Officially, I began my odyssey in search of the golden fleece in 1990. Just as experienced by Jason and his intrepid band of Argonauts, and Ulysses on his homeward journey after the Trojan wars, this has been an adventure of epic proportions. Last year, as the quest continued, I once again sailed deep into uncharted waters.
When this quest first began, I had a 1948 Underwood typewriter, a 35 mm camera that had cost $25.00, carbon paper, a ream of paper, use of the kitchen table in between meals, a roll of stamps, envelops, a telephone, and the unshakable belief that the golden fleece was more than mere myth. Yesterday, the quarterly royalty statement from a publisher that I worked with about eight years ago arrived in the mail – they owe me $54.83. That should dispel a few myths about the financial fortunes that await the storyteller with a talent for putting those stories on paper.
Jay Leno and my dearest friendat Auo Books-Aero Books in Burbank
This is not to say that there isn’t ample reward in the endeavor. Writing has provided my dearest friend and I with almost unimaginable opportunity for travel, and adventure. It even got us into Jay Leno’s Garage. The greatest reward, however, has been in the friendships made during our odyssey.
Putting food on the table, gas in the Jeep, or rental car, and paying travel expenses has required that I develop other skills to pay the bills and support the writing habit. Then came an era when books were no longer written on paper, and that necessitated the learning of other skills. This in itself has been an odyssey.
First there was acquisition of a computer, and learning to imitate someone who is proficient in the use of a word processor. Next came digital photographs and email. Then creation of the blog, and development of PowerPoint presentations followed.
Now, it is Facebook pages, social media, YouTube channels, and podcasts, to promote the books, the presentations, and various endeavors. A bit intimidated and overwhelmed by the tsunami of technological change, as well as limitations imposed by a mere 24-hours in each day, and the need to ensure the habit of eating on a regular basis continues have all hindered developing a few of those projects to their full potential. Okay, that was the rather lengthy introduction. Now, let’s discuss the current state of the quest for the golden fleece, and its future. First, the YouTube channel. Please, take a look, give me your thoughts, and subscribe today. Next, for more than a year I have been beating my gums about a podcast. There have even been a few published recordings. Well, this morning I dusted off the project, took a deep breath, and thought to myself, enough is enough. Folks are tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. I am tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. So, come hell or high water there will be a podcast. I have been working a bit with Audacity in an effort to ensure the final product was polished and professional. Then I had another idea, why not a podcast about…. learning how to create a podcast, how to develop and market a Facebook page, how to get a book published, how to market the book when its published, and the new technologies behind all of this. We can learn together. In between, to fill space, I can share our adventures on the road less traveled. This was a primary reason for commencing this quest in the first place, the sharing of adventures and encouraging folks to take adventures of their own. With the next blog post I should be able to give a more concrete schedule for both the podcast and YouTube channel updates. Let’s see how that goes. First, tomorrow I have a lunch meeting, and in the afternoon, a radio interview. I also need to finalize the contract for a new book, and see if the proposed US 6 project can be nudged forward a bit.
Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.