Yes, it is time to saddle up, but first let’s take that old saw about “six degrees of separation” out for a drive.
I write books. I do not have secretarial help. I answer emails on a daily basis, but when I’m deep in the writing process, anything that requires a snail mail response gets put on a back burner. I save the messages in my new mail file and get to them when I get to them. Occasionally I will hit a wrong button on my keyboard and an email will vanish. I’ve learned to track them down in Trash, but if you accidentally hit that same button when you’re in the Trash file, you’re … well … out of luck. (I was going to use a more colorful expression. My mother, Evie, would be proud that I chose not to do so.)
I received an email from a fan named JoAnn Jones, somewhere in South Carolina, asking for something for herself and for her two sisters who are also fans of my books. I read the email, realized I’d have to do a snail-mail response on that one and saved it as new—for a while. For several weeks, I believe. Book writing was at a critical stage at the time. Then when it was time to do snail mail—including bookmarks which went out yesterday—I started dealing with waiting emails. Unfortunately JoAnn’s had disappeared without a trace.
I checked my database, but she’s not listed there. She must be someone who has visited my website because she had my email address. She may be a Facebook or Blog follower, but I don’t have access to those addresses.
So here’s where the six-degrees thing comes into play. If one of my readers just happens to know a fan of mine from South Carolina named JoAnn Jones, someone who has two sisters who are also fans, please let her know she needs to resend that missing message. And she should do it soon—before I go to work on another book.
In the meantime, I head out for Fort Myers, Florida, on Friday morning to participate in the Southwest Florida Readers Conference. The following week I’ll be in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books followed by a couple of events in Phoenix. It’s not like book tours from the old days, but it counts.
After two years of not traveling at all, I’m trying to get my head back into the travel groove. I’ve got Shuttle Express lined up to get me back and forth from the airport. I’m gathering the items that will need to be packed tomorrow. One trip will be carry-on only; one won’t. That means I have to have two separate packing mindsets. And I’m already dreading the ungodly hour I’ll need to be up and out on Friday morning.
Still it will be good to see live people in an audience as opposed to speaking into a computer screen sitting on my dining room table. I’m ready to hear people laugh aloud again, and I’ll bet you are, too.