Change of Plans

I have to tell you, I had a totally different post written and ready to up this morning, but some wild things have been happening in my writing life this week. I took over the Taking Life by the Books Facebook group on Wednesday. Made a new friend. Reconnected with an old friend. Sent a spontaneous teaser passage to one of my favorite readers, who has faithfully waited all this time for Selkie II, steadfastly encouraging me to "hurry up!" because "you're killin' me, Smalls!" Scheduled new posts for my street team in our secret Facebook group, and learned a Lutheran version of the rosary that has revolutionized my prayer life.

Like I said, it's been a busy week. I've added a few new things to my writing calendar, including a mini-nano (writing marathon) with my local writer's group, the East Tennessee Creative Writer's Alliance. My mom is out of the hospital again, at least for now, and while my grandmother is out of the hospital, she's not quite out of the water yet. Her alzheimer's seems to be worsening, but she still has lots of good moments, which our family is learning to treasure greatly.

But the biggest thing that changed for me this week was in my event schedule. In a previous post, I talked about how much I love signing events, but how much I wanted to do my own -- for two reasons. One, I wanted to travel. And two, I wanted a smaller setting, something intimate. I wanted to be able to get to know you when we meet, to talk to you without either of us feeling rushed. I wanted to do a reading, a signing, maybe a Q/A session. But most importantly, I wanted to have a little mingling session. I wanted you not to be afraid to talk to me, and I wanted not to be too harried to talk to you. So I thought I'd plan an event of my own, just me, and just you guys. We'd maybe have an afternoon together, a cookie bar and some drinks, and we'd get to know each other.

I put up the interest form, where you guys could choose between December (my publishing anniversary month) and July (halfway through the year and less likely for flight plans to get snowed out -- also the month of my first book wedding). You could also choose one of several cities, or even add your own. Lots of you voted, and for a while I thought I was going to Bar Harbor, Maine. I got excited, thinking of how perfect it would be to round out five years of writing, right in the place where my first book was set. But then, Myrtle Beach hit a voting spike, and took the lead. I got excited about that, too, thinking of scheduling an extra day on my trip -- time to spend on the beach, soaking up the sun and listening to the ocean in a way that I haven't been able to for a long time.

During all of that, I had been very sure that my event would be the only one I attended in 2017. I pre-checked with different venues in each of the leading cities, I thought about menu options, what I'd wear, travel time, and who might come. I thought about publicizing the event, and what I wanted the mood to be. And I steadfastly ignored all mention of a local event that I really wanted to go to. Even when they announced that there'd be an ice-breaker party the night before. And even when they announced that there'd be a MASQUERADE BALL the night after. Even though this event is right here so I don't need to worry about travel, the event is all planned so I don't need to worry about venue, and it's a second annual event, so I know everything will go smoothly.

Even though it's exactly the kind of small, intimate event that I wanted to host myself.

But then I got an email, an invitation to attend an event in Texas. An event that'll send me on a road trip. An event that'll take me to a new place. Also a somewhat small, intimate type of event.

And I had one of those lightbulb moments, you know? Those *facepalm* "duh" moments? The ones that look like this:

So I changed course, and let that one very small event go -- for now. Instead, I'm going to travel next year. I'm going to do not one, not two, but THREE events next year. And I'm going to love meeting you guys if you come.

AND ... in the interest of giving you time to arrange to come see me, here's my appearance schedule for 2017. For future reference, this schedule will also be listed in the right sidebar of all of my newsletters, as well as in the appearances tab on my website (just hover over "About Me" and you'll see "Appearances" in the drop down).