I have a love/hate relationship with traveling. Well, that may be too harsh. I love traveling, and do it frequently, so much so that I've become an ardent devotee of JetBlue's Badges program, which has allowed me to rack up lots of frequently flyer miles and visit more places (I highly recommend it; you get points for simply using social media, flying, using partner sites, etc.). While I don't love waiting on TSA lines, that process has gotten easier because I get to bypass most of the line using JetBlue's Even More Speed option, which is well worth the $10. This trip there were a few legs I couldn't use JetBlue, like Portland to Seattle, but those are cheap and quick flights.
This month I'm doing something new for me; from September 5-October 1, I'm taking 11 flights, as part of my multi-city book tour, which will take me to, in order, Seattle, Portland (OR), Los Angeles for two writing workshops I'm teaching and two panels at CatalystCon, San Francisco, back to Portland, Oregon, then after a few days at home, Portland, Maine, then back home, then Chicago, Milwaukee, then home again. It's a lot of travel, even for me, and I admit it's a little daunting, both in terms of the demands on the body of hopping on so many flights, making sure I get to my flights (thankfully, most are at reasonable hours, with only one or two at a very early hour).
But more than that, especially since moving to my house in April, I've realized just how much I'm a creature of habit. My boyfriend just asked me what kind of eggs I want, and I said what I say almost every time he asks: "Fried." He makes amazing fried eggs, and even though he also makes good scrambled eggs and omelets and other breakfasts, that's what I like and I choose it consistently. I use the same coffee mug, even though I have prettier and bigger ones.
So when I travel, my routine is disrupted. The irony is that I travel in part specifically to break up my routine, to see new things, meet new people, eat at places like Sweet Iron Waffles in Seattle, walk and navigate public transportation, and simply do things I can't do in Red Bank, New Jersey. When I'm home for a month or two, I get that itch to go somewhere. But about a week into a trip, I get very homesick. I miss my boyfriend, even though we email and talk while I'm away; it's just not the same as all our little rituals.
It's a conundrum, trying to balance both those desires, for travel adventures and the very basic daily sameness I crave. I usually travel about once a month, and that satisfies my wanderlust. Last weekend I visited cousins in Vermont, which is a true respite because they live in what to me is a very rural area. We get to eat tons of fresh food they grow, and I got to learn about games like Animal Jam and Subway Surf and go to the fair, where I ate frickles (fried pickles, which now seem to be on every menu I encounter), rode bumper cars and played bingo. But this month will be a challenge, because it's travel for both business and pleasure. I'll be teaching 7 writing workshops, doing 3 readings, and doing my first talk at a library. I'm responsible for making sure each of those events has as big a crowd as I can conjure, and making sure people leave happy they attended. I'm confident but also nervous about my ability to see those through.
Now, that's nothing compared to Chris Guillebeau, who's doing a massive book tour for his latest, The Happiness of Pursuit, which I want to read, but for a self-employed writer on a shoestring self-funded budget, it's a lot. That's why I'm trying to spread the word as wide and far as I can, because I don't want to let down the stores and conferences and community centers hosting me, and I also believe this is a very ripe time for newcomers to break into the erotica market and want to help make that happen, while also making it something I can continue to do well into the future. I'm itching to put out a new call for submissions and hope to as soon as the last obligations I have are fulfilled, but I also am spreading my wings as I wrap up my very first all-written-by-me book, an ebook for Thought Catalog Books (more about that once there's an official cover and release date, but it will be this fall!), and get ready for things I've never done before.
After this latest round of events, I'll be slowing down on travel, and probably cutting way back in 2015. I hope to have enough money to take a fun vacation, the kind where I do little more than lie around a sunny beach. I tried to take one earlier this year and it didn't quite happen, and if it doesn't this year, that's okay too. I've traveled a lot, and I really do love my house. It feels like a home, partly because it's so cozy, and partly because we've added our own touches to it and made it somewhere I adore coming back to. I didn't realize how much I craved that, but when you work from home, it matters even more. In Brooklyn, when I "worked from home," I really worked from a coffeeshop. I still love a good coffeeshop, and can get quality work done in them. But when I'm home now, I really do work here, with occasional forays to the library or a cafe for a change of scenery. So this week I'll be finishing up some writing deadlines, preparing for and promoting my events, packing and getting mentally prepared to head off on more trips in a short time period than I've ever taken before. So that's what I'm thinking about before Friday's flight to Seattle. Hope to see many of you on the road (if you know anyone near any of the cities I'll be visiting--again, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland (Maine), Chicago and Milwaukee--I'd love it if you'd spread the word), and if you can't make it, I'm also gearing up for October's online erotica writing class with LitReactor and my October 24th erotica writing workshop in New York City
Snapshots from Vermont at the Champlain Valley Fair:
I went on this Ferrish wheeland was nervous at first, but wound up loving it
winning 3 rounds of bingo made me very happy! I miss playing bingo and want to find one near me.