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“Don’t Let the Sound of Your Own Wheels Drive You Crazy” June 19, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in cats, conventions, history, ideas, Texas, weather, westerns, writing.
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It’s been like that this week. Tiring driving back and forth to eastern Oklahoma. I missed getting my car pummeled with baseball-sized hail by 24 hours in Oklahoma City. OKC is, by the way, a horror to drive through. One pass through they closed I-40 due to a wreck. Another closure dealt with an ammunition truck overturned. Closures of all but one lane makes for a terrifying Venturi effect along the damned whappa-whappa-whappa concrete slab freeway. If they didn’t have the highway numbers painted on the roadbed, I’m not sure I could ever get through the spaghetti maze of roads.

But there is some benefit staring at the miles of miles in the Panhandle, zooming past the largest cross in North America (Groom, TX), seeing the devastation of drought and fire, seeing the flooding in OK only miles to the east. First time I was in Tahlequah about 6 weeks ago, it was so dry that the lightning bugs weren’t even out at night. This time big ones flashed their cheery greeting since it had rained so much in the interim. Love lighting bugs. Hate bugs. Especially the vampire-sized mosquitoes. One good suck at a vein and I am drained.

But the benefit of driving. This is probably wrong but my brain turns off on empty stretches, and there were lots of them. Not much traffic (except for the idiot woman from Arkansas in a mini Cooper who would zoot past me at 85, then slow to 60 so I’d pass and then repeat. Endlessly. Or the subcompact piled 3 stories high with…who knows what. The cross winds were having a field day with that poor sucker. I won’t even mention the mugger trucker so stoned he could hardly stay in two lanes and a shoulder. Or the semi that got blown over just west of Amarillo.) The benefit of turning off my mind. Yes, I am still groggy from the road.

Ideas pile up and spill out since I don’t have any other distractions. No phone, no cats, no doorbell, that funny noise that wasn’t there a minute before (if I get one of those on the road, I turn up the CD until I can’t hear it any longer) I hit upon a nice fantasy short story idea for an anthology that I hope I’m not too late to submit to. Got to write the story, but it’s a good one, so… Two new western plots. A story line for a new Jackson Lowry novel. Rewriting mentally a story I had just done (wrong pov, I figured, but am letting it stand with only a small amount of additional stuff required). Some mental writing on Hot Rail to Hell. Very productive drives idea-wise. Not once did I think of Pantex blowing up as I passed. But I did think of the helium mines. And of course thinking on the Albuquerque Comic Expo at the end of this week. Wheee!

I leave you with this…

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