Sunday, October 4, 2015

"Oh, Kaye!" is Bouchercon Bound

Like many of you, I'll be heading to Raleigh in a few days.

I  do  love  love   love  Bouchercon

I'm just not able to attend as often as I'd like, but because it's within driving distance for me this year, AND because Margaret Maron is this year's Lifetime Achievement Guest of Honor, it didn't take me even two seconds to decide to go and register as soon as I was able.  

I'll be arriving on Wednesday and I'll be working at the Registration Desk from 3-5, so those of you who are coming in that day, please drop by and say "Hey!"  But no - Harley Barley the Wonder Corgi will not be with me.  

He and Donald will be staying in Boone those few days leaving me free to play the role of "Fan Girl" which I do so well without embarrassing the two of them.

I've been discussing packing at Facebook.  There are definitely two camps on this packing thing.

Some of us start packing weeks in advance while others can calmly toss things into their suitcase the day before and be all set.  

I'm one who starts packing in advance.  One, because I'm excited about the trip and it's my way of enjoying part of the journey.  Two, because I'm also a person who cannot plan what to wear ahead of time.  Not for the life of me can I do that.  I can't even get dressed to go out to lunch easily.  I will stand in front of a closet for a long time.  I will look at what's there.  I might try on pants and a shirt, only to take them off and try on a dress.  You get the idea.  

This means there are a lot of things in that suitcase.

A lot of things that won't get worn.  Won't even get a second glance during the "oh, what shall I wear" pondering I go through while standing in front of that closet.

I keep things somewhat under control by sticking to my standby traveling color palette of black, white and red, so our bed tends to look like this while I'm packing

Lots of things go into the suitcase, but as time gets closer, a lot of things come back out.

They have to come back out 'cause I have to make room for make-up, underwear, jammies, boots, shoes, scarves, shawls and jewelry - oh my!

And when did electronics and chargers of all those electronics become a part of packing.  A  major  part!

And I have to remember to put my camera around my neck.  It's unusual, really, for me to go anywhere (even the grocery store, believe it or not) without my camera.  But, it would be this one trip that it would get left behind.  Kinda like that trip Donald I took and realized when we were almost there that the hanging bag of clothes was still hanging on a door back in Boone . . .  (shopping emergencies can be huge fun).

And I'm really determined to stick with one suitcase this trip.  Just one.  

Okay, so it's a big one.

I'm thinking maybe, just maybe,  the books I'm taking with me to have signed by some of my favorite authors just might end up in a bag of their own.  

Decisions!  Argh!

And all this is why I am SO happy to be driving this time.  Because, truth be told, I can take all the suitcases I want full of whatever I feel the urge to take AND all the books I want. heh heh heh.



I won't do that.

I'm going to be very practical and very sensible about it all.

I am.


But now, just this week, I learned of a little kink in my plans.


I don't know if any of you remember my friend Sissyfriss Sockmonkey or not.  I used to write about her along with her wild little running mate, LouLou Skiptoo until their shenanigans got to be a bit too scandalous for Meanderings and Muses.

Well, LouLou has checked herself into rehab after coming to the realization that her life was a disaster and she needed help.

Sissyfriss is missing LouLou something fierce and has decided she wants to travel to Raleigh with me. 

 Personally, I think she needs to be right where LouLou is, but she refuses to listen.  

I have extracted a promise from her that she will behave herself.  I have promised her that I will not be coming up with bail money again if she breaks her word.

So now - LordAMercy, I have to go help this crazy little monkey pack HER suitcase . . . 

See you in Raleigh!!

But I want to know about you guys and how you handle packing.  If you're going to be gone for 4 days, do you pack for 4 days and stick to it, or do you pack for unexpected contingencies and just changing your mind?  Do you pack way ahead of time, or the night before the trip?  Tell it, Reds!  

AND - who's going to be there?!!


  1. Hope you have a wonderful time at Bouchercon, Kaye!

    While I may give some thought to what I'm going to take when I travel, my packing [never something I enjoy] is usually left until the last second at which time I toss stuff into the suitcase and invariably leave some essential thing behind. But I do always take some extra things because, well, you just never know . . . .

  2. First, I always pack too much, but I like to have some choices, and as you say, Joan, "you just never know." I really should start driving more and flying less. It would simply my life in packing, especially when you might need a coat or might not. I hate packing a coat, and I've bought a smaller quilted, light-weight coat to bring to Bouchercon. I figure I'm going to need some warm clothes for the Moonlight Cemetery trip on Wednesday night.

    I have had my books that I plan to take ready to pack for weeks, and I can almost fit them into one suitcase. I will scatter the rest in my carry-on and my clothes suitcase. I'm lucky to be flying Southwest, as they allow two checked bags for free. Of course, I will worry about my books when they're out of sight. Now, my clothes, well I finally tried clothes on tonight to see what fit. My Kim Kardashian butt helped eliminate several items. I'm staying with mainly black in my pants and a skirt, black jacket, and lots of black in my tops. Hmm. I'll have to use some jewelry and scarves to add some color. And, I can't resist a couple of Halloween items, one top at least and some Halloween earrings.

    I am so glad that there is a package mailing service at Bouchercon because I know I will be buying more books. With the newly bought books and the books I'm already bringing, I desperately need that service.

    Hopefully, I can get most of my clothes packed tomorrow. I think I will drive to New Orleans next year. It's hard telling what I'll want to bring back from there.

  3. Have a blast Kaye and all who are going! I'm sorry to miss this year...and so proud of Margaret--she's a treasure!

  4. "Truth Be Told" -- her her her.... Sorry to miss Harley, but delighted to meet you in person, Kaye!

  5. I'm such a bad packer that I have to have a packing list to be sure nothing essential is edit behind. I list everything, from q-tips to underwear, and check them off as they go into the suitcases. Clothes? The "conference clothes" all go. The tricky part is remembering which outfit I intended to wear where--I make another list but then I forget to look to it--so I don't wear it, or part of it, too soon and spill something on it.

  6. I swear that said left behind when I hit publish! See you all at B'con.

  7. Y'all have fun at B'Con--what a privilege to be there as Margaret Maron is honored! Sooo glad I didn't know Truth Be Told was her last book in the series as I read it. Crybaby that I am, I would've been blubbering away and probably missed half the story!

    Packing? Essentials stay in the suitcase and travel bag, so I don't leave any must-have item at home. Clothes? Less is more. How many days X events = bare minimum of everything, plus smidgen of extra jewelry, scarves, etc.

  8. Joan - we think just alike on this "you never know" thing! (and leaving something essential behind also. I almost can't wait to see what it'll turn out to be his trip).

    Kathy - I'm thrilled to be able to drive this year! Usually I ship so many books back home that it has become a significant monetary outlay that kind staggers me, truth be told. I hate packing a coat too. A purchase that has been worth every penny I paid is a cashmere reversible cape - black on one side, red on the other. It's warm enough, it's delightfully "packable," and I love it to the moon and back.

    Lucy/Roberta - you will be missed! Yes, this is a well deserved honor for Margaret, isn't it. She is, indeed, a treasure.

    Susan - can't wait to meet you, share a hug, and maybe a cup of coffee or a drink. And you can tell me Mattie stories. I am a huge Mattie fan, you know.

    Kathy/Kaitlyn - I always look forward to seeing you! and lists? Oh my. I can't do anything without my lists, but still manage to forget something. What's with that?!

    FChurch - oh my. Didn't you love Margaret's latest? Yep. I cried. Cried like a baby. It was THE most perfect ending ever. A perfect circle of life and events for a perfect series. I loved it.

  9. I pack for the number of days I'm attending. Bring 5 tops, wear the one jeans on the plane, bring 1 pair of slacks and that's in addition to the underwears + socks + toiletries + something to wear at the gym that I know I'm probably won't make it there. Gotta leave room for the books. I also take a small travel tote to carry all the electronics and their parts. Oh darn, I may need to pack a coat.

  10. Kaye, I'm leaving Marcie with a sitter (she loves Jen and sleeps on the bed with her) and I'm leaving home the kitchen sink. All else is fair game since I'm driving. We'll just have to see what I throw in there at five in the morning.

  11. Dru - this whole packing this can be an adventure, can't it?! AND - I'm bringing gym clothes and tennis shoes so let's DO try to hit the little workout out room in the hotel and get in some treadmill time, okay?! We can make time to do that. Yes, we can!

    David - a man after my own heart. And Marcie will feel like she's on vacation too.

    I can't wait to see you guys! Dru Ann and I have made plans for breakfast at least one day. David and I have coffee plans and maybe pizza plans. That's one of the greatest things about these conventions - the friends you get to hang out with and break bread with. Life is pretty darn good, isn't it?

  12. I'm going to be in North Carolina for two weeks, but I'm lucky since I'll be staying with a friend who has a washer and dryer, so I'm basically pack for 7 days x 2. The only place it makes a noticeable difference is in meds, and that I'm packing 3 cameras; a basic, a backup, and a larger one with a longer lens for non-Bouchercon days...and my cell phone. But you're right about all the bits and bobs needed for electronic gear, plus I always pack a six-plug serge protector since there are never enough outlets.

    Clothes are the simple part; 3 pairs of denim slacks, four comfy shirts, one dressier top, one red pashmina, undies, night shirt, robe, 2 pair of shoes and only the jewelry I never take off. My cute, leopard rain books, a brolly, and a hat for sun, and that's about it. Do I need a coat?

    Since I can no longer carry anything over 5lbs my shoulders, I'm bringing a rolling computer bag for the books I get at Bcon, water bottles and purse items. That and one suitcase and I'm done.

    But no matter what we bring--how much or how little-it's going to be a very good time. Can't wait to see you, Kaye.

  13. Can't wait to see you, L.J.!! And I know I'll be seeing you for at least TWO meals.

    I don't know about the coat. Maybe. The weather here in the Boone mountains is radically different from the weather in Raleigh - hard to believe we're in the same state.

    I expect my two simple little black dresses will see a lot of wear next week. Easy and comfy to slip on and easy to dress up with long scarves, pashminas and jewelry.

    But, then so will my leggings, tunics and cowboy boots - YeeHaw, Y'all!

  14. Ah! That looks like my bed even when I'm not packing. This week I am. I started packing today for next Saturday's departure (yes, Florence. Tired of hearing it yet?), because there will be cries of "That doesn't fit", "I thought I had another pair of shoes", "Ooo, needs mending", "That doesn't fit, either", "Where did that go?", "Oh darn, doesn't anything fit?"

    And I will invariably take too much, despite a last-minute command to myself to remove 3 items. Any 3.

    And because it will be Thanksgiving the day after I arrive (Canadians know this) I have to pack a tin of pumpkin for the pies. Plus spices. Thank goodness nothing I'm taking is a fine white powder.

    As for Bouchercon, I'm hoping to meet you ALL in Toronto in 2017. When I won't have to pack at all. :^)

  15. Kaye, my bed looks just like yours when I'm packing! (Oh, my, you should see it when I'm packing for a month in England...) And I'm bring a lot of black and red this year, too, so we can be twins!

    Kathy, I'm a list maker, too. First, I list all the activities I'm doing. Then I list what I'm wearing for each one--not necessarily completely different, but some of it different combinations of things. This part comes after I've thrown everything on the bed. And then I have to thrown in a couple of extra things "just in case." AND THEN there's the chargers and electronic stuff. Boy, that really is a pain.

    Funny thing is I'll probably end up wearing my favorite pair of jeans most of the time.

    Kaye, can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Susan, I can't believe we haven't actually met. Isn't that weird? So looking forward to it!

    And to seeing everyone. It's going to be a super B'con, no matter what we wear!

  16. Susan - With a trip to Florence coming up, you are absolutely allowed to be excited and squeal about it all you want!!!! Lucky woman. Have a fantastic trip.

    Debs - Twins! I love it! We can also hold hands and skip through the hotel corridors the days we're dressed similarly, okay? No? ;-) Can't wait to collect a hug, girl!

  17. HURRAY! Cannot wait to see you. And yes, the electronic thing is amazing! I am constantly looking for hilarious!

    Tes, what are we thinking about weather?

  18. Ah, Kaye. I pack the night before, but I mentally pack a week ahead of time. But, for me, it's easy. I wear jeans on the plane, and bring 3 pairs of black slacks. I do the same for NYC so I never have to worry about clothes. I'm afraid I really don't care much about clothes, so just pack for convenience. In fact, when my family asked me what to pack for NYC, I told them jeans or khakis for day, black slacks for night. We all did just fine. More important to me is that carryon bag for all the electronics.

  19. Hank - Thank You for the reminder to pack an extension cord thingie!!!

    Lesa - ONE of these days I'm going to learn to pack like you and Dru and other sane people. One of these days . . .

    I cannot wait to see the two of you! (Have I already said that??)

  20. Oh, it took lots of time, trips, and too many times lugging my big suitcase, Kaye. And, then I realized no one in NYC was there to see me. So, who cares? Neat, warm and comfortable.

  21. And you always look well put together, classy and adorable, Lesa Holstine.

  22. I have to post a second time to talk about getting together with people. Kaye, it will be wonderful to finally meet you in person, and Susan Elia, I am so looking forward to meeting Hope's creator and Mattie's mother. Dru, I expect I'll be seeing quite a bit of you with Kristopher, as I've made plans to be with him whenever possible. I can't wait to pick your all's brains about blogs, as my reading blog needs some expert advice.

    Hank, Debs, and Rhys, I am so ready to see you three and talk about your books, your dogs, your unused swimming pool, your spa, your California views of paradise, your insane schedules. I'm sorry there's not going to be a Reds' panel this year, but I do want to spend some time with the Reds who will be there. Lucy, Julia, and Hallie will be terribly missed, but Lucy, I am so jealous of you going to Scotland.

    I would love it if all of us could get together for a meal or drinks or whatever at some point. A designated time for the Reds and the rest of us who participate here on the blog to come together. I have a dinner Thursday and Friday night already, but there's always room for more. I'm going to be rising at the crack of dawn whether I want to or not it seems. So, does anyone have a suggestion for a get-together for us? Even drinks is a great activity. Hehehe!

  23. Ohhhh, I'm going to miss you. Dang! So sorry. Had to back out at the last minute, but I'll be there in spirit, so please, register my shade! Wish I had your packing savvy. Since most of my trips are closer in (no commercial flights) I get the luxury of wardrobe spread out, and of having that last minute toss in what I might need tote. Yea LLBean! Have a great time.

  24. Oh I do wish I was going... and even more after reading your lovely anticipatory essay which reminded me WHY I love going. Wish I could say, "Meet you at the bar!"

  25. I've been mentally sorting through clothes for a month and kind of sort of know what I intend to bring. Black works with everything. Fortunately I'm driving so my collection of books for folks to sign is only limited to what I can fit into the car and that's where my attention has been. Priorities, you know.

    I am planning on the Wednesday night dinner with Gayle Trent et al. and then Art Taylor's and Susan Boyer's reading at Quail Ridge to follow and the Friday night auction, but Thursday and Saturday nights are up for grabs. I hope to meet some of you for lunch or dinner during the conference.

  26. Kathy, I know I'm going to run across you at some point - let's keep a look out for one another! This is the first time I actually scheduled so many meals before hand and I think I may find myself eating approximately 5 meals a day . . . oy.

    Kait - you will be missed! And I'm with you about commercial flights. Honestly, I don't ever intend to take another one. I'm not scared to fly (not after working in the airline industry for several years), but I just hate what flying has become (after working in the airline industry back when flying was fun). It's going to be driving or the train. I do love taking AmTrak from North Carolina up to Union Station for Malice.

    Hallie - Dang. I thought you were going to be there. You, my friend, will be missed. (at the bar and other places, as well(,

    Aubrey - Yay, black! What would we do without our basic black?! I hate that I'm going to miss Gayle's dinner AND Art & Susan's reading. Quail Ridge ROCKS! You know we'll grab a bite somewhere at sometime - we usually manage to do that, even if it's just ice cream. And ice cream will be a good way for us to celebrate your birthday. :-)

  27. I'm really looking forward to meeting a lot of the folks whose posts I've enjoyed so much here on JRW, and to seeing a few whom I met at Malice. I'm devastated not to have a game show this time! I won't be packing because I'm local, but when I do travel I'm one of those who always packs a couple of extra pants and shirts just in case. Sometimes I'm even able to wear them together. I don't own enough clothes to pack too far in advance, so it's usually the night before, at the end of a laundry cycle.


  28. One of my favorite things about JR is that I get to feel a bit like I've been invited to some sort of family party. Having Bouchercon so close to home is a huge treat! I can't wait.

    And honestly - so excited that no packing is involved. Since I travel for work sometimes - and often in places lacking basic services (electricity, water, reasonable coffee), my packing all about multi-tasking. Is it crushable, hand-washable, black and layer-able? It's in! Color enters almost exclusively through shawls that are pretty enough to look fancy and sturdy enough to be extra blankets. I missed the shoe gene, so I need only worry about whether I need to pack both the black and the brown pair or only the black. My indulgence? An extra power boost rapid charger so I can always read while in transit.