Where’d you go, Bernadette

This airport has a feature I’ve never seen before: two of the gates are served by a dedicated security line, and there isn’t much here on the other side except two gates and a coffee stand.  The dedicated security line wasn’t really any faster than the big ones, because it’s run by a very small staff, but it seemed friendlier.  If that’s what you like in your security lines, of course.

So there isn’t much to distract me on the post-security side as I wait to board the plane home.  I’ve been gone for thirteen days.  Since the Snork Maiden was born nearly thirteen years ago, I’ve only made one trip by myself that was anywhere near as long.  It’s a strange sensation being away from her for this length of time–the last few days in particular, I’ve really been eager to see her, even as I’ve enjoyed this trip immensely.  Stubb too, of course, but it’s different.  Also, he’s currently working out of town, a couple of hours away; she’s been there with him, and he’s bringing her home tonight, but then tomorrow he’ll head back, and we’ll see him intermittently for the next several weeks.

This trip has been wonderful–a really restorative combination of time alone, time with people I care about, time in places that have emotional resonance for me, and a small chunk of professional activity during which I got to improve my acquaintance with a couple of writers I’ve been very happy to get to know.  I LOVED IT.  I got quite a lot of writing done–my third book project feels much more situated now, and the second book project also feels fairly settled–I’m primed to send it to some new places this fall.  I did end up spending a shocking amount of money (for me) on hotel rooms, but I’m happy with my decision to do very little couch-surfing this trip.  I know that if I’d been staying with people, I wouldn’t have written anywhere near as much as I wrote staying in business-type hotels with nice workspaces (and free WiFi–which seems to be the standard now).  The very most expensive place I stayed was this, and wow, did I love it.  I only spent one night there, but I’d very happily live there for a week.  Maybe someone will give me a grant.  (Actually, that would be a great gimmick for this hotel, wouldn’t it–a writers’ residency?)

I’m not at all sure that I would have done any better at Yaddo or MacDowell, honestly.  I think that I’m probably more comfortable with either anonymity or the company of close friends than with the anxiety-inducing company of strangers, even if those strangers are also writers hunkering down to work.  PymFan and I have talked for years about doing a retreat together, which I think will work incredibly well if we are ever able to schedule and carry it out.

Oh!  And a highlight of the trip was breakfast with What Now? and a lovely leafy stroll around an Adventure City landmark.  So nice to see her for the first time in, what, seventeen years?–and to be so current with each other’s lives, thanks to the blogs, that we could just continue the conversation instead of spending half the time playing catch-up.

Boarding announcements are starting, so I’ll wrap this up.  Next week begins my NLNRU class and meetings for SA.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Sounds like a great trip! (And yes, what a beautiful hotel!)

    But you really, really need to visit the upper midwest. We have cheese curds! And cows! COWS! (but not as happy as the ones in CA, perhaps, especially during winter).

    It’s so cool to be able to catch up with a friend again after a long time, isn’t it? I love that!


  2. Right back at ya! I have thought several times this week about what a perfect Sunday morning we had together — I’m so glad that we could spend that time together. (Although I’m completely staggered by that “17 years” figure, even though that is what the numbers add up to. How could so much time have passed?)

    And I’m so glad that the trip was wonderful, not to mention productive — what a great way to wind up the summer!


  3. Posted by meansomething on August 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Bardiac: I’m thinking when the second book comes out? I’d love to come to your neck of the woods, and I think I have one or two other places I could go in your state. We need a big catch-up, too!

    WN?: It was awesome.


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