I finished the manuscript I was working on a week or so ago and sent it out to make the query rounds. I've been working on that particular story for about 8 months and the characters in that book have become my friends. We've spent a lot of time together.
So on the one hand, I'm really excited to see it done and hope that one of the agents reading it will fall in love with Maia and Hank like I did. On the other hand, I'm sad not to have Maia and Hank with me every day.
The common advice you'll get in the writing circles is to start a new project immediately. It helps keep the brain focused on something other than the pinging of incoming emails. But when you've spent so much time developing the world your characters live in, the conflicts they face, the discussions they have, the bathrooms they renovate (you'll have to wait until the book is out for that bit of insight), it's not always easy to switch to something new.
A few story ideas have been rolling around in my head but nothing that I could really grab onto and say "oouuu, that's good." My tired braincells were starting to feel pretty crampy and cranky with the whole "brainstorming" process that wasn't very brainstormy at all. Until today.
I was on twitter in the middle of an exchange about personalizing holiday cards. I got up to switch a load of laundry and there it was … the brilliant little idea that's been dodging me. And it has nothing to do with either of the ideas I'd been desperately trying to coax out of my brain. And suddenly the mood of the last week has lifted and my Post Manuscript Syndrome mood has shifted to Pre Manuscript Syndrome. Luckily that version of PMS doesn't include the cramps and bloating. But it does include a mood swing or two.
Who knew laundry and twitter were such a fabulous brainstorming combination. Where do you get your ideas?