Shotguns and Showtunes

I think I crammed too many Bouchercon experiences into too short of a time. That and I’m still trying to figure out what John put in my drink Saturday night…

But a few highlights from my trip home: The drive back to MI was much more enjoyable than the drive to WI and about an hour and a half shorter even though I think I went out of my way a bit. On my way to Madison, I followed the MapQuest directions that took me along normal highways until I got into Illinois and then it jogged me through all sorts of weird country roads, one of which had a severe back up just inside Wisconsin.

On the way back, I decided to just catch I-94 and ride it the whole way home. This was fun because it took me through downtown Milwaukee and downtown Chicago. Even though I ran into some minor traffic backups near each city, it was worth it for the excitement of driving through and seeing all of the cool sites. I’m a city junkie and every time I travel I like to go through at least one major downtown area.

While I was making my way into Chicago, I was entertained, and a bit frightened, by this group of four female motorcyclists. They were traveling in a pack and when they weren’t weaving through traffic at ridiculous speeds, they were doing actual tricks on their bikes. Like standing on their hands and riding extended with their legs sticking out from the back type tricks. And one of the girls, on a pink bike wearing a pink jacket and a pink helmet, was riding in, I swear, pink high heels! It was nuts to watch and at some points I thought one of them might fall off her bike and bounce off the pavement and onto my rental car, and at others I thought they might see my out-of-state plates and try and hijack me or run me off the road or something. Maybe I’ve seen too many Fast and the Furious movies.

The other interesting highlight was driving through Gurnee, IL and passing the Six Flags sign where I broke down last year during my ill-fated trip to Milwaukee. I was feeling very good about having made it through this trip so far, until I noticed a family in a minivan was broke down in exactly the same spot. Sad, I know.

But mostly, the biggest feeling I came away with from Madison was an eagerness to get back to revisions on my new book and get into this business for real as a novelist. It’s an insane, complex, ridiculous, archaic, and heartbreaking business and I want to be right in the middle of it.