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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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