My Inspiration for Glimmer As You Can
Around fifteen years ago, I wrote down the seed of an idea in my “ideas portfolio.”
“Late night barbershop in Brooklyn.”
A family member had shared a snippet of an experience which sounded altogether incongruous—Brooklyn men flocking to a haircare “hole in the wall” that only came alive after the sun went down. I imagined it as a social environment, where men from around the borough flocked for a trim and a shave—laughing, joking, and sharing the latest goings-on.
The environment sounded rich, and ready for a story… but I wasn’t quite ready to do anything with it at the time.
Zip—let’s flash forward now, to 2014. I was looking for a way to investigate some of the things I was curious about:
- What was it like to live in the early nineteen sixties? (I was born in the early eighties.)
- How did it feel to be a woman during that period of time, when norms had started to loosen, but things hadn’t yet turned “Woodstock wild?”
- How did wives of corrupt politicians deal with their lot in life, and why for gosh sakes did they stay in those bad situations? Wasn’t “staying” just enabling the corrupt men—not only to cheat and lie in their personal lives, but to extend those same vices in other ways to the public?
At the time, there was always something on the news about the latest politician to be caught in some scandal, and it was annoying me to no end. These politicians are relentless! I thought. I need to write about them. Also, why are these women enabling them? Yet, it dawned on me—perhaps now, and especially in the early sixties, it couldn’t be easy for a woman to leave a prominent politician.
I needed something to draw all of my inquiries together. I needed to understand it all, so I flipped back to my handy ideas portfolio, which had been sitting dormant in the back of my desk cabinet for quite a few years.
A late night barbershop.
What if, instead of a late night barbershop for men, it became a late night women’s social club?
Wouldn’t that be a bit scandalous, by the standards of the era, to have women flocking to an uninhabited commercial district of Brooklyn?
What if the owner of this social club was the wife of a corrupt politician? Or ex-wife? What if the social club was a dress shop by day; what if it was a haven for women from all walks of life facing a myriad of issues—personal and professional?
What if this was an amazing spot to “let loose?”
This is how “the Starlite” was born.
I didn’t have the title of my book for some time—it came as I was writing, and I extracted it from the words on the page.
These are the origins of Glimmer As You Can…years in the making.
I’m looking forward to sharing it with you on November 10th.
You can order your copy of Glimmer As You Can here, or wherever books are sold.