Readers' Favorite

February 26, 2014

I Want to Write on @Amtrak with #Amtrakresidency

Yesterday morning while checking my news feeds I saw a headline about Amtrak giving free rides. I love to travel and, hey, free is always good. Turns out it isn't just anyone they are giving free rides to. They are giving free round trips to writers. How cool is that?

I've only taken a US trip by train once. When I was 14 I took Amtrak from Gainesville, GA to New York City. It was an exciting trip and I vividly remember my train ride.

I remember I was reading a Babysitter's Club book, one of the "special editions", about them all going to New York City.

Unfortunately, we traveled overnight and missed out on much of the scenery. Unfortunate also for me because I had an aisle seat and my best friend who rode next to me would shove me off her if I slumped her direction (mind you, she slept with her pillow leaning on the window).  We did get a little more daylight travel than we were suppose to because there was some issue during the night that had the train delayed.

We stopped in Washington, DC to change engines and almost got left behind. Our history teacher Mr. Benton took a group of us off the train to look at station and the doors he thought we could leave through were blocked off so we had to go back through the station. By the time we made it back to the track, the train was already moving out. Running to jump on a moving train - pretty priceless for a 14 year old. It was like something that would happen to a character in the books I read. I also didn't realize how large the train was until we got on several cars away from our car.

I remember playing cards and pooling what was left of our spending money to buy snacks in the club car on the return trip. I remember we couldn't find the dining car, though I remembered how good the food smelled when we were taking the "long walk" to our car after leaving the DC station on the trip up. I remember trying to walk in a straight line on the way to the bathroom and the fear of noticing the tracks beneath us as we traveled from one car to another.

It has been 23 years since that train trip. My memories of the week spent in New York City are just a big blur, but the train ride, which was suppose to just be a means to an end, stands out.

The thought of writing while riding around the country on a train would be a dream. It would be so conducive to my writing style. I wrote Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour in a weekend. I'm just waiting for a free weekend where I focus on nothing but putting together the next book. A round trip would give me the time I needed to do just that.

Amtrak - If you are reading this, I hope you will accept this as my application for your Writers' Residency program.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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