Books, Chickens, Coal Mines, and Claustrophobia


Here’s the thing, I want to tell you about my weekend. Except it hasn’t come yet. But I am really excited about it. I can hardly wait, so I have decided to tell you what I can. I am driving to the Scranton, Pennsylvania area tomorrow. It’s pretty much a straight shot up the Pennsylvania Turnpike—in fact—all the way to the end of the turnpike. Now that’s a scary thought, isn’t it. “Drive to the end of the turnpike.” Uhm. Anyhoo. I am going to sign books, discuss Bright’s Pond, Harriet Beamer, Carrying Mason, writing and pretty much anything else folks would like to discuss about books and writing. Hopefully sell a few copies also.

But, this weekend is more than a typical author appearance. I am going to tour around up there and see some sights—including Bright’s Pond. Well, not really. BP is all in my imagination but the model for the town is definitely an amalgam of several small towns in the mountains of PA. So it will be great to walk around and see the towns and glean even more PA small town quirk to use in my novels—believe me PA can be quirky. And not only that but I am going to get to hold a chicken! Yep, pretty exciting stuff. You see, I am working on a new middle grade novel and there are chickens in the story. I need to do some research so my friends and students, Leslee and Cindy (excellent writers btw) are going to shepherd me around and take me to a chicken place. I want to hear the chickens, smell them (yuck) and hopefully maybe snatch an egg or two from one.

Then, not only am I going to hold a chicken. But, now hang on to your bloomers, but I am going to tour a coal mine—an actual coal mine. Yep, I am going to get into a coal car and travel I don’t know how many hundreds of feet underground and see the actual workings of a coal mine. This life has always fascinated me and I am hoping to write a novel about coal mines one day—so yep, it’s research. The tricky part is this. I am claustrophobic. Always have been. So it might get ugly down there. I hope I can breathe. I hope I don’t get too scared and panic and make the tour guide person bring me to the surface. I really, really want to do this. I will be praying, and I hope you all will also, that I can make the whole trip in the mine. I pray I won't be too . . . CHICKEN. HA!

After that, it’s more food and drink. And then back down the turnpike. I won’t be posting again until Monday. I will have pictures. I will let you all know how I did in the coal car. And with the chickens. I’ll take lots of snaps to share.

Man O Man—writers have more fun than people.

3 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Wow! I love the PA area--it has such beautiful scenery and sites to visit! I've traveled down a coal mine shaft myself, and I can understand your apprehension. But I think you'll enjoy it--it's simply fascinating :3 Have a great time!!

Pam Halter said...

Wow - YOU in a coal mine?? That's like you in an airplane. HA! I can't wait to hear all about it.

Marti Pieper said...

Chicken research. Who knew?

I'll be praying for you. I love the way you're pushing past the fear for the research. Kinda like taking flight?

When you're finished, I hope you can find a cafe to serve you up a big piece of Charlotte's strawberry-rhubarb pie. Or something equally delicious.