As most of you know, three weeks ago I picked up my life--reduced to 750 pounds--and headed out on the road in a small travel trailer. I've spent the time exploring northeastern Washington, including a loop up into British Columbia, and then down U.S. 95 as far as Lewiston, ID. Went as far east as Glacier National Park and spent a couple of nights in some Washington State Parks.
But this week, I had to return to Seattle to take care of some unfinished business and to meet up with some friends traveling through. We'll caravan down to Pendleton, OR on Saturday. If you are interested in the travel blog, it's at http://firstexit0.blogspot.com. Enjoy.
But this post is really about coming back to Seattle. I've had to travel on many occasions in the past. I've been gone longer than what I was on this loop. I was out for a month on a book tour two years ago. I've always felt like I was coming home when I returned.
That's different on this trip. I pulled into the city and found my campsite, then started navigating my way through familiar streets, stores, banks, and restaurants. I even visited my wife and daughter at the house I still own and when I sat down, the dogs jumped into my lap. When greyhounds jump into your lap, you know you've been jumped!
But I was no longer home. There was the tingle of familiarity about the place when my daughter and I went to dinner at Red Robin. My bankers greeted me by name. The baristas at the coffee shop wanted to know how long I was staying and when I'd be back. But in spite of its familiarity, it is not home. Home is this sixteen and a half foot box that I pull around behind me. It's where I write, read, sleep, and cook. It's the cab of my pickup with a coffee cup in the holder and a cooler of Dr Peppers behind the seat. It's my "always on" Internet connection where I get email from my friends, read stories on SOL, and manage my business.
More than ever before, "Home" is in my head. It is where my characters live. Sometimes the cab of the truck seems a little crowded with all of them talking to me at once. If you don't think characters have an existence outside the story, read my "Triptych Interviews."
And that brings me to progress on "The Props Master." I'm currently working on chapter eighteen of twenty-two. The first three chapters are in the hands of the proofreader/editor, so we're still on schedule to start posting the new story in mid- or late-September. I'm having a great time with this new cast of characters. I hope you enjoy their antics, as well. There is magic afoot, but everything looks so normal and everyday in the life of this college junior theatre major.
I still re-read each chapter of "The Prodigal" as it is posted. I'm looking forward to tonight's chapter as I think it might be one of the sexiest scenes I've ever written. In spite of their obvious connection, I've never really written a three-way scene with Kate, Wendy, and Tony. Well, hang on to your seat. It might not be what you'd expect.
Don't know if I'll dump any more deep philosophical shit on you in this blog again. I just needed a place to put it. Keep reading; I'll keep writing!