Friday, September 19, 2014

What We're #Writing: @deborahcrombie On Tour

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Okay, confession time. I am NOT writing. Or at least at the moment I am only writing in my head, snitches and fragments of scenes and dialogue, but I'm not managing to put things on paper, because--

My new book, TO DWELL IN DARKNESS, comes out next Tuesday, 9/23/14. But the kick-off to the five-week-plus book tour is today, with an appearance on our Dallas/Fort Worth morning TV show, Good Morning Texas

Then Sunday I take to the skies, although there will be sporadic returns home for signings and the occasional "rest" day (um, make that laundry, chores, restocking travel stuff...)

So this is what I'm doing.

And this.

And answering emails and doing blog posts and social media and making scheduling decisions--and trying to remember what on earth my book is about so that I can talk to people about it.  

Earlier this week I was so frazzled I gave one poor dog both dogs' dose of anti-itch medication. Major panic, dog thankfully okay.  So to make myself feel a little less stressed I treated myself to some pre-book-tour roses from the supermarket.  

And a lovely dinner with my daughter last night in downtown Dallas, with this gorgeous view of the skyline (above.)

I will set off on Sunday, hopefully well-packed and organized, with my laptop and my notebook, hoping for hotel and airport writing time on Kincaid/James #17.

So, dear REDS and readers, how do you manage to juggle too many things at one time?


  1. I can’t believe “To Dwell in Darkness” is almost here . . . I cannot wait to read it!

    I’m not sure I am good at juggling things . . . my general mode of operation is to just plow in and keep going until it’s finished, usually at the very last second. I’m sure there’s a better way [like planning ahead] but I’m really, really good at the whole procrastination thing . . . .

    Have a wonderful book tour . . . .

  2. I have so enjoyed the chapter previews, can't wait for next week. Enjoy the tour.

    I try to keep juggling using lists, cards, phone reminders, multi-task, delegate (doesn't work that often) but sometimes just have to remind myself to take deep breaths, take deep breaths and to slow down and figure out the priorities and just try to go down in order.

  3. Juggle? A neighbor was in a total panic over something that I-- as a lawyer-- could explain and help her resolve. (She'd flagged me down as I was walking the dog and asked me in for coffee.) Two hours later, my juggle had gone splat.

    But we have to make room for that kind of thing, don't we? Or we lose our humanity.

  4. Have a great tour, safe travels! Can't wait to read the new book!

  5. So excited about the new book, Debs.

    Lists. Lists on my whiteboard, in my to-do notebook, on slips of paper, on pads of paper. I'm juggling a lot right now, and I'd be lost without my lists!

  6. Ellen, so right, we have to make room, but sometimes that one little thing knocks over the house of cards:). Have to keep a sense of humor, right?

    Edith, you are juggling a lot--an amazing amount really

    Agree with everyone Debs, can't wait for the new book and to see you in Boston!!

  7. I look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh! I've been doing a lot of juggling lately. Some days it works better than others. Mostly I prioritize and looming deadlines get dealt with FIRST. But then just when I think I've got it together, my mom goes into the hospital...

  8. Without my Outlook calendar at work, I'd be totally lost. I even put personal "to-do" items on it. Sometimes I call my home answering machine to remind myself about things that need to be done. And lists, lists, lists!

    You said you are not currently writing anything except in your head. To my way of thinking, you are carefully tending something that's "in the oven", so you ARE working at writing!

    I can't wait to read the new book!

  9. I do have my lists, everyone--in fact my notebook is right beside my computer (I do better with paper lists, so I can scratch things out!) But the list always seems to be longer than the day... I just keep telling myself that once I'm on the road, I will have a GREAT time. I love meeting readers, and I get to see some great friends AND make new ones. And I will get some writing done. What could be better? Oh, I know. Room service!

  10. Looking forward to having the book in my hands very soon! Congratulations.
    Sometimes life is pretty smooth, and then one day a tidal wave covers you with "too much."
    I wish you a happy, carefully paced, and successful book tour.
    You are wonderful!

  11. I'm with Grandma Cootie and Edith: LISTS! It's how I know I'm stressed - I start making them. Then I make little Post-its to remind myself to READ THE LIST.

    And Debs, we can't wait to see you here in Boston! Me, Hank, Julia, and Roberta will be eager to hear about Dwell in Darkness... along with legions of fans on Monday, September 29 at 7 PM at the Harvard Coop.

  12. Congrats on the new book! And you will rock the tour!

    Ellen K., yes, very good point — we need to be flexible (and take other people into account) or else we lose our humanity. Beautifully put.

  13. Honestly, I don't know how some of you do everything you do. I read--with amazement--Hank's schedule of book appearances, knowing that she is also an on-air personality who has to do a LOT of work to get her stories on air, plus teaching at MWA-University, plus all the other stuff she does, and she doesn't have children at home, and her pet is imaginary. Where do you get the energy to ALSO write fabulous books, AND keep in touch with a zillion people? And look great doing it.

    It exhausts me to think about it.

    Debs, that wardrobe thing is a pain, isn't it? When you spend most of your time writing at home, the matter of what to take on the road becomes very tricky. I bow to the powers of organization you all have.

  14. Lists, whiteboard notes, Evernote - and I still probably forget something.

    Planning on seeing you when you come to Pittsburgh!

  15. Looking forward to seeing you at the Baltimore stop on the tour, Deb.

    Congratulations on the new book and have safe travels.

    BTW, the roses are beautiful!

  16. Dear one, have a fun and safe tour and wave to me as you fly over on your way to Boston. I am being very careful with my reading right now so that I will finish the current book on the night of the 22nd, don't want to wait a single moment/chapter to get started on TO DWELL IN DARKNESS. I wish I could be at one of your appearances, would buy you a whole bottle of wine this time! Bonne chance ma ami.

  17. Paper lists. Hopefully in order of priority. Scratch off vigorously when a task is completed. Scrunch in new tasks at bottom. But a list is like an outline, it's a guidepost, not a schedule--something--or someone needs you--and life takes you where you need to be in that moment (or hour or two, Ellen!).

    Love the roses, Deborah. And, oh, room service! Yes!! Oh for a lovely hotel room, room service, and To Dwell in Darkness waiting by my supper tray!

  18. I have enjoyed this week's posts about what everyone is writing. sorry I've been mostly absent, but - I've been writing!

    Debs, I cannot wait to read To Dwell in Darkness! Have a great tour!

  19. Beautiful roses! Have a great trip - can't wait to read the new book! No visit to Northern California (just to make the list a little longer ...)?

  20. So excited for you, Debs. Safe travels and huge audiences!

  21. Lists. Lists, lists.

    Sometimes I'm so top-heavy with to-dos lists, I actually list.

  22. Love those pretty blouses, Ms. Crombie. Looks like the tour wardrobe is in tip-top shape!

    Like so many writers, I have a day job in addition to my mystery-writing-enterprise, and the demands of family & home & pets (my kids sometimes accuse me of loving the dog best. But the dog never complains about anything.) I've become an early morning person through sheer necessity. My writing time is at 5 AM, because it's my "alone" time. by the end of the day, I'm too tuckered out for story weaving.

  23. SO exciting! And we cannot wait to see you in Boston! (You have several appearances, right? Wellesley Books, and Concord Library, as well as Coop? All on your fab website!)

    And I cannot wait to hear your tour tips. xooo

    And I am a list girl too. Sadly, yesterday, I lost the list. I know it is somewhere...

  24. Lists are good. I do what absolutely must be done that day and then ignore the rest. Tomorrow's another day, right? I hope the weather improves for your book tour Debs. We're floating away in Houston.

  25. Hank, too funny. I think I lost my list about two weeks ago...

    Yes, multiple appearances in the Boston area! Here's the schedule from my web site:

    And Pat D, I'll be in Houston a week from today, so see that you do something about that weather!

    So looking forward to seeing everyone, and I know that once I get started on travels I'll be fine. It's just the lead up that gets me.

  26. Had a great time this morning on Good Morning Texas, by the way. They were so nice, and it was fun to see the studio which is right on Victory Park in the heart of downtown Dallas.

    But I didn't record it and I'm NOT watching the segment!

    Hank, do you watch yourself on TV? I know there are quite a few actors who don't watch their movies or TV shows.

  27. OMG, you're going to be the next town over from me on a date I can actually be there! See you in Newburyport, Debs.

  28. Deb! You're going to the COOP! My COOP? You'll be great. My spirit is stuck in the walls there. Started seeping in when I was a teenager and was baptized as part of the structure when I finally got my own study Carrel #%@ years later—but could not stay away from reading at the COOP. Hey… no Starbucks in the library. Please.

    So. How do I manage to juggle too many things at one time? I used to go to the COOP. Now I call Harry.