Posted on

GIIS 2006 China panel preparations

We GIIS China panelists were having dinner together in Amsterdam, and Joachim Bartels was talking about flying Concord and getting special immigration clearance in Moscow. I shook my head. “But you just pay $100 for your tickets, what can you expect?” Richard Charkin teased. A small publishing business with a social mission doesn’t allow for business class travel or expensive hotels. Liz managed, though, to find me a pleasant hotel that’s just a few minutes’ walk along a leafy boulevard from the Hilton, the conference hotel, at 40% the price.

One result of this cost-consciousness is that I had two days at home between the trip to China and this trip to Europe (it was cheaper to plan the trips separately than to get a round-the-world fare). This was wonderful, and frustrating. I loved the chance to sleep in my own bed, to spend some time with David and Rachel, to walk around my garden, and have some time in the office, too. It had rained much of the time I was away but during those days at home the weather was perfect, crisp and bright and cool. After being in China, the Berkshire’s sparkling air and lush greenery seemed more enticing than ever, so leaving again was difficult.

Our small team is working intensely now to make sure we meet our deadlines for this year’s publications, and I wish I could be there with them. We work online well (FYI, for those interested in technical details, with e-mail, Skype phone and IM, and Basecamp for project management), but there’s something very satisfying about being in the office. This is especially true when it comes to design work with Joe (DiStefano), because we like to pull up chairs—or, more usually, Pilates balls—and go through options together. Joe came to us almost right out of college, about a year and a half ago. It’s amazing how much he’s done to reshape and solidify the look of Berkshire Publishing. You’ll see his work all over our website and in all our print materials, and he’ll soon be helping to shape our multimedia efforts as well, with podcasts and videos and webinars.

I’m missing several important events in the Berkshires this week and hope David will get some photos I can post. His latest book, the African American Trail Guide to the Berkshires, is newly published, in time for a bus tour of the county and a weekend conference at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. This is our first local book, which means that we are actually getting some press in the area where we live!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *