Riding NaNoWriMo Out

Back Again
My route as generated by Google Maps, with major stops, arrival times, and layovers

I posted about the bus ride to Tallahassee, now here’s the bus ride back to Iowa City—as well as the final day of NaNoWriMo. This bus ride was only 28 hours, starting at 1:00 pm est on Saturday, and ending at 4:00 pm cst on Sunday. I did a lot more writing this time around, so this post is more focused on NaNoWriMo, and there are no pictures. It was mostly the same cities anyway, nothing new to see.


I started out at around thirty-three thousand words written—seventeen thousand to go.

1:19 pm est

We’re heading out of Tallahassee now. This bus isn’t too crowded, but there is someone next to me. Hopefully they’ll get off in Montgomery. And hopefully more people won’t get on. These are the hopes.

I’m going to write a bunch of Stuffed now.

 2:24 pm cst

We just stopped in Dothan, and I just wrote a shitload of Stuffed. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would, or if I even wanted to. Completing NaNoWriMo isn’t so much something I need to do to prove that I can, because I already know I can. The question really is, do I want to get this book done faster? So I decided that I don’t want to take months and months to finish books (even the shortest novel I’ve ever written took three months to write the first draft of—longer, including false starts and outlining.) I’m not going to do that when I’m a professional writer, so I’m not going to do it now. If I want to finish book one of Stuffed within two months (I do), finishing NaNoWriMo is a great way to reach that goal.

But really, I wrote so much because it was a lot of fun. The above thinking is only what got me to start writing.Read More »

A 30-Hour Bus Ride, Told in 13 Parts

My route as generated by Google Maps, with major stops, arrival times, and layovers

I said I’d probably make a post out of it—here it is. My thirty-hour bus ride from Iowa City to Tallahassee. It’s not much of a NaNoWriMo post, really. My goal was to get to twenty thousand words by the time I reached Tallahassee, but my broader objective was to survive—and this post is almost entirely about survival. To find out whether or not I lived, read on.

5:23 pm (Friday)

At the moment, we’re on I-74 heading south through Illinois, next stop I don’t know where. I know my next stop is Indianapolis, but I think there are stops between here and there.

Before I do anything else, I should recount the first part of my journey.

At two ten today I left my dorm and headed out into the thirty-six-degree afternoon. It was cold, windy, and overcast. The sun sets around four forty-five here, so wherever the sun was behind the clouds, it was already low when I made my way to the bus depot, pulling along my suitcase. The station is just beyond the edge of downtown, where all the downtownish brick buildings give way to construction projects and ragged, crumbling parking lots. So walking to the station feels like leaving civilization, and going out into the wilderness.Read More »