Last night I went to my very first NaNoWriMo event. I was that elusive mix of anxious and excited that set your stomach to doing weird things, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I miss other writers.
It’s not just that I miss telling people about my own work, though I certainty love to do that, it’s about watching them divulge theirs. There is a passionate spark that enters the eyes of a person who is wholeheartedly in love with their imagination. It’s a beautiful thing for me to see.
So I was dropped off at the Library (I don’t drive, one day I’ll tell you about the time I drove through my garage; not into…through.) and asked the gentleman at the information desk where the write in was going to be. He told me to follow him. I was twenty minutes early so I wasn’t surprised that he had to unlock the door for me.
The room was roughly the size of a classroom with that multicolored carpet that can camouflage any spill short of red. There was a modern overhead projector and a podium. A series of tables and chairs were tucked neatly away in the far corner. I didn’t want anyone to have to wait so I went ahead and got everything all set up. I pulled out some desks and some chairs. I was proud.
I got my laptop out, set everything up. I was the shameless over-achieving over-eager student. All that was left was to sit there and wait.
…and wait some more. Somewhere around four a clock and older pair came in and asked if this was “Room D” I told them I wasn’t sure. They did that sort of laugh you give when you are sure someone is being stupid on purpose and left. I thought it was a little weird.
They came back a few minutes later and the female of the pair asked if I was there for the “Nana writing thing” I said that I was. No one else was here yet, but I got the room set up. They pushed another desk out saying that they had gone all the way upstairs and looked there. I said I was sorry.
Then she asked when the teacher was going to get there.
“I don’t think there is a teacher, at least not one that I am aware of.”
“Oh, you’re sure this time?”
I was a little confused and I’m sure it showed. He tugged on her sleeve and said, “Come on, let’s go back upstairs.” I could hear them talking about me as they left. Suddenly I was seven years old again and friendless on the playground. I thought about following but ultimately decided that my ego couldn’t handle whatever they were serving.
So I sat and waited some more. No one else came. I decided to try to write on my own. Honestly, I didn’t manage much. After a while I gave up and closed everything up. I put the desks and chairs back, but I left the florescents humming in case someone showed up two hours late.
Having little else to do I wandered the library. I find something therapeutic about seeing all the books on shelves. It’s heartening to know that every single one of them was where I am, scrawling out their first book. But they managed. I’d like to think that I will too.
I found a few to check out, and while I wandered upstairs to take a look at the paperback section I heard them. The older couple had taken up a circle of chairs and were playing host to the few others who had come for the NaNo Write-In. Apparently they were in a writing group from the area. I stood there for a moment, looking at them, feeling completely and utterly left out.
I’m a little ashamed to say I cried. Here I am, thirty years old, feeling sorry for myself because the other writers didn’t want me in their clique. Joy.