Pat Dennis: Writing in a Moving Cocoon
One of my favorites places to write moves slowly, jiggles a bit too much, and occasionally stalls. Perhaps I love it because the same attributes can be attributed to me in my senior years. I frequently ride Amtrak across the country. As soon as I hear the sound of a train whistle, my creative juices start to percolate. I realize someone is going somewhere and I begin to do what writers always do—wonder. Who are they? Where are they traveling? Are they meeting someone? Or are they leaving someone? And are they traveling by a train, instead of a plane or car? Are they afraid of flying? Did they lose their driver’s license in a terrible accident? Are they on a terrorist watch list? It’s with this same elevated excitement that I board every Amtrak. In the miniscule room I’ve reserved for two days, I am cut off from the world. I turn off my cell phone and plug in my laptop. Except for sleeping, and enjoying the meals I have delivered to my room, my train trips always turn into a writing marathon.