A while back my friend Elana over at Mindless Musings posted about finding the problem in your
novel. Not the problem with it, mind you, she meant the over-arching plot arc, the main-conflict-save-the-world-from-a-meteor sort of issue. Since I read that post it got me thinking.
And . . . yup . . . thinking.
Well, last week we went on a road trip to visit my in-laws in a small town in Central California. My husband's from a small town and it's a nice quiet place to do absolutely nothing (or to write if the mood strikes). My husband has a car that he absolutely adores, but its pretty old. We bought it for almost nothing and he loves to tinker with it. So the primary intent of the trip was for him and his brother to really fix it up.
The car is old EVERYONE doubted we'd be able to make it safely the 763 miles from our doorstep to Small-town, California, but we did. Just slower and with a much more Zen attitude.
Something that's a must if you're doing a long road trip with 2 kids under 5. Safe and sound in CA we just hung out-though I did go see HP 6 (so good!).
The way home, the part NO ONE made any comments about was where we ran into our "problem." I'm pretty superstitious, but more along the lines of gut feelings. When we got to Vegas, I saw a delayed text message come in from my brother: Did your car die yet? Seriously? Like why would you ask something like that? What kind of bad mojo are you trying to spread?!?
We made it past Mesquite and in a (really nice) Rest Area 13 miles out of Cedar City, our car just couldn't make it any further. Luckily, my dad was on his way back for CA also and was just driving into Vegas, so with info from the DH, I asked him to pick up some things for us. Lucky for us, the Rest Area the car gods decided we needed to hang out at was fully equipped with mowed grass, pavilion covered picnic tables, real flushing toilets (clean bathroom!) and vending machines. Oh, yeah, and, most importantly, COLD A/C!
While we waited for my dad to meet us with the necessary goods, (sounds sort of like a drug deal, didn't that?) I played with the kids and we ate a lovely vending machine lunch. 4-yo P loved it. After our lunch, we broke out some of the kids' travel toys and they played while I dug out my notebook and wrote.
And thanks to the bad mojo, I think I have figured out what's going on in my new project. So thanks to some quality Rest Area time where my biggest problem wasn't, at that moment, my biggest problem, I've found my Big Problem in the writing project. Now we just gotta figure out what the Big Problem in the car project is. Will keep ya posted!
P.S. Clearly we (finally) made it home, but here are some times according to Google how long the trip should have taken us // and our actuals:
Home to our destination in CA = 763 miles, 11 hours & 31 minutes // actual: 763 miles, 14 hours & 18 minutes
CA to home = 765 miles, 11 hours & 28 minutes // actual: 765 miles, 20 hours & 4 minutes
It's a good thing we decided our approach to all problems on this trip was contained in one little three-letter word: ZEN