Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Juggling

Sorry for the lateness of today's post. Yesterday, I returned from a two-week+ trip to the Washington, DC area. Since I had to to take two flights, it was late when I finally reached my house in Fort Collins, CO, and I went to bed instead of my computer.

It was great seeing old friends at the Malice Domestic mystery conference. Speaking on panels is always fun, but mingling and meeting with readers is the real pleasure of these conferences. Every year you meet new people. I love meeting new people. Of course, a lot of us who're mystery authors also got to do some business networking while there as well in meetings/lunches with our editors and agents.

I'm a big believier in face-to-face communication. Beats the phone and emails every time. There's chemistry in a face-to-face meeting. And you can generate chemistry over the phone, too. Emails (and other online forms) are dry that way. No body language, gestures, no facial expressions. A smiley face can only communicate so much.

Of course, spending time with old friends and my family is always a treat. I actually had two of my daughters with me on Sunday for Mother's Day---Christine, who lives in Northern VA and Melissa came down from Manhattan. That's a treat.

And---an update re: my mom and her recuperation from her broken wrist two weeks ago is in order. By Friday May 1st, the regular companion care lady told me my mom was still pretty weak and couldn't do without help in the simplest of things. As I mentioned in my earlier post of April 28th, right after it happened---I'd immediately arranged for the Home Helpers to provide 24-hour care. After hearing that she would need an extended period of 24-hour care, I decided to move her into the assisted living home which is affiliated with the retirement home where she lives in Fort Collins. They can provide 24-hour care for a much more reasonable rate. And patients can come in for temporary healing from injuries with their doctors' permissions. They call it respite care. She'll be there until her cast comes off, probably the very end of May.

So---for those of you who have elderly parents or relatives, I can tell you it's a blessing to have my mother in a network of care. The Columbine Health Care network here in Fort Collins operates two independent living retirement homes, a modern Rehab center for recuperation after more serious injuries (ex: when she broke her hip two years ago and had to have surgery and hospitalization), an assisted living facility with 24-hour care, and two nursing homes for more serious care options. I am thankful my mom had these options available.

So---what's the juggling? Well, I had to get all of this done over the phone and fax while at the mystery conference. I was on the phone practically all morning. Thank goodness the hotels are efficient with faxes, etc. Twenty pages of admission papers for the busiest day of the conference when I was on a panel and had two meetings. Also, another 20 pages of documents were emailed to me on Monday while I was at my daughter's home. Unfortunately her printer had broken, so I found a copy shop (via data phone internet search, of course) where they could print out and fax. Whew.

What would we do without our technology?