Good to be back (a travelogue)

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was off in the Chicago area for most of this week for business. I had such plans for my off time. I was finally going to get to meet Mel, a long time friend and writing buddy. And although I expected work to creep all over a lot of the time, I figured in my free time I could finally finish that little piece of dark magic I’m working on.

Ah, such are the best laid plans, no? The first thing I learned in flying out to Elk Grove Village, Illinois – even before I learned about the grove of elk that are fenced in there – is that Midway Airport, while a decent enough airport, is nowhere near Elk Grove Village. In fact, it is (in my oh so professional estimation) the furthest airport from Elk Grove Village possible, being somewhat on the opposite side of the city.

The highlight of that night, though, was in getting to spend some time with Mel. Mel and I first met over ten years ago on the Hatrack writer’s group mailing lists. Many years later and tons of false starts (and stops) at writing later, we still keep in touch, and Mel still endures reading my writing on occasion, when her real life as an English teacher superstar doesn’t get in the way. Honestly, it was just cool to finally have a face and a voice to match the friend I’ve known for so long.

Following dinner, I met up with some coworkers from the parent company and hung out, learned a thing or two about whiskeys and the early days of an Open Source cornerstone, then got to bed. At this point, no writing was done.

The next day was spent largely in meetings that while productive, seemed to go on and on, and then on some more. We broke for a while before dinner so we could get some catch up work done, and torn between access to a wide screen TV and cable, and trying to pick up writing for a short bit when I knew it would be interrupted shortly for dinner, opted for TV (which, as it turns out, was a depressing option – seems not having cable hasn’t really deprived me of that much, and hulu more than makes up for it in my case, and with fewer commercials). Again, a distinct lack of writing was accomplished, although a lot of sad, pathetic pining for the wife and kids occurred.

And then, unexpectedly, it was the last day in the Chicago area, doing meetings again and getting ready for my flight home. Not a single word was written the entire time I was out there, although a lot was accomplished (or at least aired) for work.  Not too exciting a week, I’ll grant you, though I’m hoping to have a first draft of that short story done this week. If you’re interested in beta reading it, let me know, since I hate asking people to read for me, although I’ll warn you its a type of story I haven’t written in a good ten or more years. Its not science fiction, and its not fantasy. I hesitate to give it a label, though, since the label that comes to mind is both popular and easily mocked these days.

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