I'm about to make a serious attempt at packing for Hong Kong. I have all my class materials ready (I'm teaching a range of classes and PD sessions) and am at the point of making a list so I can stop panicking that I'll forget something. I'm the person who, on the way to the airport, is trying desperately not to imagine I have forgotten something crucial. After all, if you have tickets and passport, most other things can be "managed". Still, I've been working on the list for the past 45 minutes and adding something new and vital on a regular basis.
Regardless of my packing paranoia, I know I will have a great time. Susanna and I meet dozens of wonderfully keen writers every time we visit Hong Kong, either at our YWCA classes or with Women in Publishing. We feel a bit like butterflies, touching down and then flying off again, but this time we will be making serious efforts to network more, and find ongoing connections. Last year, we were there during the Australian elections and were quite astonished at the level of enthusiasm. The Kevin 07 brigade were noisy and cheered loudly!
I'm taking my novel, my lecture notes from Margie Lawson, and my highlighters. I'm expecting some focused rewriting time, if only because I can't bear to watch more than two minutes of Fox News or CNN, usually the only TV channels we can get on our hotel TVs. That's a good thing for a writer! I won't have time on this trip for tourist things, but I will have blocks of hours where I have the opportunity to focus on my own work without interruptions. I just have to be firm with myself and stay off the internet.
It might be a good reminder to think about all the people doing NaNo, for a start. But also I will be taking some time to meet up with writers and talk about writing. I've been fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit in the past few years, and the biggest bonus is the writing friends I've made around the world (Hi, Kristi!). The writing community is special - SCBWI members meet up all around the globe, writers of all kinds are happy to chat over a glass of wine or a coffee and just talk about what they're doing. It is a community, one to value and nurture.