Fiction Writer vs. Real Life: On Hold

negativespace1-23I love travelling and so does my muse. Train, plane, car, bus — we’re not picky. I can pack for two weeks in a carry on size bag and still have room to spare. Unfortunately with travel comes weather delays, missed connections, and lost reservations.

So, what’s a writer to do when weather grounds all outgoing flights and she’s stuck on hold at 2:00 a.m.?

Write of course.

On Hold

My fingers tap out a rhythm in time to the hold music. With how much time customers spend waiting, you’d think they could invest in something more enlightening. Maybe a nice violin solo or a cello piece. Anything but this perky easy listening junk. The clock on the wall is broken, I have no idea how long I’ve been on hold. Listening, waiting, hoping. It’s hot in here, and the faucet is broken, so is the shower. I don’t remember drinking anything, but I must have. Water bottles litter the floor. As I crunch one beneath my foot, the perky automated voice announces once again, “Thank you for calling Hell, your call is important to us. Please hold.”

So maybe it wasn’t that bad, but after 3 hours on hold it sure felt like it. It took another 5 hours on hold the next day to finally get booked on another flight. Pro tip: Travel with a friend. It helps turn inconveniences into memories.


Caroline Madison: Travel buddy extraordinaire

What about you?
Have any horror stories of being on hold?
Any memories?
How about a favorite friend to travel with?
Comment below. I want to hear your stories.


  1. Since my horror story is the same as yours, I’ll spare us all the retelling. But even the black hole of hold music has a silver lining. If I recall correctly, we were still in the lobby when Ted Dekker was chatting with a few other authors 🙂 Also, since we were basically the last people there, the place took on an echoey quality that just dripped inspiration.


    1. We were officially the last people to leave Re:write. ^.^ That seems to be a theme for me, Tyler and I were the last out the door at the first Ragged Edge, and I was the last one to leave the monkey party (other than those that lived there).


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