by Sheila Connolly
If all goes as planned, when you read this I will be in County Cork, Ireland, where my grandfather was born, doing research for a new and yet unnamed mystery series. I shrewdly set most of the series in a small pub in a small town, so much of this research will consist of sitting in pubs and listening to people talk--how they sound, and what they talk about. I hope some of them will even talk to me, and if I've very lucky, I'll persuade a pub owner to show me how things work (like how to pull a proper pint of Guinness).
But the problem with traveling these days is keeping in touch with the cyberworld. I'll be gone for two weeks, and in that time my email inbox will fill to overflowing, and my provider will send me nasty messages and simply jettison anything else that comes in. Not good.
I remember the first time I left the country. I was all of 21, and my mother was convinced she'd never see me again. She made me promise to send her a telegram from the airport to let her know I'd landed safely. I did, but the country's telegraph workers were on strike at the time, so she got the telegram a couple of weeks later. (I was a starving student, so placing a phone call was out of the question.)