Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thoughts while driving 460 miles to Portland and back again in a 24 hour period.

I've got to figure out a way to record my thoughts while I'm driving. I have the habit of talking about the things bouncing around in my brain, while I'm driving. That is, more than "you dimwit, thanks a lot for cutting me off!" and "good one, slick!" and other comments thinly disguised as cogent judgments on other people's driving.

Yesterday morning driving down, my thoughts were about classism and the comments beginning to pop up on my post about Doug Muder's UU World article; I tried to write them down when I stopped for coffee in Tacoma, but when I went to describe them later to my friend Sue, at whose home I was staying overnight, they were less than coherent. But they'd made so much sense when I was driving!

Coming back up this morning after breakfast with my brother and his wife in Kalama, my thoughts were about relationships and how often we simply cannot see another person's point of view and consequently assign erroneous meaning to their words. That one is, at least, fresh in my mind, so I feel more coherent.

Years ago, I decided I would write a book entitled "Lady on the Loose", about my adventures in my 1983 Dodge van named Gracie, after a sad goodbye to a lovely man who had broken my heart. I had a brand new Mac laptop (this was in 1992, so you know how inadequate my equipment was) which had a battery life of about twenty minutes unless plugged into an outlet. I wanted to write a travel guide for women who wanted to travel and camp alone; it was going to be full of what I had discovered in the course of my learning to be independent and unafraid out on the roads alone.

And I did write a lot that summer, though I had to buy an extension cord that would make it possible to write longer than twenty minutes at a stretch. I'd tool along the highway and pull off in a wide spot, write frantically about my thoughts, and then pull out onto the road again. I managed to get many pages of narrative and hints written down in this hodge podge way.

I'm thinking I'll get a little recorder that's voice activated, so that I can record my own conversations and then transcribe them later. If anyone has ideas about what to invest in, I'd appreciate advice.

PS. I never finished the book, but I do have the manuscript somewhere tucked away. I needed to write it to keep myself from freaking out as I traversed the West between Colorado and Oregon many, many times, all alone. I get it out periodically and see if my advice still makes sense. I no longer go camping in Gracie (my son has her in Reno right now) but I sure did have a lot of fun. Colorado friends used to advise me to take a gun and a big dog, but I never felt endangered, even when I had a breakdown or flat tire. Somehow it always turned out okay.


jacqueline said...

How exciting to have actually put thoughts on paper/computer. I have several books in my head, but they have not gotten any further. I don't know exactly what is stopping me.

ms. kitty said...

My best advice would be to just sit down and write, not worrying about grammar or syntax or ideas, just writing. Then go back and make sense out of it sometime later. Good luck, Jacqueline!

Miss Kitty said...

I just bought a great little digital recorder at Radio Shack--I think it's by Olympus--for $89 on sale. The price made me cringe until I realized the recorder has 86 hours' worth of voice recording time. So that may be a good investment for you! It sure has been for me, with book interviews and what-not.

I hope you DO find your manuscript and start back to writing that book. It'll be awesome.

Mile High Pixie said...

Also, Rev Kit, if you have one of the later model iPods, there are some 3rd party companies that make a digital voice recorder you can attache to it and talk into and save your ideas on your iPod and also save as files on your computer.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, Miss K, I will trot on over to the local Radio Shack and check it out. I appreciate the suggestion. Alas, Pixie, I have no iPod and am uninclined to get one at this point.

ms. kitty said...

But thanks, Pixie, because the hint may help someone else.