Train Writing has become my favorite thing to do do of late.
I sit myself down and pull out my notebook. It’s the one with Abbey Road on the cover. A present from my son’s girlfriend - an old Beatles freak like me. I fetch my blue Bic pen from my carry-all bag and start writing -- anything.
Did you see how I shamelessly included the brand name of my favorite writing instrument in the hopes that if whatever it is I’m writing becomes remotely publishable, the Bic pen company will flood my mailbox - for the rest of my life - with their wonderful product?
Now if only I drank Guinness while I wrote. But I don’t. Although I’d be hard pressed to prove that in a court of law.
“Exhibit A your honor!” goes the prosecution. “This so called gentlemen wrote a story about a man who has sex with a ghost in a graveyard. Not only that, your honor. He has sex with the ghost on the dead woman’s very grave. Stark naked! I rest my case, sir. Need I say more?"
The object of writing on the train? To write whatever comes to mind in one hour and ten minutes. That’s the time it takes me to get from Grand Central station to my home station in Cold Spring NY. I may start off by writing a story and get distracted by whatever else is going on around me. But I’ll just write about that as well, incorporate it in the story.
I got the idea from, well, writing on the train. In the past whenever I’d get distracted by loud talkers or by cellphone abusers I’d simple stop writing, crank up my ipod and get lost in some music. On the train I like me some Iron and Wine or Fleet Foxes. Great soothing riding-on-the- train music.
I’ll try this kind of writing for a week and see how it goes.
Writing on the train can be pretty intense. There can be such an urgency to it. The humming of that big old diesel engine, those train whistles, and the hustle and bustle of commuters in general. To others on the train I might appear to be a man on a mission. A lawyer writing an important argument for his court appearance in the morning, perhaps. When actually, I’m more like a man writing his last will and testament when he realizes his train’s on a dead end track and about to plunge over a cliff like in a Road Runner cartoon. Wyle E. Cayote at the helm, riding the Acme train to oblivion and beyond.
More tomorrow. I fell asleep at the half way point. So goes writing on the train.