Friends and people I meet often ask how I come up with the stuff I write and how long it takes to finish it. Generally, if I have a topic in mind (these usually come to me while I’m driving to or from work), it takes very little time to bang it out. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, even if I have an idea in advance, I wait until the very last minute to actually write the column. Why do something today if you can do it tomorrow — or the next day?

However, every once in a while I find myself absolutely, positively stumped for a topic to write about. And if nothing comes to me, I spend every waking moment thinking and fretting about what I should write, which only exacerbates the problem. That’s when I start wishing we were a monthly­ magazine instead of publishing every two weeks (you know that’s how often we come out, right?).

In fact, here’s a little secret I’ll share with you: Any time you see me writing about the stories in the issue, you can be sure that I went way past the appointed deadline and still had absolutely nothing on my mind — at least, nothing on my mind that I could write
about here.

So it should come as no surprise that I’m about to embark on a tale of a few of the great stories you’ll find in this issue.

But before I do that, I need to remind you all once again that we are in the midst of our 4th Annual Road Warrior contest. It ends on July 14, which is a mere month (or less) from now.

As I read through the entries we’ve already received (yep, there are all sorts of overachievers out there), the most surprising thing so far is how many more entries we have from men than from women. What up with that? Where are you girl road warriors? I see you on the planes, I hear from you via
e-mail, but only one or two of every 10 entries are from a female.

So please click here. and take a look at the fabulous prizes from Hilton HHonors, ­American Airlines AAdvantage, Bose, Panasonic, and T-Mobile that you can win — and at the essay questions you have to answer. Then send us your entry. I’d really love to see at least a 60/40 male/female split this year.

Of course, contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about Road Warrior. In addition to the beautiful Jennifer Connelly giving us a personal tour of London, Ken McAlpine, who’s written for us for more than a decade (and is no doubt approaching two), shares 12 travel experiences that everyone should enjoy. I’ve only done three, so I’m itching to get out there and try the others.

Carl Honoré, a frequent contributor who lives in London, tells us about a celebrity British chef who has practically taken over a small English town. Once you read his story on Rick Stein, you’ll want to add Padstow to that list of places you hope to visit someday.

While you may feel cheated that I couldn’t come up with a topic for this issue, it should be more than made up for by all of the great stories we’ve put together for you.

Better yet, I already have an idea for the July 1 issue, so you won’t want to miss that.

Picture of Sheri Burns