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April 19, 2007

Book Tour Diary at Ficlets Blog

Just as a head's up for all y'all, I'm going to be doing a Book Tour Diary, in which I recount the various stops and adventures on my book tour, and it's going to be over at the Ficlets Blog, on account that AOL is paying me to do it there. Yes! I'm doing it for the money! Anyway, it should be fun. I got a head start on it today by describing how I did, in fact, pack for a three-week trip using only carry-on luggage. Yup, I'm already packed. I just rock that way.

Don't worry, I'll be posting here, too. But the official Book Tour Diary will be over there. Come by, won't you?

Posted by john at April 19, 2007 02:06 PM

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Steve Buchheit | April 19, 2007 02:22 PM

Don't forget to take of those size stickers before leaving the hotel. :)

Good luck, John. Have fun while you're on tour. Enjoy it to the upmost you can.

And will you post a link to your tour blog? TIA

John Scalzi | April 19, 2007 02:24 PM

Yes, I detagged all the clothes.

Jim Wright | April 19, 2007 03:01 PM

Be honest, John, Krissy bought your clothes for the trip, didn't she? New socks and skivvies, somebody doesn't want to be embarrassed if you end up in a emergency room somewhere. Oh, man, I crack myself up.

Shawn Powers | April 19, 2007 03:09 PM

I thought we avoided questions like, "boxers or briefs" around here...

I should not know your undergarment preference. I just should not.

Clint Grimes | April 19, 2007 03:17 PM

I know this is totally not the direction this post was intended, but is a new new wardrobe standard for book tours?

Is it one of those classy, jet-set, polite society things (like when you should use the fork with three tines at a fancy dinner) to wear all new clothes when taking a trip?

The rules of etiquette are the pearls of social interaction ... little irritants which we couldn't get rid of and eventually glossed over so many times they became attractive.

Have a good trip!

Tania | April 19, 2007 03:18 PM

Shawn - well, we now know he's not going "commando".

John Scalzi | April 19, 2007 03:26 PM

Shawn Powers:

"I should not know your undergarment preference. I just should not."

You don't know that it's my preference. Remember I have a premium on space. Anyway, you know, get over it. I wear underwear, just like everybody else. Except Marines.

Jim Wright:

"Be honest, John, Krissy bought your clothes for the trip, didn't she?"

You know, I can dress myself.

James Angove | April 19, 2007 04:02 PM

John Scalzi:

"You know, I can dress myself."

Admit it. Left to your own devices, you'd wander around clad only in bacon.

Jim Wright | April 19, 2007 04:12 PM

You know, I can dress myself. Hmmm, sure, and I suspect that is exactly the reason Krissy buys your clothes, she has to be seen with you. I recognize this situation based on personal experience. Heh, heh.

Also noticed you adroitly deflected answering my question. Indeed, you are a masterly wizard of words, oh Scalzi.

RooK | April 19, 2007 04:28 PM

As odd as it may seem to me to purchase new clothing specifically to get them as rumpled as possible during a protracted trip, what seems even odder is that you purchased ugly clothing for a book-signing tour. Are you trying to drape yourself in additional geek cred?

Unless, of course, Krissy did the shopping - as Jim suspects. In which case the explanation is clear.

Sally Lou Liz | April 19, 2007 04:29 PM

"You know, I can dress myself."

Oddly enough, this is exactly what my father says. He is colour blind. This sentence is usually uttered in response to my saying "Mom didn't pick out your clothes eh? She's gonna be mad to see you in purple pants and that orange sweater again."

Have a good trip!

John Scalzi | April 19, 2007 04:30 PM


When they're on me, I explode with raw sensuality. Just you wait.

Nathan | April 19, 2007 04:34 PM


I have a distinct memory of you telling us that Krissy does the stuff like put things in the mail, 'cause if it was left to you it wouldn't get done.

I suspect that Krissy buys most of your clothes and that when you claim you can dress yourself, you're saying that you're very good at pulling stuff out of the drawer and putting it on.


Lookee Here. Not exactly a gushing love letter...and right out here on the blog.


RooK | April 19, 2007 04:57 PM

Don Scalzi:

For your Portland Powell's appearance, how about we agree that you attempt to reign in the raw sensuality and I'll endeavour to dial down the squee. That way nobody has to take out restraining orders.

Linda Kuzma | April 19, 2007 05:02 PM

I followed the link to the completely packed bag and have one small bit of packing advice... This comes from many fun filled camping trips with the US Army.
Put one set of sox and underclothes in each small ziploc and you need only grab one thing before heading to the shower (and if you drop it in the mud, it is still clean... hopefully the hotels are of a quality that you won't have this concern)
Putting your other clothes in 1 gal bags, sitting on them to force out the air and tossing them in keeps them relatively wrinkle-free and takes up less space in your bag. It also allows you to keep your stinky, dirty clothes from stinking up your clean clothes.

K | April 19, 2007 05:17 PM

Thanks for the link - that was fun to read.

If you're going to leave your trashy novels behind anyway, any chance you could sign them and auction them off at various stops and give the money to the local library or something?

John Scalzi | April 19, 2007 05:19 PM

K, that's waaaay too much effort. I might give them away at the signings, though.

Liz B | April 19, 2007 05:39 PM

I misread your reply to K as a reply to Linda, above, and wondered what sort of strange signing give-away a ziploc of socks and underwear would be... At least make sure they're the clean ones.

Nick Stump | April 19, 2007 06:03 PM

This old road dog says one should wash all new undergarments before wearing them to lessen the effect of the dyes and sizing. From Nick, who is wearing his "The Cure For The Blues, Clinton For President" t-shirt. (Big electric-blue logo of Bill playing the sax, of course.)

Oh Hell, you ought to see the reaction this shirt gets from both sides of the aisle. It amuses me.

philm | April 19, 2007 06:24 PM

My wife is responsible for the contents of my closet. There's no shame in admitting that "I can dress myself" refers STRICTLY to the physical act of putting on your clothes. It's okay, you're in good company.

Heck, I'll even admit that one of my favorite perks to being in the military is that when I get up in the morning my hardest (and pretty much only significant) wardrobe choice is "brown shoes or black?"

Picking out co-ordinated outfits is HARD.

Old Jarhead | April 19, 2007 06:41 PM

"I wear underwear, just like everybody else. Except Marines."

That's right - WE wear horsehair braided skivvies just to make us MEAN!

"Be honest, John, Krissy bought your clothes for the trip, didn't she?"

You know, I can dress myself."

As was mentioned above "dress myself" means that you can cover exposed areas of your body with cloth. You live with only women and if you can get out of the house without them saying at least once "Oh John/Daddy you're not going to wear THAT are you?" then you ARE a metrosexual.

I stopped at an outlet mall once and got a fine pair of rust-colored jeans. I put them in the closet and went to put them on a few days later and they were gone. My daughters and wife had formed a pact of omerta. So if any of you see some homeless guy wearing what my wife and daughters call "Dad's dorkish orange jeans", they're mine dammit. And they are rust, not orange!

And I scored TLC at Barnes & Noble and canx Amazon since they are sticking to the 27th. Late to work, reading in the shower again. You can dump John & Jane but you gotta give us more Zoe.

John Scalzi | April 19, 2007 06:45 PM

Old Jarhead:

"You can dump John & Jane but you gotta give us more Zoe."

Funny, that's what Tor is saying to me, too.

Nick Stump | April 19, 2007 07:32 PM

"More Zoe" Good advice.

Steve Buchheit | April 19, 2007 07:59 PM

Old Jarhead, " WE wear horsehair braided skivvies just to make us MEAN!"

Ooo, ouch. That's gotta chaffe. (squirming in my chair)

That must be why most Marines I know are exceptionally calm. Either their luxuriating in civi underwear or they're trying not to move.

Scorpio | April 19, 2007 11:19 PM

Slide a nice folded trash bag in there for dirty laundry -- likely you will be needing to pack dirty clothes sometimes and this keeps them from getting the clean ones nasty.

Cassie | April 19, 2007 11:27 PM

Why not do the Bookcrossing thing with the trashy abandoned novels?


Regan | April 19, 2007 11:45 PM

My travel advice. Don't just leave the trashy novels behind. If you find yourself with mementos that won't fit into your luggage during the last week of the tour and don't feel like mailing stuff, jettison some clothes. Less laundry to do when you get home.


John Scalzi | April 20, 2007 05:00 AM


"Why not do the Bookcrossing thing with the trashy abandoned novels?"

Why does everyone want me to do complicated things with my abandoned novels when I'll be averaging one city a day and will barely have time to feed myself in between everything else I'm doing?

sass | April 20, 2007 12:21 PM

Um, you're not packing any pajamas?

Old Jarhead | April 20, 2007 01:19 PM

Raise your hand if you are going to be at the UW Bookstore on Tuesday night!

Miscellaneous Steve | April 20, 2007 02:27 PM

I can dress myself. I can even buy my own clothes. Problem is, I find fashion extremely dull. I just can't be bothered to put in the effort to make "good fashion choices." In high school I wore jeans and concert t-shirts exclusively. In college I wore jeans and non-concert t-shirts. At work now I wear whatever won't get me yelled at or fired. My wife buys most of my clothes...and I'm happy with that.

Oh, and... (raises hand)

CJ | April 20, 2007 08:53 PM

My wife has better taste in clothes, and enjoys spending time in clothes stores more than *I* ever will.

I'm happy to dress myself from the choices that she provides. Now confess.... Haven't all your best clothes been purchased by Krissy?

Ric Locke | April 21, 2007 01:16 AM

Linda Kuzma gives excellent advice. This is especially true if, as it appears, your style runs to polo shirts and other pullovers.

The advice about taking along a garbage bag is not good, though. The hotels you'll be staying at will all have laundry bags in the closet. Use them for your dirty clothes, if you must keep the stuff.

My advice for this sort of whirlwind trip, though, is quite different: throw stuff away. Socks and underwear are cheap. When you take them off, toss them in the trash.

If I'd seen this before I'd have told you to dispense with the carryon; remember Cazaril's observations on packing. Put two or at most three changes in the backpack, and when you get there, say to your guide: "I wonder if you'd do me a favor. While I'm at the signing, go over to the mall and get me a couple of polo shirts, size [ ], sort of conservative, like this <fx:indicates shirt he is wearing>. Here's $50, and if you need more, let me know." Then toss the soiled ones. You're buying all new for the trip anyway, and prices don't differ much around the country. If you try this in future you will never go back to luggage.


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