The Traveling Writer

Are you one of those people who can throw two pairs of pants, a couple of blouses and a sweater in a bag, breeze through the airport, and look marvelous every day of your trip? 
If so, stop reading, or you will lose all respect for me. 
Tomorrow I head for sunny LA. (Only it won’t be sunny, it’ll be raining.) I’ll be there for the RT Book Lover’s Convention, and seriously, if you are a YA reader and you live anywhere close, you should check out the Teen Day events on Saturday.  Panels, readings, “speed date the author,” plus a big, huge, massive booksigning. ($25 for the whole day, $5 for the book fair only.)
I haven’t traveled anywhere since the fall, when it seems like I traveled everywhere. I wish I could say all that travel has made me a better packer. It hasn’t. Here’s my problem: I tend to obsess about getting it right: not too much, not too little. If I need something, I want to have it, or something that will serve the purpose. I don’t want to buy or borrow while I’m there, because I’m… particular. I like my stuff. (And honestly, where toiletries and cosmetics are concerned, this is self-preservation. I’m sensitive to the most random things, and it’s taken years of trial and error to know what I can use and what I can’t.) 
This trunk would make me deliriously happy.
But with clothes… honestly, the way I obsess, you’d think I was a real fashionista or clothes horse. Just the opposite. I worry about how I look, but I don’t have the knack of throwing things together and being confident in it.  I have to plan my outfits just so. The right thing for the right event. Not too many things. Try and pick things that will all go with the same shoes. (Which is the part that really hurts, because I have some really cute shoes!)
Plus, going to a reader/writer convention, I have to think about the character I’m costuming: the quirky but polished, successful confident author. Professional but not pedestrian, eccentric but not odd.  And of course, all in one suitcase, because this girl has her Act Together. 
This is, of course, a complete lie. Which is probably why I obsess so much about the clothes I bring. 
Mom said to me the other day: “I don’t know how you turned out so neurotic. I worked so hard to keep you from turning out that way.”  
Mostly, though, I obsess about packing to keep from worrying about the plane plummeting from the sky. Or California dropping into the ocean during the five days I’m there. 
Crud. I thought about it 
Now excuse me while I distract myself with some packing. 

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