Friday, June 08, 2012

A Travel Whirlwind

I’m writing this at the tail end of the BEA—initials that stand for Booksellers Expo of the Americas.
                It’s fantastic. Hundreds—no, maybe thousands?—of authors are there with their publishers or organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America—horror writers and sci-fi writers—come out to sign books. And give them away.
                It’s a reader’s smorgasbord. It’s a chance to meet people.
                And it’s a great chance to have fun with friends.
                It’s also New York City. 
                Now, I admit I’m ready to go home.
But . . . .
The last three months have been a whirlwind of travel for me, a lot it work, some of it for family, and, thankfully, a lot in which work and family could combine. I’ve been back and forth from Miami, Bowling Green, L.A., New York, Nashville, Orlando, Dallas, New Orleans, Houma, Covington, San Antonio, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
                But when I think about going home, I get to think, too, about the places I’ve been. And I’m kind of amazed, thinking of how much is out there and what a spectacular land this is. In the Nashville area, I was enchanted by the beauty of the country; in Kentucky, I was bowled over by the charm and hospitality of the people. Las Vegas was sheer fun—the kind I probably shouldn’t have all that often!  If you know me or about me, you know I love New Orleans and the history there; Chicago offers Second City comedy and architecture and the grandeur of Lake Michigan.
                Who can really hate Mickey Mouse? (Okay, I have, at times. You know—when you’ve been standing in ninety-degree heat for an hour or so with a ride with a bunch of hungry, impatient, and thirsty kids! But, in general, I love the artistry—and the pool at the Dolphin hotel!)
                San Antonio is beautiful—and the Alamo is spiritual and the way they light it up at night, it’s a misty feeling of the past that is an eerie reminder of all that happened there.
                In California, thanks to friends Scott and Sprout of the Peace River Ghost Hunters, I had a really unique experience with an investigation on the Queen Mary.
                In all this, of course, there are deadlines. So, I have gotten really good at whipping my computer out in a plane, on a train . . . if it’s in the rain . . . whatever! And a friend asked me once just how I was getting work done and I thought that yes, it was difficult.
                But, I realized I was grateful, too. I was reminded of just how fantastic I found so many places in our country; I met wonderful people—from whom I will steal when creating characters. I’ve been enriched by incredible experiences—which I will use, too, of course.
                And now, on that plane going home (I really do miss my pets! My little nephews, family, and friends when I’m gone, though, luckily, I’ve had family members with me on different legs of this long and eclectic trip!).  Thanks to BEA, I’m going to have some really great reading material!