So I turned in my revised thesis to my adviser a little while ago. A little under a week ago. Since then I’ve felt adrift, kind of like I did after Ironman, like I’d been training forever for something and then the thing happened and suddenly I had nothing to train for and nothing to worry about.

Which, really, isn’t very true, because I still have to pitch the thing and write query letters and I still have to go back to school and my second reader has to approve it. But–the bulk of the work is done.

Since I turned the thing in I’ve been twiddling my thumbs insofar as new work goes; I even kept the big thermometer chart and all the index cards that were my thesis outline up on the wall, just in case–what? just in case I had to rewrite the whole damn book?

Right. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Still, I couldn’t stomach taking any of it down. I  have another idea I want to write about, even, but–anyway.

But then I went to the Lake Tahoe area for a writer’s retreat. There were great editors there and other writers, folks who have published or are working on publishing, and there was this:

And I got to talk to an editor and other writers about this idea of mine, which actually has a first-draft manuscript attached to it, and I got to meet Ami, who is awesome and who I’ve previously only known because of the Interwebs, and that was awesome, and then I got stuck in Reno overnight.

And I was annoyed.

But I called it research, because part of my thesis takes place in Vegas, and I had forgotten about the noise the clinkety clank jarring of the casino machines, and also the weirdness that is a casino on a Sunday night and then, subsequently, on a Monday morning at 8AM. And then I went for a jog along the Truckee River:

and saw these guys:

and then even when I got to the airport and I realized that my flight was going to be delayed by 2.5 hours, I still felt okay, because I was antsy for the first time in a long, long while; antsy to start something new.

So when I finally got back home and I had had a shower and a nice night’s sleep and I could see straight, I went to my wall and I took down all of the index cards and my thermometer chart and tapped all my notes and marked-up MSs into a pile and put it all away. This week and next I’m reading novels in the vein of the one I’m getting ready to write, and the week after that I may start writing the outline.

Maybe it’s something about being near the water. (Now that I live where I live, being around water–pools of it; good rushing streams of it–is really nice, and rare.) Maybe it’s something about being in great company.

Or maybe it’s just about it being time. Any which way, I’ll take it.



  1. Huzzah for you! I love your road to clarity. for me… it’s a beautiful day and I’m willingly inside, at my kitchen table on a Saturday; avoiding the weekend errand crowd – making my lists and planning the next thing I’ll check off. For me it’s 49 before 50… need a catch up with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.