by Guest Blogger Nancy Haddock
No, I’m not talking about vampires. Not even about werewolves, or the hickey fiend I dated in college a bazillion years ago.
I’m referring to something else entirely. Something I loathe. Something I despise. Something I abhor.
What could Nancy with-the-laughing-face-Pollyanna-Positive-Spin Haddock hate that much?
Yes, I said packing. And I must do it soon in order to attend the annual RWA conference. (Cue the creepy music and see me shudder.)
My packing issues have nothing to do with the new airline rules (though those bite, too). It’s not even that I don’t know how to pack, or know how to make packing easier. I do know how. I’ve read and followed the advice of every how-to-pack article that’s come to my notice for - lo! - these many years of attending conferences. In fact, I read yet another fabulous article by Marcia James on the subject just recently.
Nope, knowing how to pack efficiently isn’t the problem. The trouble is, I hate packing at all.
Oh, I start with the best of intentions. I even begin the task armed with lists and some measure of confidence. I assemble items, check them off my lists, and then, knee deep in clothing and toiletries, I panic. Am I bringing too much, too little, clothing too warm, clothing too hot?
For years I’ve fantasized about packing only my favorite hairbrush and flying off with nary a carryon in hand. At my destination, I’d go shopping for shampoo, makeup, clothing and accessories. Then, before leaving to return home, I give everything but my favorite brush and the clothes on my back to charity. Let me tell you, I’ve got this fantasy embellished to Disney proportions complete with cute wildlife as my singing and dancing backup.
My alternate fantasy is that I’m Samantha Stevens, and with a twitch of my nose, I either (1) conjure outfits from the ethers, or (2) teleport home to change.
But, alas, the fantasies dissolve when I remember two things. I’m not Samantha, and I hate to clothes shop even more than I hate to pack.
Can I be the only woman in RWA who thinks schlepping from store to store, from tiny cubicle to tiny cubicle, undressing and re-dressing for hours at a time is a drag? Say it isn’t so!
Now that you’d listened to me grouse about shopping and packing, you might ask why I put myself through the angst. Is attending the RWA or any conference worth the effort?
Well, yes. Seeing friends, attending fabulous workshops, networking, doing the whole writer-bonding thing is a high. This year will be even more special for me because I’ll be signing my debut book, La Vida Vampire, at the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, and at the Berkley signing event. Wow, my first time to be on the author side of those long rows of tables! That alone is worth facing the dreaded suitcase.
So tell, me, do you dread packing? Hate to shop? Suffer from suitcase stress? Share your stories – and dish on how you deal with your travel issues! All tips are welcome!
And, if you want to travel to the beach without ever packing, come visit my web site and click on the Beach Party page for a little virtual fun in the sun!
My sincere thanks to Annette for inviting me to guest blog with the fab Working Stiffs. Y’all rock, and I’m honored to have been a temp here!
Nancy Haddock’s debut book, La Vida Vampire, launched a new series from Berkley, and was released in April 2008 to rave reviews, including a 4 1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Though this book is her first published work, Nancy has written articles, comedy sketches, screenplays, children’s picture books, poetry, and has tried her hand in a number of genres.
For this tale of paranormal romantic mystery, Nancy drew on her long experience with things-that-go-bump by day and night, and on the historic wealth of St. Augustine, Florida, the Nation’s Oldest City. She lives with her husband a blissful block from the beach, and is a dedicated resident-tourist who never gets tired of exploring the sights of her new hometown.