First I thought my feet were stuck in the mouth of a snow monster. Yes, I know, don't ask. Then I thought I somehow managed to stick a foot out of the train window, and the horror of this idea is what woke me up. No, my feet were okay, there were just very cold. I'm staying in an old haunted (it totally is haunted, just look at it) rowhouse, and the insulation is something that is of short supply here. I sat up, reeling. Then I thought, no, I'm not reeling, it's my brain. It's sloshing around in my skull after it got used to the train and its constant motion.Read More
Disclaimer. This post was supposed to be about the rhythm of your sentences, but it would have to wait. Till next post. Because. Some awesome shit happened yesterday. I'm still in the middle of it. And it is . . . are you ready? I'm not even ready myself. Here is the story.
Once upon a time someone mentioned on Twitter (I know, I know, it's where I get my news) something about Amtrak starting a writer's residency program, where they pay for your ticket to some city and back, and your part is to write about it. Anything. An article, an observation, a short story, whatever. There's been excitement around it, at first. Of course. Man, people love trains! There is something about the lull in the movement, the length of the beast, the walking from one compartment to the other, the gazing out the windows, the sleeping. It's the sleeping that I love most. To the staccato of wheels, to this propulsion in the night, when it's dark out, and you look and see a blur of trees and lights and wonder what you're passing. Wonder what eyes are watching you, out of the dark. Wonder. It's like a house on wheels, only it's better than a car. A car is on the road, roads are always leading to towns, cities, places where there are people. You can walk a road. But trains! Trains like to cut through wilderness, through places where there are hardly any people at all. Yes, some roads are desolate, but not as desolate as train tracks. Stephen King comes to mind, both with his novella The Body about a boy being killed on the train tracks and 3 boys finding his body, and the demented monorail train Blaine the Mono from The Dark Tower. Something about them, right? Something. Something special.Read More