Go west, young man!
I’m going out of town this weekend for a memorial service for my departed Uncle Emmett. A bunch of the family is converging in Wisconsin for the get-together, and this will be my first chance to meet most of Emmett’s offspring (I’ve only met one of them in person, and I’ve “met” my namesake cousin the paleontologist through e-mail a few years back). This will be the largest gathering of the Bennett clan I’ve ever been to.
It’s also my first opportunity to drive west from Cincinnati, and only my second visit to the Central Time Zone (I once went to Chicago as a kid). I wasn’t sure about whether I wanted to drive, since I had a pretty rough time of it with the bad weather last Thanksgiving, but when I checked air fares, the prices were startlingly high (maybe because I waited too long to look into it?). Greyhound apparently has a new, more comfortable and high-tech fleet of buses, so I was tempted, but the travel time was too long and I didn’t look into it early enough to get a discounted price. So driving it is, and it should be maybe an hour less than the drive to the DC/Baltimore area which I’ve made a few times now. I should be able to make it in a single day’s driving.
However, it looks like there will be severe weather along most of the route on Friday, and I have no desire to face another day of driving in those conditions (as it happens, “driving rain” is a misnomer), so I’ve decided to leave a day early, setting out tomorrow (Thursday) morning. It’s not yet clear whether anyone there can put me up for a day (my hotel reservations are already made for Friday to Sunday), but at worst I can stay in a motel for a night.
I’d actually been hoping to get through the climax of my spec novel in progress today and tomorrow, but then this came up and I’ve spent most of today thinking about and preparing for my day-early departure. I did get a decent amount of work done this morning, planning out all the various character interactions and key events that constitute this complicated sequence and finishing the preceding scene that leads into it, but this afternoon I haven’t been able to focus on it enough to get it actually written. In fact, I realize I still need to do more planning, particularly getting a better sense of the environment where the sequence takes place and where characters and key locations are relative to each other. Hopefully my long drive tomorrow will give me time to think it through in more depth, though I’m not sure how much time or attention I’ll be able to devote to writing during the trip. Still, I’m on track to get the first draft done early in March, hopefully before other projects demand my attention.
Anyway, I should go start packing…