Joan Baier is having problems logging in, so I have posted this for her.

This morning as I waited for my tea water to boil, I realized a familiar truth: a watched pot never boils. So, of course, I busied myself getting out the cereal bowl and preparing the Cheerios, milk, flax seed, banana. The water still wasn’t quite at that 212° yet.  Frustration!

I thought about waiting. We spend ALL of our lives waiting! Think about it. We wait for evening hours so we can relax; we wait for holidays; we wait at the doctor’s, the dentist’s; we wait to hear from loved ones; we wait for our paychecks, our Social Security check, our IRA payments; we’re waiting for Godot. No. Wait. That’s someone else.

Personally, I’m waiting to hear from an editor who asked me for my full manuscript after I’d sent her a query letter and sample; I’m waiting for my next critique group, to hear their suggestions for my WIP (work-in-progress); I’m waiting for my writing group ( to decide on the particulars of our next writers’ conference.

I’m also waiting for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis so that my twin great-grandsons can benefit from that;

I’m waiting for a miracle for my grand-nephew who has been dealing with leukemia for over a year; I’m waiting for a cure for CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) so my son and one surviving sister can reap that reward.

The last couple books I read on my new-for-Christmas Kindle were murder/suspense/mysteries: “Well-Schooled in Murder” by Elizabeth George and “Dead Silence” by Randy White. Both books had grisly murders: only one murder in George’s book, but it was that of a young schoolboy. In White’s suspense-thriller, there was more than one murder and much more “grisly!” But throughout both stories, you were waiting for the next clue, waiting for a rescue. You lived vicariously through the characters’ hope and agony.

Because waiting is a two-sided coin. On the one side is Hope. We hope the doctor won’t be too long; we hope our loved one will call/visit soon; we hope that editor will love and buy our manuscript; we hope the cures for devastating illnesses will actualize.

And on the other side is the Agony in the Garden, which is full of “what-ifs”. When the loved one doesn’t call, “what if…”; when that cure or miracle doesn’t happen… Let’s not go there. What if that editor rejects my manuscript? What if the critique group says my story is worthless, start a new one? These last two are easy ones to answer. Go back to the computer. Research, think, work, stop waiting and start writing!

The other what-ifs? The answer is just as easy, but the doing is harder. You pray, harder, more often. You help wherever and whenever you can. You research, research, research. You never know when you might discover a little-known study/test that could be the answer for you and yours.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”

Waiting, both parts of it, is a fact of life. It is its own co-mingled world. My tea water boiled; I have my cup of hot decaf Lipton tea; I have prayed for my family and friends; and I have completed my blog for today.


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  1. K.L. Gore

    I’m sorry about what’s happening with your family, Joan. What a tough time you’re all having. My heart breaks to hear it. You have written a great post, we do live with having to wait and in the meantime wonder “what if?” And it does make us stronger writers because we ask what if, and must wait to divulge the answer. Art mirrors life. Nicely said, Joan.

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