Road Tripping in Novel Writing

by Miranda Brumbaugh in

Sure, a road trip from Eastern South Dakota to Western Washington with just me and a four-year-old sounds like hell on earth. In some ways you are exactly right in your assessment. However, with any struggle we reap great rewards, and my oh my, the rewards keep rolling in, even though we've been back for 72 hours. 

Seattle Great Wheel allows for turning one's wheels in their mind

As a full-time freelance writer, I cannot leave home without my laptop, notebooks plural, plethora of pens, endless stream from Spotify, and a voice recorder that has saved me many a time from losing an idea and from losing control of the steering wheel when said idea pops into my head. This time 'round, we also went prepared with two Audible books: The Wizard of Oz as read by Anne Hathaway (yes, of Les Mis fame) and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making #1 of the Fairyland Series.


Books may well be the only true magic.

Alice Hoffman

...and the saving grace of, not only my son's boredom, but also of my own writing. ..

See, I have been working on a fiction novel for oh, over a year now, and it had come to the point where I was beginning to doubt if I'd ever finish it. The plot pushed far from my conscious and I'd lost interest, energy, esteem for the story. Thanks to those two audiobooks, ironically based on strong female characters who travel to faraway lands as this is exactly the setup of my OWN NOVEL.


I think not in coincidences alone unless they are backed by a supernatural force, the driving ether behind all decisions whether good or bad. If you are living, in fate or in destiny, your choices lead to side roads along the highway of life. For me, the seemingly unconscious choice to listen to my inner voice drove me to become re-inspired in my own writing while listening intently to the voice of Hathaway and about a red dragon whose father is a library.

I formed connections and characters, reevaluated plot lines and conflicts, and re-invented settings and communities for my story. I returned home, haggard and worse for wear physically, not to mention pitifully penniless, but with a renewed interest in my story. Now, rather than getting stuck in the ditch while forging through rewrite after rewrite, I have identified endless dirt roads, exit ramps, interstates and sidewinders that will get me to the finished line. 

Victrola Latte by WordRidden

Of course I cannot fail to mention that I returned from Seattle, the mecca of the coffee bean, with 9 pounds of gourmet blends I procured from everywhere from Victrola Coffee Roasters to Seattle Coffee Works to Trader Joe's. An outstanding cup of java is a certain motivator for most any novelist. 

Now, back to writing about birch trees, the deepest ponds, and flowers with funk.