Monday, April 21, 2008


Posted by Lisa Marnell

If Amy, Hannah, or Lynne reads this title, she will know what I mean; Friday, I hop aboard an airplane at LAX. Five o'clock in Boston, my father-in-law picks me up at Logan. On Saturday, I'll meet Amy, Hannah and Lynne at the Muse & the Marketplace conference.

I haven't seen them since Christmas.

I miss them.


This feeling I have, five days away from my trip, is not anxiety. Yet I do feel a shaking in my legs and arms. My hands especially are trembling, as though I'm poised on the edge of a ten meter platform, ready to dive into bubbling water beneath. I'm excited. Excited in part for the adventure to unfold.

It's been ten months since I moved to California. It was January 2007, at the tail end of a meeting at Amy's, that I shared my news with the group. The move was close to decided at that time. My husband had an opportunity he couldn't pass up: the dream job: work in the travel industry, an opportunity for learning more, greater responsibility, an outside chance of financial gain. Then, the countdown started.

It broke my heart on one hand. I was ready for a change on the other.

Support from Lynne, and Hannah, and Amy, has overwhelmed me; I assumed the group couldn't continue with the four of us, I hoped that it would.

It has.

How many things in a writing life are a countdown? Sending pages ahead of time to our writers' group... What do you mean I have to wait six days until feedback? Three fourths through a novel we long for it to be done. When we send queries to agents, we want their decisions yesterday. The waiting, and wondering, while editors read manuscripts - that is torture. And, oh, waiting for the pub date to arrive on a calendar. I can't imagine that feeling.

Yes, writing is waiting. Writing is a countdown. Writing, in a way, is a form of torture. Yet delicious and desired, as well.


Larramie said...

Travel safe, Lisa, and savor every moment with The Writer's Group together again. Also please don't even think about your countdown to going home, just enjoy!

DeAnna Cameron said...

Oh, you're so right. Waiting, especially with anything related to writing, can feel like torture. I envy those lucky folks who can be Zen about it, those fortunate people who can tell themselves it's all part of some wonderfully complex journey and be content. Unfortunately, I'm far too impatient for that.

Lisa said...

I'm so happy for all of you that you'll be reunited soon. Seems like only yesterday I was reading about your injury and the indignities of having to hobble around on crutches. Can it have been as long as it has?

Anonymous said...

I hope your excitement about seeing your friends overwhelms any anxiety (I'd sure be feeling) about the act of flying itself. I love to fly. It's the airport/airline aspect of it that drains any fun.

But countdowns? Oh yeah. I started an online writing class today. Last night I dreamed that I was taking a college math class! And I was late!

But when I post a homework assignment, it says it'll take seven days to get feedback from the instructor. Are you kidding?!

I gave my partner two stories to read, but when she picked them up off the table, I said, "Don't read them in front of me!" So now I wait for her to have the time to read them. Yikes!

Thank god for modern technology that lets you stay with your group. And with us. I work with designers in Arizona, Florida, and Maine. Amazing.