My plan was to disappear for the month of February.
Not disappear as in I created a new identity, or I found a real invisibility cloak, or I ran off with Blond Bond, or I decided income tax was illegal so I quit filing, built a hut in some remote location, and lived off the grid.
No, I just wanted to disappear for a little work vacation.
I’ve already posted (twice) about the residency at the artist colony that led to my February decision to disconnect from home, work and the Internet. What I discovered was, the decision to disconnect is a lot easier than actually disconnecting. Here are a few reasons why.
~ People: Friends, family, and colleagues have this strange habit. They want to know where you are and how you are and what you are doing. Some of these people want to know this on a daily basis.
` Technology: In anticipation of the strange habit noted above, I alerted people via blog posts, Facebook updates, email, and word of mouth. From this I learned some people do not actually read my blog posts, Facebook updates, emails, or listen to me.
(What I did not do was set up an email auto-response that I’d be out of the office. I tried this once before. It immediately went live and started notifying everyone who had ever corresponded with me, including the nice state police officer who’d once answered a professional question. He sent a note: “You really shouldn’t send out an announcement to everyone you know that you’ll be away from your home for two weeks, ma’am.” Cringe. I tried to “fix” the alert. It sent itself out again. Repeatedly. Which resulted in another note: “And you absolutely shouldn’t do it four times.” Double cringe.)
~ Willpower: Apparently, I have none. While I diligently worked in my studio during my residency, I could not ignore email. I worried – correctly – that a client or potential new client would miss my announcement and contact me, and I’d look incompetent or rude if I didn’t answer for a month. So I decided I’d peek in on email once a week. Okay, twice a week. Well, really, once every morning. And evening. And then, since I was checking email, it just took a second to click on Facebook. And my blog. See? No willpower.
~ Good news: While I was out, some wonderful things happened. Not to me, directly, but to people I know. Had I actually disappeared and disconnected, I’d have missed it. And who wants to miss a slew of award nominations from authors who contributed to Fish Tales! So, here are my belated congratulations to the following Fish Tales authors for the following nominations:
AGATHA AWARD NOMINEES, 2012:
The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis (Berkley)
Choke by Kaye George (Mainly Murder Press)
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure by Leslie Budewitz (Linden)
DERRINGER AWARD. The Derringer Award is the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s annual award honoring excellence in Short Mystery Fiction.
Finalist for Best Long Story:
Karen Pullen, “Brea’s Tale,” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2011
Finalist for Best Flash Fiction Story:
Warren Bull, “Company Policy,” Yellow Mama, August 2011
Congratulations to these fine authors!