Last Sunday, I brought the awesome kiddo named THE EMSTER back to college, which is about five hours away in normal driving times. But last Sunday was not normal driving times. Last Sunday was a day where:
1. A train derailed in Brooklyn killing people.
2. There was a 70-car pile up in Worcester, Mass.
3. About 50 cars went off the road on the turnpike I was driving on.
4. It took eight hours to get home instead of five.
And I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I got the Emster down to college without going off the road or even slipping. I got out of Cambridge, Mass. without getting stuck in traffic any where. But once I was back in Maine, things got crazy again. It sleeted. It rained. It snowed. It hailed. It wasn't super bad weather, really, but it wasn't nice. The first few cars I came across all had tow trucks or state troopers helping them. Then there was the guy in the pick-up truck who was in the center median. His front grill was smashed into trees. I pulled over and so did another guy in a truck. I ran across the highway, which was kind of fun because it was like that old video game FROGGER and since I wasn't flattened by any semis, I totally made it to the next level. I tried to remember all my first aid. But the guy in the smashed-up pickup was totally fine and already calling for help. I got back in the car and drove more.
Another state-trooper covered accident.
Another accident without a trooper. But they were okay, too.
And then there was the Maine State trooper car that was smashed up, which seemed like a kind of bad sign.
And then there was a sudden stopping of all the cars on the highway.
"It is the apocalypse," I texted once the car was stopped. "Or maybe just an accident."
My friend texted back, "BE ALERT FOR ZOMBIES!"
And I wondered if he meant real zombies or people who become zombie like when a turnpike turns into a parking lot.
According to the truck driver in the Ames Hardware Store 18-wheeler, who was the source of all turnpike knowledge, there was a multi-car pile-up and we would be stopped for about an hour. That hour became two. Which was totally okay with me because it's nice to not be dead or have your car off the road.
And it seemed to kind of be okay with everyone. People got out of their cars, stepped into a darkness only illuminated by headlights. They stretched. They made friends. They walked into the woods in the middle of the highway and stumbled out again. Okay. That reminded me of zombies, honestly. They talked.
At one point, the truck driver came out of his truck with a mallet/sledgehammer type thing, which was kind of freaky, but he just used it to smash snow or something off his tires.
At one point, a woman sang Christmas carols off key as she walked between the cars. Thankfully, she stopped. This reminded me that one nice thing about a zombie apocalypse is a lack of off-key singing because zombies don't sing. Score one for zombies, honestly.
At one point, a man came around offering water bottles. They were not spiked with zombie virus. They were just Poland Spring water bottles.
People turned off their cars. People eventually stopped texting. People talked to each other (and not just about the off-key caroler, I swear). They talked about being stuck in the dark and the snow. They talked about their trips, their destinations, whether or not they should turn off their cars to save gas.
And at one point, cars started moving and everyone who was out of their cars sprinted back, which was humorous because the road way was slippery.
And then we all moved again, past tow trucks, past the accident scene, past other accidents, and home.
I kind of miss those people and Mr. Truckdriver (who would be totally handy in a real apocalypse) and I really hope the people in the accident weren't hurt, but what I love is how kind all these strangers on the turnpike were to each other and how quickly community can be built if you want it to be.
*SCORE! TWO BLOGS IN ONE DAY! - I feel all triumphant. *
So, I was thinking about why I never blog any more and I decided that I am too scared to blog.
"You? Carrie Jones? The blabber mouth? The person who blogged pretty much every single day from 2007- 2011? You are afraid to blog?" Imagine my brain saying this to itself or something like that, okay?
And I was like, "Yes, Brain that is talking to itself. I am indeed afraid to blog."
And Other Part of my Brain was like, "Um… why?"
It's like this:
1. Blogging used to be easy and fun because nobody read it and when people did read it they were ultra-supportive.
2. Blogging isn't like that any more.
Blogging is almost like an invitation to argue for some people, and I am super conflict-averse. How conflict averse? You could basically say every major mistake in my life has happened because I was afraid of yelling or fighting back on behalf of myself.
So… one day I had a blog about how guns were not the issue in an episode of mass violence, but that it was deeper than guns. The event that I blogged about involved a lot of people instantly guessing the gunman's motives. I said that wasn't cool. I also said that mental health issues and societal mores are just as important as guns when trying to prevent massive violence. And I writer I respected became very upset with me. I explained to that writer that I had to delete his comments because they were full of swears and back then my publisher paid for my website and my publisher was not too keen on swears, but he could totally post his opposing opinion again without the swears. The writer took this as censorship. We have not been friends since and I pretty much dread seeing him.
And I know half of you are all like, "Dude, be the bigger person and go reach out the hand of friendship."
And the other half of you are like, "Dude, do NOT talk to him again. He went cray-cray on you."
This is sort of the issue. I feel like every time I post, every time I speak, it could invite conflict and right now I am so anti-conflict. In the past two years my nana, my mom, and my dad have died. I don't have a lot of energy left to invite cranky into my life. And there is something essentially vulnerable in the act of blogging that is more frightening than the act of writing stories about pixie apocalypses or aliens or cross-dressing spies. When you write fiction you get to hide behind your characters and if your soul peeks through in those made-up sentences, it isn't as big a deal. But when you blog it's more like writing a poem in a weird less beautiful way - You are there. Right there. Naked.
Don't imagine me naked. Not pretty.
But at the same time, I don't want to be a total wimp and I understand that blogging is pretty important to writers.
So… I am going to try.
Be warned all my blogs are probably going to have to do with:
1. My dogs
2. Dog fur
4. Cat fur
6. Writers' block
7. Dogs with Writers' block
But most likely they will just be random pictures of one of the seven above things. At least until I feel brave again. Sorry!
So, in the picture above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I am at friends' house having Thanksgiving where I am most likely giving thanks for dogs, dog fur, firefighting and people who read my books. Thank you! (Also, I am second on the left)