March 30, 2020

Week 1: Riding and Writing (from the) Road

The Hubble at the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center.

(Photo by author).

It has begun.

Last week, we issued the preamble to all that is Dark Skies 2014. This week sees wheels a rollin’ with a quick stop over on the Florida Space Coast. A small step (for a) man, sure, and not the darkest skies, but a stop over at the Kennedy Space Center is a must for any space fan. We’ve been by the KSC both as press and as a tourist about a dozen times over the past six years, and there’s always something new to be seen. Atlantis is now up for exhibit, and we always find that the Holiday Inn in Titusville is a great jump off point for hitting the Space Center.

Sure, it’s not a chicken truck in Cambodia, but we always find it a challenge to keep up with writing and working from the road. It’s amazing to think that in a few short years, we’ve went from carrying a mobile phone and note pad to towing cameras, smart phones, tablets and more. Heck, even the dog has a GPS receiver. Not that I’d go back to the old mode of do-it-yourself travel, with piles of traveler’s checks in a concealed money belt and a film camera that might (or might not) be ruined on the next trip through the x-ray machine.

Life of the road is an adjustment, and writing and working from the road doubly so. In one sense, a weight is lifted, as there’s not those household chores like mowing and dishes continually drawing you away. But it’s always a challenge to grab those writing hours from the road, especially when the pool calls after a long travel day.

And speaking of which, you can generally classify any given day on the road in three categories:

-A travel day, a day when you pack up ‘base camp’ and get from point A to B;

-An exploration day, whether it be visiting, fact-finding and scouting out the new neighborhood. Hey, writers have to occasionally experience the world in order to actually write about it, right?

-And finally, the often overlooked but essential maintenance day. Because laundry stacks up quickly.

I can tuck in a quick hour or two of writing time on nearly any of these days. I’ve written from the passenger seat in the car, on the bus, by the pool, and in the laundry room. Sure, internet connections aren’t always guaranteed, but I actually find I’m sometimes more productive without it, as it forces me to pick and choose what tasks are really important. I can write an outline, put notes together, and have a draft assembled all without the ‘convenience’ of the net. This is doubly true for fiction writing, and I’ve been known to flip the ‘wifi’ switch off during a creative spurt to keep the outside world at bay. What would you choose to do on the internet if you only had access to it an hour each day?

Anyhow, week one is under way… today (day 3) we head for exotic Orlando and adventure. More to come!

Follow us on Twitter as @Astroguyz for the continuing adventures of #DarkSkies2014.


  1. [...] all days on the road are created the same. We discussed this phenomena early on in our current sabbatical, of how movement days versus exploration days versus maintenance days stack up. The problem [...]

  2. [...] alpha must have an omega, and this week sees us bringing our 2014 expedition to a close. Since June 1st, we’ve hit 37 of the 50 states in the U.S., and toured the four corners [...]

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