And the day is…?

Hi, everyone. Just back from a couple of crazy days and Chicago, where I was able to attend the services for my friend’s daughter. I was so glad I could be there. It was terribly sad but inspiring, especially to see the young friends who visited, and the crafts her schoolmates had made for the family. As a mother of a daughter only a year younger than Mia (and of a son who is only weeks apart in age from her little brother), I can say only four words:

puts. things. in. perspective.

Actually, you know (or you will learn if you’re a new reader) I can’t keep my mouth shut and say things in just four words, so here are seven more: enjoy the good things. every. single. day.

After leaving the funeral this morning, I spent the afternoon comforted in the chaos of Chicago’s Midway Airport. I worked on my manuscript rewrite and am now two pages away from the last edits of this draft. (Note that I’m avoiding acknowledgment that some authors do up to 20 rewrites before sending their manuscripts out into the world.) I may have to do writing at airports more often; it’s amazing how productive I am there. But I can imagine what might happen if I sat there typing on my laptop, haggard and tired, taking breaks only long enough to down my thirteenth cup of coffee in two hours.

Security Guard: “Ma’am, what are you doing? You’ve been here all afternoon.”

Me: “Yes, Officer. I’m an author and I’m really productive writing here. The airport motivates me to pursue my passion in life.”

Security Guard: “What? Oh, so you’re an author. What kind of books do you write?”

Me: “The one I’m working on right now is women’s fiction. Well, I suppose some might call it chick lit with intelligence – you know, not the shoe shopping kind, although I really enjoyed those, too. It’s kind of like ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ but better – this is what my friend Cindy says – but my book is with a divorced mom in America, not a single woman in London…although Renee Zellweger isn’t really British even though she played Bridget Jones. Of course, she starred in the movie, not the book, so I guess it doesn’t really matter, does it?”

Security Guard: [gives me a blank look and mumbles something about reinforcements into his walkie talkie]

I’m a little fuzzy on what day it is because of the last minute rushing around over the weekend and the trip, but I’m glad to be back home.

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3 thoughts on “And the day is…?

  1. It’s so good that you were able to make the trip to Chicago. I know your friend appreciated it. And we all need that perspective, more than we realize.

    As to the rest of it: It’s time to remind you that Starbucks and Panera will let you hang out for hours on end when you purchase so much as a cup of coffee. Also, Eat n Park is now nonsmoking everywhere, and is sourcing local farms.

    And the security guards in all these places don’t carry guns. I like that in my writerly hangouts.

  2. curt says:

    glad that your trip went ok — at least, as ok as it could. a sad story as I’ve ever heard.

    in regards to enjoying life while you are here, I remember what musician warren zevon told david letterman during his last time on the show before he died of cancer: “enjoy every sandwich.”

    and, I will.

    about working at the airport — with as much as I travel, I get some of my best work done at the airport. on one trip from NYC back home to ohio when I lived there, I was on my cell phone, catching up on voice messages and making calls. I had my cell in my left hand and my pen in my right, scratching down some notes.

    I must have looked like I was kickin’ ass, because a nicely dressed businesswoman came up to me and asked if I was in sales. I said, as a matter of fact, I am. she told me that she was watching me and was impressed with my work ethic. she then gave me her business card and told me to call her if I was ever looking for another job.

    talk about flattered.

  3. Such a heartbreaking story about your young friend. It’s nice that you got to attend her funeral.

    As for airports, I love airports, but for a totally different reason. There’s something about the hustle and bustle of business travelers, the tearful reunions at the baggage claim, the tearful goodbyes at the drop-off points, the suntanned honeymooners returning from their trips, the men and women in uniform leaving for far-away destinations, the travelers sleeping in the lobby due to delayed flights…

    To me, there’s a bit of romaticism and excitement about being in an airport. Even with the long security lines and the scores of people.

    How can you work when there’s so much to observe?!

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