On the Road: LaGuardia

I spent my day at LaGuardia, trying to fly out on Delta, which for some reason was having weather delays when none of the other airlines seemed to be having a problem. And now I’m in a Marriott, having been bumped to the next day. This gives me time to think, usually an iffy proposition but tonight a good thing. And what I think right now is, change is good, especially sudden and unexpected change.

Thursday, I went to the Met with Krissie to meet my friend Dale for lunch, and as I said in the last post, Dale brought John Saul and Mike Sack. I hadn’t talked with them for months, and when I saw them there in the light-filled lobby, I felt everything lift, just the sheer joy of seeing good people I loved, and I opened my arms to them because who wouldn’t? and hugged them and then hugged them again, and laughed, and then went to lunch and laughed again, just delighted to be with such wonderful people, my friends. But the thing is, if I’d known John and Mike were going to be there, I’d have been just as happy, but I wouldn’t have had that soaring moment in the Met lobby while security searched my bag and I laughed out loud to see them. That moment of sheer joy when everything changed . . . wonderful.

Friday, I went for drinks with my agent, Meg, and when I saw her sitting at the table behind a pillar, I knew something was wrong. She looked so strained, and Meg never does, she’s always who-loves-ya-baby upbeat. I sat down and said, out of the blue, before I even knew what was happening, “You’re firing me, aren’t you?” And we talked about what we both knew, that I wanted my career to go in a different direction than she did, and she said, “I think you should find a new agent.” And I thought, This can’t be happening, but I said, “Any suggestions?” not “Wait, we can work this out.” And we talked and hugged each other because she’s truly one of my best friends, and then I went back to the Village and thought, Everything’s new again. That moment of sheer panic when everything changed . . . liberating.

Last week, out of the blue, I had the inexplicable urge to finish my PhD. It’s been hanging fire for over ten years, but suddenly the need was there. And because I am impulsive, I e-mailed good people at OSU and said, “Can I come back and finish?” and by the end of the day, I had half of my committee and a welcome back from the head of the English Department. Then I had a moment of doubt. What the hell was I doing? I have novels to write and I need to write them fast because I’m behind again, and people are expecting a lot of me, and I have no time . . . but underneath all of that was the certainty that it was the right thing to do, finish the unfinished past and move into a new future. And then I began to think of a new diss topic and realized why I wanted to finish now: I want to research collaboration, why creative people come together to make art instead of pursuing inspiration in solitude; I realized that collaboration is more than just fun for me, it’s part of a creative evolution, changing me and my work, forcing me to grow and I want to know why. That moment of impulse when I e-mailed OSU and everything changed. . . illuminating.

So today, when I tried to fly out of LaGuardia and sat through delay after delay, I thought about the week, so many things had happened, so much laughter with Lani and Krissie and Mollie, so many good friends to have lunch and dinner with, so many surprises and so much change. And when my flight was cancelled five hours after it was supposed to have left, I walked into the quiet of a hotel room that wasn’t Ohio or New York, where I had no responsibilities and no one to come to my door, crawled into an amazing bed, and thought about the future–the trip to Australia and New Zealand, going back for the PhD, finding a new agent, writing Always Kiss Me Goodnight and Dogs and Goddesses—and knew there would be surprises, gifts from the universe and reversals, too, some things will be wonderful and some won’t, but all of it will be interesting.

Which reminded me of the best death-bed story I’d ever heard, about a wonderful guy dying of AIDS who’d lived his life well, and who, right before he died surrounded by loving family and friends, looked past them all as if he saw something in the distance, and said, “Well, this should be interesting.” Which reminded me that my favorite Tarot card is Death. Change. The idea that there is something new around the corner which is what keeps us going around the corner. And I knew that I am one lucky woman.

It’s been a good week on the road.

111 thoughts on “On the Road: LaGuardia

  1. What an amazingly honest and open post Jenny. Liberating, illuminating and interesting. Spot on.
    Of course you are right, sometimes you have to move out of the close first person and see the omnipotent to get the big picture. The joyeous delight in our friends and loved ones. The old dreams of our hearts.
    Thank you for the reminder that this life is truly not a rehearsal. Yes, the unknown new does keep us going around the corner – no regrets. No ‘I should have’, ‘could have’. Only good times ahead.
    Go Jenny.

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  2. Good luck finding a new agent! And as a reader, I just want to say that although I loved all of your earlier books, I have absolutely loved the way that your books have changed and grown over the past few years, and I can’t wait to read the new and different ones in the future.

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  3. Wow. My head is spinning just thinking about your week. Focusing on the wonderful possibilities rather than the scary changes is not one of my strong points. I think I need to bookmark this post so I can read it as a reminder when needed.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    Good luck with everying!

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  4. Lovely, Jenny. New plans, juices flowing, anticipation — all good stuff to help you fly over the rough stuff. Thanks for taking us on the ride.

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  5. Jenny, you are so much more ALIVE than most people I know. I think this is the main reason you are where you are today: successful, surrounded by true friends, excited about the future. Life is hard and messy but it is wonderful if you are willing to see it that way. It’s all in how we see it! Thanks for the reminder. I’m excited for you going back to school! Imagine how excited that English department is!!

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  6. It’s good to hear of a successful writer embracing change rather than settling for the familiar and safe. Go for it. The PhD sounds excellent. And PLEASE get Dogs and Goddesses published because I want to read it, talking dogs and all!

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  7. Change … scary. But yeah, that’s where the possibilities are. Funny thing, every time my life has taken a sharp curve I’ve thought “oh shit oh shit oh shit I can’t do this.” But once I realize that the universe isn’t giving me a choice, I find that I can do anything if I really have to.

    The past has been a blast, Jenny. But the future sounds … crunchy. Will you let us come on this ride with you?

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  8. Wow I am impressed. Just the plan and the agent thing alone would have me in tears. And now your PhD? I am amazed. You are my hero.

    Can we call you Dr. Jenny?

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  9. One more thing…your dissertation–what kind of Ph. D is this? Will the research be limited to writing collaborations? I love reading about musicians who collaborate. You could do a whole diss on Lennon and McCartney alone! Or maybe will you look at unknown artist collaborations? Like how women in a tribal village work together on baskets, or quilters make quilts together? This is such a huge thing, this collaboration idea! But I love it. Good luck.

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  10. Okay, Jenny, this definitely makes you my hero. I’d like to think that this would be my reaction — after i had the requisite panic — but it’s really great to see someone model it. Thank you for sharing this experience.

    And speaking of experiences, you do a wonderful job of experiential adult learning. Not everyone is even thinking of making their learning and their life have anything to do with each other and yet you consistently do. Kudos!! The past has been great but the future is where we get to learn more cool stuff.

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  11. Wow! I am truly impressed. Being of the same age as you I know this is quite an undertaking. However, the ‘pause is over. *grin*
    So now it’s time, a perfect time actually to move ahead and do something dynamic with the final third of life. I know many people who are more successful in this stage of life than ever before. It’s a less cumbersome place to be in, less responsibility to others. So go girl, reach for the sky. Do everything on a grand scale, ’cause if anyone can, it’s you.
    See you in Sydney. Have a safe journey.

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  12. Though I am not a religious person, one of my favorite quotes is “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” (I take this quote and inspiration from The Sound of Music, not the bible. I’ve found more faith in celluloid than in church, but that’s another topic.)

    Sounds like you’re flying through the window, Jenny. Have a great trip.

    ((((Hugs))))

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  13. Opportunities, they’re wonderful, aren’t they? and the most interesting ones come along, just as you said, when you aren’t expecting them. I, myself, am a change-seeker rather than a change-avoider. My own problem is always to figure out if I am running “away” rather than “to”. I applaud the idea that you are going to finish the PhD. The academic world can always use new ideas and an articulate person to express them. Collaboration in art is a fabulous topic. And I expect that your thoughts will be really, really interesting. I admire that you and Bob have taken the time to teach us all, even when you have so many other commitments. The dissertation will enable you to reach an even wider audience, I hope. Not necessarily larger, of course, there not being a huge demand for PhD thesis (would you like to read my late husband’s on Williams, Pound, Olson and Phenomonology?) but the people who will read it would not have been hanging out with us, reading about collaboration and the romantic adventure novel. Hurray for you! Go for it all! We’ll be cheering on the sidelines and you will let us know if we can help, right?

    /glee

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  14. Hi Jenny. You really are an amazing person. Your out look on life is one I admire and wish I could be so possitive when things change like they do. While I normally welcome change, it’s change in the smaller venues I enjoy. Changing my hair color. Re-arranging my furniture. Change my toe ring. Something that I consider major change, I don’t usually handle well, regardless of wheter it is a good, bad or indifferent change. big old cyber hugs to you!

    JenT.

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  15. *chirping in with the rest of the gang*:

    Go, Jenny. Even though I seem to belong to the minority who prefer your earlier novels, I think that you just have to go your own way. And best of luck with it!

    Not being a very optimistic person, I used to think that change is mostly bad. But looking back now, the best things in my life were connected to big changes, and not only good stuff, either. So here I am going back to teaching at the ripe old age of fifty, I quit my PR contracts, thinking that I must be out of my mind… just to find that one of my (writer) role models is making big changes just as well.

    In Germany, they choose a certain Bible verse for each year which is accepted by all denominations (I think), and this year’s is from Isaiah 43, 19 and I appreciate it very much: “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.”

    So I trust in the new thing and the way in the wilderness, and so can you.

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  16. I’ve been collaborating with a friend on novels for ten years. Everyone we tell–even other writers–widen their eyes and say “You do what?” Nobody seems to get it, that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. So I’d love to see what happens when a committed person studies this topic for her PhD. This is great news.

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  17. Hi Jenny,
    I’ll add my hugs to all the others. For myself, change is a very scary thing. What you are doing is amazing. And letting go of useless fear and embracing the joy of change is the absolutely perfect wat to do it. Of course, if you ever need to slide on up to the bar and vent, you know where to find us.

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  18. Well, change is good even though it may take a while to believe it. You’re one step ahead by accepting it for what it is and what you can do now.

    Everything happens for a reason is the cliche I live by. To think ten years ago your dissertation was on how men and women write differently. You’ve proved that by collaborating with Bob. In a sense this is probably what you were meant to do, the reason why you never finished your first dissertation.

    So hey, change is good. Best of luck.

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  19. A week for change – my theme as well. After 12 years and 3 deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, the Air Force decided that my husband should not be selected for retention. In other words, he was fired. While generally shocking to everyone who knows him, and me being just a little bitter that we put 12 years in towards military retirement just to have it taken away, overall we are also calm, accepting, and focusing on the exciting possibilities for the future. Can’t change what’s done, can only move ahead, and make it the best it can be. More power to you, Jenny!

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  20. Yikes and Yay!

    It’s good to see you excited to have new things on the horizon. I wish I handled change nearly so well.

    I’m a bit flabbergasted on your behalf, but…you go girl.

    Hope you have a lovely time in Australia and New Zealand. Take pictures: we love pictures.

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  21. WOW, Jenny.

    If I had to go through all that change I’d run screaming into the night – but here you are, embracing the new. It would be difficult for me to describe just how much I admire that. Your positive attitude will ensure your success with anything you do!

    Remember, two Cherrybombs have already gotten their PhD’s – why not you?

    I add my voice to the rest – you go girl!!

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  22. I’ve had experiences where something in me takes over and changes my life–I open my mouth and words come out I never expected, or I set things in motion that I don’t think I’m “supposed” to, but I just keep going.

    It’s beyond incredible. Joyous and right.

    Congratulations.

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  23. Geez, woman, you don’t do things by halves, do you? And to think some people are content merely to jump out of a perfectly good airplane or tie a nylon cord to their ankles and step off a bridge.

    Well, good for you – for wanting to finish the old, but also for recognizing and embracing change as opportunity. Scary as hell, isn’t it, that certainty that things will never again be the same? Been there. But even the newest things become comfortable and familiar over time – take it and shape it to your liking, now, before the paint dries and the clay starts to harden.

    Some wise woman said not long ago something to the effect that if you don’t fail once in a while, it’s a sure sign that you aren’t trying hard enough. No one can accuse you of not trying, can they? I love it when people I respect and admire have the guts to heed their own advice. Here’s hoping your failures are minimal and the successes are spectacular.

    Can’t wait to see what things of interest you find along the way.

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  24. Well for heavens sake! For the last few years I have been dragging my feet about getting a PhD, whining that I was sure there was simply no time to give it the quality attention it deserves regardless of how it would benefit my professional work. I one thought provoking post you blew that assumption out of the water.

    If you need assistance navigating those OhioLINK databases, let me know.

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  25. Awhile back, somewhere on the Internets, you wrote you’d been thinking about getting an outside job, just so writing wouldn’t be inextricably tied to paying the electric bill. Sounds like your need for a change has been rumbling toward the surface, and now the universe is cooperating marvelously.

    You can do it! Go, Jenny, go!

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  26. Jenny-
    WOW! You are so serene with all of the change surrounding you. I’m two years away from finishing the bachelors I started 16 years ago. When done I hope to have the courage and grace that you just put up for the world to see and walk away from my business world. Change is the only constant. Love the early work, love watching it grow and love seeing the changes collaboration has brought to your voice. Can’t wait for Agnes,AKMGN, more hilarious Dogs & Goddesses blogs and whatever else you can give me. HIGH SPIRITS and tons of fun down under!!

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  27. I think it’s great that you’re revisiting your doctoral work, and I’m glad you have so much support to do so. When I was in the midst of finishing my dissertation, I was so burned out and so bitter about the whole process that I think it was sheer stubbornness that made me finish. But whatever it was, I am so very grateful I did. Not for the professional doors it opened — although it did allow me to go in directions I could not have anticipated even with a crystal ball — but because the sense of completion and accomplishment changed me for the better. And if you’re working on something that truly interests you, the research and the writing matter, regardless of whatever becomes of the dissertation itself. I had a number of friends who didn’t finish, and despite whatever career success they have had, there’s a certain justification that has to be made for not finishing that I think eats away at them a little. Hopefully you will find completing the doctorate liberating and re-energizing, along with the other new journeys you’ve decided to take.

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  28. What’s that old saying…
    “When someone gives you lemons…..make lemonade.”
    Looks like you have several pitchers of lemonade on the shelf.

    Keep on writing, please.

    We’ll soon be calling you Ms Jenny, The Doctor.

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  29. This will be the best thing. We get set in our ways, it’s safe, it’s cosy.
    Change is new, change is scary.
    Don’t be afraid. I already know that you are not.
    At the end of the change tunnel you’ll come out pure and clean and open for what is meant to come.
    Enjoy.
    Well done.
    Larisa

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  30. Jennifer Crusie’s agent __lets her go?!?__
    I’m dumbfounded.
    Well, if this agent’s so chock full o’ bestselling authors she can throw a few out of the stable from time to time, it’s good news for some other agent. But, geez–who do you have to be to retain an agent?

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  31. Good luck with that dissertation. It won’t “change” your life, as in you quit writing and start teaching, but it does change your view of yourself. It’s wonderful. It’s like standing at the base of a mountain and thinking, “can I climb this?” and when you get to the top, and your dissertation chair “hoods” you during graduation, you look back and see how high you have climbed and it feels great.

    Good luck.

    Dr. Cynthia Morgan
    (aka Arkansas Cyndi)

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  32. So… you’ve found a passion and you want to revel in it some more, think it over, talk about it, write about it, have a committee to push you and keep you company with it.

    It sounds wonderful. That delight and curiosity will carry you through the tough parts when the urge to finish up is exceeded by the urge to take a long vacation 🙂

    Congratulations on a big week!

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  33. Oh, wow. I’m not really an astrology kind of girl, but so many things happened to me Monday morning, I wonder if there is some sort of Cosmic Change in the air. And now I hear that your life is completely turned around.

    You know what you owe to us, your readers? That you should follow your dream, and keep yourself happy and healthy and following new challenges. If you never pick up the pen again, we’ll still have your wonderful books. And if you keep writing and publishing, then we will have New Jenny, not rewarmed, rehashed Extruded Jenny Product. (Which you have never given us, by the way!) No matter which way you go, we have more than we had before we read our first Crusie.

    I love your writing, I love your books, and after having to come to know you through your blogs, I really like and respect you. Go, be happy! (-: I have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Jennifer Crusie.

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  34. For Christmas, one of my co-workers gave me a beautiful wall hanging of a fairy sitting on a crescent moon. Painted on the moon is the question:

    “What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?”

    If your answer is to go after your PhD while simultaneously writing several different novels (under deadline), I’ll have to re-think my inclination to say, “I can’t finish writing this novel I’ve been working on since November because I’m so busy being a mom and reading and cleaning the house and reading and working part-time and reading and being a wife and reading and studying the HWSW lessons and reading…”

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  35. What a week! I feel sorry for the agent. I think she just may have made the biggest mistake of her career.

    Good for you going back to finish your Phd. It is hard work to go back to school as an adult. I went back to high school with the kids in the 1970s at 34yo and went to University in the mid-80s for a BA in Teaching English as a Second Language/Politics so that I could do the one thing I always felt was out of reach for me and that was to teach. I was scared at first but I got such support from family, friends and professors that it really helped along the way.I graduated at 50yo. But you know what was the best part…the sense of accomplishment when I taught my first class and knew that I had succeeded.

    I have no doubt that you will succeed too. You go get it all Jenny. We’ll help with research or homework. 🙂

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  36. These comments are so inspiring. I knew I was a lucky woman, I just didn’t know HOW lucky. With all this good karma coming my way, how can I fail?

    By tripping over my own two feet and then putting them both in my mouth, as usual, but hey, at least it’s entertaining.

    Thank you all VERY much.

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  37. I am soooo happy you’re finishing the PhD! Really. It’s been bugging me. LOL! How can Jenny not finish? It would drive me crazy not to finish. So, thanks. ;+) All the best of luck finding a great new agent. I imagine they’ll be beating down your door.

    (((hugs)))

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  38. Wow! Big changes. Many hugs. Great decision on the PhD. We’ll cheer you on for sure. I swear I’m not making it up, but just 2 days ago, I was thinking about you and how you didn’t finish your PhD, and was wondering if you’d go back for it. So Weird.

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  39. Jenny, when I read your post, my heart smiled. Yeah, I know, I can’t see in there, but I felt lighter and lighter as you laid out your plans. Your joy is contagious!

    What an incredible week you have been given! I admire you so much for your ability to listen to and identify your needs. You articulated it so clearly..I love a woman with a plan!

    From one of the bunch who loved reading your grocery list, and blogged on white space, I would like to sign up for the Jenny Cruise-rest of her life- tour. Sounds like a lot of work, but a blast for us!

    OSU has never seen a graduation ceremony like Dr. Jenny Crusie and the Cherries and Cherry Bombs there to cheer her on. Can’t wait!

    But having to study so deeply why you want to work with Bob? Hmmmmmmmm 🙂

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  40. Wow and wow. I’m with whoever said that this much change would send me screaming but in future, I wanna be more like you. Go you on the PhD and following your own path. I’m glad one of the first stops on the Jenny Crusie-rest of her life- tour is Australia.

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  41. Jenny said, “With all this good karma coming my way, how can I fail?”

    You can’t, but not for the reasons you may think. You’re moving forward into life, acting instead of reacting. Even if you try the Ph.D. and think “no, not for me this time either,” that’s valuable information. Ditto for all the other changes and experiments and growth experiences.

    Whatever comes of these decisions and this time in your life, none of this will be wasted time and energy. It all goes into making you you. You’re a writer–everything becomes part of the whole. And you, in particular, use everything that is you in your work.

    You’re very generous. We’re the lucky ones.

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  42. My favorite Tarot card has always been the Tower. Now I don’t feel so strange about that. The best stuff is always the stuff you didn’t plan for, so here’s to new beginnings jenny!

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  43. Wow! I wonder if collaboration is as rare in nonfiction as it is in fiction. My first impulse is that it isn’t rare in nonfiction, and I can point to a number of examples, but I wonder if that is really the way it is or if it is just my experience. One of the first nonfiction articles I wrote online was co-written with Teri Brown, and we wrote about six women collaborating online including MJ Rose. I remember Teri and I exchanging lines through instant messaging and sending drafts back and forth by e-mail. Our time difference worked well, I remember.

    Congratulations on deciding to go back for the PhD. I just finished my master’s degree, something I started 11 years after my bachelor’s degree, and what the experience did for me as a writer and a person is…. It was a life-changing positive experience. I don’t have any plans for a PhD now, but I’m not ruling it out either.

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  44. Dr. Jenny – like the sound of that.

    Can’t wait to hear Bob’s snark about this.

    Best of luck as always. We’ll be here waiting to hear all the progress and pitfalls along the way.

    Travel safe when downunder.

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  45. I’m so excited for you, Jenny! I hope your committee gives you the support (and deadlines) you need to turn out your work of scholarship. I’m sure they’ll enjoy the heck out of it. A Ph.D. thesis is very different from a work of fiction – and doesn’t have to be nearly as long. You’ve been doing the research on it for the last several years, though I’m sure you’ll have more to do (the trick is knowing when to stop, hence the importance of deadlines). So I HOPE this doesn’t mean that we’ll lose you from fiction for too long.

    As someone who is also embracing frightening change at this time, I’m inspired by your excellent example!

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  46. I shall look forward to reading the published version of your Ph.D. thesis in due course – because naturally, it must and will be published. And I can’t help grinning at the thought of how you will curse and gnash your teeth about checking all those **** references, and doing the index (I always feel that novels should have indexes too, and think that it’s unfair that fiction-writers can get away without that particular mind-numbing chore). 🙂
    Jenny, it will refresh your spirit to go back into academia for a while. As others have said, things often happen for a reason. If you had completed your doctorate years ago, though it would still have been useful and important, it would probably not be as hugely significant as the study you are now keen to do. Your experience and success as a writer over the years will give it unique depth and impact – and it is bound to be infinitely better written than the average Ph.D.

    🙂

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  47. First – congrats on making such a big step as returning to school – and wow, look how much you already have done on getting your committee together etc!

    Second – you posted, “And we talked about what we both knew, that I wanted my career to go in a different direction than she did” which begs the question, where are you planning to take your writing? Will there still be romances?

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  48. Jenny, you invented the phrase “good karma.” What you have given back is incredible, and I greatly benefited from your words of wisdom on more than one occasion. I’m sure your path will be as successful–or more so–than the one you’re leaving behind. Good luck. (I doubt I would be as calm in the same situation, even if I knew it was good for me.)

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  49. AgT, I agree. Much better to finish now than back then.

    And new direction really means “many directions” instead of just women’s fiction, although I’ll probably always write women’s fiction. But I like collaborating, and I like non-fiction and I like paranormals and I like experiments with structure. And none of that is good for a best-selling career because to be a best-seller you need focus. That’s just common sense. Readers understandably do not like it when you change.

    Of course, it’s no surprise to anybody who reads this blog that I have no focus–where was I?–so just blow up my inability to stay on topic in a post to career-size, and you can see why I was driving my agent crazy, although she was much too nice to say so.

    But it’s really good. I’m happy. Nothing but good times ahead. Or at least, nothing but interesting times ahead.

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  50. Jenny, you don’t have fans you have a cult so we’ll follow you any where. Scary and comforting at the same time.

    But if you start with post “I’m doomed.” We are going to know you’ve joined the dark side with Bob.

    For now you’re still saying, “Nothing but good times ahead.” Sort of. No, need for us to panic yet.

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  51. Anyone else picturing half the agents in NYC frantically e-mailing Jenny with “hi howya doing” notes?

    It’s true, what everyone’s saying. This was a lift just to read. Go you.

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  52. Okay, okay, okay- I can take a hint when it’s thrown at me written on a brick- I’ve been talking and toying about finishing my Master’s degree, but with time and work and things, you know how it goes…. but you’re not the first person in my world to praise change and finishing what was started years ago, so I guess that means I need to go study for the GRE since I’m going to have to reapply

    Oh, and congrats to you and Meg- it’s a scary thing for both of you after having been together for so long, to be able to say, “The next step is going to be odd and good, but probably better off taken with someone else” and still remain good friends- well, you both get a gold star for that one

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  53. Jenny Wrote: “Readers understandably do not like it when you change.”

    You know, this is something that really bugs me because when some of my favorite authors make changes, I love it. It’s exciting. It’s new. Sure, I find an author I like and I read him/her and buy their back list, but seriously, after so many books of “similiar” style, I get bored. And, you can tell when the author gets bored of doing the same thing after a while. I hope I’m not offending anyone and I’m probably way off base here and probably not the norm, possibly even totally wrong, but I like to read authors who like to write different things. I don’t read just one genre, or one subgenre, I read things that interest me. I read writers that interest me and writers who spread their wings and write things outside their box, take risks, well I love them. When I hear that an author has done something new, or different, or really wrote something totally different from what we are used to, I race out to get that book.

    I know, it’s a business, and each person involved that part of it has to do what is best for the business aspect of things. Working relationships change and sometimes those relathionships just have to end. I understand that and that is not what I’m commenting on. It’s just the readers don’t like change and I know that is true (with me being the exception) but I wish it was different in general. I think what you are doing – the change, or shift in where you are going is good. You are not the same person/writer you where 20 years ago, 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. We all grow and change, and that will bleed on to the page. Sigh…. I need to shut up now. I make no sense at all.

    Embrace growth and change. Scary as hell, but embrace it. Okay, you are. Maybe it’s me has too.

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  54. What Jen-T said.
    We’re already reading more than just romances. First, we’re reading all kinds of romances. We’re reading mysteries. Adventure. Non-fiction. Oh, lordy, we’re reading literature. Poetry.

    You could do what other types of artists have done:
    Create a studio where minions follow the Original Jennifer Crusie path.
    or
    Create pen-names for non-OJC work and continue to overwork.
    I’m too onry to be in a cult. Could I just be fanbase?

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  55. Jenny, one of your amazing qualities I admire is your tenacity. You never give up. No matter if it’s hard demanding work and you struggle with it, you just never quit. And you never give up on your dreams, no matter how long you’ve been dreaming.

    There are a whole lot of people out there who are creative and talented, but they lack that tenacity to keep them going and making something great out of all that talent. It’s so much easier to quit and find a save career where there’s little chance in failing. Tenacity is a rare quality, I think.

    Best of luck on your journey towards your Ph.D.

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  56. I love seeing the differences in each of you books. Maybe we are the exceptions to the rule, but sometimes I think people assume readers want the same-old same-old more than they really do. Of my reading friends, I can’t think of any who read just one genre, althoug they may have favorite authors or genres.
    I agree w. Allison too, you have a bunch of good karma headed your way.
    Going back to a previous post: I remember your post on picking the cover for the UMFs, and seeing how the styles developed. I think I know what happened to one of the earlier options….
    http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=15240

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  57. I’ve had favorite writer’s change direction before. Sometimes I don’t like it, but sometimes wonderful things come from it. As you, Jenny, have very high standards for writing I expect wonderful things to follow. I also expect there will still be some snark involved. It’s all good.

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  58. This is the second blog I’ve read in as many days that has talked about making a major life change. There must be something in the cosmos. Good changes too.

    Change in general tends to put people on edge. I think that is why there is a general opinion that most people don’t want their favorite authors to try new things. We tend to go back to them for the familiar comfort read.

    Personally, I like the idea of seeing new things from familiar people. I know I can trust a Crusie novel to be well written and well thought out, so I am apt to go along for the ride and see where the story goes. My reading habits have changed in the last year. I pay more attention to the quality of the stories I read. Before I tended to pick up a book just to get lost for awhile, but now I want what I am reading to worth my time.

    Kudos on the major life changing decisions and the best of karma to you for believing in yourself. I am sure you will accomplish great things.

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  59. Jenny, you are my hero. I hate change. It scares me. However, I’m thinking about some quote I saw awhile back that read, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin said it. Then there’s another quote: “To infinity, and beyond.” Buzz Lightyear

    We’ll all be with you, every step of the way. I hope that I can learn to embrace change the way that you do.

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  60. Jenny,
    You are right that the majority of fans don’t like authors to change. If one does, all the comments are negative. However, if the author keeps to the same style, it doesn’t take long for all the comments to get negative. Basically, people like to bitch. Human nature I guess. I prefer to read an author who keeps true to her inner voice. If that means growth and change, so be it. The books are better for it. The fans will do what they will do, and the true fans will be here with you all the way. Free your muse, and write it down. If we are willing to read your grocery list, we will be willing to read whatever else comes out of your head. Including your dissertation. Go Dr. Jenny.

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  61. How very brave! Congratulations and good luck! You are quite an inspiration, first with your generousity in sharing your knowledge and experience and now in your courage to go off adventurously into new directions.

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  62. There is of course a downside to all this. Jenny always said that Bantam would reprint ‘Trust me on this’ and ‘The Cinderella deal’when she got famous. But now she’s given up on fame and fortune.
    This is no problem to all you people who have old copies tucked away in your bookcases, but I haven’t even read them!
    I have dutifully given up hope of ever reading ‘Sizzle’, but I was hoping for those two.

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  63. Wow. Today was a really great day for me to read this. My life is also complete change right now. I’ve just graduated and I’m trying to find my first real job. And it’s nice to hear somebody else who is facing that change with an upbeat attitude.

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  64. Ingrid,
    I have a suggestion. Inter-Library Loan. I got all 3 books that way. You don’t get to keep them, but at least you get to read them. Give it a try. It worked for me.

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  65. Thanks, K.L. But I’m afraid libraries in Europe don’t have Jenny’s early books. My local library only has translations of some of her recent books.

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  66. It’s funny how being stranded at the airport all day can really force you to think about your life.

    I was stuck all day at the airport after I’d dropped my daughter (first time away from home!)off for a six week ballet workshop. I spent the day accepting that she wasn’t really a kid anymore and this whole ballerina thing is more serious than I might like. Tomorrow is her last day. She has never looked happier.

    Thanks for reminding me sometimes you just have to let go..

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  67. Jenny – I’m so glad for you. I’m sure the dissertation is the right move. You strike me as someone who is open to change rather than impulsive. So I’m sure if you made that phone call, it was because it was the logical next step. I have found your move toward’s collaboration to be fascinating. It will be a very rich topic.

    I’m sorry about your agent but I am happy for you both that you can move in different directions in the same spirit in which you have worked together. Change is great, but sometime transition stinks.

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  68. It was nice the way the photo (with a statue of Queen Victoria in the background) matched the title “Queen star hands in science PhD”.

    I’m sure we can expect as much, if not more, from Jenny who is, after all, a goddess 😉

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  69. Jenny -What an inspiring Up beat woman you are! I have lurked on ‘She said/He said’ site for quite a while. It is always interesting.

    The personal stuff is inspiring. Just that you didn’t let the ‘firing’ upset you but gleaned a chance to move on to bigger and better things, I can’t even imagine how I would react.

    Thanks for sharing. Your dissertation will be done before you know it.

    All the Best! Di

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  70. I’ll read Crusies no matter what genre you’re in. Now if you want to make me a really really really happy reader all you need to do is build the story around horses.

    Hey, a girl can dream!

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  71. That moment of sheer panic when everything changed . . . liberating.

    How lovely. I wish you change.

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  72. well, the butterfly was approperate for book, and free flight, i already started on the Dogs and Goddesses jewelry, but what do you design for a dr? open to ideas….

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  73. Jenny, you are one amazing woman! But we knew that already. *g*

    Five days to go until Sydney!

    Oh, speaking of which, is there any word on when is a good time to give you your TimTams?

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  74. I decided today that I wouldn’t eat sugar while I was in Australia and maybe I’d lose some weight.
    Then I had a cookie.
    Any time is a good time to give me TimTams.

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  75. (-: You should eat sugar while you are in Australia — just don’t eat any refined sugar that you can get in the States, and be sure to enjoy some of that Australian Outdoor Lifestyle. That way, both your diet and your exercise program can have an exotic flair!

    I posted because I want to say, I can’t wait to read more of your paranormals. The UMFortunes was fabulous, and I love how D&G is shaping up. You know, the science fiction and fantasy WorldCon is going on in Yokohama Japan at the end of this month. Maybe you could extend your Aus/NZ stay, and get a layover in Narita and come see the WorldCon before you go home. In the interest of research, of course.

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  76. Phew! I read that first sentence, Jenny, and thought ‘Now I have to eat four packets of TimTams’ (not five, ’cause I don’t like coffee – that packet would go else where). And for about a second I thought ‘Yum’ – and then felt queasy, because that many TimTams in the hands of one lone person who has zero will power is not the greatest idea.
    Thank god for that cookie!
    Might bring the goodies to the Friday workshop – you may need chocky fortification. *g*

    DUG – will you be there Friday?

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  77. Hey, spread the word that the handouts will be up on the website by tomorrow, will you? I didn’t get them to Anne on time, but if they’re up on the website you can print off as many copies as you want.

    Guess what I’m doing for the rest of the day. Besides packing.

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  78. Its okay Erica – quite a few of the RWAust committee are regular lurkers here at Argh so consider the message spread.

    Yes, I’ll be there on Friday, Erica. I’m meeting Jenny and Krissie off their plane so I’ll actually be there on Wednesday.

    Only 3 more sleeps!

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  79. Yea, Jenny!

    I can’t wait to read your dissertation. Finishing the degree is important, I believe, for the feeling of sheer accomplishment. Somebody compared it to climbing a mountain. I have a print on my wall of a figure looking at a mountain in the distance. That is always my “goal” picture, to remind me to keep going. And I found it when I was working on my degree. It’s been with me ever since.

    I look forward to your comments when you’re back in academia.

    Cheers,
    Fredericka
    BA, MA, PhD, History, Rice University

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  80. I’ve had to read/critique my share of Ph. D. theses in the sciences. But I’m guessing one in English/writing/whatever is way different from any scientific research and reporting.

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  81. Usually I lurk, but I just have to say I’m surprised at your agent’s decision.

    Certainly you’ve been branching out, but not so far that your readers won’t follow. All the elements we love are still there – the smart, snarky heroines, the humor, all delivered in that voice we know and love. Does the genre-hopping really matter? That’s like saying people won’t eat chocolate bars anymore because they’re packaged in blue wrappers rather than purple. Kooky!

    Rock on, and keep writing. We’ll be there.

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  82. Hi Jenny,

    Joining in late to remind you (because we both look at some of the same sites 😉 ) that Saturn is transiting into Virgo in September. Also, Venus had just STARTED to retrograde when you and Meg had that lunch.

    Hang onto your Muse! Hugs and sending best wishes.

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  83. I have a different perspective on finishing the Ph.D. DON’T go back if it’s primarily to finish. That’s not a good enough reason to put yourself through a lot of jumping through hoops and stress and (all too often) poverty, just to have a credential.

    Often the smart thing to do is walk away and get on with your life.

    If you had the perfect committee & supportive faculty with nothing else to do & you didn’t have to find a new research topic… maybe. But it’s not like an MFA where a completed novel can be your thesis. A Ph.D. is often full of stuff you don’t want to waste your time on.

    Also, DON’T go back with the rosy idea that it’ll be a stimulating meeting of minds. The reality is, it’s lonely. Your faculty may be interested but frankly it’s all you, working by yourself for years on end.

    Lest you think I’m a bitter ex-student, I did finish a Ph.D. and I’ve advised a lot of people. Going back to school is often a refuge for people in a mid-career restless slump, but it’s rarely a good antidote to burnout.

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