As the Dust Starts to Settle

Mostly the move is done. There are a few bugs, chat remains down while we wait for a new key from Jonathan. The Research Index is going to have to be reinstalled by the guy who did it the first time. But now the community is there, and I am here.

It’s like walking one last time around in the place you lived in for years, after the movers come and take out all the furniture. Everything echoes. Rooms look bare. The whole space feels alien. You look at the empty walls, curtainless windows, scuffed wood floors, and you feel as hollow as the house.

Everything changes; that’s just life. Change or die. But what happens next?

I did something cool with the community, and for a while simply the fact that it was my thing made me kind of cool by association. But now it is on its own. It’ll run, be strong, be as vibrant and loud and lively as it has been since the beginning. I’m standing here in the empty house though, thinking, “I’m not going to be anybody’s start page anymore.” Yeah, that’s a little bit self-pitying. But really, what author was ever anybody’s start page? Forward Motion is a one of a kind thing, and I love it wildly. Walking away from everything but occasional visits rivals some of the other really hard choices I’ve had to make. And I know it was the right thing to do. I know it.

But, damn, the full realization is sinking in, and it’s hard. And why do the walls have to look so bare?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

11 comments… add one
  • Linda Aug 14, 2003 @ 14:44

    I resigned from moderating on the Harry Potter site this week. I’m not looking at empty walls, but I’m missing the special relationship hosts develop with the members who regularly post on the host threads.

    But it was time to move on. My writing is taking off and I don’t want it pushed aside because of other commitments. I don’t want to cut back on my time with FM. Or the two writing mailgroups I belong to. And we’re apartment hunting, which, along with moving, is very time-consuming. It came down to Harry Potter or Broegga and at least one writing mailing list. Harry Potter lost. It was hard because I’ve been doing it for over a year, but it’s just a fun thing I can do as a regular member in my spare (go ahead–laugh) time.

    Anyway, after a few days, it feels really good. I’m getting more of what’s really important done. I think you’ll take a bit longer to be comfortable with the extra time than I did because Harry Potter wasn’t my personal project. But you will appreciate the time you’ve given yourself to redecorate your space, have more time with your family, write more, and kick back and relax more. What could be better?

    BTW–you’ll have a horde of angry wordsmiths descending on you if you don’t drop in and say howdy once in a while. I thought I’d better warn you. (grin)

    See you on FM!!

  • zette Aug 14, 2003 @ 3:19

    Hey, you better come and ‘visit’ often. The place still has your name on it, and it’s still running by your rules — and always will. It’s just grown up a little and you no longer have to make the meals to feed it every day.

    As far as I’m concerned, all you’ve done is turned some of the work over to others so you can enjoy the company of the fun people when you have the time and feel like it.

    I think you’ll find that you like being at FM once you get over the feeling that the child has left the nest. (grin)

  • Sheila Aug 13, 2003 @ 20:27

    More room to bounce. 🙂

  • Katherine Aug 13, 2003 @ 19:32

    The old place is still there. The neverending party is still going on. But now you can just come and hang out without worrying that you’ll be the one who has to clean up the dirty dishes the next morning. And when we start to get on your nerves, you can go home instead of wanting to kick all of us out.

  • Jean Aug 13, 2003 @ 18:03

    Yep. And you’ll have new stuff on the walls in no time. And new rugs on those scuffed hardwood floors. Take that guitar out of the corner and play us a tune.

    Paint to your heart’s content, but only do Chaucer’s "Canterbury Tales" is you really want to. But if you decide to do it again and want help, let me know. I’ll find a way to come down! 🙂

  • Brady Aug 13, 2003 @ 17:52

    After a lifetime of moving every five years, I know the feeling of standing in your own living room, looking at the bare walls and seeing a house that’s empty and more like a stranger’s house than your own.
    Of course, the good thing about change like that is it means you’re going somewhere new…

  • valerie Aug 13, 2003 @ 16:30

    It’s time to redecorate! Splash on some new paint! Kick in some new carpets! You get to pick the curtains, this time. They don’t have to be practical, anymore. Choose some great artwork — maybe some of your own, or that of your son. Re-arrange a few things to fill in the gaps. You know, *they* are always telling us to de-clutter our lives, and you’re doing it. Wow!

    And if you’re lonely for the old decorating scheme, you know where to find it! Just come visiting, the transplanted living room is just down the street; you don’t even need to put on a jacket to come visiting. You know we’ll all be hanging out over there, writing away and telling jokes, egging each other on and commiserating when things go badly. We’ll always pull out a chair for you and give you a toast, no matter what time of day or night you drop by. And sometimes we’ll come visit you, too…

    Here’s to Holly, who gave us all a helping hand in the right direction – forward!

  • Terra Aug 13, 2003 @ 14:15

    Go figure. 🙂 I always find cool places like this when big transitions are happening. It’s my karma.

    Good luck with the homeschooling, the guitar and oil painting, the living your life.

  • Diatryma Aug 13, 2003 @ 14:10

    If it makes you feel better, I’ll still be hanging around here, reading the weblog and getting increasingly more frantic as you get closer to a new book. It’s not empty so much as waiting, I think. You still get super gold star points for starting it.

  • Jim Woosley Aug 13, 2003 @ 13:46

    Holly,

    You’ve created a wonderful thing — and another child is going forth to make its way in the world.

    You have raised it well; it is time for Forward Motion to fly on its own.

    And you can always go back. On your terms. Cherish that double blessing…

  • Rob Aug 13, 2003 @ 13:21

    This just means you’ll have time to write more books. And we all will benefit from that. 😉

    Hang in there. Before you know it you’ll have all sorts of new stuff cluttering the corners and the walls. It’ll feel like home again.

    Good luck.

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