Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fly, Be Free

As I sit here on this rainy morning pondering what words of wisdom I'm going to lay on you, my lovely Paper Wait readers, I realize no matter what I say, I will most likely fall spectacularly short. Confession: at the moment I'm feeling a bit empty, maybe even melancholy.

This past weekend, my son went off to college for the first time.  And many feels.

I know this is a great thing.  An important transition. A LIFE moment. And I'm proud and thrilled for him.  I'm also sad. I hardly feel old enough to have a son in college - seriously, weren't we just filling up his Pokedex?  I miss him - the telltale grinding of the garage door opening as he loped in from school or the rustling sound as he rifled through the fridge or of his laughter ringing through the house.  Sometimes he'd walk in, completely zoned out in some podcast he was listening to and disappear until dinner and other times he would burst through the door, plant a purposely sloppy kiss on my cheek and ask how the writing was going.  His presence in our home was palpable.

So, too, is his absence.

Oddly, this LIFE transition coincides with one of my own writing milestones.  I just sent back first pass pages for THE PROMISE OF AMAZING.  First pass is one step closer to being completely finished.  It's proofing the typeset pages with a critical eye and making it perfect.  You would think at this point I'd be so over Wren and Grayson I couldn't deal with them again.  And part of me does feel that way.

The other part of me wants to make sure they are leaving the house with emergency money and clean underwear. (The Post-its represent places I'm changing things!)

As hard as it is to do it, for both my firstborn and my first book, letting go is an inevitable part of life.  It's not necessarily a bad thing; gut-wrenching, maybe, but it also opens up a door for new energies to come in.  My son will meet friends who will appreciate his uniqueness and his lovely, lovely laugh.  My characters will go out into the world and hopefully find readers who are captivated by them as much as I am.  Are either of those things guaranteed?

That's what makes letting go so exciting and terrifying.  But, if you listen long enough, there's something else in that silence after goodbye - the whispers of new characters.  New places. New and ever-evolving relationships.

It's time.

How do you cope with letting go?


  1. Robin, I know just how you feel. My younger son starts sophomore year on Saturday, and it's harder this time than last year. Yet I know we got used to empty nest just about immediately, so I guess we will again.

    AS for my characters, I hate to leave them behind, too. But as I wind down one project, I make sure I start to think about the next one. Give yourself something to look forward to.

  2. So sweet to hear about him coming in from school and sloppy kisses- though I bet he'd be mortified the above sentence was in context to him! ;) Hope you feel less melancholy soon, on all fronts, son and writing. Cheers!

  3. Judy - Wait - harder!! Eeek :D

    Leandra - you're right, he'd be MORTIFIED!!

  4. Robin,
    Your post brought back memories - so well written and so right on about the milestones in our lives. I remember when our only son who went away to college left, I tried to trick myself into thinking he was still there by closing his bedroom door before I went to bed. In the morning, I was supposed to think he was just sleeping late. Sort of halfway worked, but . . .not really.

    1. I'll have to try that Gale. :) Anything!! It's too quiet.

  5. I want to know about those pages! What kinds of things did you fix?

    1. I took out some things here and there, clarified stuff, changed paragraphs to read better ( I hope) Honest, I could probably tinker forever!!! Now I'm worried I did too!!

  6. Robin

    Cant believe that Dillon is old enough to go off to college! Memories - I remember my mother telling us that my Dad would go upstairs when he got home and turn on the lights in each bedroom - just in case someone might come in late. When our sons went off to school I did the same thing! Thanksgiving does come quickly - and then you have the fun of all his friends coming in to see him.