Well, thanks to my dear husband, I finished Dead and Berried the day before yesterday. Four thousand words in one sitting... but boy, did it feel good! The ending came out even better than I hoped; now all I have to do is read it through and pass it on to my agent. (And start cooking, of course; time to do the fun stuff -- refining recipes!)
So, now what?
Well, first of all I start planning out my next projects (I have three already in mind, but we'll see which one is first through the chute) and focusing on the launch for Murder on the Rocks. And doing all the laundry that's piled up over the frenzy of the last few weeks. And finding room for all the new Xmas presents in my not-so-big house. And excavating the refrigerator. Ah, the glamor of the writing life...
As I was tossing and turning and getting up and jotting ideas down last night, I was thinking that the between-book time is weird one. Carole Nelson Douglas says that writing a book is like pushing a raft out onto the rapids and go, go, going until you hit the end. And it is -- exhilirating, scary, fraught with perils (snags and big ol' rocks) -- but a wild, wonderful ride nonetheless. And when you get off, you miss it, and the impulse is to start back up again immediately. But you have to be careful to pick the right place to get back on, because once you start something, if you're like me, you've got to see it through to the end. Kind of like a marriage, come to think of it. ;)
So now I'm on the banks, sipping a Pina Colada, snacking on bon bons, and deciding where to go next. Sometimes, when you have no idea what to write as a follow-up, it's a panicky moment. I've done that before, and I don't like it one bit; so this time, I started grooming my ideas months in advance. Which helped a lot. Although I am experiencing a bit of what Lawrence Block calls the post-partum book blues, they're not as bad as they have been, since I've got new ideas that I'm ready to push out onto the rapids. The question is, will they be the same kind of raft?
Stay tuned, and keep writing...