Friday miscellany: Midweek adventures, maintaining streaks

We have continued to get slammed with winter weather. Unlike the storm a week ago, though, Wednesday's storm was well-predicted. That meant that I had several days to stew about the odds that I would make it to Detroit on Wednesday in order to give a speech to about 250 people on Thursday morning.

My hosts were, at first, not worried about the whole thing. Then, as the warnings of impending doom piled up, they reached out to talk options. We decided, on Tuesday, that I would fly out Tuesday night ahead of the storm.

And so, Tuesday became a day when I was reminded how pleased I am with the support system I have set up here. My husband was in Florida (lucky guy!). I had asked G to bring her stuff on Tuesday to stay over, in case something like this went down. She covered Tuesday night and Wednesday day, and then my husband was actually able to get back in Wednesday later in the day, so he was the parent-in-charge Wednesday. I could learn at 1 p.m. Tuesday that I would be on a 5:45 p.m. flight, get everything organized, take my 3-year-old to his preschool interview from 3:15-3:45, hand him over to G who was picking up the big kids at school, and then take off. The Uber driver took a while to come and then there was traffic, so I cut it a little closer at the airport than I'd like (there about 45 minutes before) but I have TSA pre-check and I only had one bag (a tote bag) so I didn’t even need to be early on the plane to grab overhead bin space.

Of course, this meant Wednesday looked nothing like what I thought it would. I was staying in Birmingham, Michigan, which is a cute and walkable little town. I tried the hotel restaurant Tuesday night since the hotel folks said it was one of the best in Michigan (it was pretty good!) I indulged in sleeping in Wednesday morning, then running a 28-minute 5k in the hotel gym and doing some weight training, then catching up on a lot of work, interspersed with walks around town. I ate a late breakfast (basically, lunch) at this eclectic place called Toast, featuring chandeliers with feathers. Then I went out with one of my hosts for dinner. It was a pretty off the clock feeling day! Back in Pennsylvania, they got about 12 inches of snow in my neighborhood, but we didn't lose power, so the kids had a fun time playing and watching movies.

The speech went well. Morning crowds are always energetic, and crowds of younger professional women are my particular sweet spot. This was both. Then it was back to the airport, to Philadelphia, and back home in time to do an interview for Best of Both Worlds that I am really excited to share in a few weeks (a celebrity one!)

One little schedule hiccup: I had gotten into bed on Tuesday night when I realized, in the rush of switching flights, that I had not written my 500 words of fiction for the day! I had run. But I had not done that. So, being the sort of person I am, I got up and wrote 500 words of something over the next 15 minutes (mostly just sketching out ideas). Then I went to bed.

I know, in the long run, that what I put down in those 15 minutes will probably be useless. But the discipline of the streak is good for me, and is good in making my mind focus on plot points and character development in this novella that is now going to become an epic.

Now it is Friday, and I'm looking to the week ahead, hoping that we don’t get another massive snow storm! I just had a conference call with my publisher about edits to my next book after Off the Clock. Juliet's School of Possibilities, a time management fable, with a tentative publication date of March 12, 2019. So…just about one year to go. Exciting!

Photos: Ceviche salad at the hotel restaurant, and a backyard snowy scene. Not spring yet, alas.

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2 Responses to Friday miscellany: Midweek adventures, maintaining streaks

  1. Louisa says:

    In my earlier keynote speaking era, I was not up for a lot of schmoozing (dinners, networking, etc.) before the speech, if I couldhelp it. Of course I would do it if I had to, but I much preferred to gather my focus. Afterwards, of course, I knew I’d be responding to audience members. Recently I was talking to a very successful author friend of mine who feels similarly. Reading your post., I was trying to figure out your preferences re hanging out with clients, audience members, etc. both before and after your program.

    • @Louisa – so I almost never eat (or drink anything but water) right before a speech. No matter how daintily one might eat, there is always the possibility that stuff spills on you, or that a burp might escape at an inopportune time if there is something in the belly. Not so great when one is mic’ed up. I tend not to do too much schmoozing prior, although if you’re there early enough, there’s the chatting with the hosts, techs, various people brought by to say hello. That’s just part of the job. Afterwards, I’m always happy to grab a bite, a drink, and chat with anyone and everyone.

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