Back to Minnesota

You can’t have conflict in a story without grist, I would tell my students. Here’s a picture of what conflict looks like in nonfiction.

We left early this morning to go get Adie from Dune Buggy Supply. All systems appear to be go thanks to Sam and his crew. Not only did he get a rebuilt engine installed in record time, he also worked on our sliding door, replaced a wheel bearing, and—this one is impressive—got our heat working.

The drive from Dayton to Minneapolis is about 12 hours and the way back will likely take us a few days as we breaking in the engine. But then we’ll do an early Thanksgiving with my mom before heading down to the Blue Ridge Mountains to hang out with my buddy, Dustin, and his family. That’s the current plan anyway. Along the way, we’ll be jamming to our ever-growing playlist, which now includes this banger that name drops Minnesota from Sam’s band, White Iron Band:

When I would talk with my students about what the writing process looks like, I would often talk about how the best writing never happens according to plan. You can map out an idea, but your research takes you a different direction. In fiction, your characters won’t behave. I’d advise them to embrace the chaos, try to find if patterns, if there were any and hold on. Beyond those few words, I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can give other than encouragement. Oh, and read. If you’re writing, you should be reading.

The trip, including the kerfuffle with the rebuilt bus engine is all part of the process whether I like it or not. (And for the past week I have not much cared for this portion of the journey… mostly because of finances.) Still, a story cannot happen without grist. Just why does the grist have to exist in an engine case? More soon.

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