Leaving on a jet plane…

Tomorrow night I leave for Boston — two days walking around where Nathaniel Hawthorne once walked — and ten days at the Gell Center in upper state New York. Scary!

I worry about my daughters. Aren’t I completely crucial to their well-being? How will they survive without me?

I worry about my students. Yes, I’ll be “on-line” with them, but is that really enough? Don’t I HAVE to sit in my office for several hours every day being present with whatever little dramas I can cook up with them? (Am I not abandoning them?!)

Can I REALLY write for most of every day for ten days and segregate my coursework into a mere two or three hours?

Will I be able to travel comfortably with this cold? (Will my sinus-y head explode at 35,000 feet?)

Will I get lost in Boston? (Will I find a hotel?!)

Will it take a million hours to drive from Boston to Naples, New York, and back? Shouldn’t I have flown into Rochester?

The only advice that fits is that old chestnut: “Do it afraid.”

Here’s what I can control: take a novel to read on the plane; take a cleanish copy of my manuscript with me; take a map (buy a new one if that one gets lost); put one foot in front of the other and see what happens; listen to people; take my camera with me and take lots of pictures.

Oh, and whatever happens? Write it down.

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