News from the Rhode

Come on, we all love puns. Write?

Okay, apologies for that one…

Transitioning back into nomad mode hasn’t been as rough as I worried it might be. I’ll be the first to admit I was uncertain. COVID really altered the landscape. Nothing escaped unscathed and living a remote life was especially impacted.

Once everyone remembered we had this thing called “outdoors” the race was on to fill every available camping spot. An RV arms race started where everybody wanted their own portable hotel room. (I suspect we’ll see some serious buyers’ remorse over the next year or so – it isn’t for everyone).

Since then, reservations have been tricky. Getting a diesel mechanic to work on your RV even trickier. But we’ve persevered. Stuck with the lifestyle we began well before it became all the rage.

And as of a few days ago, we added our first state sticker to our map in quite some time.

Yes, I’m one of the annoying people with a map of the US plastered on the side of our motorhome. And it’s a puzzle nearing completion.

We’ve been to the East Coast before but managed to miss tiny little Rhode Island on the way up. Being such a small state, there aren’t many campgrounds. Coming through in-season, even pre-COVID, open sites were tough to find.

This year, we tackled New England far earlier than any sane person might. The White Mountains of New Hampshire lived up to their name, the trails buried under snow. We spent several nights in freezing temps, our little space heater not quite up to the task.

But we were rewarded with snagging an early spot on the beaches outside Providence along with some unseasonably amazing weather.

With temps in the fifties and sixties (balmy compared to our winter), we seem to have arrived before even the locals figured out spring had arrived. We had the beach all to ourselves for a glorious few days.

It’s in the seventies today. Gorgeous sun on the sandy beaches. A few more people out and about, but hardly the crowds I suspect we’ll see this weekend.

The perfect place for a beach read. One I’m busily trying to finish for your enjoyment.

Book three of the thriller series is underway – about 10k words in. It takes place outside Sequoia National Park where we were stranded when COVID first struck. (Another phenomenal location to visit in early spring.)

For fun, I’ve stranded our hero too. No pandemics though. I think we’ve had enough of that storyline…

Interesting times. It’s damn hard to write fiction anymore with all the things unfolding. For this thriller series, I’ve tended to create fictional accounts sprinkled with real places and history.

(But I don’t want to ever say they’re factual by any measure.)

It’s a relief to write. I always tried to do the same with my SF and Fantasy though I suspect I never moved far enough into escapism for most readers of the genre.

Thrillers set in the present day allow me to lean heavily into real world, recognizable elements then add that layer of creative spark. An offer of intriguing, and exciting, takes on what it means to be living through these tumultuous times.

My chief advance reader, my co-pilot, partner in crime, and wife seems to love them. She’s devoured each in record time. My biggest worry is I won’t be able to write them fast enough.

Thanks again for reading,

Russ



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