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Trains, Planes and Automobiles

I’ve been so caught up in finishing a book, everything has sort of stacked up on the desk. I looked up the other day, blinked like a ground hog and realized I’ve got a bunch of events coming up soon and I didn’t have any of the particulars nailed down. Like airline flights, hotels, rental cars, the sort of details that my lazy-ass assistant never gets to. Oh, wait, that’s me having to get up an hour early to get it all done–so you can understand why it just sort of doesn’t–get done that is. And with the first trip starting, well, like today, I really needed to get my *&^$ together.

What really motivated me was listening to NPR, the 5:00 news and the 10:00 news all issuing dire warnings about less flights, more costs and book now, (and yes, I am a bit of a news junkie), so I finally roused the assistant to get up early and get it all together. She was a little caustic about the whole thing, but luckily the rest of the house was still asleep not to have to listen to her grumbling.

What I hadn’t realized is that I had been a busy girl saying “yes” to just about everything that came my way. I don’t normally do that, and for years have had to be very discerning about what I did considering the difficulties of leaving the family behind. Yet there was the evidence in my little mail folder called “Es Events.” Reader’s Luncheon in Portland? Yes! PLA in Minneapolis? Wouldn’t miss it for the world. BookExpo in Los Angeles? Well, why not? RWA in SF? You had me at San. Oh, and then there are the two library programs locally that I am doing on Jane Austen. Crikey! What was I thinking? Just look at my Events page if you don’t believe me.

So I got busy on Expedia, on Amtrak.com, and Disney.com. Don’t even ask about the later. Apparently one cannot go to Los Angeles and not take the entire family. I didn’t see them queuing up in my office for the little jaunt this week to Minneapolis–covered as it is in snow. But I saw that as a good excuse to go buy two skeins of Malabrigo wool and make a new hat and mittens. As for RWA, I had to not only get myself organized, but Mr. Boyle as well. You see, he’s coming to RWA to give a talk with me, so I had to get his flights arranged as well. Yes, the hero husband is coming to RWA. Please don’t swamp him for autographs or gush over him, it really goes to his head, and I would like him to fit into the hotel elevator.

So far so good. The other part of trips is getting the promo pieces together. With a deadline looming and my office overflowing with crap, er promo, I ended up dangling a new set of Legos in front of one of the little heroes if he’d stuff bags. I tell you, I wish my assistant was so easily motivated because the little dude was a champ. Here are part of the 60 bags that are going with me to Minneapolis. My packing list this trip is rather easy: Suitcase full of swag and not much else. If you run into me the third day of the trip and my clothes look like a wreck, well, you’ll know why.

Someone asked me just today if I ever get nervous speaking to so many people, and I said no. I’m usually so relieved to be done with all the details (the childcare, the laundry, flights, airport transportation, the shopping, the makeup that I never can find, what knitting, books, and work to take with me, is my phone charged, iPod charged, batteries in the camera, emergency numbers all laid out, groceries stocked) that I just sigh with relief and get up there. For 25 minutes no one wants anything from me but to make them laugh. Of course the librarians in Minneapolis may be surprised–my talk is slated for 8:30 in the morning, which equates to 6:30 AM Seattle time. I don’t know about any of you, but I am rarely funny at 6:30 in morning.

No, wait, I’ve got a better idea. I think I’ll send the assistant. She’s barely had anything to do lately.

P.S.  Drop by tomorrow as I have news about a really cool contest someone is having over the next month.  Drop by, get all the details, so you can enter early. 

4 comments to “Trains, Planes and Automobiles”

  1. Haven Rich
    March 24th, 2008 at 7:36 am · Link

    Dear, sweet Elizabeth and Assistant (are we having split personalities day or what?) you sound as over-booked as I am!

    It must be in the air or something! Plus I am finding I’m more focused and work harder than if I only have one project going. Scary!

    So here is my list:
    I have 5 websites in the works, at various levels of completion. 5 more due before June!

    Various other graphic things–banners, business cards..whatever stuff.

    2 projects with the Beau Monde. Hey, I like being a helper *smile*.

    RI! Always RI. We just launched the message board and plus I’m lining up guests for just about everything.

    Workshops! I have two of them. One for the Beau Monde (in July) and another to help me raise money so I can attend the RWA conference. Which happens to be where the other workshop is haha.

    AND I’m doing a mentor program to help me focus on writing. Yup, gotta stick that in there somewhere right?

    Lastly, in about 3-4 weeks (guessing here), we’ll be adding some new fuzzy additions to the family. One of the stray cats we thought was fixed…isn’t. So we’ll have little fuzzy things soon.

    I’m not even considering airfare, clothing, hotel arrangements or any of that normal stuff yet!

    So I propose an idea…Elizbo (and lazy a** assistant) lets take a vacation!!! I’m thinking the Virgin Islands!

  2. Keira Soleore
    March 25th, 2008 at 7:45 am · Link

    Elizabeth and Haven, you two need a vacation at an all-inclusive resort like the ones Puerto-Vallarta or Cabo offers. You show up and don’t pay for anything other than the bill at the end.

  3. therese
    March 25th, 2008 at 8:46 pm · Link

    There must be something in the air about catching up with the details of future fun.

    It’s spring break for me since I returned to college in Jan. It was fun being a full-time “co-ed” but weird….

    Imagine taking a quiz after 27 years. Imagine the thought processes of a menopausal tech writer and grandma – being required to regurgitate information from a book, to be graded by someone who already knows what I’m writing about. It really got my mind in a spin. So I’m only taking two courses this quarter, a fiction and a non-fiction one. Sometimes we have to understand our limits.

    Yes, Elizabeth and Assistant, you got my mind in a whirl with all your activities and I really look forward to them in my future, except my kids are grown so PHHHLLT! Nananan…. Oh yeah, no helpers bribed with Legos. Darn…

    Glad to see you’ll be at the Readers Lunch in Portland, can’t wait to see you again! I’m RCRW treasurer again, by default, but happy to do the job. Got my hair cut today, losing the gray tomorrow and then its into the writer cave for the rest of Spring Break while dh is out of town until Monday and there’s no one here but the dog.

  4. Elizabeth
    March 27th, 2008 at 11:18 am · Link

    I am looking forward to the Portland trip. I love riding the train down from Seattle, such a lovely few hours of gliding past Puget Sound and then the bucolic greenery of Southern Washington, while I read or knit or watch the Tudors on my iPod. Plus, I signed for a knitting class at Knit/Purl on Friday night–so the trip has the added bonus of a little knitting.

    And how is it life gets so busy? I don’t know. But I am going to just enjoy these adventures as they come along.

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