Ah, Malice Domestic.
My flight was a bit delayed yesterday–weather between New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale–and then got stuck in a lengthy cab ride in horrific DC traffic (which is why I never drove that miserable year we lived here), but over all it was pleasant. The flight wasn’t full, I had a row to myself, and the screaming infants on the other side of the aisle weren’t too obnoxious, and I got to read Ellen Byron’s Wined and Died in New Orleans, which I’ve been calling the wrong name for quite some time now, which is more than a little embarrassing (it’s because I’ve always wanted to write something called To Live and Die in La.–which is a play on the title of a crime film from the 1980’s I remember nothing of other than the title song was recorded by Wang Chung and I kind of liked it; and I think–could be wrong–Willem Dafoe was in the cast (I don’t care enough to look it up; you can access the Google just as easily as I can). Other than that, I don’t really remember a whole lot of it.
But I did make it to the hotel, got my registration packet, and then started running into friends–first up were Barb Goffman and Dina Willner; always a treat when the first people you run into are lovely people you enjoy–and then that first night became a bit of a blur; I wound up having dinner with Julie Hennrikus and Sherry Harris, then ran into Ellen Byron (see above) and then I wound up sitting in the bar with her, Vicky Delaney, Leslie Karst, and a couple of other lovely people whose names I do not recall. Then, very tired, I repaired back up to my room and actually slept decently (for a hotel; it would have been a ‘meh’ sleep night if I were at home). The bed is actually very comfortable, the room itself is nicely sized, but cannot comment on the shower yet, as I’ve not had one but no worries–it’ll be happening very soon.
It just feels very good to be around book people again. I kind of need that, you know? Writing is such a weird profession, in that you spend most of the your time isolated from your colleagues (co-workers, really) and even if you like near other writers…everyone is busy. We all have jobs on top of our writing, we all have families and homes to keep up and errands to do and the everyday minutiae that has to be done every day…and then you have to carve out time from all of that to do your own writing. I try to be very jealous of my writing time and always try to protect it, which was always an issue before. And yes, there are many times when I’ll find something else–anything else–to do other than write, I really don’t understand it, but almost everything I love to do is something I have to make myself do. I have to make myself go to the gym. I have to force myself to write…although that usually happens when the other option is so odious that writing is preferable. But once I get started–when I finally get started–I love it. Just like the gym. I always feel so good afterwards (that endorphin rush is so marvelous)…which reminds me, I want to start taking walks every day when I get home from work, even if it’s just around the block or down to the park and back, I should spend more time outside, really.
I should do a lot more things.
But I already feel invigorated and inspired, which is really the primary benefit (for me) of coming to these things. Even yesterday on the flight I was putting Ellen’s book aside from time to time so I could scribble an idea into my journal. That’s very cool. I think this morning I’ll probably take a shower and then spend some time editing the new Scotty because I may not get another chance to work at all and I am running (as always) out of time,
So on that note, Constant Reader, I will bid you adieu. My panel tomorrow morning is early, and I have to leave for the airport relatively early on Sunday morning, too, so…this may be the last you hear from me until Monday. Can you go two days without me, Constant Reader? Chin up! You can do it. And besides, you know me. I’ll probably post something anyway.