Wednesday, October 11, 2006

24-hours unplugged -- for the most part


A few years ago, on a book tour, I traveled to 19 cities in 21 days with nothing more than carry-on luggage. (Key to this pre-9/11 trip was a set of colorful silk blouses, black almost everything else, and praying that certain hotel dry cleaning services would actually return my clothing before I had to check out.) It wasn't uncommon to travel that way on a book tour then -- I remember one escort being unable to hide her irritation when I traveled with checked baggage the next year.

Why was she irritated? Because many times on a tour, you hit the ground running -- the plane lands at an airport that may bear a certain city's name, but is actually in an area remote from the downtown buildings where your first interviews will be held. So the escort is seeing the margin between your arrival at the airport and the next place you must be rapidly diminishing.

Since 9/11, timing for certain aspects of tours have had to be adapted to changes in air travel, but even before that, my publisher was planning tours that allowed an author a breather now and then.

Yesterday I didn't have a thing scheduled. And baby, did I take advantage of that. I had about six zillion items on my to do list, and didn't touch more than one or two of them. I just unplugged for the day. I'm thinking it was a good idea.

Now I'm going see what Tarzan is up to (although the previous adventure, when he somehow survived being guided underwater while unconscious, will be hard to beat), then go back to work on the manuscript in progress.

I do want to take a quick moment before I do that to say how much I love the photos of Jane M. Sawyer, aka "Cohdra" on Morguefile.com. She took the one above of the unplugged plug. It seems that she's often captured just what I'm looking for to illustrate this blog or my site. As you can see from photo credits on my Web site, two of the four photos currently shown near the title on this page and the site are hers. (The middle photos are Mary Thorton's photo of raindrops and Annika's of the tree and clouds.)

When you see that desert road, it may remind you, as it did me, of a scene in Kidnapped. Finding photos of deserts is not all that hard. But not all deserts are alike, as you learn if you spend any time in them. I'm glad Jane Sawyer captured this view of something I had been seeing in a combination of imagination and memory.

4 comments:

Cindy Chow said...

Jan,

On that note, I spoke to you at Laura Lippman's party at Bouchercon about maybe doing programs at libraries in Hawaii. Were you still intersted? We would love to have you come. I can get into more details if you e-mail me at cynthia@librarieshawaii.org. Mahalo!

Cindy Chow

LISA L. said...

I JUST WANT TO SAY TO YOU, JAN BURKE, I AM A HUGE FAN. I LOVE YOUR IRENE KELLY SERIES. I ADMIT I AM ADDICTED. I DONT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT SETS YOU AND YOUR BOOKS SO FAR APART FROM ALL THE OTHERS TO ME, BUT I LOOK FOR YOUR BOOKS EVERYWHERE EVEN WHEN I CANT BUY THEM AT THE TIME. I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BOOKS. I HAVE READ ALL YOUR BOOKS THAT MY LOCAL LIBRARY HAS AND ALWAYS REMIND THEM WHEN A NEW ONE IS COMING OUT. I EVEN REREAD YOUR BOOKS JUST TO BE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH THEM AGAIN. JUST ANOTHER FAN, LISA L.

Jan said...

Hi Cindy!
Thanks for being back in touch. I just came across your card yesterday as I started sorting through my Bouchercon materials.
Definitely still interested!

Yours,
Jan

Jan said...

Lisa, what a kind note! Thank you so much -- I'm truly honored to know you've enjoyed my books. I hope you'll like Kidnapped!

Yours,
Jan