According to the inventor of transactional analysis, Eric Berne, “reachback” is that time period during which preparations for a trip you’re about to make interfere with your normal daily routine. “Afterburn” is the period after the trip during which getting all the piled-up post-trip business interferes with daily life. Berne suggests that a person concerned with keeping his or her stress levels low should try to avoid having the reachback of one trip overlap with the afterburn of the last.
(snort) Just not possible, sometimes. Here we are just barely recovered from the terrific Discworld Convention in beautiful Hinckley, Leicestershire, and within a matter of days we’re heading out for Worldcon. And there are the usual endless minutiae to handle. Where are the air tickets? Is the laundry done? Drop off the old tuxedo. Rent the new one. Is there enough cat food? Did we stop the mail? Is the Tivo-clone programmed for CSI and The West Wing? …Etc. Etc. Etc.
Still, it’s going to be fun… (I keep telling myself that. I look forward to moving out of the predictive mode and into the genuinely fun part.)