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In Between Days

January 21, 2011

Being in between projects is always a strange state for a writer. Part of me enjoys it because when people ask me what I am up to or working on, I can say, “oh, I’m in-between…” and then the conversation is freed from that laborious talk where I try to describe my current piece of writing or obsession, and usually do so badly. The in-between times are usually full of great reading, catching up with friends, and also a lot of TV. But as you might expect, there’s a static to the in-between. A kind of inertness. One lays down at night with that feeling of “Who am I? What did I really do today?” It’s a place where happiness and discontent rub up against each other.

Right now, I’m finding the in-between different from usual. The static is louder and moving faster. I’m about to go into a new draft of The Blondes, due out in 2012. It’s set in the future-ish, as it deals with an impossible plague that infects women through their hair. At the same time I’m toying with a new project—that dreaded thing—a historical novel. So the past and future are at war in my head. One half of me is thinking in abstract terms and hypotheticals: what would happen if? The other half of me is studying dates, popular music of the day, lengths of skirt hems, and makes of automobiles.

On other fronts, ECW Press has just told me they intend to re-release my first novel, Joyland (2006), in its long-awaited paperback edition. I will need to go back into this book, if not to do actual edits (although I may) then to figure out what kind of new material we might add to the back section as a “bonus.” In re-releasing, I’m finding I have all the same insecurities I had the first time it went out into the world—even though I’m now two or three books further along in my career. You would think we would grow as writers, yet the more we write, the more the past comes back to haunt.

If anyone has suggestions for things they wished had happened in my novel, Joyland, or things they think would make excellent appendices, please feel free to email me at: emilyannschultz [at]


* Photo taken at WFMU lounge, 2008. Love the vintage Asteroids!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 6:32 pm

    Does this mean you’ll blog more? If yes — hurray!

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