First off: The current word count for the first book of my Thriller series is at 82,366.
I’d planned for 80k and after a solid editing pass, it might get cut down to that. But right now, the hero is locked in the back of a squad car in the middle of a raging gun battle and has to figure out how to escape before he can take down the militia sent to round him up…
So I need a few more words.
The last month has been a blur. (There is a pun there. I’ll have to explain it sometime.)
The top secret Hollywood project temporarily wound down. I say temporarily because with any luck there will be more work to come. The process to bring even a small production to screens large and small involves many moving parts. Hats off to the pros that make that magic happen.
A big chunk of my time was spent pitching ideas and outlining episodes for that project. The rest of my time? Well, I had a few other professional obligations and one really huge personal one.
For the past four and a half years my wife and I have lived a life on the road. We chose this lifestyle in part to be free of material things but also to explore this amazing country of ours.
Modern life makes many demands. And we’re in the midst of a societal transition spurred by technology and a growing awareness of how humanity impacts the planet.
Driving across the country has allowed us to see how each region has reacted. To find the place where we most feel at home and best prepared to meet the coming challenges.
The answer to these changes isn’t all technological. One motivator for our nomad life was the fact that we worked jobs that had no reason to require commutes. So why sit in a car two hours a day burning time and fuel only to teleconference from your cubicle? Why waste precious time and wreck the planet? Just because it’s how things were always done?
Some employers thought we were daft for requesting remote work. Cue COVID…
But technology has also laid waste to communities. Social media, as helpful as it can be, has driven people into warring camps and enabled the spread of misinformation and propaganda.
Technology could also be said to have damaged economies by making remote work a reality. Drawing people away from ludicrously priced metropolises and back to rural areas long wounded by the march of what passes for progress.
To me that’s a feature, not a bug.
One of our goals with the RV has been to become fully self sustainable. We have solar panels. We have a generator. We have the ability to store water. We’re responsible for our own waste. It’s taught us much about consumption. About living within our means.
And it’s inspired us to take this self sufficiency to a whole new level. So the other reason I’ve been away from work on my thriller?
We’re in the process of buying a house.
It’s a nineteenth century homestead on a modest plot of land. Enough room for a garden, a small animal pen. We’ll have our own well — in an area of the country where water has yet to become a scarce resource. Be responsible for our own septic system. There’s no neighborhood trash pickup, so we’ll compost and keep other waste to a minimum. Furniture will be reclaimed or pre-owned as much as possible. As for power, the goal is to be fully off-grid.
And this new lifestyle will be made possible by our ability to tap into the cloud from anywhere. A solid blend of the old and new. Living close enough to the land to feel our impact but able to to remain connected to the world at large.
But the homestead won’t be our primary residence. That will still be the RV.
We’re still children of the Heartland. Our family is there. Our roots. And I hope to try and sort out what that means over the coming decades.
For now, we remain nomads just a weird techno-enabled version borrowing from the best of both worlds. We’ll be mobile a good chunk of the year and working at the homestead the other.
All of this ties back into the new series about a guy living a double life while on the run in his RV. The travel will keep the inspirational wheels well-oiled. The time spent working with my hands will keep me grounded. And set the foundation for my family’s next chapter. wherever it may unfold.
Thanks again for coming along on my journey!