Books · Writing fiction

It’s almost like an airport

There are two planes, I texted. It’s almost like an airport. Trenton-Mercer is a general aviation airport that has long flirted with commercial opportunities. Only one commercial airline operates out of Trenton, flying to a limited number of cities, with flights scheduled only a couple of days each week. In light of the havoc that weather has inflicted on air travel this winter, it was risky to book this particular flight from Trenton to Chicago. But everything went off as scheduled, and on Thursday night, I was safely in Chicago, sipping scotch and eating a braised short rib crepe, served in a cumin and red pepper broth, topped with a poached egg.

I was in Chicago for Love is Murder, one of my favorite mystery writers’ conferences. It’s a three-day conference, but I would be in Chicago for only a day and a half. Still, I had enough time to attend a couple of excellent panel discussions on the art and the business of writing, to catch up with old friends and new and to discuss the path to publication for my new manuscript.

By Saturday, I was back at the airport, destination Washington D.C.  It was snowing at O’Hare. Whatever I saved on Thursday flying from Trenton to Midway, I gave it back and more on Saturday, flying from O’Hare to Reagan. The good news is, the ticket was so expensive it only cost an extra $50 to upgrade to first class.

I landed at Reagan at 6:30. At 7:00, I walked into Blues Alley. Carol and Josh were there already. I had time for a drink and a plate of jambalaya and then, at 8:00 for an extraordinary evening of jazz from the Kenny Garrett Quintet.

Today, we took the train home to New Jersey. Tomorrow, I go back to work as if none of this ever happened. And then Wednesday, I’m back at the airport, en route to Clearwater Florida.  Forty-eight hours later, I’ll be back in New Jersey.

And what of my trip to Chicago, of the reason for my trip to Chicago, the “path to publication” of my new manuscript? I hinted in my last post that I might have an announcement when I got home from Chicago.  And perhaps I do. For now I will only say that I had a productive and promising meeting. I would tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you. And, after a visit to Love is Murder, I am equipped with an array of new and exciting ways to do exactly that.


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