No I’m not talking about Marathon Key, although we did drive through it on the way to Key West. The vacation was in so many ways perfect—the weather, the laughter, the girls dancing in the street outside Sloppy Joe’s, seeing my handsome son for the first time in almost two years. But while we were away, I never checked e-mail or phone messages. Didn’t watch the news or pick up a newspaper. Apparently a lot of stuff happened.

One thing was that my agent requested the first two books in the Courtesan Court trilogy. Paradise has made the rounds. Although it’s still out with three houses, the upshot is that the writing’s good but the subject matter’s too edgy. I knew that it was risky from the get-go (not for nothing do I think of it as “The Bad Book”). But almost everyone who’s passed on it wants to see what else I’ve got. So I spent all day Sunday—over 12 hours—making sure Mistress by Midnight and Mistress by Mistake were all shiny and devoid of those pesky red and green lines in an editing marathon. (If someone knows how to turn off the sentence fragment warning feature, please let me know.)

I’d already done revisions, but wanted to double-check that everything was clean. It was kind of weird. I cried at the sad parts and laughed at the funny parts, as though somebody else had written the books. I don’t know what that means, but I’m hoping it will spur me on to finish the third book, Mistress by Marriage. I did indeed lie under the palm trees in Florida in 2009 and contemplate London in 1820, and I’m raring to go.

So, I’m ready to be in limbo again. Or still. Or always. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you ever write outside your comfort zone? What plot points turn you off?