I’m going to be doing (by my standards) a lot of travelling over the next few weeks. This week I’ll be going up to Detroit to visit my aunt and her family, sort of repaying them for their trip down here for my father’s memorial service. And this time I’ll be driving, since that should be less expensive than a Greyhound ticket, and since it’s a distance that should be manageable for me. I’ve never gone on a drive that long — nearly five hours not counting rest breaks — but I got a fair amount of experience with long drives once my father moved into his retirement home, and even longer drives in those final few weeks when he was in the hospice way out in Blue Ash, and again to get out to the funeral home for the memorial. So I figure I should be up to it, if I break it down into segments. I’ll be leaving as early as feasible on Tuesday morning, so I have plenty of time to take as many rest breaks as I need. I’ve read that ideally, for a long freeway drive, you should take at least a 15-minute rest break after every 80 minutes of driving. That would mean about three rest breaks in my trip, which would correspond roughly to Dayton, Lima, and Toledo, I reckon. But I’ll probably take more and longer breaks than that.
My aunt’s family are avid bicyclists, so I’m going to be bringing my bike up with me, assuming I can fit it in the trunk. The front wheel is removable, so I should be able to fit it in. It’s been too long since I was up there for a visit, but I recall that Detroit is a lot flatter and more bicycle-friendly than Cincinnati.
The second trip I’ll be making is to the New York Comic-Con on October 8-10. This year I’m actually going in a day early, since my friend and colleague David Mack is putting me up, so I don’t have to worry about hotel bills (which get steeper and steeper every year) and can stay a bit longer. This time I’ll be putting up with the long overnight Greyhound ride again, since going by car would cost nearly three times as much (for fuel and motels), and I wouldn’t want to tackle a drive of that duration even if I did split it over two days. So coming in a day early gives me a chance to get a good night’s sleep before the con (hopefully — I’m not sure how good my sleep will be in an unfamiliar bed, but at least I’ll be lying down).
Unfortunately, this year, Pocket Books won’t have an official presence at Comic-Con, so there won’t be a booth for me to use as a “home base” and there won’t be any formal signings. I’ll just be wandering around, I guess.
So I don’t have as much professional reason to be at the con this year as usual, although it’s a good place to make industry contacts (and I’m going to get some business cards made up soon). Mainly I’m just going since it’s a chance to visit with some of my writer friends and get a change of scenery. I’ve been too much on my own the past few weeks, and I’ve been getting kind of depressed and irritable. I need to get out and spend time with people.