Have you ever wanted to get behind the wheel of your car and just drive?

No destination, no agenda, just drive. Would you head north or southeast or west? Would you stay in your own country or would you crossover one of the borders surrounding us? Do you head north to Canada or south to Mexico? Would you stick the city roads or are you the type to try to back roads of our great country?


Some people pass through places, not making connections. Perhaps you’ll take your time; stopping at a small diner and getting to know the people. Asking questions about their lives and finding out what their hopes are for their futures can give you not only insight about them, but ideas for stories.

Maybe you drive straight through, stopping only for necessities, to reach your destination Your answers will tell you a lot about your personality: perhaps you’re a driven person, with a goal and agenda. Or are you someone comfortable meandering through life? Neither one of them is wrong. It’s simply who you are.


For me if I were given an opportunity I would visit the small towns and explore the countryside. It would be a perfect way to find the sights most people won’t find on the cover of a fancy travel magazine. There’s something about driving by a field of cotton or corn feeling in tune with nature, wondering when the crops will be harvested. If I found a park, I’d stop to walk the pathways, find little creeks for skipping stones when the mood takes me, and picking wildflowers as they bloom.


This sounds idealistic, I know, but wouldn’t this be a wonderful way of life? To sit back and enjoy what God’s given us. No timetables, no time clocks, only the ability to enjoy life and help a person or two along the way.

Of course, it’s only a dream. There are too many responsibilities in our lives; bills to pay, children to raise and preparing for the future. We are sometimes too busy putting away for the future that we forget to enjoy the present, and we never really appreciate the past.

So what if we can only wander the back roads of the country on weekends? We can still enjoy our own immediate environment. I would bet right in your own hometown there are small parks you’ve never visited, views you’ve never pulled off to enjoy. If you drive a little way out of town, I’m sure there are places to find that you’ve never even imagined.


My challenge to you? Learn to enjoy what you have around you. Get in the car and take a ride, see what’s around your own town. Or better yet; get on your bike or walk, and find what’s in your own neighborhood.

Think of the possible stories you can create from all these new experiences and locations!



Time to Say Farewell…

This past week I had to say goodbye to an old friend.

The one my son commonly called the toaster. My business was a mere five years old we bought this car, and it lasted for 12 years taking me to and from my customers homes, nursery shopping, and running around town. Sometimes she overflowed with flowers and herbs, giving me a full day’s work and an everlasting supply of different scents. It was a well-known car in town, between the shape and the logo ( a white Scion), and I often heard people saying they had seen me driving around from job to job in my unique car.

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It’s funny how you form an attachment too an animate object. I knew every nook and cranny of my car and the sounds she made, so I realized she was in trouble. And I had to make the decision to let her go, the time was here for her retirement.
After a fond goodbye, I now I have something new, “does happy dance”! It’s bigger and bluer, and I’m hoping it will last me another 12 years.

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As a writer, I look back and I see I’ve given my characters unique cars setting them apart (Megan has an open jeep, Aiden has a cherry red ’65 cutlass, Jake has a red motor scooter), or gave them their own attachments with another item (Megan has a special bracelet, Makenzie wears a lightning rock). It’s easy to transfer your own emotions into your writing, your own likes and dislikes (Megan love chocolate, Mackenzie loves gardens, Paige and Rebecca love cats). Sometimes you might transfer the likes of somebody else into your characters; a comment a good friend may have made about loving a specific brand of handbags suddenly becomes your main character prized possession.
It’s not just inanimate objects we share with our characters, often we bring them in to our favorite place, too. Whether these places are from our past or from our present sometimes or even places we want to go to in the future, they find their way into the story. Some authors are talented enough to create their own places and bring the characters to that imaginary location. But each of those places, just like each of the inanimate objects we so love, means something to us as authors. We may not be aware that with our words we share this love with our characters, and in turn share with our readers.

As a reader, this helps you identify with the characters in the story, creating a bond. As a writer, it is our job to find a way to bond with our readers. So authors, share a little of your personality with your readers. Help them make the connection to you and your books.

What does the Driver Next to You See?

I’ve come to the conclusion from my own personal experience in from watching others around me, that as human beings, we just don’t like silence.

A perfect example of this is to watch somebody as they are driving along the highway. They may be alone in the car, but is sure looks as if they are having one very animated conversation.

It’s easy to see many drivers talking on their phone, singing along with songs, or even talking to themselves. I’ve even noticed a few with their favorite pet sitting in the car next to them- and they are having animated conversations with the animal.


I wonder if anybody really thinks about how they look to the person in the car next to them. I know I’m guilty of doing this myself. I’ll be singing along to a song, totally oblivious to anything going on around me. If I really like the song, then the music is turned up, windows are rolled down, and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.
Okay, when the music is playing and the windows are rolled down, most people can tell that you’re singing along to a song. But what about those people that are talking to themselves, or at least that’s what you think is happening? There’s no visible phone in their hand, but their hands are moving, their lips are moving a mile a minute and they‘re shaking their head. There’s no one in the car with them and you wondering what’s going on. Then they turn their head slightly and you see at the wireless headphone! They are talking on the phone to somebody. Or, maybe they’re doing like I am right now-using their phone for dictating.


But I think the thing that gets me the most is watching somebody talk to their dog or even their cat while they’re driving. They carry on conversations with these animals as if they were human beings. And let’s face it, to some of us, our pets are more important than some of the human beings around us. The really funny thing is watching the animals. They seem to talk right back to their owners-some might bark, some pant and a few may even howl their answers. As they converse with the driver, the animal may get close, climbing onto laps, so that it looks like they’re actually doing the driving. And all around them traffic is flowing people that take notice are doing a double take to look at them.


So the next time you look at somebody and you’re wondering if they are talking to themselves, singing to the radio, or talking to the animal next to them…

think about how you look when you’re doing the same thing.