There’s a lot of drowning in my new book. Shelley’s x wife drowns herself; Mary Wollstonecraft tries to drown herself; and Shelley drowns. This is where I am now: Shelley has to die. It is pouring rain here, which I suppose is helpful, but I fell asleep (not just a nap, not a relaxed luxurious kind of sleep, but like a coma) this afternoon even though I have been thinking about this scene and the scenes leading up to it for years. How to do it. This summer I have been swimming in the river outside of my house pretty regularly. The current can be strong; the waves can be choppy. I get tired and cold if I go too far and then I think about Shelley. He could not swim. His boat was stupidly designed by a macho individual who said he knew everything about sailing, but did not. When I breathe in water and look down, I wonder about his last thoughts. Did he know he was drowning? Sebastien Perfect Storm Junger interviewed people who almost drowned and he said that the last thing people tend to feel is embarrassment: a How did I get into this predicament feeling. But Shelley’s boat capsized in a storm. He might not have had time to know he was drowning. Meanwhile my son is trying to write his “notecard” on Lord of the Flies. He would like to know what to say.