I’m at Carina headquarters in Toronto this week (which is actually Harlequin headquarters) and it occurs to me there are some things that make me happy about being here, in the office, for these visits.
1) Congee Queen. None of my co-workers will be surprised by this. My favorite lunch place. I dream about their food when I have to go without for a few months (as I will this summer since I’m not coming back until September).
2) Jayne’s laugh. She has the best laugh when something tickles her fancy, and she shares the thing that made her laugh in this great “laughing” voice that makes me smile, even heard across the office.
3) Amy’s rants. She’s so quiet and unassuming. And then something sets her off and…watch out. Now our desks are too far apart and I don’t get to see many of the rants when I’m here. This makes me sad (and I go out of my way to find things to tell her in our acquisition meeting in hopes of inspiring one. Yes. I’m evil.)
4) In-person meetings. I don’t mind doing meetings via phone (I do a lot of them) but it’s nice to be here every so often and see people’s facial expressions during the meetings. Not just the Carina meetings, but the Harlequin meetings I have weekly as well.
5) Being able to interrupt Malle and/or Eleanor every 5 minutes with the newest thought to cross my brain, Twitter or email (I suspect this is not their favorite part of my visits, ha!) We work in open concept, so they can’t shut their doors. The closest they could come is headphones. They haven’t resorted to that. Yet.
6) The Harlequin Hallway of Fun (aka where they put the boxes of that months’ releases for the taking). Even though I don’t read print books, I love browsing the hallway to see what’s released and what I want in digital. And then I end up taking a few anyway, because they’re perfect for reading on the plane during takeoff and landing.
7) The hotel bathroom/shower. I stay at the Westin Prince in Toronto which has double showerheads. Seriously, I never. want. to. leave. Also, the bathroom has a makeup mirror (love) though they could seriously do with better lighting in the bathroom for makeup application.
8 ) Impromptu brainstorming sessions. Hard to do via email. Easy to do when you’re in the office!
9) Jenny Bullough. Just because.
10) These (if I can buy this particular flavor in the States, I haven’t figured it out yet):
11) Being able to order a Caesar at a bar (which I do at the airport every trip). A Caeser is definitely a northern drink, and one I got used to being able to order when I lived in North Dakota, but you can’t order them in the South (though at least there you can order real sweet tea!)
12) This may be my favorite thing: dinners out. And not (just) for the food and drink. I’m fortunate to get to meet with authors while I’m here (both Carina and aspiring) for dinners that Leah Braemel helps organize. And Malle is ten kinds of awesome and always arranges a dinner with her and I, and then often with her, I and other team members. I love love love these dinners. Love. For more reasons than I can ever list here.