Then there are the moments of sheer panic.
I have no idea what these are about. Certainly, they are not about the specific thoughts that spring to mind. Do I need to bring ginger candy in case of my stomach's upset, even though I have never needed it before? Will these earrings make me look fat (earrings can do that? since when?) Have I prepared adequately for the panel I'm moderating? (I should know by now that I'm a skillful moderator and I have indeed done my homework.) What should I order when my editor takes me to lunch? (Well, I'm not going to impress her one way or another, so how about what I'd otherwise choose?)
Sometimes I think these doubts are a bizarre form of performance anxiety. I often feel I'm "on" at a convention, and I get all tangled up in "doing it right." I've said my share of unbelievably idiotic things at conventions, and have been duly tolerated and forgiven by the friends to whom I've said them. Resolving to speak only when I have something brilliant to say has not produced any noticeable improvement.
At other times, I think it's a displacement of all my insecurities. Just about every writer I know has these, all the lapses in self-confidence, the fears that our current book is sure to flop disastrously and everyone will find out what imposters we are, yadda yadda. Or maybe it's just that I'm excited and I'll be away from home, in a strange environment over which I have considerably less control.
So I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that we arrived late and exhausted, and I simply had to read several chapters of a C. S. Forester "Horatio Hornblower" novel in order to fall asleep. At least, the shower was hot and the bed was comfortable. And now that Dave uses a CPAP, he doesn't snore.
Next up, First Daze.