Maine Tripping

[Here’s a tidbit from Jennifer Garske about her trip to Maine]

Sometimes you find your job really does bleed into every part of your life—in the best way possible, I mean. Recently, I was lucky enough to take a vacation to Maine. I went with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to celebrate a birthday. As we prepared for the trip, it occurred to me that we didn’t know much about Maine. When we booked a puffin- and whale-watching tour, my in-laws didn’t know what a puffin was! And I realized I only knew all about these adorable birds because, yes, I had worked on a book about puffins last year.

In my job as a production editor, I have done books on almost anything you can think of. For a couple months I am an expert on everything from mountain lions to Michelle Obama, from those who traveled to the New World before Columbus to the tumult of 1980s America. I even know about puffins. Well, once upon a time I knew about them: the different kinds of puffins, what they eat, how they find food, and how they go from little fuzzy baby birds to colorful adults. But that knowledge has faded in the months since I had immersed myself in the puffin universe, and even I had forgotten they can be found off the coast of Maine.

So before my trip, I flipped through my Puffins book in our Nature Watch series. Then I looked at the Humpback Whales book in the same series. And that led me to the Maine book in our Hello USA series. I found a biography by Milton Meltzer on author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who lived part of his life in Maine. I even found an On My Own History titled Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie that takes place in Maine! One book led to another until I had found a cache of books to get me ready for my trip.

My magical Maine vacation was close to perfect. I like to think part of the reason is that all those random bits of trivia—gleaned from many LPG titles—came in handy when I was out exploring. And there really is no better way to bring your work along with you!