OK, so I've got this manuscript I need to finish. I need time. I also need acccess to the "three 'S's" when I want them. What are those? Socialization. Solitude. And snacks, of course. I found a lot of places that offered two, but all three? It seemed like the impossible dream. Then I found the answer...become an Author in "Train"ing! I'm going to write while I ride the train!
Here's the plan.... About a month from now, I'll be getting on a train in Chicago. Then, for the following 7-10 days, I'll be seeing America by rail! Sometime during the last two weeks of June, if you live along a route between Chicago and Seattle, or between Chicago and L.A., or between L.A. and Seattle, I may be passing in your vicinity. Crazy, you say? Quite possibly, but it's a harmless, fun kind of crazy—also known as eccentric. It'll give us all something to talk about.
Why am I telling you all of this? To facilitate your involvement, of course! How can you be involved? Let me explain:
1. During my time as an Author in "Train"ing, I'll be blogging. If I meet someone interesting, I'll blog it. If I get severely motion-sick, you'll hear about it. If I find myself in awe of the beauty I see out the window, I'll try to describe it so you can see it, too. TEASER ALERT: There's a good possibility that I may post excerpts from the novel!
2. As a travel my yet-to-be-unveiled route, I will post in advance the times and locations where the train will be stopping, hopefully, 24 to 48 hours in advance. That way, if you want, you can stop by to say "hi," or interview the eccentric writer, or bring me homemade cookies! Seriously, though, if you live anywhere near the route and you want to meet me at the station, I'd love for you to. All I ask is, if your station is a middle-of-the-night stop, give me a little advance warning (let's say before sundown) so i can be awake to greet you.
3. The whole initial purpose, if you recall, was to get my book finished. My set-in-stone deadline is June 30, but ideally, I'd like to finish it a few days earlier, while I'm still "in 'train'ing" and have less interruptions than at home. I'll be trying to blog each day, if I have internet access, and plan on including on my progress with the novel, each time I post—a chapter finished, a current word count, possibly even an excerpt now and then!
4. Here's the most eccentric of all.... You can invest in the book—literally! Here's what I mean. When I first started looking at this idea, it felt cost-prohibitive. Granted, it's not that much, but as a writer, my income is sporadic, and my husband's goes pretty much to cover the basics of life. But the train kept calling to me, and while I was puzzling how to afford the whole thing, the thought came to me.... If I can find 25 people who would each give me $25, I'd have enough! That doesn't seem so hard, does it?
So far it hasn't been! In less than 24 hours, I have 4 donors pledged. (Thanks, G.O., S.M., L.W., and A.H. you're all angels!) Obviously, I want to find a way to say "thank you," so here's what I'm thinking. Out of all my donors, I'll hold a drawing (done by an employee on the train). First prize will be an autographed copy of the book, when it's published. Second prize, an e-copy of the book. Third place will be a collection of my short stories, or The Metamorphs children's story. And everyone who gives will be included in the acknowledgements of the book, in a special thank you section, exclusively for "Angels in 'Train'ing."
So. there you have it. If you decide to help me out, I can't promise you fiscal accountability, except my own integrity, but I can promise financial responsibility. If you're interested, or have questions, or want to donate, feel free to leave a comment here, with your contact info, and I'll get back to you. The comments are moderated, so it won't be broadcast on the internet.
Well, I guess that's about it for now. I look forward to having you join me on my adventure as an Author in "Training"!