Friday, August 9, 2019

I WILL TAKE IT WITH ME by Hannah Rowan #RomanceGems


Before the recent Romance Writers of America national conference in New York City, many authors were inundating Facebook with packing issues.  The conference officially lasted about four or five days, though some people came early or stayed late.  Still I was stunned by the lists of items people were reporting putting in their suitcases.

Some of the authors had shoes, shoes, and more shoes.  It sounded like they had entire suitcases just devoted to shoes.  And outfits for workshops, different outfits for meals, outfits for lounging, and really jazzy outfits for the awards ceremony.  I think several authors were lugging along more outfits than I own.

Now, when I’m travelling I admit I don’t get any sleep the night before because I’m obsessing over what’s in my suitcase.

I must have my teabags and my Splenda.  What if I get to a hotel—it’s been known to happen—and all they have is herbal tea or only one or two teabags in the room?  What a nightmare!

Since the invention of e-readers I no longer have to weigh down my luggage with books.  In the old days I had to make sure I had enough books to cover however much time I was going to be away plus several extra in case of emergency. This made for an extremely heavy suitcase even if I limited myself to paperbacks.

Now I also have my tablet loaded with e-books.  Lots and lots of e-books because I never know if I’ll be stranded somewhere and what if I run out of books?  And I lie in bed worrying about whether I remembered to pack my charger.

I toss a few paperbacks into my bag, just in case.

Then I have magazines in my carry-on if I’m flying.  It’s so satisfying to actually finish reading a magazine that’s been languishing on my coffee table for months and throwing it away, leaving room in my luggage for…well, probably for buying any interesting books I find while wandering the airport.

I generally fool myself into thinking that I’ll get some actual work done in my down time instead of ordering movies on the hotel TV.  So I must pack legal pads, notes, and possibly some research books I’ve been meaning to read more carefully.  And pens.  Many, many pens because what if I have an idea and I can’t write it down because my pen is out of ink?

My laptop goes into my carry-on bag as well, leaving very little room for anything else, but I do manage to squeeze in a mouse, and a back-up mouse, and batteries, and again, the charger.  Because I hate trying to respond to email on my tablet or my phone, and I kid myself into thinking I’ll use those notes and research books to do some actual writing.

Somewhere in there I might find space for a second pair of shoes, two or three t-shirts and a pair of jeans.  But only after I make sure I’ve got all the important stuff covered.



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8 comments:

  1. It was fun to read your blog. I spent lots of time obsessing over what not to bring to wear or read or write on. Les time on what to bring. Finally came pretty light and wondered why it took me so long to pack. All that thinking time! And I love pens. We have a drawer full and I brought back more. I always seem to have only one in my purse hidden away somewhere when I want it. Don't know what's up with that. Hope you had fun all your days away and enjoyed wearing your wardrobe.

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  2. I saw where a friend had pared the number of shoes she was taking down to a conservative eleven. I'm not sure I have eleven, so I may never make it to another conference. I will admit that I lost a Kindle in a Hampton Inn somewhere between home and Florida and have never recovered it...

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  3. Oh, gosh! Thank goodness for tablets. I remember the days of flying with multiple books.

    I saw quite a few of those packing lists being posted for the conference. It was pretty fun and interesting to see what people prioritized.

    I happen to pride myself on being an extremely efficient packer while traveling. I consider it one of my superpowers.

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  4. I'm obsessed with packing ultra light. Although, I do stress over outfits. I like it on me today, but will I like it on in two days? That sort of thing. But otherwise, as long as I have my contacts (blind as can be) & charger, I figure I can buy anything I may have forgotten. Great post!

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  5. I'm more like in you in the shoe department. I have a few pair that can be worn both as casual and dressy. I have one outfit for each day, and maybe something a bit fancier for the award ceremony. I don't bring any books, especially to RWA since I know I'll be bringing a ton home with me. But I do have my Kindle in case I want to read on the way or back. And my laptop for a variety of things. But I know I won't actually get any work done during this conference. Too many friends to catch up with.

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  6. The shoes are always the issue. Men have no idea how easy they have it. They might pack an extra pair.... or not. The tough part is I like to dress according to my mood. How am I supposed to know what I'll feel like wearing next week?

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  7. I always bring multiple books on a trip, and, yes, thank goodness for eReaders. I've become a master at shoving things into the farthest corner to make everything fit!

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  8. Always amusing, Hannah. Thanks for the chuckle. If I fly, I'm a 1 bag passenger. If I'm driving, *LOL*, I take a work bag and a clothes bag and then an incidentals bag to catch all the stuff I pick up along the way.

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