Saturday, April 23, 2011

Empty Nesting

Celebrate with me, please. Yesterday I printed out my next Molly book, tentatively called Hush Now, Don't You Cry. Now it goes to several readers whose opinions I trust and value. When they've given me their imput, I do one giant rewrite and then off it goes to the publisher.

You'd think I'd heave a sigh of relief every time I get through a book, wouldn't you? In a way I do. But that usually comes around page 200 when I know that I can see the climax of the story and how it will end. Actually what I feel when I send a book off is the same feeling as when a child goes off to college. It has gone. Whatever happens to it now is out of my hands. And with this a profound feeling of emptiness. This book consumes my life for at least three months. I write daily. I wake and think about it in the middle of the night. And now, suddenly, I don't have to get up, go to the computer and write any more. So the question looms--what am I going to do with myself until I have to start another book? Clean house? Weed garden? Shop for new toothpaste? Strangely nothing seems to have appeal, and it's worrying because I am already of an age when my friends have retired or are thinking about retirement. I simply can't visualize not writing.
Friends shake their heads in astonishment and ask where I get my energy when I tell them I'm about to zoom off around the country again--to Ann Arbor, Bethesda, Annapolis and Pittsburgh next weekend. And it's true that these trips are tiring. But I love the interaction with fans. (and actually I secretly enjoy it when a limo is waiting for me, which happens sometimes).

So I guess the answer is that I'm going to keep on writing as long as I can sit at a computer. If I'm one of those lucky enough to still have contracts with major publishers, I'm going to make the most of it. Who needs retirement, anyway?

And a blessed Easter or Passover to you all!


  1. Looking forward to seeing you, and your cohorts, in Annapolis, for my very first ever book signing.

  2. Rhys - I'm hoping that you never (completely) retire. I look forward to every new book!

  3. I agree with Christy, and I wish you'd come to Grand Rapids, Michigan instead of Ann Arbor so I could meet