The psyche-up begins

I took a look at the calendar Friday to schedule out my time for the rewrite on the Harrison anthology (due out this next September).  I knew the tour was coming up, but it hadn’t hammered home yet how close we are.  It’s close.  Real close.  Close enough that I have to start the month-long process of psyching myself up for it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love getting out and seeing you guys.  I like the chance to see new places and sleep in a new one every night.  It’s fun to see what kind of room you’re going to get and if cookies on the desert menu.  (Only the most posh places have them.)  I don’t get out much while I’m home, so tour is kind of like an intense, on-the-go working vacation where you bust your butt for two to three weeks to get four hours of sight-seeing or shopping in somewhere far from home.  (Seriously, that’s about all I ever get in.  Not complaining, just explaining.)  But I am a very closed person who doesn’t take naturally to the spotlight, and it takes some psyching up to get myself in front of a crowd and not throw up.  There’s a reason I don’t eat two hours before a signing, and this is most of it.  I love talking to you guys, but wedging my butt from my comfortable chair takes some doing.

Anyway, I realized we’re about a month out, which means I have to start making sure I have everything.  Child care–check.  Puppy care–check.  Clothes–check.  (I do have a few new outfits this year, bringing in a bit of red into my wardrobe.  The only time I can EVER find the right mix of casual posh for signing clothes is two weeks before New Years.  This year, I got in the day before New Years and everything was half off.  Score!)  Freebies–halfway done.  Just have to get them to the signing stores and the publishers.  Health–getting there.  (I wait until two weeks out before I start drinking Echinacea tea to wake up the immune system.  So far, so good.)  Work–planning out the time needed to get rewrite for anthology done, and maybe a few more chapters in the NaNo book, because when I get back, I’m going to have Hollows book 11 to rewrite, and then the rough draft for book 12.

Then there are the hundred of other little things like how to plan for four different weather scopes and two levels of polish within the confines of one bag of luggage, finding a pair of shoes that zip for ease of flight travel, that can handle a day of walking comfortably, and look good on stage, because I’m not going to pack a pair of shoes–and finally, making sure I have my camera charger with me because I love what I do and I want pictures to remember it.

Ahhh, the things they never tell you you’re going to have to learn when you say you want to write.  (grin)

36 Comments

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36 responses to “The psyche-up begins

  1. Jan V.

    You get nervous talking in front of a crowd? Really? I would have never thought that. You seem so relaxed up there.
    I was able to use my snow-blower (finally) on Saturday. Then 2 days later, it’s in the 50’s. (shakes head) I don’t foresee using it again anytime soon. Crazy Michigan weather.

    • Holy smokes, Jan. Yes. I do okay with Q&A and stuff, but ask me to give a speech, and I’m a wreck.

      Congrats on using your new toy! 😉 We’ve been up and down with the temps, too.

  2. mudepoz

    1st, sort of like Hitchhiker’s guide: Bring toilet paper (you could bring a towel, but I think TP is better, stuff jewelry or pantyhose in the tube). 2nd. Bring Febreeze. Really.

    Lavender is supposed to be a calming scent. I prefer Febreeze. I like being in front of people. To a point. Then I need to hide.

    Oh, I don’t have plants in my office because my dogs need a place to play where they won’t knock them over. Right now there are a couple of hundred, and when I get a chance at least 100 are leaving here. Pun not intended.

  3. ~Lynn from Haverhill

    I was surprised to see u don’t stay in 1 place for long. But I understand why. I do hope u enjoy ur time in Boston. Quickies can be fun. Me & my boyfriend will be there. We both love u. And I have some fan friends I’m hoping will make it as well.
    Thank u for kicking ass with ur books, and ur book tours.

  4. Victoria Eskey

    I can completely relate on the travel-side of it. I used to travel a lot, and putting part of your life to pause while you are away is rough. And no matter how many times you run through it, there al.ways. is something that get over looked.
    I once flew to Seattle for a week, and had such big plans, that it didn’t dawn on me I hadn’t packed a pair of houseshoes. I got snowed in at the hotel for 4 days. SeaTac was grounded, there were people sleeping in the lobby, and roomservice kept a 4 hour backlog. Flopping around the hotel in untied snowboots was ridiculous. Now, a small pair of slippers is the first into the luggage.
    We love you Kim, thank you for all you do to create the magical world we can all play in.

    • Guy and I usually have a contest to see who remembers what we forgot first. Sometimes it is in the car on the way to the airport. Sometimes it’s as late as four days out. But there is always something.

      Thanks. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my work so much.

  5. Good luck getting psyched up for the tour! Just don’t get psyched out!

    In one of my previous jobs I traveled a lot and spent my days meeting with lots of people who were not always happy to see me. One of the things I learned to do was take a few hours each day, if at all possible, and do one fun thing that was relevant to whatever city I was in. Sometimes it was hard to get myself out of the hotel room or the rental car, but when I did I found myself more refreshed and ready to go again the next day. Plus it helped remind me what city I was in since sometimes I couldn’t remember where I was🙂

  6. Given your lifestyle, I can see why you must schedule and prioritize – how else could you keep everything straight? Packing light is smart. I mean, really, it’s not like you’re in the same locale several days in a row. No one will ever know if you wore that top 2 days ago; by then, you’ll be halfway across the country and laundered.

    Best of luck on tour. I hope to see you in San Diego.

    • Actually, Jeannie, I do spend a lot of time trying to find outfits that look different with a quick shift of blouse or jacket and those that take to being crumpled because I put up pictures of every event, and it shows if I keep wearing the same thing. I’ve been known to sit in my hotel room and bring up last year’s event to make sure I’m not wearing the same thing in the same store.

      See you in San Diego! I love Mysterious Galaxy.

  7. theweightofsilence

    You take ONE bag of luggage on your tours?? omg I don’t know how you can survive!! I’m thinking of going to NJ for a week to see my boyfriend and wondering how I can fit everything into 2 bags!

    I was a bit disappointed to see that you aren’t visiting MN this go round…but I’m sure you will eventually, and since I missed out the last time you were here, I’m looking forward to the next time you are. And, I can’t wait for the new book. I just realized I don’t have much time to read the last few before the new one comes out!

    Good luck on getting ready for your tour!

    -Crystal

    • One checked, and one carry on, yep. It’s been interesting flying the last decade or so as everything changes. First it was security, and now it’s how the airlines handle luggage. The planes tend to be a lot smaller now, too. People don’t talk as much to strangers . . .

  8. Judy B

    Hey Kim,
    Melanie and I are looking forward to finally meeting you this year in Baltimore! See you in amonth!

  9. Howdy ma’am,

    I can kinda relate to the love/hate dynamic of your signings. Most of the time I’m very solitary as well. I’ve had anxiety attacks just being around my own family during Thanksgiving. That’s why I always have a focus object when I subject myself to a large crowd.

    Usually it’s my Kindle but it can be anything. If I start feeling overwhelmed, I concentrate on my focus object to calm myself down. It’s just a trick I taught myself long ago and it works most of the time.

    Remember, all those people come to see you because they love you and your work. Oh and maybe because a signed book is worth a lot on sBay, (just kidding)

    V^^^^V

    • This is the trailer for One For the Money, based on the book by the same name. It’s the first Plum book.

    • I like the Plum books, too. They’re quick and fun to read!

    • Jan V.

      Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series are funny, entertaining books. That girl is a mess, and always seems to put on smile on my face. I just found this series not too long ago, and for me, the best part was that I was able to read 17 (Yes..you heard that right, 17) books in a row. And just finished the 18th recently. I guess you could say I’m a little envious of the people who have just discovered The Hollows.

      P.S. Going to see this Movie when it comes out Friday.

    • MelanieS

      Don’t most people have anxiety attacks around their family during the holiday?😉

    • Oh gosh, Vampy. I find the quietest corner and park it so I can watch everything. I have quite the rep for being “stuck up” with those who don’t know me. Whatever . . .

      That looks like one fun movie.

  10. genki

    No one wants to let her/his fans down – that’s understandable. Or is it just the overwhelming sense of so much to do in such a short amount of time? You could probably show up and not do anything, and we would just be happy to see you, Kim! We are hoping that you will enjoy your time with us, too. Everyone is hoping that you will look back on their town as the most enjoyable of your tour, so perhaps those feelings of pressure or nervousness are mutual. Regardless, I hope you can relax and enjoy as much of the trip as you can.

    • I always enjoy my time out, Genki, or I wouldn’t do it. I’ve done this enough to have a comfort zone, and if I was afraid of you guys, I wouldn’t insist on having that chair right next to the signing table for you to sit in while I sign your books.

      It is a joy to get to meet some of the readers in person that I’ve been chatting with on the drama box.

  11. You live in my area and I keep missing the tours. I sure hope I can make it this time, if for nothing else then to check out the new outfits! 😀

  12. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms. Kim-its Jim from warren.I can relate. I love to see new places/people,but I totally hate getting there.Takes me about two weeks to psych up and organize.Smudge says it takes her no time at all. She’s lying beside me on her chair,still working up the energy to go look out the wndow.(She’s starting to show her age, she’s 15,which is well over 100 in cat years)

  13. JillH

    Hi Kim,
    I am sure all your readers appreciate the work you put into your tours.
    This year you’ll be coming to Miami and I am SUPER excited because you’ll be here for my birthday weekend (defiantly a great bday gift a new book and I get to meet the Author ::big grin::) looking forward to your book this year! Again thanks for coming down to South Fla.🙂
    -Jill

  14. Thirza

    Hi Kim,

    good luck!! Because of stage frightening …, in the acting classes they always say: imagin` all the people naked, or sitting on the toilet?!🙂 Maybe that`s an oold advice.
    Maybe …, they`re more frightened than you, the people, I mean??!😉 Now, I stop with these very educationel advices ….
    I think, on the stage there`s nothin` scary: only wood, no tigers, no snakes, or … lions. Sorry, this is really stupid. And if anyone is frightened: see, if the audience would go up there …

    I`m sure, you`re always great.

    All the best for you

    Thirza

  15. MelanieS

    I think authors are brave, including you!

    My husband is always amazed with my gift for gab. Even with a complete stranger. I’m outgoing and for some reason I can draw people in and they open up to me.

    For example the deceptively young looking woman who works at the window of McDonald’s in the morning is a grandmother, with 5 children of her own, and 6 grandbabies. I know all kinds of things about her children and the challenges she’s faced with them. All of this just from getting a sausage McMuffin a few times in the morning.

    I also know the scheduler for my mother’s eye doctor office recently got to visit with her daughter, in Chicago, and her newborn grandbaby and her son just announced he’s moving to Australia with his new wife. I’ve never even met this woman face to face.🙂

    But, get me around more than 2-3 people though and I freeze. I go from outgoing to wallflower. I admire anyone who must face an entire crowd of strangers.