Rolling Stone

And I’m not talking about the rock band although I’m sure much of what’s in this post applies to members of that band and to traveling musicians, too.  Just ask Janis Ian.

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “Where do you live?”  When I say I have homes in Tucson and Seattle, the follow up question/comment is often something to the effect, “Six months in each?”  The answer to that is yes and no.

This week we’re in Cannon Beach.  Bill, Bella, and I are sitting on our porch at the Cannon Beach Inn.  We’re on vacation.  Well, more or less on vacation.  I did do one event here in town yesterday at the Coaster Theatre.  (Hey, if you’ve got a chance to speak to close to 200 folks and maybe turn some of them into fans, why the heck not?)  So this is our Cannon Beach trip which has, in recent years, somehow replaced our annual trek to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

This week comes out of the six months that are supposedly our “Seattle” six months.  But from that we have to subtract the two week family trip to Europe, a three week book tour, this near week in Cannon Beach, the ten days we’ll be spending in North and South Carolina,  the trip to Kenniwick later this month, four days each Sedona and Canada in October, and a week in southern California in November where I’ll be the Guest of Honor at Bouchercon in Long Beach.  In case you’re keeping track, that’s a big chunk out of what’s supposed to be our Seattle “six months.”

And the same has been and will be true of our “snowbird” experience in Arizona next spring.  I’m not yet sure where the Cold Betrayal tour will take us, but it won’t be time we’ll spend sleeping in our own beds at either end of the road.  And I’m not complaining.  Those are the simple realities of being a writer in this day and age. Traveling comes with the territory.  Getting out and seeing people is part of the job.

When I first arrived in Seattle in 1981, I seemed to be making constant trips back and forth to the airport, either dropping people off or picking people up.  I remember driving south on I-5 once and having a little one-on-one with the Guy Upstairs, whining to Him about, “When is it going to be MY turn to travel?”

Well, folks, I’m here to tell you, sometimes you have to watch out what your ask for.

As for the good part of being a rolling stone?  We’re not gathering much moss, and neither is our luggage.

7 thoughts on “Rolling Stone

  1. Huh,
    I can totally relate. In my earlier years the travel was such that one morning I had to look in the nightstand at the phonebook (you get the idea about how many years ago that would be) to remind me what city I was in.
    Ones lifestyle has its ups and downs.
    But is an adventure and I will always have itchy feet!
    Take five..comes to my mind when feeling overwhelmed.
    This fan apologize for the demands we put on you to produce and market your wonderful books.
    Thank you for all you do!

  2. This week was a three hotels in three nights business trip with nearly 600 miles put on my rental car. Thankful to have the audio edition of Deadly Stakes to keep me entertained on the road!

  3. In my traveling days, I was married to an airline pilot. Most of the trips I took I traveled “space available” which meant I had a seat if a paying passenger didn’t show up. I could be bumped at any time so I traveled with a minimum of luggage—one soft-sided carry-on that could be put under the seat and a large handbag.

    How do you travel? With a minimum amount and lots of suitcases?

  4. Good Grief ! You’re in Cannon Beach which is only 13 miles from me and I missed you again…….UNFAIR! It has been too long since we’ve crossed trails.
    How are Bill and Bella holding up to your wanderings?
    I’ll keep trying to catch you but I’m pretty sure age and health is going to prevent seeing you in Tucson anytime soon…….. “Thr Desert Rat”

  5. Kennewick????? When, Where. I want to be there, if I am able. My son in Enumclaw has cancer and I run there often to take care of grandchildren while he is having treatment. If I am home I promise to stop by and see you. I was raised in Seattle but have come to love the Tri-Cities as much

    • September 20 at 1:00, at Kamiaken High School. I’ll be presenting as part of the Kennewick Adult Education program, just go to my website and see my schedule for information and links to sign up. My best wishes to your son.

  6. Thank you for your Cannon Beach talk! It was the highlight of my year, that has had a few big lowlights. My son, Chuck, and my close friend, Butch, were enchanted. Being ill and missing your Willamete Valley trip in July was a real downer, but the coast made up for all that.
    Your grandson, Colt, was just great and really reminds me of my 8 year-old grandson, Tavin. They both have that shyness, but are excited to “get out there.” Thank you for publishing After the Fire. Your fiction is great, but that book inspired me not to give up during the tough times. My tag line to you was, “Even the characters, JP Beaumont, and Joanna Brady, are happily married now and MY marriage is gone” BooHoo. You sent me to read After the Fire, and after another fit of crying, I knew I could go on– happily–soonner or later. Now I am happy to have met my childhood pal, Butch (his real name). And I have my smile back!
    Again, thank you for putting into print all those stories you have gathered-up along the way. Second Watch is still my favorite because of your tribute to Doug Davis. Our generation lost some wonderful classmates. Thank you for remembering for all of us.

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