Almost there

Mountain Climber, Sky, Landscape, Climber, Mountain

I had been doing so well. Cranking out 1,500 words a day for #NaNoWriMo2019 like I knew what I was doing, when suddenly I ran out of story.

Just like a car, a writer can run out of fuel, in this case words. At the beginning of November, I’d started with an outline and 17,000 words for a new project. No problem. The outline ran out after the second week. A slight problem. I started talking up new scenes for the book at dinner and writing them in the morning. Worked great right up to the last two days.

My book was finished, and I still had 2,400 words to go. Now I had to take back out my amended outline and find places to fit more scenes. A big problem if you have a deadline. But I sit at my computer and type, dragging my dead brain up the mountain, wishing I had a Samwise.

But it’s too late to turn back now. I’m already walking on the burnt ground of Mordor. If you’re with me, if your word count hasn’t turned to balloons and confetti yet, don’t despair.

There’s still two days left.

The Art of Waiting

Calves, Legs, Human, Standing On, Stand In Line, Wait

 

That inheritance finally goes through, and you have enough money to take the family to Disneyland. You and hubby take the day off, buy the tickets online, load up the kids in the SUV and head down to Anaheim. The long line for parking makes you growl because you’re all amped up to see Galaxy’s Edge.

When you and the family finally walk in, you hope you remember which Disney character is the level where you parked, since you went around in circles so many times you forgot to count. There’s a buzz of excitement as the crowd presses down Main Street. Then you hit the wall. Lines. Lines for everything. Rides, food, restrooms. Despite all your planning, you must wait.

Another day, you have to go to the DMV to renew your license because you lost the letter. The line wraps around the front door at 7:00 a.m. You were hoping to get this done before work, but that looks less likely by the minute.

At the grocery store, there are long lines at the checkout stands because only two of them are open. You look at your phone. You’re going to be late to pick up your son from practice. Again.

After a relaxing day at the beach, you pack up the family and head back on the 91 freeway. Three hours later, you finally get home from a one-hour drive after waiting in crawling traffic.

Instead of going to a sit-down restaurant where you have to wait to get your food, you opt for a fast food drive through. The line trails half a block down the street.

Why is this so maddening? Why do we hate to wait? In the old days (post dinosaurs, pre internet), people used to sit around and talk to each other. They used to visit neighbors, bake homemade cakes, and sit on their front porches. There was no rush.

Now we don’t have time for anything like that. Our time is eaten up with commuting to work, kids sports, necessary errands, watching T.V. In an age where any convenience is an app on our phones, we have less time to breathe.

That’s how we’ve forgotten how to wait. We can’t wait for football season, cooler weather, Christmas presents, graduation.

Waiting is an art. Those who master it live stress-free lives as they enjoy the pause. They meet new friends as they wait at the grocery store. They talk with their kids as they wait in traffic. They smile and give grace to those around them.

Next time you have to wait, look around. Spot one of the waiting masters and ask them to make you their apprentice. Don’t wait. It could change your life.