On the Road Again

We roll out in an hour for a weekend getaway to balmy Rochester, NY. I lied, it’s not balmy. In fact Western New York just got hammered by a wonderful snowstorm. Here in Corning we got a little over a foot, but up closer to the lakes Santa gave them a bigger present.

I don’t care, I love snow.

But as I’m packing up for this trip, and yes it’s just a few days, so I have more board games than shirts, I starting thinking about writing. Unfortunately, the story never stops rolling in my head. Sometimes it get stuck on a loop. Other times it flies out and I have to scramble to catch the scenes before they vanish into the ether. So when I’m on the road it can be hard to properly document the shenanigans of Atom and Go.

On longer trips I’ve taken my computer, but then I run into the question of where to I write. Most of the time I just take a pad and jot down my thoughts on the fly.

This question has led me down a longer rabbit hole. How do other authors write when they travel? Do they travel? In light of my last post, I think that is a pretty legitimate question.

For me travel is a double edged sword. The variety of landscape and people often overloads my pad with ideas. On the other side of things, it can be difficult to settle into a comfortable writing zone. At home I have my office and I wait for the house to empty out during school hours to sit and let the muses speak.

On the road I’m constantly in someone’s way and there is little or no quiet.

With that in mind, I have to keep writing.


Shi slipped down the side of her shell hole and pulled off her helmet. Her eyes wandered over the protective confines of the freshly turned soil. In frustration she threw the helmet at the far side of the crater.

The voice of her AI disappeared as the helmet thunked into the mud.

A growl of frustration slipped from her lips. Running her hands through her hair, she streaked the short, blond spikes with mud. She sat like that, head in hands, for a short time as stray bullets plunked into her impromptu escarpment.

The bullets sang above her. In the distance the cacophony of the orbital bombardment sang with a hollow, chest pumping regularity.

“I need to get out of this place,” she looked up to the sky where she could make out the tiny specks of the assault ships. Red streaks snaked their way across the violet atmosphere in an ever downward trajectory, impacting to the north. The assault looked to be proceeding according to some semblance of the plan.

Shi glared at her helmet, discarded in the mud. Part of her wanted to leave it.

She hated taking orders.

She hated being obligated to some higher authority.

But those were her brothers and sisters out in the death-lands. If she could help them she would need to link up with them and her helmet provided that connection.

Shi slithered through the loam to pluck her helmet. She glared at it for a moment and then strapped it to the top of her small pack. Eventually she would plug back into her network, but until that point her intuitions would provide a better guide for keeping her alive.

Better than any damn computer, she thought as she peeked over the lip again.

In a flash she assessed the situation and without hesitation she rolled over the brink. She took the plunge.

Crouching and clutching her assault blaster snug to her chest she scrambled for a low rill. The depression behind the rise gave little protection, but Shi scampered like a death shadowed rabbit.

Conventional rounds slammed the ground around her, plowing furrows in the freshly turned field.

Her feet danced, barely touching the earth as she pressed to escape the range of the observation post. Like a sprinter with death on their heels she moved. She did not breath. She did not think. She did not look to either side.

Shi moved towards a copse of trees several hundred yards across open field. Moving in a slight curve that made her a harder target to hit without stealing her momentum, she pressed forward. She drove for the goal. The trees filled her vision.

Then she slipped into the embrace of nature.

The shots fell silent.

Shi collapsed. With the trees surrounding her a sense of safety returned. Lying on a bed of dead leaves she focused on her breathing, trying to bring her body back into a semblance of order.

Shi slipped her helmet back on.

“I’m still alive,” she told her AI.

“I know,” the computer replied.


Thanks for reading. Hope all is well in your world. My posts will be a little more sporadic in the future. I have been advised that a regular publication schedule becomes routine, so keep your eyes open for the next installment of Shi’s adventure.

Remember, keep on reading and keep on flying the Black.

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