Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just A Speck On The Road To The Next Road

Everyone's busy these days. So it's taking longer than expected to put together the interviews for this blog. It should be worth the wait though, for chats with Scott Parkhurst, Cole Coonce and Holly Felsen Welch. And more are coming...

Meanwhile, I'm busy too, working on multiple book and magazine projects. CarTech has me working on 'Rat Rods - Rodding's Imperfect Stepchildren'. This one had me digging deep to identify my balkiness at the subject matter and I learned some beautiful ugly truths about my rigid narrowmindedness and how I'd managed to forget where I came from. Since that excavation, I'm more comfy in my skin and having big fun now with the book. These guys and their cars are all colorful characters, to say the least - a writer's toybox!

On a more pragmatic note, I'm exploring publishing options for 'Surfing the Asphalt Playground - A Hitch Hiker's Guide to Grassroots Motorsports', the socio-political journal of my time on the road to various race events around the country. A grassroots book seems to demand grassroots publishing, especially when the "impossible to market" subject matter scares traditional publishing houses into closing the blinds and taping scribbled 'Sorry, We're Closed' signs to the door. Luckily, I love a challenge. Expect to see this one being spammed on your Facebook page soon. Or at least stapled to your phone pole.

Some really cool pieces are falling into place now on the latest project - a book of short stories about racers from around the world who come to run in the U.S. - working title: 'Racing to America'. I have about a dozen of these stories so far and more trickling in every day. Jaw dropping stuff of the incredible passion required to build a race car oceans away from the land of instant gratification (parts stores and wrecking yards on every corner) and spending huge money to ship it (and several hangers-on) to and from a longshot at glory in the birthplace of hot rod culture.

A couple of years ago, a local gearhead asked me when I was going to write something about Noel Black . It's excruciating to admit this today, but I was unaware of the guy who grew up one block from me here in Medford, Oregon, then wrenched and drove his way to legendary status, ultimately paying his dues at Bonneville in 1970, when he crashed at well over 400 MPH. As I researched this one, events unfolded that had me talking in tongues, when a much bigger story presented itself. The result is 'Black Wednesday Libretto - The Not So Famous Story of B&N Automotive And Their Attack on the Record Books'. Originally written for Hot Rod magazine, the end product is too long for a magazine and too short for a book. The perfect challenge for a guy with more passion than brains! I have a couple of options in the works, but this one really makes the publishers nervous.

There's also the biography of a hot rod pioneer who doesn't want his story published until after his death (it's that juicy); a magazine feature on the latest car from one of rodding's most edgy and whimsical builders; and yet another CarTech book, deemed Top Secret by my publisher. Typical corporate paranoia, but I'm an obedient slave to the machine myself, so I'll remained zipped up for the team. And oh yeah, I apparently have enough time on my hands to update this blog, dailyish. Life is so sweet. Really. You just can't get here from where I came from. I'm the luckiest guy in town - if you believe in luck. I just may be the most grateful though. I'm lovin' this.

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