The first leg of my book tour travel begins Sunday morning, when I travel to NYC. Monday I have business meetings with my publisher and some other folks; Tuesday is when things kick off with a panel at Book Expo America. Wednesday I have signings and then an event in Philadelphia. Then I come back home for two local appearances — Dayton and Cincy. This, coupled with the fact that as a guy and a science fiction writer, I’m allowed to dress very casually for my events, means that I can travel very light: One duffel bag and one messenger bag for five days. This does not suck.
The messenger bag (which is really a computer bag, but they call it a messenger bag to make the person carrying it rationalize that he’s hip and cool) is new, bought just today because I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t feel like hauling a backpack everywhere; the backpack is good for many things but is not an optimal form factor for stuffing underneath one’s plane seat, and also, I don’t know. I’m just not feeling the backpack love anymore, you know? These are perhaps contradictory words coming from a man who’s packing t-shirts and jeans for several days of travel, but I’m going to go ahead and stick with them.
Also new but not shown: shoes with arch support, on account that for the next several days I’ll be doing a hell of a lot of walking, and my 43-year-old feet are finally letting me know that my flat-soled checkerboard Vans — beloved though they may be to me — are not going to cut it for extended movement. I am ambivalent about this, as you may expect, but my psychic attachment to iconic totems of my youth have to take a backseat to actually being able to walk. Thus is the life of a middle-aged man.
One thing about traveling this light is that I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to be able to pack my uke; I had sort of casually hinted/threatened to bring it along on tour to sing “Redshirt.” Depending on your point of view, this will either be sad news or you will feel you have dodged a bullet. If someone brings a uke to the Philadelphia event, I may still sing it. Be afraid. Be very afraid.