This will be my last entry until we reach New Orleans. Whether there will be any from New Orleans, I can't yet say. We leave from Kingston in the morning, and we'll return to Kingston on the morning of the 18th. We'll leave Providence for South County late this afternoon, or early this evening.
This is the longest trip – in terms of duration – that either Spooky or I have taken since July-August 2006, when we travelled from Atlanta to spend two weeks here in Rhode Island. In terms of distance, Portland – in October 2010 – was much farther. And this is the farthest south I'll have been since June 1st, 2008. The next day, the morning after we spent our first night in our place here in Providence, I wrote: "Yesterday, we crossed into Pennsylvania at 12:05 p.m., exiting the South. I do not expect to return for many years." I was right; five years, to be approximately precise. Actually, since we arrived here, I've been no farther south than my agent's office in Manhattan! And as long as I'm tossing out dates, neither Spooky nor I have been in New Orleans since October 1999, almost fourteen years ago.
I'm excited, but I also dread it, and I'm anxious. For someone who spends most of her life in her office (in no way an exaggeration), leaving home for eight days is a daunting prospect. The train trip is exactly 1,377 miles (2,216 km) each way, so a total of 2,754 (4,432 km) roundtrip.
Anyway, here's my WHC schedule, for anyone who might be attending the convention. It's sparse, as I declined to do any panels (all times CDT):
Friday, May 14th:
4:00 p.m.: Guest of Honor interview
7:00 p.m.: Mass Signing
Saturday, May 15th:
11:00 a.m. Kaffeeklatsch
4:00 p.m. Reading
And that's it. I will say that I find the whole convention Kaffeeklatsch (German, from Kaffee coffee + Klatsch gossip, from ~1888) thing a very peculiar phenomenon, and this is the first time I've ever done one. I've never even attended one. I don't drink much coffee, and I don't gossip. Hopefully, given the early hour, I'll be awake enough that fisticuffs will not ensue.
Overnight, the meteorologists rewrote the future history of the coming week's weather. It's dropped into the low 70s˚F, and today it's overcast and maybe rainy. Right now, it's 89˚F in New Orleans, compared with our current 69˚F. And it's not as if we'll have time to acclimate, coming or going. By the time we begin to adjust to the heat, we'll be tossed back at the chill.
At any rate, I need a bath, and we have to do the last of the packing. So, adieu, until New Orleans.