I leave for Ireland tonight, after many hectic days of tying up work details. I spent marathon sessions on the phone last week with my co-author to approve copy edit changes. Apparently, this publisher likes each copy edit suggestion to be addressed separately. We were expected to either "stet" each one (write and circle the word STET in the margin to alert the editor to restore the original copy, which we rarely did) or write okay in the margin in blue pencil. Three hundred pages worth. And I was gratified to find five typos and two grammatical mistakes that had been edited in by mistake. My co-author was really good at finding typos. Grammar geeks!
I have another short story ready to send out when I get back. We hosted a birthday party for S's fifth birthday. Very exciting. The work on the house was completed with just one grudge match between us and the contractor. Not bad. Bills, laundry, tidying up. The usual.
All that's left to do is pack. Many people obsess about clothing on trips. I obsess about books. Which books to bring? How many? Yes, they're heavy. Yes, they take up space. But the idea of having nothing to read is too horrible to contemplate. I'm halfway through this book right now. It's wonderful and worth all the praise heaped on it. But it's such a page-turner that it likely won't survive the plane trip.
I want to read The Gathering by Anne Enright. In fact, having read the first page of this book, I now want to read all of her books. So that's in the suitcase already. I briefly toyed with the idea of bringing December Bride by Sam Hannah Bell. It could be an all Ireland theme. Or, I could be practical. I'm supposed to be reading this book for a class I'm taking in the spring, but do I want to carry it across an ocean? And of course, Ann Patchett will be speaking at the Muse in April, and I was able to snatch up her Bel Canto at a used book store. Possibility? I also have been meaning to read In the Heart of the Sea by Nthaniel Philbrick, which is the true story of the whaleship Essex, the inspiration for Melville's Moby Dick. And on the off chance that the jet lag is overwhelming I could bring this little truffle of a murder mystery. I'm too embarrassed to type the title, but it's set in Istanbul and the main character is a drag queen who looks like Audrey Hepburn.