Road Trip

It’s been some time since Tom and I up and got out of Dodge for a true road trip. I’d forgotten how much fun they are. You know, stuff a few things in a travel case, throw it in the car–after putting the novel manuscript in the freezer (I never trust electrons alone)–and remember to bring sunglasses and a road map. Try not to think about price of gas. No advance reservations.

We headed south from Wenatchee, crossed the Columbia River into Oregon, and south to Bend, Crater Lake, Ashland, and Eureka California. Destinations: Redwoods! We stopped when we felt like it, and drove like hell when it seemed like a good idea. I can’t remember the last time I saw the Sequoia Sempervirons, but whenever it was, I had totally forgotten how wonderful those monster trees are. They seem to erupt from the ground, looming 400 feet or so, which is a long stretch. The biggest are fifty feet in circumference, and the impression amid a forest of them . . . quite inspiring, and a lot humbling.

Without boring you with arty pictures, I’ll just share this stupid one. Yes, that’s me hugging a tree.

6 Responses

  1. lmarley says:

    You’re both beautiful.

  2. I’m so jealous of you getting to hug one a redwood! One day, before I die, I want to have a picture of me doing that too.

  3. Kay says:

    Hugging Redwods

    Yes, but then you have to suffer through having the picture taken, and people really will look at you funny.

  4. Re: Hugging Redwods

    One should then kiss the tree! Resulting in an even BETTER picture and more confuzzled passerby. 😉

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m going through the list of members of the Pacific Northwest Writers Group. ( I guess its a group, maybe a gaggle)
    Oh well I digress. I have been visiting websites to try and determine if there are less desperate people than myself out there who happen to put words to paper and think they have created something.

    My wife and I (almost 40 years together) just returned from our trip out of icy spokane to somewhere warm. (I think we must be solar powered). This time we went to Mazatland and I once again had the opportunity to read multiple books and once again I had the opportunity to work on my project.

    I am always surprised at how skilled published writers are at stringing just the right words together to create an uninterrupted string of stuff that can fill over 800 pages.

    That is something i cannot do. I have a story, novel, novella, that i have been working on for many years. I actually paid a editor to edit it and was encouraged by her positive review. (but then I paid her, didn’t I?) I sent out multiple queries and received multiple rejects, all of them disparaging due to the smallness of the story. one agent called it a “brochure”

    The other pitfall for me is the genre. The story started out from a very negative final experience I had hunting in Montana and the realization that I did not want to kill any more animals.

    The original title was Wrongful Death, but then last year someone published a novel with that name and so i renamed it TALKINGPLACE. I have a web site being developed,

    So a friend who has been pushing me to finish the book called me to tell me that there is a contest through Pacific Northwest Writers, and so I called and checked it out. The contest is not so expensive, but the conference is. This trying to get published reminds me of being a tourist in Mexico. Everything is a hustle.

    I have thought about self-publishing, but i really believe the story stands on its own merits and that someone somewhere out there will take a chance. I just have to know if it is viable or not and then I can move on to being the proud owner of a not so durable 130 page manuscrupt style coffee coaster.

    Thanks for listening

    Bill Malloy

  6. Kay says:

    The Publishing Hustle

    Bill- I will try to answer, but the subject is complex. It may help you to start investigating the business side of publishing. Many beginning authors neglect to do this. That’s a mistake. We can’t operate based on assumption about how the field works. Many of these assumptions are wrong. Ask your librarian for books and magazines on getting published.
    Publishing has its traditions and requirements. One of them is to know your genre and be able to tell a publisher what you have and why it is worth their money to invest in.
    Ask yourself why you want to publish This novel. Is it to get the story into print? To launch your writing career? To validate the time you’ve already spent? The answers to these Qs will reveal whether you are seriously committed to becoming a professional writer or not. I’m sorry to tell you that it is indeed sometimes very difficult to break in. You can arm yourself with Knowledge and approach your project from a position of strength… or you can let yourself become discouraged as you fall victim to your own misconceptions about the field.
    I can tell that you have done some research; I’m just saying that it may not be deep enough.
    One of the things you may learn is that publishers shy away from people who have only one book in them. Can you see yourself writing others? Can you see yourself surviving the blow if this piece never sells and you have to put it away and start the next project? (My first novel novel never sold-if I’d given up then, I would not now be the author of nine published novels.)
    If you enter the writing field you will find it very full of ups and downs, not a steady stream of happiness or sorrow. You are never “in,” but always judged by your “last” project. A steady output is the writer’s obligation.
    I encourage you to attend a writer’s conference near you. There are Many people in your shoes. It is so helpful to talk to others experiences the you are going through. http://www.writeontheriver is one example. And PNWA is well worth it, despite the cost. I wish you the very best. –Kay

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