Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing On The Road...

 — Okay, Not ON the Road, Because I Wouldn’t Write on a Road, Like With Chalk or Anything, But . . .

Well, you know what I mean, right?
I’ve been traveling quite a bit this year with Mr. Don. Mostly motoring, but I jumped on a few flights as well. Family commitments, a conference, more family—it all takes time. Hours in a car, then on a jet, with my brain thinking ahead on what needs to be done when we get there. But regardless of what Don and I are doing that requires travel, I still need to work. As an acquiring editor, I have authors depending on me to get their manuscripts ready for publication. I have submissions to read. And as a writer, I have my own deadlines on several projects.
So I write on the road. No chalk in sight, either.
It’s a balancing act, and I do mean balancing. In a mid-sized Suzuki on the freeway, working with a laptop can really be challenging especially since I have a heck of a time dealing with the little touch pad. What a major PITA . . . I’m borderline dyslexic on the best of days. At home I employ not only a trackball mouse but a full-sized ergonomic keyboard to keep my wayward fingers from hitting something that ends up looking like ‘KSDhsgosugsazb ,mmm.’

Earlier this year and on the road south, I fought with the stupid touch pad but couldn’t click on anything to save my soul. So I tried using my trackball by setting it on the narrow arm rest molded into the passenger door which was kind of ridiculous. But I was desperate for functionality and the ability to double-click with any kind of finesse. A Kensington trackball shaped like a triangle doesn’t balance very well on an arm rest that’s no wider than a wooden ruler. After enduring the ‘Laughter of Don,’ I tucked away my trackball and grumbled for the next several hundred miles we drove each day. But I did master the touch pad enough to complete final edits on a deadline manuscript.

 In two months we’re hitting the road again, and we’ll be gone for six months or so; Texas, the southwest, home to Alaska. We’ll be in the RV, on a plane, back in the Suzuki, and I’ll be doing my balancing act once more. Work goes on no matter what, and I’ve found I can blend it in with the more enjoyable aspects of being on the road without missing too much scenery along the way.

I think the best aspect of both my jobs is the flexibility of it. I can edit and write anywhere, anytime, and wearing anything I like. Or not, though I have yet to write in the nude. Perhaps that can be a future challenge. But not in the Suzuki. What if I spill my latte while I’m double-clicking?
Think of the damage I’d do to my laptop.

Char Chaffin is a member of AKWRA and CNYRW, a displaced Alaskan currently splitting her time between Fairbanks and Upstate New York. She has three books and an anthology published with Soul Mate Publishing and is also an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate. She’s hard at work on her fourth novel as well as another anthology and a project with ‘The Power of Three,’ a writing collective she shares with BFFs and fellow authors Cheryl Yeko and Callie Hutton. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s plotting.

Find her here:


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Love that last line!
I have found that writing on the road isn't too bad, but emailing and such is more of a challenge. I had a few days on my last trip when I couldn't get online in the hotel room (oh no!) and had to come up with a Plan B.

Anonymous said...

I envy anyone who can write on the road, with or without chalk. My feeble little mind is too visual, Oh, look, a squirrel.