Even Then I Was Working

I learned early on that some of my best work came to me when I was doing absolutely nothing. Adam never understood. I could see the irritation in his expression when he’d come home from work and find me on one of the pool loungers, my eyes shut and my skin dark. But I was always working. Even then I was working.

These words come from Slow Burn, and they belong—as you might have guessed, if you’re familiar with my fiction—to Joel. I’m appropriating them today to explain why I’ve been so quiet lately: on this blog, on my Facebook author page, on Twitter, on Instagram.

I’ve told you before that I feel a dip in between books. Finishing Slow Burn was no exception. I know what’s coming in the next novel; I’ve already written almost one hundred pages. Given that those scenes were planned for Slow Burn, I assumed I’d move effortlessly from one book to the other. Instead I’ve taken a break, what started out as a two-week hiatus sometime last spring and stretched across the entire summer, most of which I spent sitting on my settee, watching the birds in my birdbath. Every so often I’d feel a wisp of breath from the Muse. Then I’d look out my window again.

I knew I was cultivating something anyway, something I couldn’t yet see.

That’s Joel again, talking about a pause in his painting in the summer of 2007. Without that pause, Slow Burn wouldn’t unfold in the same way. Joel’s art would take a different turn. So would his relationship with James. His entire life would change if he put those months to a different purpose.

Of course, in the end you might wish that Joel had never taken time off.

For my part, I appreciate the time I’ve spent on my settee. Even if I haven’t been sitting with an open laptop or posting on Instagram, I know I’ve been working.

Now comes the fun part.

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