It’s 5:17 pm. I’m back home, blogging in bed as usual. The children survived our absence in good shape; we came home to a spotless house and three innocent faces, along with most of the money we’d left with my 19-year-old for emergencies. These kids are the bomb-diggity, I’m telling you. Either that or they’re presenting a united front against the parental units. Which is not the worst thing in the world, actually.

Photograph by Hedi Slimane

As for me, I feel a bit adrift at the moment. I sent the final draft of my manuscript off to my agent before we left for Portland, and presumably he’s shopping it around, trying to find it a home. So all that is good, but after months of daily writing, I’m jonesing for something to work on. All week I’ve been trolling through old pulp fiction, obscure French films, top-10, -25, -50 lists of psychological thrillers and film noir–anything that will light me up and get this party started. This morning I watched Cape Fear; last night I went to bed with Elmore Leonard. Later it will be a Hitchcock double feature: Rear Window and Vertigo, and if that doesn’t work I’ve got another De Niro film cracking its knuckles on my hard drive.

Surely in all these stories there’s something for me. Two or three movies I can twist together with a modern cast of characters, a gender swap to freshen up a tired old trope, maybe a way to get inside a classic by choosing a different point of view and following the characters into the bedroom. There must be something. But for now I’m lost, and starting to get that full-body tremor of the junkie without her fix.

I’m in the dark country.

How nervous do you get between projects?


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