Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On the Book Tour Road: Confessions of an Anxious Traveler

Tomorrow I'm off to embark upon the second leg of the Thin Space Book Tour--otherwise known as the "The Tour through All the Places Where I've Lived slash Know People."

The first stop on this tour was Lexington Kentucky, my home for ten years, where I raised my kids through their pre-school/ elementary/some of middle school years, taught at an awesome creative and performing arts school, and experienced the hey day of my PTA-Carpooling-Uber Volunteer stage of life. (Update: I had a blast returning to my former school--where I did my first ever Power Point presentation. I loved catching up with old friends--my book club, PTA moms and dads, local writers and teachers and librarians and former students--and the signing at Morris Book Shop was so well-attended the store ran out of copies of my book. Woo!)

Stop Two is Nashville, and I must admit I am anxious for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with the actual Book Signing/School Visiting/Public Speaking aspect of a book tour that might make other writers nervous.

The truth is I always get nervous before I travel. I love traveling but what I don't love is the actual getting to the new place part of the process.

I'm not thrilled with flying (the potential for missed connections/cancelled flights/lost baggage weighs on my mind. Also, plane crashes.) But I hate driving too. I think it's the combination of intense hyper-alertness intermingled with the mind-numbing boredom.

There's other stuff that goes along with gearing up for a trip that puts me over the edge, and usually I drive everyone my husband crazy in the days before we travel.

Example 1:

Packing. What do I pack? What will I wear? What is the weather like? What if I forget something important? My husband's answer to this rant is something along the lines of "I could be wrong, but I think they have stores where we are going."

Example 2:

Cleaning. Okay, this is totally my own weird idiosyncrasy, but every time I am about to leave on a trip, I feel compelled to clean my house. It's this thing where you know that when you come home you're going to have a bunch of dirty laundry and you're going to be tired from the trip and wouldn't it be nice to walk into a clean home? This compulsion manifests itself in scenarios like this: My husband is loading up the car and I am running around with a scrub brush scouring the toilets.

He yells at me to put the cleaning implement down and help him load the car and I yell at him to understand my mania and help me rearrange the silverware drawer. Big shocker: we don't always begin our vacations in the most chipper of moods.

Really, I am trying to work on my traveling anxiety. Especially today, the day before I leave on my Nashville solo road trip. It's hard though. I have a mile long list of things to do:

1. Revise a chapter in my WIP
2. change the cat litter
3. finish and post this blog
4. clean off the kitchen counter
5. Answer a bunch of emails
6. Vacuum the upstairs bedrooms

You get the picture.

And look at me, all efficient and productive and just about to finish number 3 on the list!

Readers, please say a quick prayer for me tomorrow as I set out on my 400+ mile drive, and if you happen to live in the Nashville metro area, pop into Parnassus Books to say hello, Saturday, Oct. 5 at 2:00. With any luck I will be dressed appropriately for the weather and the store will not run out of books.


  1. I sympathize. I do like to travel. I just hate getting READY to travel. Packing is terrible. And for some reason, unpacking when I get home is even worse.

    I know you'll have a great time. Just enjoy yourself. Everybody's going to love your book!

    1. Hey Peggy, thanks! I did have a good time and the long drive wasn't even all that terrible. It helped that I was listening to a great audio book--Laini Taylor's brilliant Daughter of Smoke and Bone.