Full of Wonderment: a novel
By Josh Greenfield
Genre: Adventure, Young Adult
Jordan Fineman needs a break. His second year of college has almost done him in. His solution is to take off for a summer of work and adventure in Alaska. All the while mental illness is setting in. A summer to remember. A tale to grow on.
The story begins with Jordan alone in the great research library of Cornell University dreaming about traveling to far off places. Call it craziness, but that is exactly what he does. Without any guarantee of employment, he boards a plane for Anchorage, Alaska and spends the next eight weeks on his own, working hard, making money, meeting fellow travelers from all around the world, and seeing some of the country’s finest scenery.
Had this been all, it would have been a summer to remember. His adventures however, are undertaken with a shadow cast from far above. Jordan Fineman is both bi-polar and a severe obsessive compulsive. In two years’ time, he will become incapacitated. The story is written with that knowledge in mind.
As it stands however, Full of Wonderment: a novel, is an adventure story that lays out the possibility of spending a college summer without an eye on the professional resume - a summer for personal growth, alternative education and fun.
Josh Greenfield is a graduate of both Phillips Andover Academy and Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences. He holds two masters degrees from the City University of New York, one in History and one in English Literature. He also completed the better part of a doctorate in English at Fordham University. His desire in writing is to tell an entertaining and engaging story, to look for laughs in dark places.
He is the author of a prior novella, “Homeward Bound: a novella of idle speculation,” also published by Lulu. His work has been featured in The Cornell Daily Sun, The Riverdale Press, Appalachia, and Word Catalyst Magazine. He appears regularly at comedy club open-mic’s.
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Q&A with author
Tell us about your genre. How did you come to choose it? Why does it appeal to you?
“Full of Wonderment: a novel” is a story suitable for young adults. It is about a guy passing out of his teenage years and the adventure he has one summer. That is why I classify it in this genre. Other stories I’ve written about older characters going through more mature experiences I would not classify in this way. I also feel that the language I’ve chosen for this book, which is simple and highly colloquial is suitable for younger readers.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
For me, writing is all about spontaneity. I wake up in the morning and follow the exact same routine in preparing my breakfast and sitting down to write. If all goes well, something comes out. If my intuition fails me, which thank God had not happened in a long time, I can only assume I’m not living right.
When and where do you do your writing?
As I said above I write each morning right after breakfast. I sit at my desk which faces east from six stories up and most mornings if the sky is clear I see some portion of the sun rise.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
For one thing, I’m trying to develop a bit more of a thick skin, to take the bad with the good. At readings, I’ve learned the many people are appreciative of open discussion of mental illness.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
That one isn’t hard. I’m proud of putting mental illness out in the open, front and center, with honesty and a sense of humor.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would have to say J.D. Salinger. I guess I would like to work around to why he pulled back so dramatically after his success. If there might have been some other way he could have worked that out.