I'm writing this to say Thank All Deities Foreign and Domestic that I did not.
This past weekend I was slated to attend the Biographers International Conference in Boston. The organizers clearly hadn't realized that May in Boston (graduation season) means most hotel rooms are either booked solid, charging top dollar, or so far away that you might as well commute from New York. After a lot of searching I finally found a hotel near Logan airport. It has a shuttle service so I knew I could get to the airport, then pick up the T-line which is Boston's cute little version of a subway. (They really don't like it when you call it cute and little either, lemme tell ya.)
What I forgot to do was book train tickets, and by the time I remembered, the price to Boston was $140. Each way. Normally I pay about $49. I was so annoyed I just figured I'd punish myself by taking the bus.
So, here's how Friday began:
Subway to Port Authority.
(1) Port Authority bus to Boston (6.5 hours due to traffic and rain..normally 4.5 hours) South Station Boston Silver line to Logan.
Which is when I realized the Silver Line isn't a train. It's a bus(2). And it runs on city streets when
it comes above ground. At one point I found myself on the same street I'd been on two hours earlier. The Exact Same Spot.
(3) At Logan I called the shuttle bus to the hotel.
Start to finish: three buses. About 12 hours.
Well, ok, that was crazy but ok. This bus trip after all was designed to make me never EVER forget to buy my train tickets on time.
(4) Shuttle Bus to Logan.
(5) Silver Line to South Station Boston
Red line to
(6) Shuttle BUS from Broadway to UMass/JFK stop.
(7) Shuttle BUS from subway station to college.
Then that evening, retrace steps.
Total bus tally by Saturday night: 11
Sunday morning: Repeat outgoing trip. Arrive at campus an hour before class starts because the commute time was pretty good (of course when you're late, the commute time sux!)
Bus tally: 15
(16) College shuttle to T-shuttle
(17) T-shuttle to train
Train to bus station
(18) Bus to NY. And it took 45 minutes to go 15 blocks on 12th Ave when we got in at 7pm. And no
they won't let you off even if you tell them you're going to throw up.
Let me tell you I kissed my metro card and vowed to Never Ever Leave Home Again.
Bus rides: 18
In three days.
But in between those 18 bus trips to and fro I got the experience of a lifetime. I sat in on Susan Rabiner's master class on writing the non-fiction book proposal.
In case you're misled by a small electronic footprint, let me just say this: Susan Rabiner is all that and a bag of chips when it comes to serious non-fiction. She's absolutely the best there is. And when I got the chance to hear her talk, you can bet I leaped at it.
I'm still synthesizing my notes, and I'm obviously sharing them with clients first, but I'm sure what I learned will be turning up here in the coming days and months.
And in the meantime. make sure you have her book THINKING LIKE YOUR EDITOR. It's required reading for ALL authors, not just those writing non-fiction.
I'm really glad I didn't punish myself by not making the trip, but I will never forget train tickets again as long as I live.