I am very pleased to welcome author Lynn Romaine who shares a bit about her newest life journey. She has done something many women (and probably a few men) only allow themselves to dream of doing. And then she wrote about. I so appreciate Lynn sharing her story here and I hope it encourages you (and me) to step beyond our fears to embrace those things we long to do.
Although I know you as an author of Romantic Suspense fiction, you recently self-published The Little Road Book, detailing your travels through part of this country. What prompted you to sell your house, most of your belongings, and set out on this adventure?
What prompted me was I had no choice, as I had lost all my income except my tiny Social Security and had no retirement whatsoever. I could not afford to keep my house unless I let it fall down around me. So what started out briefly as a dire emergency quickly turned into an incredible opportunity to fulfill on my dreams to get back on the road and see the country before I could no longer move about. Once I started the process of getting the house ready, paying down as much as I could of my rather large credit card debt with a friend sending me her back up work for eighteen months, it got really easy and I was on my way to getting rid of pretty much all of my possessions except a few boxes of books, a couple of boxes of clothes and some family photos and treasures.
What were the most frightening things you encountered and what were the most gratifying?
The most frightening things I encountered were less than you would expect. I am someone with somewhat of a daredevil personality but if you can give up that you ‘should not be afraid’ and let yourself be afraid but do whatever you are afraid of anyway, the fear is just one more human emotion that is part of being human and means little (unless someone is truly threatening you and holding a gun to your head—then you should definitely honor the fear). So I woke up at least a few times over the two years of getting ready to go in cold sweats, worrying over what I would do out in a trailer if I got sick, or how I could possibly travel about and live on so little money. I did have one major anxiety attack one night about half way through the process of my odyssey but I forced myself up out of bed, went to my computer and put out a call for help on Facebook – ‘Anybody out there at this time of night? Please answer!’ It turned into one of the most gratifying moments when all those friends and strangers responded. I could list a page of gratifying moments but I’ll only briefly list a few here: Coming back from my first trip on the road towing a trailer for 40 days feeling like wonder woman – master of my trailer and my world; discovering a passion for writing some nonfiction books, about travel, and about my long lost Great Aunt Rose whom I never met, and finally, simply revisiting the awe and wonder of the natural world, the quiet of the desert, the sunsets, the deserted highways, the wild horses.
Tell us a little bit about The Little Road Book.
The Little Road Book (http://tinyurl.com/lrocgbt) is a mini-Blue Highways, that road book so popular in 1982, and came out of my thoughts about good and bad highways, good and bad experiences I encountered and special pictures of places I wanted to remember. It was also my first try at self publishing so that by the third book, Desert Rose, which is being funded by others in Kickstarter (www.Kickstarter.com) which will come out in early April, I will have enough experience with self publishing to know what I am doing and produce a great little book. The book is only 53 pages, and filled with many photos I took in my travels, along with anecdotes about what I liked and didn’t like on the highway. Here’s a small excerpt:
"On September 25th, a Thursday morning, I packed my trailer with the minimum amount of stuff I felt I could not live without, for my six-week long trip. I do feel this is a good rule of thumb for any traveling, whatever the circumstances or resources, to minimize your travel gear.
So I set off alone, quaking in my moccasins, creeping along heading west out of Bloomington, Indiana for the interstate; the fastest way to get to Marin County in ten days."
How did this experience change you and/or your life view?
As I mentioned above, I came home with a sense of power and that aging would not turn me into a little old lady sitting on my front porch watching life pass me by. At close to 70 I could pull a 16’ trailer across
hitch and unhitch it, back it in small spaces (over time), work the furnace,
the hot water heater, and even empty the sewage! I found I had way less room
for sitting around chit-chatting (not that there’s anything wrong with that if
you enjoy it; I never have but was unable before my trip to let myself leave
something I did not enjoy). I can give myself more space to be annoyed when I
am annoyed and however I am moment to moment.
But perhaps the two most important things: 1) I rediscovered a passion
for writing which I had lost a few years ago; and 2) I discovered that happiness and joy in
life can be found and even created anywhere. America
What would you say to other women who have a dream but might be stopped by fears or doubts?
I’d say I know it’s scary and hard sometimes in life, but feelings are just feelings and hard is just hard. It’s part of life. The most difficult thing, I think, is to find those unfulfilled dreams to pursue. Over time I found I’d forgotten about mine and sort of fell asleep in life. Being forced to either Live a Life of Survival or Pursue My Dreams, I chose the dreams. I think everyone can do that if they want whatever your dreams may be.
What’s next in your journey?
I’m publishing my three books by April, planning some short trips (one to Mississippi to see you Linda, for a day), perhaps heading to northern Michigan and Canada for a while and then whatever shows up in between then and the end of summer when I plan to head out west again, this time spending more time in a few places like the Rockies and LA to do more research on my Aunt Rose to add to her book.
What’s next in your fiction writing?
Fiction writing! Thanks for asking. I got my taste for writing fiction awakened on my odyssey as I got gas in a tiny town called Rough Rock. I’d just driven for an hour down an empty highway and seen the most beautiful wild white horse. I was standing there pumping gas into my Subaru, the wind whipping my coat, thinking about wild horses, when I glanced through the gas pump and saw the most amazingly beautiful Indian face on a woman about thirty-five who was pumping gas into her dirty black Chevy Blazer. I smiled at her and she smiled back. In that moment a brand new suspense book took shape in my head.
Anything else you’d like to add?
No and thank you for asking but I’ve said enough for now.
Where can you be found/followed on the web?