Empty Nest Blues


There isn't much talk about the gloom that hits when your book has finally packed up and left home for good. Partly that's because of the initial relief.

WOO-WOO!!! Good riddance! I did it! I'm free!!!

But soon, you start feeling a bit lonely. You phone up your book. You sound pathetic.

It's just me.

Do you need any money?

Do you want to come to dinner on Sunday?

Miss you....love you....wear a sweater....

Eventually you pull yourself together. I'm fine, you tell yourself. And even better, I'm free! I'll go to galleries, to films, out to lunch. I'll see all those friends I've neglected for two years now. I'll clear my desk, go through my closets, answer that fan letter. Write short stories. Sew on buttons. Learn to knit.

Only, you don't. You stare into space, convinced you'll never write another book. You spend all day on facebook. Dinner time comes and goes. You check your e-mails, your bank balance. You doze.

Weeks pass.

Yesterday, I took the dogs to the Heath and we encountered a pretty little Bedlington terrier. She came bounding over, I patted her, and caught a glimpse of the name on her tag. Mila.

I decided about two months ago that the main character in my next book will be called Mila. Which made this seem like a sign. Not much of a sign, but a sign nonetheless.

So I came home from the Heath, fed the dogs, checked my e-mails and started a new book. I have only the vaguest idea what it's about. But today I'm not as cranky as I was.