Pennies on the tracks

IMG_0364.JPGOne of my fave books is The Grapes of Wrath (which I read for the first time just a couple of years ago), for many reasons. I especially love that John Steinbeck mixes fiction and nonfiction so much that the book actually shifts from storytelling to straight journalism between chapters. As someone who straddles that line as well in my professional and artistic lives, this hits home for me.

There’s an annual John Steinbeck Fiction Award contest I’ve been wanting to enter for several years now that requires a 5,000 word short story. I specialize in flash fiction under 1,000 words, and full-length novels (plus nonfiction memoirs); I do have one 8,000-word still-unpublished short story named Leaving Disturbia, but, alas, nothing at the 5,000-word limit. And so it’s been in the back of my mind to write one, although I’ve been so busy the last few years writing Stranger Things Happen and Traveling at the Speed of Bike.

But now, the mind left alone to play again has chosen to play. A concept came to me like a flash the other day (and if I want to tell the truth, the signs had been sent to me for years). I went on a sensual immersion outing yesterday to hear, smell, see, feel, and capture some images and video for inspiration so I could bring the words and meanings alive. And thus, I have my summer project. It’s called Pennies on the Tracks, and it will require a lot of me emotionally and physically, while still juggling the other stuff in life (bike classes, etc.). I may tap out here for awhile, except perhaps for some quick posts here and there. I’m at a bend in the road right now, and I must answer this calling.

See here for links to buy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, on Amazon in all global markets. I’m an indie author and your support is greatly appreciated. A portion of proceeds from the sale of all books is donated to help more women and girls ride bikes. Currently, that means funding my ability to do “Pedal Power with Pattie” Basic Bike Skills Classes for Women for free.