Monday, July 25, 2016

In Progress #5

Writing a book is hard, guys!

Well, no, I should rephrase that. The actual "writing" isn't that bad. It's the organizing, and the designing, and the getting people to answer to your weird emails that say "Hi I'm writing a book about RVs." That and the panicked nightmares. (Last night I had a dream that the Wisconsin Gazette edited my book and changed it to something more "marketable" which included changing the title, and the entire layout.)

I'm reallllly hoping to finish everything by the end of my stay at the Wormfarm, but it is all dependent on other people getting back to me. This is a relatively annoying position to be in, because other people are generally incompotent (at least in my experience).

In the meantime, here's one last sketch to tide you over. By the next time I write I hope I'll be saying I'M DONEZO.

P.S. Thank again to all those who contributed to my Kickstarter! As you know I'm FUNDEDDDD. However, you may still order a book if you'd like by August 4th.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In Progress #4

Thank you to all those who donated to my Kickstarter in the first week! I feel super cool to be over halfway funded in only a week's time. I have awesome people in my life! Please continue to share the project with friends until the deadline of August 4th.

In other news, I had a great interview yesterday that I'm very excited about. Here is a super short excerpt from a section called "Community," which will focus on a group called the National African American RV'ers Association (NAARVA):

"As I tried to get ahold of NAARVA to ask them a few questions, I had a serendipitous experience and accidentally ended up on the phone with the former president of NAARVA as she was driving across the country from Las Vegas, in an RV, to the national NAARVA rally in Eustis, Florida. I kid you not, this actually happened.

Anne Shearer-Seele was more than happy to talk to me on the phone even though she was operating her rig with one hand. She told me that if she saw a cop coming she would just hang up on me and put the phone down. I told her that was okay. I was just amazed that I ended up with NAARVA's most knowledgeable member on the phone after thirty calls to their headquarters in Charlotte, NC."

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In Progress #3

Things are still beautiful and challenging on the farm. Last night there was a huge storm and we lost power briefly. It's going to be a hot week and we had the first day of heat yesterday. Mice, spiders, coyotes, cows, continue to remind us that they are our constant companions. But the work progresses! Here is an excerpt from a cool interview I did with some "green" RVers:

"What is one place that you have visited that you wouldn’t have been able to visit without your RV?

There haven’t been places we’ve been able to visit because we have an RV. If anything, certain places are harder to visit because of the size of our RV. Rather, if we weren’t living the nomadic lifestyle, we wouldn’t be able to visit so many places because we weren’t able to dedicate so much time to traveling in our previous lifestyle. We would have said, “We’ll go to XYZ when we have X amount of time.” But the reality of it is that there are too many places to visit and too little time. With our current lifestyle, we’ve essentially created more time and opportunities to travel. In the last year, we’ve been to enough different places to account for 20 years’ worth of 2-week vacations – in a way you could say that every place we visit from now onward is a place we could not have seen otherwise."

I have also launched a Kickstarter to help me fund the printing of my RV book. You can view the full project below. Thanks to everyone who helped me get off to a great start! I'm already closer to achieving my $750 goal. Share with anyone who you think might give a hoot!

Friday, July 1, 2016

In Progress #2

How long have I been here now? I have no concept of that. The days are really unimportant. I was shocked to find out it's almost the 4th of July. The only indicator of time is that I don't have to do farm work on the weekends. Otherwise it all sort of blends. 

I've come way farther on my project in the short time that I've been here than I thought I would. I've still got lots to do, though. I've been "designing" (quotation marks because I suck at designing) a book in Blurb, trying to put all of these words into an object that people might pick up and read. 

I've also conducted a few more interviews, and am realizing all of the holes that need to be filled in this RV story. Here's another short excerpt: 

"An RV is astronomically less expensive than a house. They run anywhere from $9,000 to $100,000, with only class A motorized RVs exceeding this price. There’s no typical customer. That day at the dealership I saw everyone from older couples to single women roaming around the lot, asking questions like, “What’s the best model to buy if I’m trying to take a trip to all the National Parks?” The dealer explained with his careful patience that there is no “best” model, but the smaller ones are better to start with, because they require less repairs.

A few customers were amazed at the spacious interiors. Even smaller models can comfortably fit three beds, a table with seating, a fridge, a TV, closet, a bathroom with a shower, and a microwave. At one point, an older couple with a robust and youthful enthusiasm joined us on a tour of a standard size travel trailer. I watched the wife pick up the fake flowers on the table, circling slowly around the interior, brushing the ugly upholstery with her fingers and whisper to her husband, “I think we can do this.” RVs are essentially tiny houses. Two people can live in one comfortably year-round if they wanted to, and there are many who do.

The dealer showed me around three more models, each one more luxurious than the last. I liked the homey feel of the travel trailers, and I could see how a couple or a family could have a fun time in their little home away from home, frolicking across the country in one of these models. I noticed that despite the cold, each one was cozy and warm inside, and I lingered longer in each to avoid the wind. After a while the dealer seemed bored so I thanked him for his time and told him I would continue to think about a purchase. On the way out I glanced at the used electronics store. There are worse things that people try to sell you, I thought." 

My last update is that I'll be launching a Kickstarter or Gofundme campaign shortly to help me fund the printing of this book. Are you prepared to support an esoteric project about mobile living?