12 March 2024

Writerhood of the Traveling Pants

Which pants shall I pack?

This is shaping up to be a busy year, with multiple projects due before year-end. It’ll be even busier than usual because I’m attending several conferences and conventions.

A busy travel schedule is unusual for me. Until the past few years, circumstances prevented me from attending most conferences, conventions, and related writing events, only putting Bouchercon and Malice Domestic on my regular schedule after Temple and I married.

Last year, I increased my travel schedule. In addition to Bouchercon and Malice, I attended Between The Pages Writers Conference, Crime Bake, and the Edgar Awards banquet. This year, I’m already scheduled to attend Bouchercon, the Edgar Awards banquet, Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic, ShortCon, SleuthFest, ThrillerFest, and the Texas Institute of Letters Conference. I will also Zoom in for Mystery in the Midlands, and next week will do an online presentation for Sisters in Crime Northeast. (Unfortunately, Temple still works a day job and is only able to join me for a few of these events.)

While the online presentations and conferences don’t require travel, they do require putting on pants. In addition to remembering to pack my pants for the live events, the other conferences and conventions require additional planning—from determining which airlines, which flights, and which airports to fly from to determining if I can fit everything I need into a carry-on bag or if I’ll need to pack so much that a checked bag (or two) will be required.

And all the traveling cuts into writing and editing time. So, do I take my laptop computer—which is one more thing to tote around—and attempt to work? That hasn’t generally worked out well for me.

For those of you who travel extensively in support of your writing career, what tips do you have? Do you take a laptop computer with you, and do you actually manage to get work done?


If you’re also attending any of these live events, please stop me and say howdy.

Left Coast Crime https://leftcoastcrime.org/2024/

Malice Domestic https://www.malicedomestic.net/

Edgar Awards Banquet https://mysterywriters.org/product/2024-edgar-award-banquet-tickets/

Texas Institute of Letters Conference https://texasinstituteofletters.org/

ThrillerFest https://thrillerfest.com/


Bouchercon https://www.bouchercon2024.com/

Murder, Neat: A SleuthSayers Anthology (Level Short, 2024) contains 24 stories by some of your favorite short-story writers. So, belly up to the bar, order your favorite libation, crack the spine, and wet your literary whistle.


  1. Michael, who sez the Zoom conferences require you to put on pants? As long as you don't leave your chair without turning your video off... I hope to see you in New York!

  2. Thanks for providing my laugh of the day! "While the online presentations and conferences don’t require travel, they do require putting on pants" Melodie


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