The time has come for the riding of the dog (WITH MISSION UPDATE!)

When the idea was first in my mind and I first confirmed that yes, I was going to be a guest at NecronomiCon Providence August 20–23, and first learned that yes, Shoggoth.net was going to sponsor my trip, and first yes first yes firrrrrrst TWO WEEKS TWO W-W-WEEEEEKS—

twoweeks“Get ready for a mild surprise!”

Ahem. Excuse me. Anyway, when I found out that it was all actually going to happen and I was going to be headed to Rhode Island via Greyhound Bus (hence, “riding the dog”), I wrote the blog entry below. I board this omnibus conveyance on the morrow, just as H.P. Lovecraft did back in the day. I’ll even be eating tins of cold beans in his honor.

So am I embarrassed or even ashamed to be taking the form of travel favored by dishonorably discharged veterans, parolees, and old people who “don’t trust aeroplanes”? Indeed, I am not. Read on to learn more!

Although the concepts are related, there is a wide gulf between embarrassment and shame. Embarrassment is when you are seen getting stuck outside your hotel room stark naked. Shame is when you are seen getting stuck outside your hotel room totally starkers except for a condom and a Hitler mask.

hitler baby

At least you were using protection.

This subject has come up because I have received a promise of sponsorship to travel to NecronomiCon in August commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Old Gent’s birth in the town he loved and wrote about and did walkabouts and just SO MUCH LOVECRAFT GOODNESS.

All the details, from travel to meals to who’s involuntarily sharing their room with me has worked out, which is good, because VIP tickets are $400 (“IP” and just plain “P” tickets are $75) and I hear that luxury hotels in the area, scandalously, are charging people for staying there overnight.

10168
Jerks.

So what’s the embarrassment/shame connection? Well, the aforementioned travel sponsorship is on Greyhound Bus Lines, known for stopping in the worst of every bad area of every city in the country to let you “stretch your legs” and possibly be shivved by a tweaking local. A lot of people think of Greyhound as “last resort travel,” which maybe it is, but it sure beats paying $500 to sit in a coffin-sized “seat” that can also be used as a flotation device for all those large bodies of water between Nevada and Rhode Island.

Also, I don’t trust aeroplanes.

old car

Plate glass windshield, no seatbelts, speeds of up to 17 miles per hour—much safer.

Some people would feel embarrassed to “ride the dog” across the country, what with all the poor-people cooties and whatnot, as if they themselves are not members of that tribe. And others might feel ashamed to take a Greyhound for (as the bus line puts it) 2D, 20H, 35M there and another 2D, 22H, 30M back. (I assume air resistance is responsible for the longer return trip, because science.) Maybe they think that it’s beneath them, or that they’ll have to be near ethnic people, or that they something about bus toilets.

Anyway, for those of you registered for “Hoade’s Fantasy League Bus Season,” here’s the schedule:

Location Arrives Location Arrives Location Arrives
(START) – LAS VEGAS, NV 02:40 PM ST GEORGE, UT 05:45 PM CEDAR CITY, UT 06:40 PM
PAROWAN (E), UT 07:05 PM RICHFIELD (E), UT 09:05 PM GREEN RIVER, UT 11:20 PM
GRAND JUNCTION, CO 01:40 AM GLENWOOD SPRINGS (E), CO 03:50 AM VAIL, CO 05:05 AM
FRISCO (E), CO 05:50 AM IDAHO SPRINGS (E), CO 06:40 AM DENVER RTD MARKET ST, CO 07:30 AM
DENVER, CO 07:35 AM GOODLAND (E), KS 12:20 PM HAYS, KS 04:05 PM
SALINA, KS 05:35 PM JUNCTION CITY (E), KS 07:00 PM TOPEKA, KS 08:15 PM
KANSAS CITY, MO 09:25 PM ST LOUIS, MO 02:25 AM INDIANAPOLIS, IN 09:45 AM
DAYTON TROTWOOD, OH 12:40 PM SPRINGFIELD (E), OH 01:35 PM COLUMBUS, OH 02:35 PM
ZANESVILLE, OH 04:40 PM WHEELING, WV 06:00 PM PITTSBURGH, PA 07:15 PM
RS SLIDING ROCK, PA 09:15 PM PHILADELPHIA, PA 02:00 AM (TRANSFER) – NEW YORK, NY 08:30 AM
WHITE PLAINS, NY 09:30 AM STAMFORD, CT 10:05 AM BRIDGEPORT, CT 10:45 AM
NEW HAVEN, CT 11:20 AM NEW LONDON, CT 12:30 PM MOHEGAN SUN CASINO, CT 12:55 PM
FOXWOODS CASINO (E), CT 01:10 PM (END) – PROVIDENCE, RI 02:15 PM

Yes, that’s right: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and finally Rhode Island. Epic? Yes. A brave man facing the possibility of sitting next to a smelly person for hours, if not days, on end? Certainly.

20140411_113048

Or possibly, y’know, being that smelly person? Mon Dieu, oui.

However, I am not embarrassed, nor ashamed, nor grossed out to be taking Greyhound allllll the way across the country and allllll the way back. I actually think it will be an unforgettable (in a good way) experience. And quite appropriate for the Con that celebrates all things Lovecraft. To wit:

  • When HPL went on a trip down to Florida (as well as New York and other destinations), he took the good old long-distance bus.
  • Since I will be writing a series of dispatches for Shoggoth.net about the Con, I will have a great place to tell of my adventures on the road. Also, since all coaches come with Wi-Fi and power outlets now, I will be able to write and sometimes surf (maybe, just sayin’) during that long 2D, 20H, 35M trip. So it’s also a writing trip. (See the end of this post for an update on that!)
  • Lovecraft didn’t care for New York, and I am scared shitless of NYC, so it’s like sharing one mind with the Master. (Except for the racism, but hey, close enough.)

shutterstock_121422841

“Say, why is this colored fellow sitting in the front of the bus?”
“Oh my god, Lovecraft, shut the fuck up and find your seat.”

I’m also not ashamed, &c. to be riding the dog because it’s a kind of cool way to see America in a way you don’t when you’re flying (of course) but also that you don’t while driving a car, since (for many of us) we must mostly keep our eyes on the road while simultaneously trying to keep those same eyes from closing for sleepy time and death.

So this is what I shall have at the end of this journey (other than a sore back and ass): missives for my dear readers both at Shoggoth.net and at this very blog; some work on my novels and some short stories (see update below); and the ability to sleep sitting up, Joseph Merrick–style.

Let the wacky roadtrip hijinks begin!

shutterstock_86474341And when I say “wacky roadtrip hijinks,” of course I mean “staying quiet while strictly observing all Greyhound policies and Transportation Security Authority regulations.”

Update on “writing the dog” (get it?)

The post reposted above was posted (post post post) on May 11, 2015, and so much has happened since then. For instance, June and July! But more importantly, I have devised a mission to be accomplished during this loooooooooong ride across this great land I like to call “Marezydoats” (no idea why): I am going to write a 50,000-word first draft of my next novel for Severed Press, the working title of which is Tesla and Darwin Vs. Megalodon. (This is not a joke, and is what the book will really be about.)

I figure I have almost 3 full days each way—that’s a total of 6 days for you rocket surgeons out there—during which I will have little to do except sleep or look out the window at one of the following:

  • Desolate, forlorn prairie
  • The very scariest, DO NOT LEAVE THE BUS parts of major cities
  • Darkness

So what am I going to do with that time? Oh, I already told you. Okay, BUT I have devised the word count I need to reach each day in order to finish my trip with a rough draft to expand, rewrite, edit, and deliver to Severed by October. Check it:

image of empty bus word count sheetLook closely and you may just be able to tell this is a repurposed NanoWriMo word count tool.

So really it’s 5 full days and 2 half-days, and I have adjusted each day’s word count appropriately for all 7 writing days: Day 1 is 6,666; Day 2 is also 6,666 (a full day, but given fewer words because writing the beginning is usually slower than writing the middle and end); Day 3 we spring up to 8,333 words, which I believe every writer reading this has done in a day before; then the half-day Day 4 is back down to 6,666 as I roll into Providence.

Upon leaving Lovecraft’s fair city, Day 5 (but Day 1 of the return, you get it) and Day 6 are both a robust 8,333; leaving the half-day of Day 7 just 5,003 words to be written. I feel this can and will be done. Excited? Yes. Anxious? Well, yes, I’m still me. Armed with a SkyRest inflatable travel pillow / drool absorber?

SkyRest pillow You bet your sweet middle-aged, floral-shirt-wearing, creepily mustachioed ass I am!

Tomorrow: The adventure begins!

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