It seems like a lifetime ago since I was able to write here regularly, but yesterday, I sent off my manuscript for “Budapest & the Best of Hungary” to the editor. I was actually ahead of schedule since the deadline was not until October 22nd, but for some reason, I had October 1st in my mind. Actually, when I realized I was pushing myself toward the first needlessly, I maintained that schedule just to be free of it. I was becoming obsessed with reviewing everything that came my way.
With the maps, it came to 328 pages. Yes, the authors have to do the maps too. Fortunately for me, Ron loves maps and he spent over 24 hours cumulatively plotting all of the different things on each map. The worst was the restaurant map; I had over 75 restaurant reviews that needed to be plotted on the map. What makes it most difficult is that they don’t give you a clean map, but the preexisting one, so you have to cross out old markers and re-do everything. Even if a restaurant is still the same, the numbering will change with the new list.
This writing project started on June 5th and other than our ten days in Scotland in August, I have spent 6-12 hours a day working on the book and the chapter for the Rail guide. Normally, over the summer, I would have devoured at least thirty books, but I did not pick up one book. My compulsive personality would not stop with one and the conflict between reading or writing would be too great. I still have photos on my camera from the end of May that I have not put onto the computer yet. My contract arrived when we returned from Rome when Earl was here, so I never did anything with them.
The most difficult part about writing a travel book is trying to make 40 hotel rooms sound different and engage a reader as they read 70+ restaurant reviews. Imagine making 25 Hungarian menus sound diversely appealing. My thesaurus, Flip Dictionary, and Illustrated Reverse Dictionary are in tattered condition.
Now I can read again. Now that I have some free time, the student papers are starting to come in and I am actually looking forward to reading them. I need the diversion.
It is good to be back, but if this brings more travel writing work in the future, it will have been more than worth the effort. It was exhausting, but fulfilling. It will be thrilling to see my name on a book. Sadly, my reader rate for this blog is almost as low as Bush’s approval ratings. I am sure in time, I will be able to get them back up faster than he will.
I have also added an Amazon.com store to our web site with books from Hungary on it as well as the current Frommer’s guides, so when it changes I will have my own there as well.