I've had some readers write to ask about my third novel. When is it coming out? What is it about? And so on.
I'm flattered that people would ask, and I probably owe it to the askers to give them answers, so here they are, briefly and unsatisfactorily:
1. It is not a sequel to the first two books.
2. It is a more serious, ambitious novel.
3. I can't really say much more about it than that.
4. I honestly have no idea when (or even if) it will published. But I am writing diligently and enthusiastically...
Or at least I was. Back in January, my husband, who is an editor and therefore loves enforcing deadlines, persuaded me to finish the first draft by June 30. I am all for a good challenge and took off at a gallop, cranking out hundreds of words a day, seven days a week, for weeks. I love writing, and I love getting things done, and it was immensely pleasant seeing the pages pile up. Our family even started a graph to track my progress day to day (we're dorky like that) and posted it on the refrigerator.
That fever line shot up like Microsoft stock in 1999. Then, about six weeks ago, life intervened. Suddenly, every chore and task I had postponed to write the novel needed attention now. A certain new, high-maintenance creature arrived in my home. There were doctor checkups to be scheduled, beginning-of-summer preparations to be made, paying work and volunteer work to be completed. A million people called to ask favors I would have felt heartless not granting. There were mountains of mail to be sorted. There were bills to pay, thank you notes to write, e-mails to be answered. There was an astonishing amount of dust. At some point I realized: I used to be a writer, and now I am housewife.
Now, I have no problem with housewives. Far from it. Caring for home and family is important and valuable work, as long as it's a woman's choice. I, however, was a cranky, bitter, unfulfilled housewife straight out of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, because through it all, I was still trying to maintain my writing schedule. I'd sit down at the laptop. The phone would ring. I'd deal with whatever crisis was in the offing, then go back to the novel. Oops, time for a conference call with my current job. I'd do that, then return to the novel. Oh, no: Time to walk the dog. Every day, this. I'd fall into bed at night and complain, "I worked all day, and I got nothing accomplished." Because to me, everything but the novel is "nothing."
Until a couple of days ago. I was in the kitchen, washing a heap of vegetables. I had just finished doing a mess o' laundry. The bathroom was clean. The windows were clean. The rug was vacuumed. The apartment was momentarily dustless. I thought of my novel, still unfinished. Then I thought, soon summer will be here. There will be a temporary lull in my other work. I'll have finished all of my tasks. The novel will be there. Right now, though, I have dinner to make and socks to pair. And I was at peace. I think this was a moment of zenlike surrender.
So, for the next couple of weeks, I am going to surrender to being the best, most contented housewife I know how to be. After that, I'll go back to being a novelist. The chores and tasks will again pile up. Dust will settle. This is sure to frustrate me on its own level. I'll have to remember to be zenlike about that, too.
P.S. *Something tells me this title is going to reel in a lot of random creepy men looking for porn. Sorry, random creepy men, there's no porn in this blog. But you know where you can find a ton of it? In my first two novels. Seriously. They're nothing but hot, sexy, porny porn. Buy them both. Buy them for your creepy porn-loving friends. Buy multiple copies to stash in your various dungeons. Here's a link. Thank you and enjoy the porn!