Monday, August 31, 2009

the getaway

My writing partner in crime had a rough week, and in what was clearly one of those temporary-insanity-as-a-means-to-restoring-sanity moves, proclaimed that she no longer wanted to do the very thing she's devoted the last three years of her life to. On the verge of graduation, she proclaimed that she wanted to chuck it all. The thing that caused sleepless nights, panic attacks, mind-numbing hours of studying, and practice practice practice.

All while occasionally co-writing a novel when she found a spare minute, day, or week.

We've all had those moments. Hell, my mother HUNG A SIGN ON THE DOOR: Buy One, Get One Free, when my twin brother and I wore down her very last nerve. I've had teaching days when I swear I'm a fraud, and never want to set foot in a classroom ever again.

Writers occasionally want to throw their computers out the window (although, as my good friend Elspeth recently wrote, thank goodness for that Delete key). Doctors want to take up fly fishing. Heck, I'll bet the president is wishing he stayed home on that cold day in Illinois two years ago and played Guitar Hero instead.

So, as a sign of solidarity, I offered to run away from it all with my writing partner, my friend. Open the very cafe in which the bulk of our novel takes place, complete with cookies and reading nooks and regular customers to sit around and debate the really important stuff -- Culture Club vs. Duran Duran. Drake's Cakes vs. Little Debbie. Aaron Sorkin vs. David E. Kelley. And so on. Just say the word, I said, and I'm there. I'll even move back up north and live amongst all those Red Sox fans again.

And don't think for a minute that there wasn't some little part of me that wasn't kidding.

Of course, we came to our senses. This would be the only cafe that opened late and closed early -- I am so not a morning person. Besides, she's too damn good at what she does and she knows it. And there's all those aformentioned Red Sox fans...

We miss each other, and we miss working on our manuscript. Our momentarily proposed getaway was really testament to the world we've created through our collaboration. We're writing the book we want to read. We're creating a place in which we wouldn't mind living. We're listening to the voices of those we love dearly, and telling their truths.

This is just one of many reasons why I love writing. It's a magical camera that makes the world happen through my lens. And it all happens with words.

We can't wait to finish our manuscript and get it into the hands of readers. Perhaps it'll be shared by coffeeshop dwellers gathered around a table, discussing things over lattes and cookies, like trying to guess which one of us wrote which part, or who the protag should've ended up with, or who's going to play whom in the movie.

You know, the really important stuff.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

First off, THANK YOU for the mention!

Second off, why oh why don't we live closer?

One of my fantasies is money pouring in (just because I'm such a wonderful person) as I wander through Europe eating fantastic food with one or two close friends. A 15th century cottage in England could be my home-base. Or a villa in Venice. Or...

For all its frustrations (and...damn) writing gives us worlds of our own to inhabit. Characters can live our dreams (and with really good shoes).

Damn. I'm suffering from character envy.

Big hug!


Elisa said...

Awww, thanks Beth!

I should have also mentioned that she and I followed up with a delightful chat in which we talked about who would show up to our cafe and who would do what and where it would be and all kinds of fun stuff. It really was such a pleasant little break.

Oh and villa in Venice? I'm so there!