Behind-the-scenes glimpse: I wrote this essay, from scratch, twice. I spent a full week pulling research tidbits, choosing quotes from “The Yellow Wallpaper,” synthesizing my argument, citing my sources, tweaking every sentence — and one morning before boarding a plane for a book event, as I went to send it to my publicist so she could submit it for consideration, I went to attach the 1000-word file I’d worked so hard on, and then… nothing. All traces of the file had disappeared from my computer, somehow. I swore I’d saved as I went along, but the filename didn’t even appear in any of the directories on my Mac. All that work had vanished.
I was not happy.
But I’ve always wanted to have an essay on LitHub, and I desperately wanted to tell this Charlotte’s story (in addition to the fictional Charlotte Smith’s story that I tell in Woman 99, and you’ll see in the essay how these two are linked), so I went ahead and boarded my plane, and as soon as the voice over the loudspeaker said “We have reached cruising altitude… you may now use laptop computers,” I started all over again.
The good news was that it went faster the second time. The even better news was that LitHub accepted it for publication. It went live a few days ago and the response has been wonderful to see.
And now all you have to do is click here — once — to read it.