Ten things about traveling to promote a book, or, a post in which I take my own writing advice

So, in Braving the Fire, I borrowed (with permission) a writing exercise from Janisse Ray, in which she suggests a way to write when you’re too busy to write: jotting a list of ten things taking place around you that you want to write about when you get the time.

Seeing as how the last week has involved Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, and my wonderful students at the Hogwarts-looking local college at which I also teach, here’s my ten…

1. Doing crow pose with my friend K. at Wingmaker Arts Collaborative before the workshop attendees arrived. Crow post (bakasana) in boots and jewelry. (This is my cat Alice, posing with a papier-mache crow.)Alice and Papier Mache crow

2. Realizing that credit card machines don’t have that satisfying ka-thunk when you swipe the card. Everything’s silently, creepily, digital.

3. Panthers-game tailgaters reminded me of New Orleans Jazz Fest, but without the music. Or New Orleans.

4. A very gutsy talk about how research informs scene (I’m talking to you, S.J., in the workshop at Charis Books.)

5. An outstanding dialogue about writing dialogue (I’m talking to you, J.M. sitting there to my right at the workshop table…)

6. Writing for an hour in my hotel room, getting the bones of an essay organized. Sort of.

7. Okay, I admit it, I bought a bag of chili-lime cornchips at a fancy market in Greenville, SC and ate them while I drove. All of them.

8. Realizing that I can’t keep eating like this when I travel. Also realizing I need to vacuum out the inside of my car.

9. Seeing K., her husband T., our pal A.

10. Visiting the folks and Yola the dog at Park Road Books in Charlotte.

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