Liminal Spaces

Just finished reading Alexander McCall Smith’s The Man with the Silver Saab (borrowed with glee from my local library’s “Lucky Day” shelves). The head of the Department of Sensitive Crimes, Detective Ulf Varg, is meeting with the head of the police force, Lund, who references “liminal spaces,” that “space in-between.” While Lund describes it as a rite of passage, “a bit like being a teenager,” it could also apply to being newly retired.

Liminal spaces
Liminal spaces are those places that suggest transitions or the initial stage of a process or that occupy both sides of a threshold.

I’m in a liminal space. Out of a fairly well-paid career in writing non-fiction – magazine and website articles, whitepapers, blog content – and into a stream of days spent writing fiction. What I’m in now can’t be called a second career, since careers suggest payment, and I’m not paid.

The satisfactions are there, even if the borderlines separating endeavor from profession are not. In the two months since I committed to focusing on fiction, I’ve revised three manuscripts.

But sometimes I feel like one of those salvaged spaceships that populate episodes of The Expanse (thanks for the recommendation, Dave), ignored, depleted and floating in space like an asteroid that’s already been tapped out. My current crop of stories hovers out there, in my desk, on my hard drive, in the cloud, awaiting publication, which may never happen.

It comes down to this when you’re writing fiction: finding an agent who can represent and, one anticipates, sell your manuscripts to a book publisher. I’m 40 agent inquiries in and counting.

This liminal space continues for me. It could be twilight or it could be dawn. Only time will tell.