Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Travel Notes

I’m packing for Nashville, going to a national needlework market put on by The National Needlework Association, an organization by and for needlework shop owners. Since I’m going by car, I’m going to bring a lot of luggage. Are you like that, too? I can travel light when I’m flying, though that generally means I can bring just one hat, and I have to carry that one on my head. But give me a car, and oh, boy! Two suitcases! Three or even four hats!

When traveling by plane, I have to ask myself, "What can’t I do without?" When traveling by car, it’s, "What else do I want to bring along?" This time I have to go a little light on that because I’m traveling with two other women, and while we’re good friends, I don’t think they’d appreciate me taking up all the space allotted to luggage.

I submitted the synopsis of what I hope will be the Betsy Devonshire novel to follow Blackwork to my agent late last week. She read it and called with a couple of suggestions, one of which was absolutely brilliant and exposed a blind spot I’d evidently developed about the plot. Oh, the joys of having a really good agent! Thank you, Nancy Yost! Any of you writers ever do that? Come up with a beautiful idea for a plot and write it out, either as a synopsis or even as the entire story and have someone, on reading it, point out a perfectly obvious flaw in the thing? One that until that moment totally escaped you? Makes you bite your knuckles to stifle the ugly words coming up your throat, doesn’t it? Unless that someone is in your writers’ group or is your agent, or a good friend, or someone, anyone, who can prevent a publisher from seeing it in its flawed state. Then, while you still bite and mutter, you afterwards send thanks wafting upward that you were saved from making a mistake that could have cost you a sale. Or at least made your editor at the publishing house start wondering if you were losing your touch.

I am in the very early stages of planning a train trip out west. The destination is Salt Lake City, for an Embroiderers Guild of America convention in the summer of 2010 – does anyone else still think a number like 2010 doesn’t look like a year? – but I want to travel down the west coast, stopping at needlework shops and bookstores along the way to do signings. I love train travel and this will be the train trip of a lifetime. As soon as EGA firms up the date of the convention, I’ll start lining up stops on this trip. I wish a whole bunch of stitchers could come along for a huge, lengthy stitching retreat!

1 comment:

Camille Minichino said...

I can't count the number of times I've had to "plug a hole" thanks to one of my early readers.

And that sounds like a wonderful trip, Monica! Be sure to post your schedule if you're coming close to the SF Bay Area.