Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Roving and Blogging: Not As Easy As It Seems

Good evening everyone! It's not 6 a.m., but it is before midnight, so I'm ready to count this as my Tuesday blog.

I found out over the last two days that roving and blogging at the same time are a challenge. On Sunday night I wrote Monday's "pitch" blog, scheduling the post for 6 a.m. the next morning, and then on Monday we headed out in our car for Pennsylvania.

We spent our first night in Salem, VA, near Roanoke at a Day's Inn that could not find our reservation that I had made with Hotels.com. Turns out, the reservation date had been made for September 9. Sigh.

The motel also didn't have wi-fi in the room--only the lobby--but when six bikers on Harleys roared in and asked where the nearest bar was, I decided it might not be wise to hang around the lobby by myself. By that time it was after 8 p.m., so we ordered Domino's and crashed. Heartburn city!

This morning, we found a Starbucks. Yea! Free wi-fi. Yea! Answered work e-mails. Double yea! Switched over to write my blog. Computer went into hibernation. Boo, hiss! It was 10:30 a.m. by that time, and my husband reminded me we had a long drive to Pennsylvania.
So here I am at 9:30 p.m. in a hotel under renovation somewhere near Philly. Don't ask me where. I could give you directions for anywhere west of the Mississippi, but the East Coast? I'm lost. All my ancestors came from this neck of the woods (New England, but that's close, isn't it?) but my kin were all frontiersmen and women. They all left in covered wagons or with pack mules generations ago.
This morning I was able to answer a few e-mails from readers who told me how encouraged they were by yesterday's blog, and tonight I read your comments for the first time. As the professor said to Eliza (It was Eliza, wasn't it?) in My Fair Lady, "By George, I think you've got it!" I'll try to dash back to yesterday and comment.
I apologize for not blogging on proposals tonight, but I have to admit, after crawling out of a car with my husband, our Chihuahua, and way too much baggage, my brain is fried. Hopefully, I'll get an early start tomorrow. Thanks for your understanding and patience!
Oh, and remember this blog and my body are on Central time, so that "posted at 8:30" something below is bogus!
I hope you'll make this a two-way conversation. Have you ever experienced a couple of days like this? I can't be the only one who has ever suffered on a trip. If you have a funny story to share, please give us all a laugh. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. ;-)


  1. LOL! Get some rest and enjoy your roving. ;-)

  2. I'm with you in spirit, Barbara! Having just returned from vacation, I have lots of empathy. I still haven't unpacked everything!

  3. I got home from a "vacation" (actually studying with an author. We took our two fox terriers to the beach with us. They couldn't walk or down the 3.5 stories of steps. We had to tuck them under our wings each we traversed them. The wind from the beach scared one of our doggies, and she turned herself toward the sea and barked at its sound. We were in oil spill territory, many businesses had closed and it was difficult to find places to eat or stores. It's so good to be home.

  4. Actually, the bikers probably weren't as bad as you think. Would you believe I used to be one? I even have the photos to prove it! :D

    My worst day ever was the day I got a small CD stuck in my brand new MacBook. I chronicled it in Afictionado: http://www.acfw.com/cgi-bin/ezine/dec09.pl?record=5

    I couldn't explain it all here. Suffice it to say, it took 4 or 5 trips to the mall.

  5. Having traveled as a missionary in South America, I have some killer traveling stories...like sleeping in a hut high in the Andes mountains with gerbils running around all night under my bed and being served gerbil for breakfast the next morning. (Think slimy chicken.)

    And wow. I was hoping to pitch a story that had bikers in it. So much for bad timing!

  6. We drove from KY to CA this summer and stayed at a couple B&Bs and also the usual motels. We liked the privacy of the motels, but all the good stories came from the B&Bs. People make the best stories.

  7. I'm sure there are people whose carefully planned-in-advance trips flow just as they expect them to, but I am definitely not among them. I do best to just consider it part of the adventure of travel, but sometimes I could do with a bit less adventure. :)

  8. I have good intentions to blog (and tweet, and post Facebook updates) when I'm away teaching at writers' conferences, but it never happens.

    I've learned to tell the people in my workshops, "You won't be reading any social media updates from me during the conference, because I'm here with you in person, and that's more important to me."

    I've found that I get too exhausted at conferences to juggle teaching and blogging, so I give myself permission not to blog then. I do try to schedule articles in advance, but I'm always rushing around the week before the conference, so it doesn't always happen.

    Give yourself a break when you need it -- roving and blogging are sometimes an oil and vinegar combo!

  9. Barbara, do you have any plans to do a one day intensive workshop in the Phoenix area?

  10. I can understand the challenge! Loved the post on pitching, especially in light of the ACFW conference just around the corner!

  11. Hi all!

    Good to hear from you, and thanks, Laura, for permission to give myself grace about blogging during conferences. I never thought it would be so challenging!

    I'm late responding tonight because I just got back from the faculty dinner for The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, and I'll be tied up from morning to night through Saturday night, meeting with conferees and Abingdon authors.

    I'm glad we're not the only ones who have traveling mishaps, but Terri, your story gave me a real chuckle. The thought of eating gerbils! You would have to know my husband to appreciate this...think of living with Robin Williams 24-hours a day. He hops out of bed improvising comedy routines. This morning he called the hotel desk about a minor issue, and in the most serious voice told them he was really annoyed because gerbils were running up and down the hall all night. LOL Who thinks of these things? Only Mike.

    And traveling with our Chihuahua is a new challenge. How do you eat out? You can't leave a dog in the car during the summer. So we've had a LOT of hamburgers from every fast food place you could name. Our breakfast is coffee and a scone eaten in a running car with the air-conditioning blasting.

    And BK, yes, I do plan a workshop in Phoenix. A friend of mine is setting it up now. I think we're trying for January 8, but I'll let everyone know.

    Thanks everyone for understanding. And Jennifer? I may not unpack before we have to hit the road again. LOL

  12. LOL! How funny about your husband and the gerbils! My husband and I found that a sense of humor got us through many situations in South America that otherwise might make us cringe...or cry!

  13. I've got a number of crazy travel stories, similar to Terri Smith's up there, since most happened on medical mission trips. Snakes and bats in places they shouldn't be, swimming in a river and then being taken back to the same spot the next day for pirana fishing. Doing MacGuver-like things to treat illness in bush clinics (Think a flashlight and a lawnchair as a dental set-up!).

    The best story happened in Dec '08. Kenya had terrible election violence break out with a "million man march" planed in Nairobi right as our plane was to land. My husband and I were scheduled for a month as physicians at a mission hospital near the Rift Valley. The hospital got in touch with us just in time to tell us the roads were impassable with gangs and machetes, etc. So we ended up in London for a while, where we found out I was pregnant! And if we'd made it to the hospital I'd have been on anti-malarials dangerous for the baby we didn't know was there. He does direct our paths! She's two now :)


  14. If I'm traveling, I try to set my blog to auto-update before I leave. Sometimes blogger has a fit if I have too many posts in the "Scheduled" bin.

    As for traveling stories... Well, I go to school 900 miles from home. Every break is a new travel story. I heard a good one at church tonight: a family on the way to Florida had to stop in Atlanta for an emergency appendectomy.

    <>< Katie