Life Is a Highway

Life Is a Highway

November 18, 2011 Writing 24

The sun was shining, and it was proving to be a beautiful fall day. “For once the weatherman had called it right,” Kate mused aloud, as she opened the moon roof and all four windows to let the fresh air blow through.

A smile planted itself on her face as smell of hot clay entered her nostrils and the wind played tag with her hair, whipping it back and forth like a fabric flag on a beach. Rascal Flatt’s rendition of “Life Is a Highway” blared from her speakers. For just this moment, she forgot that she was on an assignment. She forgot about the mysterious phone calls that had ended in a threat. She forgot Rupert Hills. She even forgot about Martin’s problems for just this moment, and let the wind and the music carry her soul to the distant shores they sang about in the song. She let the wind take her any place but here.

She rolled smoothly down the white highway, past the drab tan grasses and brown hills that made up the landscape around her. She was so engrossed in the drive that she didn’t even notice when the tan grasses turned into the rich emerald provided by the Gasconade River, and the brown hills became the green Ozarks.  She sailed past the sign that welcomed her to Newburg, Missouri, a town built by the Frisco Railroad. She cruised past the visitor’s center where she was supposed to stop. She continued driving through, not even bothering to let the railroad town pique her senses. She hit Old Route 66 and turned, finally finding the destination she sought, the Trail of Tears.


This week, we’d like you to take us on an actual journey, specifically a road trip? Think about who is in the car. Where are they going and why? What’s on the radio or what are the travelers talking about?

In 300 words or less, create a fiction or creative non-fiction piece that lets us feel the wind from an open window or the dry heat of a car vent.

This is another snippet from my NaNo project. I hope you are enjoying reading these as much as I am enjoying writing it!

So, talk to me. Did I take you there? What’d I miss? What could be better?


24 Responses

  1. Kristina says:

    You’ve built a really good introduction here – I was totally drawn in and I want to hear more!

    • DM says:

      Thank you! It’s interesting that you call this an introduction, but it’s also nice to know that it’s good flow. If my readers are drawn out of the story for any reason, this would bring them back in. Yay!

  2. Carrie says:

    I’m there in the car with her. Really well done 🙂

  3. Barbara @ de rebus, via WoE says:

    Very interesting! I love the hints about what she is ignoring… good luck with Nano!

  4. themhalf says:

    Very well done. I was there with Kate, wanting to know why she skipped through the town and why her destination is the Trail of Tears. I definitely want to read more! 🙂

  5. TheKirCorner says:

    I love how she drove right past…moving on to the place she truly wanted to see and foregoing her ‘have tos” for a little while.I felt the “tag with her hair too” …great imagery…I just loved the words. 🙂

    • DM says:

      Thank you. I’m not even sure yet why she felt the need to visit the Trail of Tears, but I guess I am about to find out. 😉 Thank you for tweeting it out. You rock!

  6. Jackie says:

    I love all the detail… that’s where a lot of my story is lacking. I think if I were to go back and add more in then I’d probably be close to done with it!

    • DM says:

      You know that was how my first NaNo project was. I skimmed around the edges because I didn’t have a story line to “follow” and now the edits are daunting. I didn’t want to make the same mistake this time. I’d rather add too much because cutting is easier than fluffing or rewriting.

  7. Angelia Sims says:

    Yes, I love it! And I love those kind of drives where you don’t want to stop, because it feels so good cruising. Great job!

  8. Venus says:

    This is great. I love that you included smell… smell is such a huge part of memory for us all and using it can instantly get us readers exactly where you want us to be. 🙂

  9. It does read more as an introduction or a scene setter but it was evocative and want to know why she’s seeking the Trail of Tears, especially with the title as I get a sense that something’s gone before. 🙂

    • DM says:

      I think it will end up being the beginning of a chapter, so maybe that’s right. And lots has gone before, so you are right there too. 😉

      Thank you for your continued support of my writing.

  10. I really like this. I want to know more about the assignment she’s on. This line: “She forgot Rupert Hills. She even forgot about Martin’s problems for just this moment, and let the wind and the music carry her soul to the distant shores they sang about in the song,” is magical. I feel like I’m riding shotgun with her singing at the top of our lungs.

  11. angela says:

    I felt sunshine and wind. The good kind of wind, not the cold, wintry kind that’s blowing around outside of my house right now, I mean 🙂 Your descriptions here are spot on, and this is a great snapshot into your story.

    • DM says:

      I’m glad I brought a little sunshine into your bleary day!! Thank you for stopping by!! I hope your NaNo is coming along smoothly too!

  12. Cameron says:

    Fantastic atmosphere in this!

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