Friday, July 24, 2015

Time on My Hands

I read today somewhere that readers aren’t interested in blogs about writing—those only appeal to other writers, and few of them at that. But I thought you should know that much of the writing life consists of waiting. At least, that’s where I am now. I’ve sent off the proposal for the Chicago novel and this week, nudged the publisher by following up with a marvelous endorsement from a major Chicago author. Waiting to hear.

At the first of the week—or was it the last of the previous week?—I gave the mystery manuscript, “Murder at the Peacock Mansion,” to a reader. He promised to return before the end of the month, so I’m waiting. After all, that’s not so long.

The editor of the chili book wrote yesterday with three questions, which she swore were the last. So until it’s time to promote, there’s little for me to do. And Texas Tech seems to be such an efficient press, that I’m sure they’ll guide me through promotion. And so I wait.

This week, there was suddenly some renewed interested in a children’s history of Fort Worth, a project I’ve been trying to push one way or another for thirty years and in the last ten years Carol Roark and I have collaborated on—she will do image research to accompany my text, which is drafted. So I sent the manuscript off to the interested publisher…and we wait.

Most people who are as OCD as I am would promptly get busy on another project and, indeed, I have one awaiting my attention. I have 30,000 words drafted on the second Oak Grove Mystery (following Susan Hogan in The Perfect Coed). It’s timely in our era of gun violence because it deals with open carry. But I’m reluctant to get into the middle of that when other things might call me away.

I’m well aware that a month from today school starts, and I will give up long, lazy lunches with friends followed by long lazy naps. I should enjoy this time while I have it, and to a great extent I am. For one thing I’m reading mysteries that I have let backpile—Julie Hyzy’s Grace Calls Uncle, which I reviewed on this blog recently. Now I’m reading Terrie Moran’s Caught Read-Handed, the excellent sequel to her Well Read, Then Dead. But reading is always a luxury to me…and I suffer from the itchy feeling I should be doing something more productive.

I suspect this uncomfortable waiting periods come to most writers, though many probably handle them better than I do. Meantime, I know this too shall pass. And I have a bit of cooking to do.


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