I probably have some of this and that. Haven't you had enough? I mean, what are you up to here?"
    "I'm up to getting drunk in your house, Violet, is what I am up to," Robert carefully enunciated.
    Jack said, "He isn't that drunk. I understood every word he said."
    Violet and Lily looked at each other. Violet said, "Well, finish off that wine sitting there. Use the glasses. Or pass the bottle like sailors on leave, I don't care. I'm not going back for more."
    So Jack and Robert passed the wine bottle back and forth and sang, "I'm Popeye the sailor man
I'm Popeye the sailor man
I'm strong to the fin-ich
Cause I eats me spin-ach
I'm Popeye the sailor man.
I'm Popeye the sailor man
I live in a garbage can.
    Robert said, "Wait, what? That's not what comes next."
    Jack sneered at him. "Weren't you ever even a Boy Scout?
I eats all the worms
And spits out the germs
I'm Popeye the sailor man."
    Robert said, "No, no man, it goes like this, "I'm Popeye the sailor man
I live in a frying pan
I turn up the heat
And burn up my feet
I'm Popeye the sailor man."
    The women just stared at them as they went on, "I'm Popeye the sailor man
I've never stepped foot on the land
I like to go swimmin'
With them mermaid women
And float on my back to get tan."
    "Good thing he didn't try to tan his front side, eh?" Robert laughed.
    "Well, he was on his back, so he was—but dude, he wasn't naked. He had shorts on." Jack shook his head, rolling his eyes at Robert's dimwittedness.
    "Jack, come on. If he was swimming with mermaids, he would totally be naked."
    "Why the hell would he waste time trying to get a tan, then?"
    "Look, I don't know. But the song clearly indicates he was bathing in the buff. I mean, right, Lily? Violet? Back me up here. Naked Popeye, right?"
    Lily blinked at him, then looked at Violet, who had a confused expression on her face.
    "I don't. I—don't know, Robert. Maybe if you looked on the, wait. Don't do that. Oh, god," she winced as Jack pulled out his iPhone.
    Lily practically shouted, "I do not want to see naked pictures of Popeye! Don't try to make me look at that."
    Robert took the phone from Jack and said, "C'mon, man. There are ladies present."
    Jack said, "It doesn't matter, Robert, because he was wearing shorts. Jesus." Then realization dawn on him. "Oh. Ew, you think? That's just, that's sick.
    "But what about Olive Oyl, I mean, you think...?"
    Lily said, "Jack, I think you should try one of these delicious cookies."
    Jack looked at her nearly steadily, and then at Violet, as he said, "Lily, a cookie is absolutely not what I need right now."
    The other three looked at him in wonder.