Holding Hands

Dear Darlings,

The traffic was backed up for miles. Semis surrounded us as we crawled along I-81 heading home after a weekend spent in Lexington with Zach. A knot formed in my stomach as the pace of the vehicles around us undulated in a imprecise dance. Fast then slow. Brake lights screaming on in front of us. My hands were knotted together. We needed to get home by 5:30. The traffic gods seemed to be against us.

I hate being late. I don’t hate it as much as Claire who has to be everywhere 15 minutes early, but I do hate it with a passion. It seems rude to hold someone else hostage to a timeline they didn’t set. So I try my hardest to get where I need to be on time. I don’t always succeed and this looked like one of those times.

The house finally came in to view and I went screeching in with my suitcase flying out behind me. Racing up the stairs, I flung my suitcase to the ground and began to change out of my lacrosse watching clothes into something a little more appropriate. Stan sat on the bed and watched with mild amusement as I flew around, grabbing clothes, brushing my hair and freshening up. He told the kids he was just there to stay out of my way.

Lucas and I left the driveway at 5:50, squealing out on two tires,  and pulling into the parking spot with my tires bumping over the curb as I threw the car in park. I skulked into the classroom in front of Lucas feeling my face flush with embarrassment while we tried to sneak in quietly to his introductory class for writing his college essay (yes, I did say Lucas’ class for learning how to write his college essay And I said it without the threat of tears in my eyes…my how I’ve grown!). We were supposed to be there by 6 o’clock, and here it was 6:07. I apologized and slunk back to the back of the room with Lucas following behind me, never realizing how very uncomfortable I was with our tardiness.

My nerves quieted as I sat back and listened to Lucas’ tutor talk about her vision for these kids and their essays. I could feel her passion emanating through the room. Entranced and enthralled, I sat and listened. Her enthusiasm radiated through me as she talked about writing these essays and how they’re supposed to be fun ~ how writing and putting words together is supposed to be fun. It made me realize how much I’m looking forward to Lucas learning to love, (okay maybe love is too strong of a word, just like writing) and for him to enjoy the process of sitting down and coming up with ideas for his essay.

As I sat there wishing all of these things for Lucas, it hit me how much her words spoke to me. Writing. Is. Supposed. To. Be. Fun. In the past year, it wasn’t so fun. It was a chore, and I didn’t know where I lost the enjoyment. And then it hit me. Writing had become a J.O.B., and I didn’t even realize it. Until…my publishing house announced they were closing up shop. The manacles of the J.O.B. seemed to loosen. When I was with Booktrope, I felt overwhelmed in this world where everyone was wonderful and great and helpful, but it was daunting to try and figure out how I was supposed to fit in to this vast network of people. It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time at Booktrope. I certainly did. And my team was beyond wonderful. From my editor to my proofreader to my cover designer and my book manager, they were all consummate professionals. The only word I can use to describe my time at BT was overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start or where to end. I didn’t know which way was up. It was convoluted and confusing. There was too much information for me to try to sift through and try to write all at the same time. Once Booktrope said they were ceasing operations, the world of writing looked fun again. Because it was mine. It was my little idyllic place again. It was a spot where stringing words together became a challenge to enjoy, rather than a chore to be completed. Writing and fun held hands again.

From the interstate to the classroom so many emotions flitted through my body, panic, stress, irritation, embarrassment and joy. In the end the joy won out. Thanks, Tracy for helping to bring back the passion for doing something I love so much!


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