me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Travel anxiety update

I've blogged on travel anxiety before, and I must say, while I'm experiencing it big time right now -- I leave in two weeks and a day -- I also have to laugh. Here's the thing: the anxiety latches onto what look like actual problems, difficult situations, potential crises. The more you travel, especially to places you've been before and with people you've traveled with before, the harder it is for the anxiety to find upcoming quicksand to wake you in the middle of the night about. But it still can.

I'm starting in Rome, three days with my good friend Barb Shoup, and with my writing partner, Carlos Dews. I've been to Rome, I've shared a hotel room with Barb, I've been working with Carlos for a year, I adore them both. The anxiety gives up and moves on.

Next, Assisi. I've been teaching there for five years. This year it's a very small class (you could still come!) so the anxiety tries to latch onto how to run a particularly small workshop. Not a lot of meat there, though; if it stays that way, it'll be more like private tutoring for a few people. I know how to do that. The anxiety keeps looking.

Ah, but after that, I need to fly to Ulaan Baatar -- yes, I'm going back to Mongolia -- through Moscow. The anxiety perks up. Flying through Moscow, never done that, great opportunity for a missed connection. Airport anxiety, a whole sub-genre. Then, when I get to UB, it's 6:00 am and I have an entire day alone. No one else gets in until the next morning. Oh no! What am I going to do? The other side of the earth, jetlagged, hot and weary, and all alone! Yes, there's something to hang anxiety on. Then, once everyone's there, and we head to the mountains, there's the possibility of having a problem with altitude. I never have, but I've never been as high as we're going (nearly two miles) and I always could, right? But the biggest headache right now is, I made the payment to the outfitter in the form of a wire transfer last week, and haven't heard from them, even after two emails. There it is! A reason for panic! The money -- and this was everyone's money, I'm in charge of that for the whole group, we're talking $12,500 -- has melted into cyberspace. Never got there. Vanished, and it's my fault. Or, even worse (or better, if you're the anxiety): the outfitter really doesn't exist, it's all a scam, now that they've got our money THEY'VE vanished!

See how funny this is? All the things I worried about from my first Rome trip, and my first Mongolia trip, I can't worry about now, because I know they worked out. But new occasions for panic are always just around the bend! Which is where I'm driving myself.

Good thing I have a book to write.

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