Two Come Carrie Tonite!

Writing and publishing this story was a challenge. It’s my second Camp NaNoWriMo story, but unlike the first one, which I actually got live on line during April, this has taken another month.

It took a fair bit of research – all my stories involve research – and I was checking out maps of Route 66, running down Google Streetview, reading obscure blogs about long-defunct bridges, reading truckstop menus, you name it, I was there!

Trying to work out how to change gears in an old Jeep Cherokee was a bit of a challenge. I even downloaded a workshop manual, for pity’s sake.

I think I’ve got the flavour right. Much as I know and love Route 66, my actual experience of this stretch is zero. We hit the Cadillac Ranch at sunset, and our motel in Tucumcari was an hour or so away on I-40, so we zoomed past this bit in a night where the temperature was falling dramatically. It actually snowed the next day. In May.

So I didn’t drive the old road at Glenrio, I didn’t stop at the MidPoint Cafe, I didn’t go hunting for photogenic bridges, and I certainly didn’t go skinnydipping in the dim light under one of them.

If any of my readers has experience in these matters, make the comment box at the end of this post your friend!

I’m actually kind of cheesed off that my Twitter mate Brian Westbye who was driving Route 66 at the time didn’t take a couple of hours to do some onsite research for me. You know, take his clothes off, jump into a non-existent pool of water under a dark bridge, soap himself up with a well-stacked companion, report back on the details…

Then again, he was doing the thing in a driving frenzy, and didn’t even reach the Midpoint until his second last day on the road, with all of New Mexico, Arizona, and California ahead. So he’s excused. To be honest, I’m glad he survived. That’s a lot of driving.

Looking forward to reading your book, Brian!

There was also the matter of pacing. The story didn’t end in Tucumcari, although it was heading there, and I just gave up trying to shuffle cars and drivers and body parts. There could have been another sex scene at the Blue Swallow, but maybe that’s another story.

And then there was making time for beta-readers. A vital step. Some nice words, but what I’m really looking for are bullet-point lists of all the errors and notes for improvement. One helpful soul pointed out an area that needed work, and so I fixed that up, made a few wording changes, and actually found a typo.

I must have read this story two dozen times and still there was a typo glaring out at me. Probably a fistful more – again, anybody who spots one when they buy the story or read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, please let me know! – but I couldn’t spot them.

And then, honestly, I compiled it twenty times before I got a MOBI file I was happy to upload. It’s still not perfect, but it doesn’t have any massive errors, in it, so I’m happy.

Right. It’s half past three in the morning in Melbourne, it’s cold and dark, and I’m heading back to bed, where I’ll have to shoo Princess Fluffypants off the warm spot I left three hours, a mug of coffee, and a bowl of cookies and cream ice-cream ago.

The story should be live tonight.

Britni

Written by Britni Pepper

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures. Her schoolmates loved listening to her stories about princesses and pirates and dragons, and once she looked up to find the principal looking on. "No, no, don't stop, Britni," he said. "I want to hear what happens next!" What happened next was university, a job in the travel industry, and a career of travelling the world meeting the most fascinating people. Britni has travelled to thirty of the world's nations and loves making up stories about fascinating people doing interesting things in exotic places. No longer tales about princes and wizards, but her stories are just as much fantasy as ever.

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