Thank you for being patient while I have been away for these past two weeks. Two weeks ago I was one of the Directors for my church's Vacation Bible School program, which not only was the culmination of months of work by a team of us to prepare for this week of camp, but meant that I was essentially a school principal for a week- walking around high-fiving students, putting out fires, making sure all of the teachers had everything they needed, and dealing with misbehaving knuckleheads. Yep, that was VBS, and we all survived. Well, as far as I know.
Last week I was away with my family visiting Philadelphia over the Fourth of July. We also celebrated the Fifth of July, otherwise known as my birthday. If you would like to donate $36 in honor of my 36th birthday to the National MS Society, something many of my friends did, click here. If you would like to donate more, THANK YOU!!! Someone reading this right now is capable of donating $360, and I know someone else can do $3600. Together we will find a cure.
All of that meant that I was unable to write to this blog for the past weeks, and I appreciate all of you waiting patiently for me. BACK TO WORK!
In the midst of being away from my blog, as well as trying to find moments to write in the midst of all that chaos (something I did manage to do), I wanted to come back and talk to you guys about some moments that have meant a lot to me as a writer. These are the moments when I have been deep in a story and folks have let me stay there.
What am I talking about? Let me give you an example of when this didn't happen. I decided one day to get out of the house with my printouts I was reading and editing for my next novel and go sit and work in what I thought was a quiet sandwich shop. Lo and behold, everyone and their brother showed up for a sandwich and I kept running into people I knew. Having lots of friends is a huge blessing and an evil, evil curse sometimes. They were all happy to see me and wanted to chat, and I knew if I wanted to get anything done I had to scarf that sandwich down in seconds and leave for another (hopefully) quiet place to work. I get to my new location, am chugging along in my manuscript, and, sure enough, in walks a friend of mine.
I tried, as kindly as a could, to let this person know I am trying to write quietly, even that I came to hide, and they completely missed the point. "I'm so glad I ran into you! I've been meaning to ask you about..."
Yeah, nothing accomplished that day other than not committing homicide.
Fast forward a few weeks. After a seriously productive day of writing, I came up to my daily wall- the kids have to be picked up from school. Once again I was working with pen and paper, so I went early to park close to the school and just sat on the curb, writing frantically. As many writers will tell you, sometimes the ideas come in floods and if you don't get them down fast your head will explode. It's messy and requires a lot of editing later because you're basically verbally vomiting all over the page, but it gets the job done.
As I knew was going to happen, some of my fellow parents arrive for pick up, an sure enough a friend of mine walks over. He asked if I was working on my next book. My response: "Yes, and I-love-you-dearly-but-go-away!" It was probably more brusque than I intended to be, but my thought was conveyed. I really wanted to finish my thought before the bell rang, and if I didn't then my brain was going to explode in front of a bunch of children.
Someone wasn't going to sleep well that night, that's for sure.
The best part was that he said, "Oh, absolutely. I'll leave you to it.", and he walked away. If my friend is reading this, he knows who he is, and I nearly kissed him that day. THANK YOU! That was the best gift he could have given me in that moment, and it's the moments when it doesn't happen that made me appreciate it so much.
I absolutely love it when people ask me, "So tell me about the story you're writing now!", but there is a time and a place for that. When the writer around you is actively writing, LET THEM WRITE. We all understand your curiosity, and why you ask, "Whacha working on?" I promise we do. But if you see me, or another writer you spend time with deep in their work, walk away. Quickly. Let them write. It will be the best thing for them, and honestly the safest thing for your safety as well.
Pens are pointy, and most writers carry pens.
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