Friday, December 2, 2011


Cricket McRae


I do love the transitions between seasons. Nothing like a Christmas cactus in bloom right next to the last green tomatoes ripening on the window seat. I count myself lucky to live in a place with distinct seasons. Just when you get tired of heat or cold or wind or Indian summer, it’s on to the next thing.

Wait. No one gets tired of Indian summer. What was I thinking?

And I love the transitions between projects. One of my favorite things about my years at The Mother Ship was the cyclical nature of software development. The writing of a book has a life cycle, as well, made up of all kinds of different pieces. The inception of an idea, the sketchy plans, the implementation of those plans, replanning, writing and rewriting and playing with language and fine-tuning effect and arcs and, in the case of books that are part of a series, planting the seeds that will germinate in the next one, or even the next one after that.

Then there are editor revisions, acknowledgements, asking other authors you love to blurb your book, covers and back copy and dedications. There is the marketing in anticipation of release, marketing around the release, and constantly being on the lookout for signing and interview opportunities, blogs to guest post on, and all the rest.

The cycles overlap, just like the cactus and the tomatoes above. That can be tricky, but being at the end of one project and at the beginning of another is a great feeling. I’m there right now, and it’s heady stuff indeed. It combines the satisfaction of completing one project and the anticipation of moving forward with another.

Where are you in your projects, be they writerly or otherwise? Do you like beginnings and endings best, or do you enjoy all the bits and pieces of the whole process?


Darrell James said...

Cricket- I'm in the middle of writing book three in the Del Shannon series. The story developement phase is like giving birth (I suspect). It's difficult and paiful and makes me want to pull my hair out with all the decisions to be made. Where it gets exciting and fun is when the core story has been hammered out and I can come back a really make it sing...

Oh, and that Indian Summer thing? I could hang onto it forever.

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Cricket,
January will be the overlap month in my writing process. I'll be finishing up the rough draft of Cataract Canyon when the galley proofs come in for Wicked Eddies. That's also when I'll be lining up promotion events for Wicked Eddies. And, I have a Mexico beach vacation planned that month in the middle of a snowy winter season in Breckenridge. Talk about transitions!

Alan Orloff said...

It seems like I'm always in some kind of transition, so many, in fact, that I don't even notice them anymore. Not sure if that's good or bad. Of course, it's always nice to type, "The End."

Vicki Doudera said...

I'm with you, Cricket, I love the change of seasons. Here in Maine they are very distinct and require a whole lot of behavioral changes... starting the car earlier, making sure there is kindling for the woodstove, covering plants that will snap under too much snow. And yet I am still harvesting Brussels sprouts and chard from the garden.

Feel like I'm just starting to figure out the cyclical nature of the book biz. It's a little crazy to have galley proofs on one corner of my desk and be finishing Book #4 (guess I am in Beth's January...) and "doing" Christmas, and managing a few real estate deals, too... but being a Gemini I have always been a little "schizo" (as my husband calls it.)

G.M. Malliet said...

I like beginnings. By the end of a book I'm frantic I won't finish it in time and there's so much to stitch together. But in the beginning, where no choice is final and I'm free to explore, ponder, and toss out the unworkable ideas, I am SO content.