Three Years on the Road

Been a while since I’ve posted a nomad update. This May will mark three years of living in a box on wheels and I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend my time.

I wake up with a new world to explore each day. I can park on the edge of civilization and walk out into the wild right out my front door. Never far from beaches, mountains, deserts, hill country, and lonely alpine lakes.

And the traffic? Pffft. Little more than deer and some squirrels.

All romanticism aside, this isn’t the life for everyone. The constant uprooting, and searching for signals, and dodging fires, and trying to plot out your healthcare needs from state to state, is challenging. But just when I think I’m about done with it, we get somewhere new and the awe and excitement starts all over.

It took us a lot of time and hard work to get to this point. And the planning, my God, the planning! Two years of careful consideration about how to leave jobs, find new ones, sell our earthly possessions, stumble into the perfect motorhome – all that was just the beginning.

We’re still trying to ace the necessary procedures and repairs and scheduling snafus. Our mail this week is scheduled to arrive a day after we depart from here. And our house next week goes into the shop for some routine maintenance.

(Turns out, the garage won’t let us just inhabit the bus up on the lift like a giant treehouse in a mechanized jungle. Grease monkeys my a$$…)

As of today, we’ve been to 33 states. We’ve enjoyed each in one respect or another. The world looks so different when engaging with people from different walks of life and not shouting at them over the internet. When exploring with your own eyes and feet.

I know many don’t have that luxury though, so I’m happy to supply pictures and stories to help get you there.

Last year, I tried to leave social media behind. As you can see, I’m back, again, shaking my fist at the apparatus as I continue to use it. I don’t feel old except when I think of all the ways people are ignoring each other and keep struggling to find better ways to not do that.

(This week, they announced vaccinations would open up to all adults across the US and I was like, “Damn, there’s adults here???”)

I wanted to explore hope in my writing. Let me tell you, it’s been tough. I’m a cynic at heart and with the way people behave it’s challenging to see how we come out ahead.

The stories I’ve written so far are mostly darkly tinged. That could either be my own inclinations or me holding a mirror up to the world. ‘Cause, that’s my job.

This year I’ve written quite a bit. My acceptances have stalled out at four (two nonfiction, two fiction) but I have at least 10 more in the queues. One I really liked has struggled to find a home but the rest are awaiting judgment.

All of this has meant a focus on publishing the traditional route. I still believe in and support the democratizing power of self-publishing, but the market has been warped. Anybody in that game (except for a few big players and some genres like erotica) is essentially an Amazon employee now. That was never my goal.

(That might tick some people off, but it’s true, and trad is partly to blame for the situation. I could go into a whole rant there, but plenty of those on the endless feeds and scrolls elsewhere…)

My goal is to share stories, plain and simple. Self pub, trad pub, podcasts, however. Failing that, I’ll offer up a few pictures of the places I’ve been to get your imaginations fired up. With a light at the end of the tunnel on this pandemic, maybe we’ll cross paths somewhere. Maybe I’ll get better at the hope thing.

As promised, some shots of our travels. More stories on the way.

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