Monday, August 8, 2011

Ah, the Writing Life


I’m writing this from the passenger seat of a Subaru Outback, speeding down I-25. We’re heading for three seventy-degree days and two thirty-seven-degree nights in the Rocky Mountains. A bed and breakfast, lake view, hiking, reading, and probably nine holes of golf.

Before I was published, I had a fantasy about the writing life. Oh, I knew it was a job, and that you had to put in the hours and effort. I knew sometimes writing is hard – after all, I was writing. I just wasn’t published yet.

But when I became a full-time writer, things were going to be different. For one thing, I’d travel a lot. You can write anywhere, so why not do it someplace fun? Plus, one of the things I like least about travel is the actual, you know, travel. Time spent in airports and on airplanes, on shuttle buses or waiting for the train. But as a writer, that time becomes downright useful. We could spend a month in Mexico or New England and keep Colorado as a home base.

And then there was the conversion van idea. Smaller than an RV, but self-sufficient. We could wander the country, exploring back roads and meeting new people. I could write just as I am right now, in the passenger seat. Or sitting at a picnic table under California redwood trees, under an umbrella with my toes in the sand.

None of that happened, of course.

Like many other writers, most of my travel involves research, or a conference or convention. Promotion takes a lot of time and organization, so it’s not just a question of hanging out with my muse and churning out the words. And we have rental properties, which we manage ourselves, so leaving for a month at a time is out of the question.

So we go on little jaunts like this, and I write in the car. I’ll put in some time on the keyboard sitting on the veranda and looking up at the lake. In another two weeks I’m heading to Seattle to promote Wined and Died, and my guy will hold down the fort at home. I’ll write on the plane and set my alarm early to get in a few pages before my hosts awaken.

It’s a good life, and I love it. I’m not giving up on the conversion van idea though.


For the month of August my first Home Crafting Mystery, Lye in Wait, is available as a free download for the Kindle and Nook.


  1. Man-as much as I love this idea, I think I wouldn't be productive in the actual MOVING time. I get car sick... and I get caught in people watching in airports... I can EDIT on a plane, but not so much on the writing... I do love the idea though, of enough success that someplace atmospheric could be a second home... a beach... maybe two beaches--one in Mexico and one in Oregon. My main craving for being a full time writer, though, is the giving up the day job thing so I only have ONE job (and one I love) and having some time that isn't 5am to exercise...

  2. I'm soooo jealous! It's about 100 degrees here in Texas, with super high humidity and a heat index of @110. It's days like this I really miss living in southern California!

  3. Travel to different locales always stirs a new vigor in my writing. Life is different, the people are different, the place is different. A great way to find a new piece or writing.

    Maybe travel writers do have it figured out.

  4. Hi from Canada. I follow your blog, but I don't know if I've ever commented. I'm a not yet published writer. This post is timely; at 5 AM tomorrow morning my guy and I will be heading off into the wilds of Quebec (and I mean wilds, no cell phone service, nothing). I'm looking forward to it. We'll be lazing by a lake but I of course will be also writing. I'll think of you.

    Hope you have fun.