With my new novel “Passage to November” finally coming into the final phase of editing and with no new projects really “speaking” to me, you could say I’m between projects right now.
In some ways, it’s a little like being between boyfriends. You sit around with no one to talk to but the cat and nothing to do but think about going back to some guy—I mean some story—that you dropped like a bad habit years ago. You know it’s no good, you know the plot reeked and the characters had all the personality of wet rags, but there were a couple of nights here and there when it seemed so… right.
And, quite frankly, it’s all you’ve got.
That’s not to say you’re not busy. No, you’ve got this thing called Real Life that keeps you on your toes and hopefully pays the bills. But Real Life isn’t much fun without a little love, so like any good romance writer on the rebound, you play the field here and there. You check out other eras, flirt a little with Regency, maybe make googly eyes with the First World War— if you’re really daring, you might even spend a wild night or two with the Roman Empire. But it’s not the same.
No, you miss the rush of being with the story that was your constant companion for months, even years. You miss the warm familiarity of characters who have become your friends, of places that have become like a second home to you. Mostly you miss the feeling of the greatest love story of all, the kind of love that leaves lesser mortals shattered and quaking in its wake.
You know, the kind of love story you just finished writing.
It was lightning in a bottle. The gold in the bubble. That fabled brass ring. And you caught it. Not only did you catch it, but you nurtured it, built it into something wonderful, something that would make even your closest friends green with envy.
And now, like even some of the best relationships, it’s over. You’ve packed it up and sent it on its way, and you hope and pray that others will love it as much as you did—if not more. But now you must also hope and pray your next great love will somehow surpass the last.
It seems impossible. So many thoughts, so many ideas, so little time to clear your head of the business of the day and settle down to what is really important. A writer could end up in therapy— or AA— for years just waiting for lightning to strike twice.
But have faith. They say that true love comes when you least expect it. So does a great story. Like that fun Bjork song says,
It's oh so quiet
It's oh so still
you're all alone
and so peaceful until...
you fall in love
the sky up above
is caving in
you've never been so nuts about a guy
you wanna laugh you wanna cry
you cross your heart and hope to die
til its over and then
its nice and quiet
but soon again
starts another big riot!!
While I’m waiting for that big riot otherwise known as “working on my latest novel,” I’m just going to play the field a little more and see what comes of it. I hear there’s an elegant history of the Renaissance just waiting for me in the boudoir…