What to expect when you're expecting a book.

So I'm between projects. 

And in between projects? I forget how to work on projects. Between drafts, I forget how to draft. Between books, I forget just how big and comprehensive a book is.

What do you even call that? Work amnesia? I have work amnesia.

I finished my last draft on the 23rd; I'll be starting my next project's first draft on the 15th. 

Are interims ever comfortable? 

The super-nice thing is that I'll be writing the sequel to the first project. (Ooh! Sequel! I've never done a sequel before. I'm having a writer-geek moment. ... ... ... Okay. Done.)

So even though I'm between projects, the conveyor belt of my imagination is still moving forward, pulling in ideas and images, and treasure-hunting in the attic of all my old unused concepts. 

I'm brushing off my "idea files," which have been passively gathering ideas for years. They're like handy little rain buckets. I've been slowly filling them with ideas for names, characters, situations, settings, and images--all unconnected to any particular project.

So as I get ready for this next book, I'm wading through all those words, pulling out the ones that sound and feel right.

All this to say, it feels mysterious, this part of the process. It makes me jittery, edgy, excited. I've never been pregnant in my body, but I've been pregnant in my mind many times, ready to birth a book. And it's an uncomfortable, nervous, bloated, strange, giddy sort of experience.

Not easy. Not straightforward or simple. Definitely messy.

But it's also one of the reasons why I write. I can never be certain what's going to appear in my mind for a story. Every character, every scene, every story has the capacity to surprise and move me.

Oh the unpredictability. It snags my heart every time.

So I'm getting excited for you, oh sequel of mine. I'm decorating the nursery--ahem, I mean the office. I'm pulling out the colors and characters and ideas that I think you'll like. I'll make all my funny faces at you, and I'll sing you crazy lullabies. And we'll figure this out.

Because we always grow up a bit together, these projects and me.

What about you--what are you up to? What projects are you facing? What's incubating in those sticky, in-between stages of development? Uncertainty loves company: let me know what's up in the comments.