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Archives - Weekly Update

Greetings from LA. For the record, I feel like I am part of the jet set. Literally. The past week has been London/NY/LA. Yes, I am on the “from sea to shining sea” adventure. I love the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, so I am happy to reset my clock to do this fabulous literary feast. I will be at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood tonight for their annual party for mystery authors, which is like a stop in to see old friends. Linda and Bobby always make me feel so welcome, and the authors who gather there make this one festive evening. Starting tomorrow it's a whirlwind two days of author panels and events that will keep me on the run.

By the time you read this, we will be in London. The transatlantic trip on the QE2 was amazing. The days were a lot busier than I thought they would be. As promised, there was a wonderful library on the ship. In addition to shelving many of the authors I know and love, there was a fabulous collection of titles with travel and destination themes that could keep one busy reading. This cruise was the end of the Farewell World Cruise for the ship, which is going into drydock in Dubai next November. The journey began on January 6th in Southampton and concluded there today. One of the most interesting parts of the trip for me was meeting fellow passengers and hearing their stories. A few of those who I met were on the World Cruise, while others had jumped on at various legs along the way. There was a group of women who gathered to knit and chat every afternoon at 4:30. I met up with them four of our five "at sea" days and enjoyed talking with them about books and life. The stories of their past trips, as well as this one, would fill a book. They definitely added something special to the trip for me.

We are off tomorrow on our family transatlantic crossing on the QE2. I keeping adding books to my stack since I envision a week collapsed on a deck chair reading and musing as I look out on the water. (Lots of water; no land for days...I will know what Columbus felt like.) Six glorious days of literary pleasure. Well that dream was dashed yesterday when my older son flew in with "great news." There is to be a storm the third day that we are at sea. With high waves. I now envision a wet book. I envision myself huddled in our cabin clutching Dramamine. I also saw pictures of said cabin this week. It's 195 square feet; to compare I just googled and learned that the average prison cell is 96 square feet. A friend noted this week that the point of a cruise is not to hang in one's room. On the map of the ship/liner (never boat), I saw that the library is MUCH bigger; maybe there is a couch where I can spread out. The library has 6,000 books, but I am not unpacking any of mine. A reader can never be sure that they will have the RIGHT book.

I flew back from Minneapolis last Friday night after a three-hour delay where the reasons varied from "weather" to "air traffic in Newark." At one point I wanted to go over to the gate agent and say, "Pick a story and stick to it and we just might believe you!" It was an evening where I once again gave silent thanks for my laptop's Verizon air card as I sat on the floor of the airport sending emails and IMing with the office. By the time I got home and unpacked, I was more than wide awake having passed the "tired" needle hours ago. I now was on what mothers with small children refer to as "my second wind." Thus it was time to pluck a book from the stash that I had picked up at the conference and relax by reading.