Friday, September 07, 2007


I’m a planner and a list-maker. Sometimes that’s true in my writing, but mostly it applies to me as a traveler. When I was traveling a lot for work – mostly overseas travel, involving extra worries like visas and currency, etc. – I spent a good amount of time planning ahead, making sure I had the best available reservations, the hotel I wanted, and I hated having to change things. Once I got where I was going, Beijing, for example, I tried very hard to finish my work on time (even if a delay might have involved extra pay) so that I wouldn’t have to make changes to my itinerary, because a change involved the airline, the hotel, the car service, the dog kennel, the mail, the paper. At least those trips had the virtue of being long, so that each of those arrangements only had to be made once (barring changes mid-trip).

But I’ve got several shorter trips coming up in the next few months, all literary, and each one has its own sets of details to be dealt with. No visas, but still. At the end of this month I’m attending the James River Writers festival in Richmond. That’s just two days but Richmond is far enough away that I’ll stay overnight. Hotel, dog kennel, newspaper, mail. Then in early November I’m attending another weekend event, in Charlotte. That one is three days, basically, with all the same details to be dealt with. Then I’ve got a lengthy residency at VCCA later in November and into December. For that at least I don’t have to worry about a hotel, and like the other two trips I’ll be driving, but still everything else has to be considered. And then there’s the AWP Conference in New York at the end of January. For that the hardest part was the hotel, but I think I’ve got that covered now. The transportation is still an issue – train? plane? – and there is a question as to whether I’ll make a separate trip to New York to see Young Frankenstein or if I’ll try to do it while I’m there on that trip.

And if all those logistics weren’t enough to drive an obsessive nuts, I’d kind of like to take an international trip before the end of the year, but my planning cells are already overloaded so I’m not sure I’m up to it.

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