Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anita's Attic: Train, Train, Take Me On Out of This Town...

I've had a whirlwind of a week. I had to travel to Chicago on business, and since my budget didn't allow for airfare and hotel, I traveled by train. I've never been on a train except for a short trip. This wasn't a short trip. It was about 18 hours there and 20 back, and I didn't have a sleeping car. I was alarmed when I was seated next to a portly gentleman who took up not only his seat, but part of mine. I politely moved to the scenic car for several hours, then had the porter change my seat.

My plan was to get a lot of writing done on the trip. If I could have spent the entire time writing, imagine how much farther my manuscript could have been by the end of the trip. I knew I would have to sleep and take breaks, but I was being optimistic. A little too optimistic as it turns out. Trains have a lot of movement, and swaying back and forth isn't conducive to staring at a computer screen. Still, I got quite a bit done.

In Chicago, my business turned out very well. Some loose ends were tied up nicely and I got to spend time with my wonderful agent, her husband, and some writer friends. We had a couple of great dinners, and at one, we spotted guys who were probably hockey players (after all, we were in Blackhawks territory) and some women who were probably paid escorts. If their skirts had been any shorter they would have been shirts. They weren't with the possible hockey players, by the way.

Then I got the added bonus of crashing a mystery conference. I didn't do much crashing, just mingled for a couple of hours and watched my agent pitch, but it was fun to chat with other writers before riding in a taxi in Chicago rush hour traffic to catch my train. The cab driver was a super guy and kept me entertained. The train ride back was even longer, but I did manage to sleep a teensy bit. Unfortunately, I was seated next to another man. There's something disturbing about sleeping so close to a stranger, especially when he's a man, but you gotta do what you gotta do. At least he didn't take up part of my seat.


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Wow, Anita! I always wanted to take a train somewhere. Never thought about taking it alone and that you would be seated next to someone you don't know. Yeah, I probably would have spent hours in the scenic car, too. Also really didn't think about the motion and how it would affect writing.

Hmmm,I think I'll make sure I have a friend go with me or get a sleeping car. Yikes!

Glad things went well in Chicago and glad you had some fun before heading back home.

Happy writing!

Anita Clenney said...

Kari, the trip was actually kind of fun, but it was such a long trip. I was cramped all over. And next time I'll have to do it without the writing. I'll plot instead.

Lindsay said...

Sounds like you had a sort of interesting but still fun trip. I'm glad you were able to get a little accomplished and had fun at the conference.

Anita Clenney said...

Lindsay, the train was interesting, great for people watching. There were a few Amish (I assume Amish)people going both ways and their accents were shocking. I'm not sure if it was German. I'm going to research it.