In my imagination it’s summer in William Merritt Chase’s Prospect Park
Before you get all jealous because you didn’t get to spend your day living in a dead painter’s New York, let me explain that this wonderful vacation will probably come to an end soon. After raising five kids in a blended family situation, my husband and I are considering adoption. Yeah, we miss the emotional chaos.
But for now as I come close to finishing the rough draft of the fifth novel in The Tenafly Road series, I get to linger in Prospect Park.
Chase explored everyday life in urban landscapes.
After my husband, who is an itinerant engineer for his company as he learns the tools, happily talked about one of the nice guys he works with in Albany, he asked, “And how was your day?”
I was really happy that he’d had a good day because I didn’t want him to be too jealous of my day inside the paintings. “I had a GREAT day!” I burst out.
“So what happened to Buck today?” he asked. (Buck is my lead character)
I leaned in. “Okay, so, you know how I was wondering how Buck would be in Brooklyn at the same time as his sister Thankful when something bad would happen?” My husband doesn’t want details since he’s gotten really into the series and doesn’t want any spoilers)
“Well, I was thinking about Fred coming back to town.”
“Oh, no,” my husband said with a smile. “You really do love chaos.”
“I love Fred! Well, I hate him, but I LOVE writing about him. And he comes to town to buy art and Buck knows a dealer in Brooklyn. So they have lunch at Delmonico’s. Fred is disgusting and rude. I had so much fun with them at the restaurant. Buck was disgusted. And then they went to Prospect Park–in Brooklyn.”
“You know how I was gonna make Buck buy Tiffany stained glass and the factory was in Brooklyn?”
“No,” my husband replied. “I don’t think you told me that.”
“Yes, well, I spent the day in William Merritt Chase’s paintings and it changed everything. I mean having Fred return is such a blessing. The BEST is that on the trip he tells Buck that’s he’s bought the plot of land in Englewood across the street from Buck’s!”
My husband laughs. “They’re going to have a building war, aren’t they?”
So there you go. My husband builds things in the real world that I hardly understand and I build worlds in paintings.