Fast and furious may be the descriptor of the latest Washington inspired debacle but it also could be used to describe another week in the world of Jim Hinckley. In other words, it was situation normal.
Topping the list of time consuming obsessions would be the latest book endeavor with a looming deadline of March 1, 2013. To date I have the rough draft for 1.5 chapters complete. If I had the opportunity to lock myself away for four or five weeks, the 1st draft in its entirety would be complete.
This, however, is the real world and as a result the writing process is subverted by more pressing concerns, little things like developing the marketing and promotion of the last book (which is scheduled for release in October), and the myriad of details that constitute day to day living.

Long ago I learned that each writer and author has a unique process, a certain order in which the process of creating a feature article or book is done. To the casual observer this process may seem odd, disjointed, or even nuts.
For me the receipt of a contract usually marks the end of a frustrating process that may have been ongoing for months. As a result, I can envision the finished work with absolute clarity but am too weary to allow the excitement of a battle won to energize me enough to write. The enthusiasm for the project is lacking.
Usually the first step, for me, occurs a few weeks after contract approval. This manifests as an all consuming passion to organize my office to the extreme that on occasion results in a complete dismantling, cleaning, and even rearrangement.
Then comes a pause, a reluctance to begin even though the clock is ticking accompanied by an odd sense of something growing, something taking shape in the back of my mind. Then as corn seems to burst from the ground after a good soaking rain, the framework for the completed book in its entirety from introduction to sidebars lunges to the forefront of my thoughts and there is an all consuming passion to put in into print before it slips back in the dark recesses of my mind. But first the dragon that is research with its tedium and thrill of discovery must be subdued.
Then the all consuming passion to write, to share the discovery is unleashed. Then the research can be hung on the long envisioned framework. Then the hours vanish as the words pour forth like a river untamed. Then the need to stop because it is time for work, or to sleep, or to eat, fill me with frustrations akin to being engulfed in a cloud of gnats or mosquito’s on a delightful summer evening.
And so it begins. Last week, I would rush home from the office, have dinner with my dearest friend, and loose myself in the work while the hours vanished like snow on an a summer day in Arizona.

Mr. and Mrs Lile in Tucumcari during the Wheels on 66

As this will be my eighth book, I have become as comfortable with this eccentric pattern of development as I am with the changing of the seasons. It is simply my process.
Meanwhile, life outside my island of creativity goes on. Today I had an abbreviated visit with Dale Butel of Route 66 Tours in Brisbane, Australia. Tonight is dinner with friends. In the week to come, some additions to the forthcoming Powerhouse Visitor Center photo exhibition, organizational meetings for the formation of the World’s Largest Route 66 Museum, as well as correspondence with friends to coordinate schedules for forthcoming travel.
First it is the International Route 66 Festival in Victorville where a litany of old friends will be gathered. Then it is the journey east to Cuba Fest for the debut of the Route 66 Encyclopedia, and another opportunity to visit with Bob Lile and his charming wife in Amarillo, Bob and Ramona at the Munger Moss Motel, Nancy and Kevin at the Blue Swallow Motel, and a few dozen others along the way.
But now it is time to answer the call, to let the words flow, and to let the process unfold.

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