Waiting with bated breath
Have you ever thought about this idiom? I frequently catch myself waggling an irritated finger at the screen, admonishing an unseen writer that “it’s bated, not baited. You don’t use your breath for fly-fishing, at least, I really hope not.” And then I realize I’m starting to sound like someone’s great-grandmother and quit waggling before I start calling everyone “sonny.”
Bated breath is one of the few remaining modern uses of the word bated, which is a short form of the word abated. I believe (though don’t hold me to this; I haven’t had enough coffee to access memories before 1992, which is the last time I took a class on Shakespeare) that the form bate first appears in The Merchant of Venice.
To abate is to reduce, or end, or suppress. So to wait with bated breath is to wait breathlessly, to hold one’s breath (in hope), or to wait to exhale – to expel a sigh of relief.
I bring this up by way of saying that I know we’ve all been waiting with bated breath to hear about Regina Swint’s fearless combination of military and writing lives. As sometimes happens when one is communicating internationally – right now, we’re swinging between three different time zones; dizzying, yes? – the dialogue is taking a bit of time. We promise, however, to have her interview up for you before the end of the week.
In the meantime, a question for you-all:have you ever read a book which has a moment in which you find yourself holding your breath? waiting for an answer, an action, a pause?
Well, what do you know. Here we are – Andrea and Ina.
There are times when the world comes together in a way that’s not quite miraculous and yet not simple coincidence. This blog is the result of one of those. Andrea and I met through a writer’s group on Facebook. I was fascinated in part because – though I had lived in Denmark when I was four – Andrea was the first person from Denmark I had conversed as an adult. Over time it became clear that we shared many things: we are writers; we are educators; we share ideals, and political interests, and an approach to communicating.
So here we are: this is our blog. If you’d like to know more about us as writers (in a formal way), please visit our About Us page.
We are still charting our way here, so both the look and organization of the blog may change over time. Among other things, we’ll be opening discussions on the writing process, sharing our writing lives, and providing many book reviews and interviews with authors, publishers, and other people who love words. Most of all, we want to hear from you – we love comments, and if you have an idea for a topic you’d like to discuss or see discussed, an author you’d love to see interviewed, a book that we must read, please share it with us!
Please watch for our Monday Coffees (something nice to wake up to!) and Connections (our Wednesday interviews and reviews). Our first interview will be with Regina Swint who’s a writer but who also serves in the U.S. Army; how do you sit out there in Afghanistan in the midst of war and keep up your writing?