Hitchhiking

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A couple of weeks ago, it was nice enough to run outside. I think it was 17 degrees that day. You don’t know how much it pains me to say that 17 degrees was nice.

The other day I decided to play hookie and drove down to Appleton for the day. Since I was in no hurry, I took the long meandering way, through the backroads, only getting lost once when my map software stopped working, swinging by the casino for a quick break, and two hours later getting back on the road forty dollars poorer and only halfway to my destination. At one point, I was passing through one of the tiny villages en route, and I saw a guy hitchhiking. He had three or four plastic shopping bags dangling from his hands as he stuck out his thumb and for half a second, I thought about how cold it was and how far he might be from home. And then I was past him and my momentary twinge of guilt was replaced with an image of Ted Bundy.

That’s not to say I haven’t stopped for hitchhikers in the past.

In Arizona, my son and I picked up a rather tall man and his adorable red headed toddler one scorching afternoon. The poor man’s car had broken down and he told us that the two had already walked several miles as cars zoomed past and ignored them. We dropped father and son at the first gas station we passed. Years before that, I stopped for a couple at the entrance to an airport. They were next a stalled car, with suitcases beside them. I don’t know why I picked them up. Maybe it was the desperation they oozed. They jumped in, professed their love for me and I got them to the departure area with just enough time to make their flight. I always wonder what happened to their car.

So what makes us stop and what scares us away? If you think about Mr. Bundy, everything about hitchhikers should scare you away. Things are not always as they seem. That father could have kidnapped that small boy and been on the run. That couple could have simply found a stalled car and posed next to it, their suitcases empty and waiting to be filled with the dismembered body of a gullible driver.

My days of picking up strangers are probably over. I’m not as adventuresome as I was in my younger days. How about you? Have you ever pick up a hitcher? Were you the hitcher?

Leave your story in the comments and Write on,

Melissa

p.s.

If you can find it, watch The Hitcher starring Rutger Hauer, an absolutely terrifying movie. Don’t bother with the remake. They changed the story and completely ruined it.

 

 

9-7-15 Monday Word Count

maple leaf
Winter’s on the way.

Got woken up a bit after 5 Sunday morning and had to drive to the next town over to pick up the kid from his night shift job. We’ve always told him, if he’s too tired to drive, call and we’ll pick him up. So we did. (living in the boonies sucks sometimes) The rest of the day was spent being exhausted while some pretty intense storms kept the house dark and dreary. Tried waking up with a movie, Star Wars, but we kept konking out and then rewinding to the last point we remembered. I’m not sure we ever saw the whole film. After napping off and on all day, we were surprised to actually sleep through the night. I’m working from the living room today. It’s a bit cold at my desk, and this table has a nice view of the golf course.

Last week, or so, I finally got around to having an expert look at a very small scene that I knew was full of all sorts of errors. I figured it would be an easy fix, once I found out what would really happen in that situation.  Boy was I wrong. The changes rippled all through the entire friggin’ book. So, since then, I’d been rewriting and making notes of what still needed to be fixed. (I’m pretty mad at myself because I know better than this. Always check with your expert first.)

walking dogs
Hurrying through mosquito loop.

Then two days ago, I needed to clear my head so I took the dogs for a walk. We didn’t get far before I realized I could easily fix everything with the next scene and nothing after that would have to change. Now, I’m going through and doing some restorations. I’m anxious to finish this and get back to work on the edits of the last couple of chapters.

Once all that’s done, the manuscript still needs to go back to the editor for a last look and then onto the folks checking for formatting and missed errors.  (I keep finding extra spaces at the end of sentences. This is so much easier to see on a printed sheet) Because of this, I’ve updated the approximate release date.

Onto the word count.

How to Sex Your Snake

Genre – Mystery
New since Thursday –  3389 words
Total Count –  37859 words
Release date: Pre-orders mid October

Goals for next week: keeping up with the edits and then actually writing a post next Sunday. That’s a huge goal. I’ve been terribly lax about keeping track of my week’s work.

Things will be much easier now that the golf season is winding down. I have my last day in the bar cart soon, probably this Saturday. For the rest of September, I’ll still follow Mark over to the bar on his nights and write at a back table. The course closes at the end of the month so it won’t be long until I’ll be able to get into a writing routine for winter.

Hope it’s sunny where you are.

Write on,

Melissa