Saturday, August 17, 2013

Traveling the Road Less Traveled

By Rich

My recent trip to Las Vegas offered a few differences than the ones before. First, I took the entire family, making for some interesting, a.k.a. frustrating, adventures. The mode of transportation became the second change. Instead of a flight from Denver, I decided to drive the 800 miles to save a bit of money. I didn't expect a spectacular show at the time I made the choice.

My kids enjoyed Hoover Dam, the Bellagio water show, and M&M World, even though they griped at every conceivable moment. I, on the other hand, found the drive across Interstates 70 and 15 to be the best part of the trip. A born and bred East Coast boy, I always flew across the country for my fix of hot weather, smoky casinos, and $4 bottled water. I never knew what I was missing following the Colorado River out of Colorado and into Utah.

The magnificent starkness of the changing landscape astounded me. Every exit of a tunnel or canyon or climb up a mountain revealed a scene no photo does justice to. With barely anyone else on the road I could look around and drink it all in. Not too much, though - I didn't want to end my vacation with a plummet down one of the canyons. Even on the way back home I remained enthralled at the view, especially the parts I missed traveling at night on my way to Las Vegas.

In the end I was quite glad I traveled the road less traveled, and it got me to thinking if I do the same thing in my writing. Many of us tend to stay the same path because it's easy to navigate and get off  as quick as possible. However, where's the sense of adventure in that? True, we have a obligation to our readers to provide something familiar, but that doesn't mean we can't twist it up once in awhile to get their hearts beating like they did when they picked up our first piece. In fact, some readers anticipate it.

Don't disappoint them or yourself, and take the road less traveled on your next vacation or trip into your writing world. You never know what exciting scenery is ahead of you.

Have you taken a physical or mental road less traveled?


Lynn said...

You're absolutely right about changing it up. Isn't it great how travel tends to do that? Without getting in a car or plane though, my latest favorite way to change it up is to experiment with writing different kinds of scenes. Writing an action scene (after getting inspired by Bonnie Ramthun at NCW conference) was a new thing for me, and I loved it. Now I'm playing with a dream sequence - don't know if I'll use it anywhere or not, but it's definitely the road less traveled for me. Thanks for the post.

Patricia Stoltey said...

It has been a few years since my husband and I drove this trip, but one of the highlights for me was discovering the petroglyphs tucked away near Thompson Springs in Sego Canyon. The scenery is definitely spectacular.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

I love it. You can see so much more on the less traveled path. I love your pics!

Anonymous said...

I actually did travel a road not taken in my writing recently. I usually don't write stories in which murders take place, but after reading such a short story lately, I was inspired to write the story from a different angle. I submitted the piece to the same magazine where I read the original story and explained what inspired the piece to the editor, but the story was rejected, the editor said, due to lack of space. Oh well, there are other fish in the sea.

Anonymous said...

I love back roads, two-lane highways where the Interstate took another route -- yep. As for my writing, I'm not sure where I'm traveling right now. Just know I'm traveling without a map!

Deborah Nielsen said...

I travel a lot by motorcycle which just naturally seems to lead to roads less traveled. My writing lately, though, hasn't traveled much of anywhere. It's taken a back seat to photographing the sights along the roads less traveled instead of writing about them.

Nicole R. Hill said...
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