Thursday, May 22, 2008

Transitions Suck...Or Do They?

I’ve just turned in my next romantic suspense and I’ve hit that always fun phenomena called “Transitioning.” This is the time when I wander around, waiting for revisions, not ready to start a new project but not finished with the old. Sometimes I have a vague idea of what I want to do next, sometimes I don’t have a clue, and once in a blue moon I think I know, hands down, what the next book will be. Which usually means I don’t. But that’s a tale for another time.

Here’s the thing: this Transitioning is hard. For me it involves puttering around, surfing the net--supposedly for book-related research, but usually ending up on YouTube—doing more laundry than I care to, and watching lots of TV. All the while this black cloud--not too dissimilar from that scary smoky thing on Lost--hovers nearby, and from within a wicked witch voice whispers, “you have a proposal deadline, my pretty” over and over. Eventually—like the night before its due (or so it seems)—I manage to grab onto something that becomes, miracle of miracles, my next book. Sometimes a news article catches my attention, sometimes a magazine photo, or a lyric, a snippet of conversation, or, as in the case of my upcoming book, a legend in a tour book. How it all comes together is, well, a mystery, as Thom Stoppard says in Shakespeare in Love. But until it does, there’s always uncertainty. Will it come together? How? When? And that fabulous, panic-tinged question: What if it doesn’t?

I suspect Transitioning is hard no matter who you are or what transition you’re going through. High school to college, single to married, married to children, children to empty nest. So here I am, smack dab in the middle of my Big T. Where are you? And what do you do to make those transitions as smooth and panic-free as possible?


Susan Crandall said...

Oh my Annie, you and I are soooo much alike -- and are suffering "Transitioning" at the same time. Perhaps next time we should plan a nice beach vaction together next time so we can say we're brainstorming for the next project!

Anonymous said...

Well, mom took your advice. She's at the beach now! And without her computer. That's why she hasn't responded to you all day, so she called me instead and told me to do it. Some vacation!

Shari Anton said...

Ah, Transitions. Not quite done with one project and not quite ready to start another. I always look at those times as 'filling the well,' though perhaps I'm really procrastinating :). The thing is, your method is your method. It took me a very long time to recognize that no matter how I wish it were otherwise, I shouldn't change my method if I want things to work correctly. Hope you're having a great time at the beach!!