Writing is such a lonely word...sometimes.

Patricia Duncker once wrote “Writing is a secret art; a hidden, coded practice often carried out in the darkness behind locked doors.” Now, I’m not saying that all writers have to be in a dark room behind a locked door to write. Some of us hang out in cafés, while others sit under the shade of a tree. One thing we all have in common: the solitary practice of our craft. Oh, and the voices inside our heads.

Oops, that was supposed to be a secret.

Oh, well.

When I joined Twitter, one of the people I followed is Emlyn Chand—writer/publicist/blogger extraordinaire! This woman does everything short of fixing the bathroom sink…wait, I think she can do that, too! Anyway, after reading a reply to one of her tweets, a voice in my head (no, I’m not crazy…yet) said to click on the name of the person who replied. That click led me to another click, and I landed on The Slight Detour, a blog run by Samantha Sotto, a Filipina writer. She is signed with Crown/Random House, and her novel Before Ever After is set to be released in approximately a hundred and forty five days!

Begin Romantic Interlude

I’m currently obsessed with counting the days. Why? I can’t tell you. Sucks. I know.

End Romantic Interlude

I quickly added a comment to one of her blog posts, she sent me an email, and we made plans to meet for coffee to share war stories. The cow jumped over the moon! I couldn’t believe it. I was about to meet with someone who is going through the same thing I am; granted, she’s a few steps ahead.

Scene I. Narrator: Suspenseful Tone.

Today, at a couple of minutes before ten in the morning, Kate stepped into a Starbucks and Sam waved her over to a table by the windows. Ninja Assassins prepared to take the shot.

"Cut!" imaginary directory yells. "That's not in the script."

"Sorry," narrator says.

"Continue, please..."

Narrator clears throat.

Kate waved back, grinning from ear to ear, and ordered a tall, caramel frappochino. She practically threw money at the counter, so excited was she to take a seat and start grilling…I mean, questioning…no, that doesn’t sound non-stalker-y at all.

"Cut! Cut! Cut!"

End Scene.

Two hours flew by like a football leaving a quarterback’s hand. We talked about the bi-polar weather we’d been having in the Philippines. Seriously, who’s ever heard of a wet summer? You leave the house wearing one thing…nope, I’m not going to ruin a perfectly good post by griping about the weather! Anyways, I told her about my journey, she told me about hers—we kept sidetracking and injecting non sequiturs along the way. It was awesome-sauce!

It’s so nice to escape that “dark room” where all the writing happens (even for just a couple of hours) and actually get to talk to someone who understands what a “partial” is or “being in sub” or commiserating about the exquisite torture that is waiting, and scrambling to meet a deadline. Get a proofing, missy! I know you’re reading this.

Most of my worries melted after those two hours. I walked away with a giddy feeling, which led to taking a right turn into a bookstore and buying a book. Alas, such is a writer’s life. So, Sam, congratulations on that Good Reads Review. Thank you for ranting, raving, gushing, and sharing voices that reached octaves only dogs could hear. I think the other patrons at Starbucks wondered if they should call the authorities on us, or at least, Mandaluyong. I know you get it!


  1. LOL, Kate! You caught me. I'm playing proofreading-hooky and if I have a typo it will be all your fault! ;-) I'm so glad a random tweet about timezones helped our crazy paths cross. (Thank you universe and Emlyn Chand!). It's great to know that I finally have a writing soul sister who isn't halfway around the world!

  2. Ah, yes, we may need to buy the universe or Emlyn a purse for Christmas. :-P

  3. Kate, it is wonderful that you found a friend that you can share things with. I can personally say that Samantha is lucky to have you as a friend. :-)

  4. Aww! Thanks, Sherry. I count myself lucky, too.


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