About ten days ago, I finished a Jeri Howard novel. It’s called Cold Trail, and the book will be published by Perseverance Press in the spring of 2015. The next novel I write will be another California Zephyr mystery, featuring Zephyrette Jill McLeod. That one will be called Death Deals a Hand.
Other than writing a synopsis, I haven’t started the next book yet.
I’m at that between-books stage. I’ve been doing what my father called puttering.
To putter is to “occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner, doing a number of small tasks or not concentrating on anything particular.”
So I’ve been puttering.
I’ve worked in my garden, gone birding with a friend, ridden my bike and walked along the beach here in Alameda. I’ve made a carrot cake and I’ve gone to lunch and dinner with other friends. I’ve thought about an upcoming camping trip, and I’ve spent several pleasant hours relaxing on the patio with a book and a big mug of iced tea.
I’ve also avoided cleaning my office, which is currently more of a mess than it usually is. When I’m finishing a book, I tend to shove things to one side and write, regardless of the clutter. And the clutter has taken over.
I expect I will start the new book soon, probably this week. Writing is what I do, and now that I’ve retired from my day job, this is my day job.
I have, however, enjoyed taking this break from writing novels. In addition to some wonderful puttering, I’ve accomplished some of the business-of-writing things that had to wait until I finished the latest manuscript.
Among these was uploading new e-book covers for the Jeri Howard backlist and discussing updates to my website with Sue Trowbridge who, in addition to working on my website and the Perseverance Press website, also designed those e-book covers. I also had a chat with another author about audio books. I’m writing blog posts, including this one, and thinking about finishing a short story I started a few months ago.
So here I sit at the computer, making “To Do” lists and checking off items. Every now and then I glance around my office, seeing things that need to be done – going through files, purging old material and filing new, replacing a printer cartridge.
The iced tea and the book beckon. So does the new novel. I can feel it working its way around my brain, ready to get out.