Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We Have Nothing to Fear...

...but fiery death at 13,000 feet.

See, I've been gently encouraged by more than one person to attend the Romantic Times convention next year. And I really, really do want to go. There's parties. There's a bar. There's a book signing that's huge and takes place two weeks after Personal Demons will be released. There's a bar. There's lots of writers. I'd get to stay in a hotel room. With a bar.

But I'm terrified of flying. And I hate flying. And this particular journey would require a stopover, which brings my total travel time, from leaving my door to arriving in Pittsburgh, to something like 16 hours. And did I mention I'm afraid to fly?

I do it. I've done it. But the older I get the more scared I get. And intellectually I know it's safe and blah de blah. But I can't help thinking I'll be unlucky. I hate being a person who doesn't do things they want to do because they're afraid, but...really, isn't it a bit reckless, a bit irresponsible, to take such chances, just so I can dress up in fun costumes and drink and sign books, when I have two little girls and a husband who need me?

I am on the horns of a dilemma.

Not to menton the cost, which is not insignificant. $450 for the con itself. £300 for the flight, which translates to about $600. Another $600 or so for the hotel room. Not to mention food and cab fare and souvenirs and regular shopping (in AMERICA!! My Wendy's and Mountain Dew bill alone will probably be staggering). Add another, say, $500 for promo items and stuff I'll need to take with me, plus who knows how much for becomes wearying. And I could spend all that money and end up dead, which is not an appealing prospect.

So I'm thinking. I'll probably keep thinking for the next few months.


--Our good friend, commenter KIS (Kirsten Imma Sael), has made a sale to Samhain.

--Our good friend--who some of you will recall from Miss Snark's place--Sha'el, Princess of Pixies, has sold her Pixie book to Drollerie Press.

--Our good friend, commenter V95, was injured in an accident a few weeks ago. He's okay, but recovery is slow, so spare a thought for him.


Robyn said...

Congrats to kis and Sha'el! DA had a really good article about Drollerie.

Prayers and good thoughts to V95.

We all have something we're afraid of. Of course, if it would help, airplanes also have bars. ;)

Demon Hunter said...

I hate flying too, but I say go! You only live once...twice, if you're lucky! :*)

Mark said...

I'm tellin' you, with that amount of travel time, you could take an Ambien and have the stewardess wake you in Pittsburgh.

If we time it right, we'll just meet you at the airport and go to the hotel together.


Anonymous said...

Yay KIS!! Are ya gonna start a blog now??

Oh, and you know you can always take a cruise from London to New York....

kirsten imma saell said...

D'oh! You outed me! Gah! And I still can't get my sitebuilder to work, dammit dammit dammit!

Thanks, Seeley, I'm pretty pumped about the whole thing, and I've only been kind of holding off on announcing because--did I mention?--I can't get my f#@$%&* sitebuilder to work.

And I totally hear ya, D. Flying is a thing that I just do not do. But I'm going to have to this fall, because my folks made flippin' great bundles of salad selling their house, and their taking me, my sisters, and all our kids on a vacation to Cuba or the Dominican. Being that I live on an island on the west coast, I'm looking at a half-hour flight in a 30-passenger plane, then a flight to Minneapolis or something, then another to the destination. The scariest part of flying for me is take-off and landing, so I'm already a freaking basket case just thinking about it. I really don't want this to be one of those times when I can say--"See? I told you it wasn't a good idea!" Being right just isn't as satisfying when you're dead.

All I can say is, tranquilizers are your friends.

And I hope V95 gets better soon. I miss him. *hug*

Kate Thornton said...

Congrats to KIS & the Pixie Princess - may all good things come to them!

And V95 - get well soon. Our thoughts are with you.

Stacia - I have always enjoyed the excitement of flight until this year, when I flew so much on business that it got boring and tedious and inconvenient. Then I sat next to a seven-year-old and knew what real dread was. Only he was so excited about the trip that he infected me with it and I ended up remembering why I found flight - the miracle of it - so intriguing in the first place.

Don't be afraid to do the things that make your life richer and more interesting.

December/Stacia said...

True, Robyn, but my flight would leave the UK at like 8 am, I don't know that they'd even offer the booze. And it's not as fun to drink on a plane, because there's nobody to chat with and nothing to do. :-(

Yes, DH, but that's just the point! I only live once, I don't want to throw my ride away on a stupid airplane! :-)

I'd have to change planes in DC, Mark, but I suppose I could try sleeping pills. If I go I plan to arrive on Tuesday the 15th, I believe it would be around 3ish.

December/Stacia said...

I know, Seeley, and I'd so love to, but that's a week of travel and I hate to leave the girls for that long. I'd love to do it, though, I could rent a car and drive the rest of the way, which woud be great because I love to drive.

Kis, I decided to bit the bullet and just do it. So thppt, and don't hate me. :-)
Take all the time you want to set up your site, I'll pimp you again when it's up.
CUBA? I admit, I'd love to go there, having lived in Miami for so long. But that also makes me a bit uncomfortable about going there, too. My SIL is Dominican--from Santo Domingo--and I'd love to go there too. They (she and my neices) go all the time, my bro goes along when he can get the time off.

December/Stacia said...

That's so lovely, Kate. I wish I could relax and be excited about the prospect, but I just keep seeing Death's big black door in front of me (with appropriate eerie laughter). I believe, unfortunately, that a dull life is okay because it's still life.

But I'm trying! I'm trying to get up the nerve!

BernardL said...

If you always put your family and peace of mind ahead of all other things, you may end up poorer in fortune, but much richer in life.

Anna J. Evans said...

Okay, dude, I hear you on the flying thing. I'm not that afraid, personally, but it makes me viley ill for days. Everytime I drop Roo off to visit his dad I yack at 10,000 feet. Sometimes I miss the barf bag too and get to sit with my own stink for another 3-4 hours (everyone LOVES sitting by me, fer real). It takes about 12 hours total travel time to get my little boy to his bio dad and it's only a few states away so 16 hours isn't too horribly bad and at least you won't be travelling with a toddler who will want you to entertain them by sticking stickers to the seat in front of you or reading books that make your yack urge become a compulsion.

I'm with whoever voted for the xanax. Just get on the plane, take a xanax and go. You could just as likely be in a car accident and be taken away from your family and yet you drive. Yes?

So it's really a matter of money, and whether or not I get pregnant before then or if my unfertile womb will allow me to high tail it up to Pennsylvania for some drinks at that bar you keep talking about. (And I'd split a hotel room too, ya know?)


Anna J. Evans

Angie said...

I hate flying too, but not because I'm afraid. I'm fine with flying and I think take-offs and landings are fun. :) My problem is that flying hurts. I'm very tall and very fat both, so when I'm sitting in coach my knees are jammed against the seat in front of me and the seat arms are jammed into my hip bones. Even the hour or so flight to visit my mother in Reno is physically painful, and five hours to Florida to take a cruise is horrid.

But when my husband offered to take me to Florence in March, I went. Both travel days were horrendous -- I could hardly walk when we got off at either end -- but being in Florence was worth it and I do want to go back some day, although I'll get on that plane with gritted teeth.

So what it comes down to is, do you want to go to the conference? Do you want to be at the conference? How much? Weigh that against your fear of flying. There you go. It's not easy, but it is simple. [wry smile]


Charles Gramlich said...

I love the act of flying, although I don't care for the crowding issue. But the cost you mention is huge. Think about how much beer you could buy for that.

bettie said...

Hi December,

If you're going to be trapped in a flying metal tube with 2'x2' bathrooms for 16 hours, booze is not your friend. I use my mother's and grandmother's old folk remedy for wedding stress and travel-phobia. It's called valium. ;o) Three generations of happy, relaxed travelers can't be wrong.

kirsten imma saell said...

I find flying painful, too, Angie, but it's an ear thing. I have very narrow eustacian tubes, and beyond a certain altitude my ears simply do not pop. The last time I flew--which was about 15 years ago--I was completely deaf and in agony for the entire flight.

And December, I could never be mad at you. I was going to come out within a day or two, anyway, and now I don't have to worry about it. I kept thinking if I went public, my editor would suddenly realize it was some other book with a similar name that she wanted, and that the whole thing was one big screwup. Yes, I have issues.


Oh, and I have to shorten my name to Kirsten Saell, so everything will fit nicely on the print cover. Now I just have to edit my google account. Stupid technology.

Anonymous said...

I've never flown, but I suppose I will eventually. but I want to point out all the other costs. that's a lot of money, and yes, your kiddos are still young. Me, I'm not going too far until both kids are in school, and that kind of money is way out of my league. The good thing about these cons is that they happen every year. Maybe next book deal you can get your publisher to send you.

Hooray if you get to go. And if you don't, don't feel too bad. ;) I'll probably never be at RWA.

Camille Alexa said...

I hate flying more with the years, too. Loved it when I was 5.

I hope you go. I think you'll have a blast.

McKoala said...

Poor V95. Yippee Kis and Sha'el!

I'm not a great flyer here either. But if I didn't do it, I'd miss out on so much.

Angie said...

Kirsten -- my sympathies. :( That happens to me too, but only occasionally. If I have even a bit of a stuffy nose when I get on the plane I'm going to be deaf and hurting so I know where you're coming from. Luckily it doesn't happen all that often. [crossed fingers]


December/Stacia said...

Good advice, Bernard.

Yess, Anna, I know all about the driving and I do it all the time and I know, I could have a freak heart attack and die on the spot but I still eat food with saturated fat (although I've lost 4 pounds!) but somehow, getting on a plane feels like I'm making a conscious choice to hand my fate over to other people.
And yeah, the money is an issue. Obviously royalties over the next couple of months are going to be an issue in making the decision.

Ugh, Angie! I get uncomfortable too, the space is too small for my legs and I'm only 5'2 or so (but short waisted, so my legs are long.) It's really only getting on the plane and take-off that bug me. Landings don't generally make me nervous, even turbulence doesn't bother me much (unless it's really bad, but even then I know it will be okay.) It's getting up the guts to do it, you know?

Lol Charles, way to get down to the REAL issue! Yep, that's a lot of beer. We actually originally figured I wouldn't go just because we're saving to move back to the States and it seems like a lot of dough. But if it gets Personal Demons more publicity and sales, it could be worth it.

Oh believe me, Bettie, if I go I'm going to the doctor first to get me some sedatives! Lol. But the booze isn't a problem for me--I'm not much of a pee-er. I can wait a long time.

December/Stacia said...

Okay then, kis, as long as you're not mad. :-) Kirsten Saell sounds great, but yeah, stupid technology!
And my husband also has the issues with the ears. Luckily I don't, but he suffers terribly.

Yeah, Michele, I know. If it weren't for the fact that I've heard the cons really do help get your name out there and improve sales I wouldn't be considering it as much as I am. But I do want to give PD the best possible start. It really depends on how my upcoming EC releases do. If they do well, I'll go. If not, no.

I know, Camille, when I was little I thought it was great! I used to fly all the time, too, when my parents first divorced. But then I went a couple of years without doing it, and...that was it.

Especially being in Australia, McKoala! You have to fly to get pretty much anywhere else.

Bernita said...

Congratulations,Kis - that's hot!
I do remember Sha'el and I am particularly happy for her. She stayed true.
And am so sorry to hear about V95, and hope recovery soon speeds up.
Only you can weigh the decision whether or not to attend, December.
I understand the conflicting and competing obligations, but there is something to be said for carpe diem.

December/Stacia said...

*sigh* I know, Bernita. I've been trolling the internet for websites to help one get past fear of flying. One minute I feel all jaunty and calm, the next terrified. :-)

But I have time in which to decide, so...we'll see!

Gabriele C. said...

I actually love to fly, but the new regulations and the way people are treated as terrorists by some companies has taken the fun out of it. Since I travel only in Europe, I do a lot more by trains and ferries these days - it gives a better feel of the actual distances (though and ICE that makes 310 km/h between Frankfurt and Cologne isn't exactly a comparison to walking or horse speed).

And I love ships and ferries. My dream is the post ship cruise along the coast of Norway - does anyone have this weekend's lottery numbers? :)

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Hi, everyone, and thanks for the nice comments. Hi, Bernita and McKoala.

Tentative date for release of Pixie Warrior is last quarter of 2008. We had a set back with Drollerie's magor computer failure, and I don't know how that will effect the release of Pixie Warrior.

I'm five chapters into first draft of Pixie Sword, book two of that series, and I'm having "the usual" problems...

The idea seems to be to make the pixie series slightly less "adult" than it is (It isn't very 'adult' anyway) and market it as YA.

This is my first fiction. And let me tell ya ... this process differs greatly from academic writing. Give me a hard peer review, any day! Well ... maybe not.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I can spell "major" ... on a good day. I think.

Mark said...

Tuesday the 15th at 3:somethin'.

*checks travelocity confirmation*

Tuesday the 15th at 3:40, for us.

That's like a sign.

Vicki said...

Congrats to the sales and well wishes to V95.

I think you should go if at all possible. I've not been to this one but everyone says it's the best around.

Anonymous said...

I hate to fly myself, December, so I know how you feel. But I also agree with Bernita on the carpe diem thing. You'll make your best decision when the time comes.

I'm so happy for Kis and the Princess -congrats y'all.

Thanks everyone for the kind words and encouragement. -V95

December/Stacia said...

I love ships too, Gabriele. My dream is to take one of these days, sigh. :-)

Lol, Sha'el, writing the second book is always hard. At least, I've been having a bitch of a time with mine. Almost done though! So glad you stopped by!

But is it a good sign, Mark? Or a sign of impending apocalypse?

I know, Vicki, I really would love to be there, especially this year as it seems there's so much going on and my book releases April 1. I'll just have to wait and see...

Thanks for popping in, V95! Heal fast!

Rebecca said...

I completely understand your fear of flying. I sometimes think that Hilary and I should go to Sydney for the weekend - leave the kids with my mum and have a break from them - but we would have to fly. And then I think "but what if the plane crashed. The boys would be ORPHANS. sob." And that honestly has stopped me from going - so far. It's irrational because there are about 10 flights a day between here and Sydney and they never crash (of course) I just think that the flight I get on will be doomed.