Christy was going to come visit and join me at Worldcon… but things happen out of anyone's controls.

We both traveled during this time; we both still had to pack and unpack.

My journey was much different. I shared a room with someone who has become a good friend, and a stranger who I'd like to become a good friend.

I met and hugged one of my heroes. He wished me luck in an endeavor that had me mentally and emotionally packing and unpacking a lot of baggage. Luck listened to one or both of us. Perhaps I can keep a few unwanted fears packed for longer now - because they never actually go away. You always need to change those suitcase locks, and the airport never loses those bags.

I packed and unpacked for the BIGGEST party I ever threw - or helped throw - bigger than my own wedding (but missing the most important part). People came looking for us; they talked about us in the halls and sought us out. Inanna packed most of those remnants, but a few tagged along home with me - along with a glow that went beyond the packs of Jell-o shots. And too many Styrofoam glasses.

When I packed to leave, I forgot and missed important things: My camera (I had to buy a disposable one to capture pictures, although grainy). My memory stick that had my academic paper and presentation on it. And my friend who packed for her own journey.

I packed and unpacked freedom and equality and support for women writers.

I packed and unpacked potential new friends' and colleagues' sacred names and calling cards.

I packed and unpacked enshrined memories to my Dad, to and from my family to wherever he is now. Like the pictures in my brain, the photos are fuzzy and not entirely clear and not an exact representation of the place or event - but still imprinted. And still beautiful.

The story draft I packed to leave is not the same one that I brought home. What I learned has changed the words and meaning forever. And they may change many times more.

The Hope I packed to leave was different than the Hope I unpacked upon my return.

Have you ever noticed that you what you pack and unpack at the beginning of your journey is never the same as what you pack and unpack at the end? What changed?

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About Us

We have a diverse, combined writing experience. I am a middle school English teacher and an administrator and co-administrator for various writing groups. Trisha is a freelance writer, editor, and online educator whose fiction appears in FANTASY GAZETTEER. Together we co-authored "Party Crashers” for the EPPIE award winning anthology BAD ASS FAERIES 2: JUST PLAIN BAD.

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