Hobo Writing

So I live in New Hampshire (Nashua). I work in Massachusetts (Boston). While this may seem extreme to drive from one state to another for someone living in the middle of a huge state (read any state not in New England, Delaware, Maryland, or Hawaii), it's not that far. I drive 20-30 minutes to the train station, take an hour long train ride, then a twenty minute subway ride and I'm just down the street from where I work. Sure, this is longer than any commute I've ever had in my life, but I love the company I work for, and it beats being unemployed.

The best part is the hour-long train ride. When people see me cranking 2000-4000 words five days a week every week, they say, "Wow you write so fast!" I don't think so. I just write two hours a day every day and that's what comes of it. (I also write on weekends, but usually only accomplish 1000 words a day or so.)

I always joke that if I am successful enough that I can write full-time, I would have to continue buying my rail pass and ride the trains all day while I write. Well, I have vacation all this week, and I decided to ride the rails like a hobo--a well dressed, showered, shaved, and equipped hobo.

So here's how it works. Take the train down to North Station, skip down to South Station, and the grab whatever train leaves next. Get off at the last destination my card gets me (not the destination station, which has an impact I discuss later), eat lunch, get back on the train, go back to South Station, and repeat until I get a full day's worth of work. Hobo Writing!

Now, I had another epiphany over the weekend so I have officially stopped work on JEHOVAH'S HITLIST and begun revising THE TRIAD SOCIETY. I forgot how flipping large the first two chapters are. I'll have to go over those again before I send them out and make sure I'm not world building too much too early. (And where the hell did all this passive voice come from?)

Here is what I learned:

  • When going off on adventure, be sure to fully charge your smart phone so you can take advantage of the miracle of modern technology, like GPs mapping and the Googles. Mistake #1
  • When I have consecutive days off, I always stay up late. I feel like I'm not maximizing my vacation time if I'm not staying up late. Don't ask me why this is, but this prevents me from getting an early and effective start. Mistake #2
  • Non-destination locations are commuter waypoints. They are oases of parking lots an factory buildings with little by way of food or even neighborhoods I feel comfortable walking around without a loaded pistol...okay, not even then.
  • Destination locations are much the same unless they are an Amtrak stop or a state capital (...which are Amtrak stops). I should have waited 15 more minutes and gone down to Providence. Mistake #3
  • Much like flying, riding a train all day is dehydrating. I don't know why, exactly, but it is. Certainly walking around Bridgewater State College (which is one big ass building and nothing by way of food) and then sitting for thirty minutes in the humidity didn't help. Mistake #4
  • When trekking to an unknown subway stop--say Kendall Square--three hours after lunch time, be sure to look in both directions before wandering off in search for food. There may have been a bar and grill right to your left. Mistake #5
  • When beholding manna from heaven that is food trucks, do not break down crying when you find the only ones still selling offer only soy burgers and fellafel.
  • Do not presume to understand Boston regardless of the years you've worked there or the frequency in which you've gotten lost in Southie. You have not seen Boston in its entirety until you've been to MIT (yes, pedagogues, it's not technically Boston. All of Eastern Massachusetts is Boston, so stuff it! :p).
  • Do not ask the woman carrying the bucket of ice-like substance and baster whether she's a good scientist or an evil scientist. You may not like her answer.
  • Watch all available seasons of Eureka before going to MIT. It will help prepare you.
  • The crazy lady having a meltdown on the platform to the Red Line should be sad, but given she's standing outside Mass General, it's okay to laugh. Medical treatment is within her grasp...and they can hear her, so they're probably already on the way.
  • When you finally get food and your hands are shaking because you're so hungry, do not gorge yourself on onion rings. The increased fat in your bloodstream will make you lethargic and your writing productivity will plummet. Mistake #6
  • Treat your return train ride home during rush hour like any other rush hour train. Get there in a reasonable amount of time else you won't get to write at all. Mistake #7
  • When driving home in the rain, do not leave adequate stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. That kind of thing is to assholes what shit is to flies.

Total revision work for today was 10,000 words. Not bad, but I think I could have done better if I had left during my normal time of 7am rather than 9. And if I had gone to Providence rather than Bridgewater. If I try again tomorrow, we'll see how far I get.