Archive for August, 2014

Writing about writing

This post is part of a blog tour originated at Sor’a Garrett’s The Shine Connection blog. Karen Sanderson asked if I would like to participate and of course I said I would. Then life got in the way. Karen’s blog reminds me that she has just taken on a new job and gone back to college, so I realize I can’t complain about the complications that made me temporarily forget this commitment. I will at least answer the questions!

Then I’ll introduce you to two bloggers whose work I greatly enjoy but I have not contacted them to ask if they would participate. I can only ask that you check out their blogs and see if they speak to you as they have to me.

What am I currently working on?

I have two blogs, Moments in Time and this one, At Home…On the Road

This blog is an account of an RV trip my husband and I took in the winter of 2012-13. Now it also includes an account of the trip I just finished in the summer of 2014, driving from Virginia to California by myself. It will be mostly dormant until I travel again and Moments in Time will get more attention.

How does my work differ from others in the same genre?

I am not writing for pay nor to promote any resort or hotel, so my perspective is entirely my own. My travel blog is not simply a recitation of where I’ve been but what I’ve observed and sometimes questions I’ve had about what I’ve seen. A careful reader will notice that my posts have changed substantially on the solo trip from the earlier one. Driving only part time on that first trip allowed me much more leisure for observations and ruminations on them.

Why do I write what I write?

At Home…On the Road is an outgrowth of the logs I kept of our trips when our children were young. Those were handwritten in notebooks of questionable permanency and may be fought over by our children when we are gone.

The blog is also a way to keep family and friends informed of our travel without having to answer the same questions in email multiple times. I have found it also keeps details fresh that would fade oh-so-rapidly now that short-term memory banks are either full or fried.

The travel writing is also to bring to attention those details we so often overlook. Do you recognize an old railroad bed when the rails are gone? What does that line of solitary poles going up a canyon indicate?

Moments in Time are those stories from my own life that maybe I understand differently now than I did when they happened or they may help someone else going through a similar setback. Mostly they are to remind us that the many small, “meaningless” things we do in our lives may have a profound impact on another life.

Describe your writing process.

In the car I jot down notes of what I see or what I am thinking so I have material to flesh out where-we-went and how-we-got-there. On the solo trip, I found that talking out loud to myself helped me cement those ideas I couldn’t get down on paper. I would practice describing the scene to someone else and found myself composing that evening’s post.

For Moments in Time I keep a list on the computer of stories I want to develop. Sometimes in the process of writing a story, I am reminded of a related event, so I add it to the list.

The stories in Moments tend to be more polished, as they need to stand alone. I review and rework the travel posts, check for spelling and grammar and clarity, but don’t spend much time rewriting or finding just that fresh, cogent description I might find if I devoted more time to the process.



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We left Kingman, ready to greet the day. Interstate 40 makes a big swing to the south then west then north again to get to Needles, CA, so I figured we’d go straight west to Laughlin, NV…a new state for Allie… then catch US 95 and take it south to I-40 west of Needles. But somewhere in Laughlin we crossed the river (the only river in miles is The River…the Colorado) and didn’t realize it. (more…)

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Allie and I had a wonderful supper last night at an Italian bistro in the middle of Williams. We enjoyed Zuppa Toscana and a scrumptious salad then headed back to the motel on the edge of town. We went to bed early, had trouble getting to sleep, slept a little, were awake a long time, repeat, repeat. Ack…not what we wanted before a big day. (more…)

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August 6, 2014

I’ve spent the last couple of days with my granddaughter Allie’s mom and her family in a suburb of Phoenix. The weather, as one would imagine, has been hard to adjust to especially after spending a few days at higher elevations. The hardest part for me is realizing just how hot it gets in a closed car when the outside temperature is 104. (more…)

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Excuse me, dear readers, while I answer the morning’s email:

Dear Louise, I wish that you were riding shotgun! By the time I left VA (while you were gallivanting on the other side of the world), I could have filled a small bus with all the people who wanted to join me on this trip! Thanks for the wonderful pictures of Texas…I’ve been to several of those places. One thing they left out is the awesome margaritas in Texas. Just sayin’…Love, Thelma. (more…)

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Once again I set off under what my friend Donna calls “messy skies”. I love her description: the wide sky is like a double page in a children’s book on weather, showing every kind of cloud formation there is.  This is the monsoon season in the desert southwest and it seems the higher you are, the more rain there is likely to be. But I’m getting ahead of myself. (more…)

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I drifted off to sleep last night to the sound of gentle rain and woke to cooler temps and lighter clouds. Donna and I found another place for breakfast and enjoyed one more scrumptious meal. Checkout from the inn, which had no vacancies for tonight, confirmed my tentative plans to continue up the road after breakfast. (more…)

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It is a good thing my blogging friend called me before she arrived at the hotel, as I hadn’t slept well and was finally sleeping soundly at 7:15. Then the hot water refused to make its presence known, so I got half a shower…one half of my hair wet, the other half dry. Despite the rocky start, the rest of the day was memorable. (more…)

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