As I perused the Web later, I came across a timely (for me) article on one of the blogs I follow. Author Marla Madison's article about "Summer Slump" certainly resonated. Here's the link: http://marlamadison.blogspot.com/2013/07/summer-slump-7-ways-writers-can-survive.html
While the article does not suggest as much, three items sort of combined in my head--try something new, plan the next project, and keep writing. What came out of that was to put "The Janus Rule" on a brief vacation and hit on one of the future projects I had in mind.
I'm going back to a book I wrote some time ago about a murder in political circles, a conspiracy to cover it up, and the quest to blow the whistle. The manuscript eventually found an agent willing to shop it around, but it never found a home. A comment from one publisher resonated with me. "Another corrupt politician in Chicago? Big deal." The book went through a couple of rewrites, trying to warp it into more romantic suspense or suspenseful romance or something, but no cigar. The agent and I both gave it up and went our separate ways.
Now for the reboot. The story is now going to be set in the not-too-distant future, and there is more to it than the cover-up. I came up with a sort of pitch line for it yesterday afternoon: Change comes slowly to human society. It creeps in while no one is looking and insidiously incorporates itself into the fabric of everyday life, accepted without question or resistance, until one day, no one remembers what changed. Once I had that down, I couldn't wait to get started on it.
Which I have. Its title goes with the last incarnation of the manuscript, and I think it might still work. My one reservation is that there is a nonfiction book out with the same title. Perhaps it's not that much of a problem, but I feel uncomfortable with it. For now, I'll give it a new working title of "Resistance."