Going Downtown

It never seems to fail that when it’s the perfect “stay at home and write” weather, that’s when I have to go somewhere. Yesterday, I had to speak to a university class, which meant driving across the metro area in the cold rain, and then back at the beginning of rush hour. Today, it’s raining even harder and is even colder, and I was planning to go downtown today to check in for the mystery convention so I wouldn’t have to worry about it in the morning.

But, given the weather forecast and the fact that it would be at least a two-hour excursion even if I were able to just go to the head of the line and catch the next train back, I made the executive decision to just deal with it in the morning. It’ll be cold then, but it won’t be raining.

In all this researching of train schedules, I found that the old option may be the best. For a long time, the only train from my city to downtown Dallas was the big commuter train that stopped at the downtown station, about 25 minutes or so from my house. I was so glad when they got the light rail through my part of town, with the station only about 15 minutes away.

But when I was looking up the train schedules, I found a notice saying that the downtown light rail tracks will be closed on Saturday. On a normal day, I’d have to take the train to downtown, then catch another train that goes right to the train station at the convention hotel. On Saturday, I’d have to take the train to near downtown, catch a shuttle bus to the downtown station, then catch another train to the convention hotel. I figured it might be worthwhile to go downtown and catch the big train, which is on different tracks and goes straight to the convention hotel. That’s when I saw that the commuter train is a 19-minute trip to downtown, while light rail is 40 minutes to downtown, plus waiting for another train to get to the convention hotel (which adds maybe 10-15 minutes). The downside to the big train is that it only runs once an hour during the day, every half hour during rush hours, while the commuter train runs every 20 minutes. But I’ll be traveling in rush hour. Even with the extra 10-15 minute drive to the station, it’s a faster trip, and I won’t have to wait at a semi-sketchy station to change trains. I’ll just have to be absolutely certain to catch the train, so no lingering after panels.

We’ll see what I can learn about how to write a mystery, and what I can learn about plotting a mystery that I can use in my other writing to build tension and suspense.

No posting the rest of the week because I’ll be downtown in panels.

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