Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amtrak and me

I applied for the Amtrak writer's residency the first day apps were open. This will come as a surprise to my family, but only because I haven't mentioned it before now. They won't be surprised, however, that I've applied to take a trip alone, with pen and pad, on a train.

See, my mom loves the train. Her dad worked for the railroads and with five girls to raise, they rarely traveled. But when they could they went by rail ~ all the way from CA to NY, in fact.

I've grown up with the stories, and then when my middle child was 8 mos., Mom talked me into taking the train with her 25 hours to the north. We had a ball!!!  Of course, we purchased a sleeping car and had our meals included, so yea, we traveled in style. But it was so much fun to take a long ride that I didn't have to drive myself, to see places in the world where cars don't go, and to fall asleep to the familiar sound of a train whistle ... ahhh. I've actually traveled this way twice now. Plus, I've taken shorter jaunts down south.

When I applied for the residency, I wrote my essay off the cuff ... from my heart. No big outline or plan, like I've been trained to do. I suppose that may not have been the best plan of action, but it's the route I chose in that moment.

Then again, this blog post was spurred on by another blogger's posts. One of my favorite writers, I've just learned, hates the train ... and so do most of her commenters. I was aghast at how sour they all were on the train's merits, but then I thought, Hey ... if this many people don't see the benes of train travel, maybe I have a chance at the residency after all! 

And that would be a very nice thing.

1 comment:

Vader's Mom said...

I hate the train that's across the street from my house, but I LOVE riding the train. I've only had the chance to enjoy rides that were a few hours, but I thought a cross country trip would be so much fun!! I'm with you and love those hidden, out of the way places that you can only see via train. Of course, I'd do anything not to be on an airplane too....