The sky is cobalt right now, with a green edge along the horizon promising dawn. One planet (Venus, maybe? I’m too lazy at the moment to figure it out) gleams in the top right corner of my window, and below it, the leafless trees make black lace of the horizon.
My two stained glass work lights cast their warm glow, and the hard drive hums softly. The office is warm, my space cozy and inviting. Me? I’m stiff with dread.
Time for a deep breath. I haven’t written a word of fiction since I closed out the first draft of I SEE YOU. Moreover, I haven’t wanted to write a word of fiction. Sixteen years of doing this professionally (I signed my first contract in 1990, though it wasn’t for my first book) and most of those sixteen years, I’ve written seven days a week, and I have loved the work. And then there was last year, which was in part a miserable slog, more memorable for its frustrations than for its good moments, and when I saw the last of it, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go on writing or just walk away.
While I can’t exactly call the last two months a vacation–I have, after all, done a whole lot of writing in those two months–they were time away from this thing I love. And the more I was away, the more I enjoyed being away, and there wasn’t a single part of me that didn’t look at that and think, “This is not good.”
So I made in-case plans in the back of my mind. The bookstore plus maybe teaching writing online for a while; doing the nonfiction, which is pure, unadulterated fun ….
… but ….
Today I woke up hungry for the first time in a long time. I’m not ready yet to set down page counts and schedules and plans with exciting collapsing deadlines. I’m still bruised from last year’s exciting collapsing deadlines. But Cadence Drake whispered in my ear this morning, and I’m going to see if she’s in as much trouble as she says she is. Just a peek, you know. A few pages. A toe’s worth dipped in the cold, cold lake.