Writer’s Residency via Amtrak?

amtrak train

amtrak train

I saw this very intriguing article about Amtrak possibly offering writer’s residencies on some of its long haul trips. They’re definitely going to be a limited offering and also probably limited to routes that are off-season at the time. For me, that makes it even more intriguing, sort of like getting to be on your very own “Orient Express” type setting– only without the crowding, murder, and mayhem.  Think of all the crowding and murder and mayhem that could happen in your head on such a trip, if that’s the sort of story you like to write! I love to travel and as much as I enjoy driving, paying attention to the road does limit the amount of sightseeing one can do.  I’ve often had some pretty interesting writing ideas pop into my head at the wheel, only to have them evaporate after a long day of driving.

I used to write on the city bus, producing notebooks full of crazy cursive with weird marks and jots made by every bump in the road. Train travel would be a bit smoother, either for longhand or keyboarding.  I wouldn’t want to be on a train with Internet, however. I would update my blog/Twitter/Facebook at station stops and be blissfully disconnected the rest of the time, with no temptation to “just check my email.” All in all, it’s a nice fantasy writer’s retreat idea. As long as one doesn’t get motion sickness!

I found out about this via Shelf Awareness. If you like getting book industry news or emails about new books, I recommend signing up for their emails.