I’ve been listening to a lot of Steve Earle again. Steve Earle usually gets me thinking of my Thunder Road series as there’s a lot of Earle songs on my writing playlist. Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing a couple of new Thunder Road short stories, or because Kevin Madison has done a couple new pieces of Thunder Road art, but Ted’s been knocking at my creative door again lately. If I ever write another Thunder Road novel starring Ted Callan, dollars to doughnuts, this is my Chapter One title.
I’m the ramblin’ kind
No matter where I roll everybody stands aside
Lets me rumble down the road aint got a lot of friends
But I’m acquainted with the wind and we’re travelin’ along
This is not a confession. Settle down.
Lately I’ve swung back into a cycle of listening to a lot of Steve Earle.
Which is a good thing.
He’s an amazing storyteller with his songs, and this one is no different. The reason I first started listening to Steve Earle (recently, anyway) was because I was sick of all the music I had on my phone but have been too lazy/busy to swap it out with any care. Much of it was a writing soundtrack from a previous book, and as that novel took me longer to get out the door than I would’ve liked, I was also listening to those songs longer than I would’ve liked.
Earle’s songs don’t necessarily fit the book I’m working on now (it’s a sword and sorcery sort of thing) but they do fit the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo back in 2013, which I haven’t got around to editing since, as I had to finish up the Thunder Road Trilogy. With every Steve Earle song I listen to, I can hear that book calling me again, wanting to be finished.
I just need to hold on to that feeling long enough to get the current book out the door. I’ve been bad in the past at writing first drafts and not editing them soon enough, leaping to the next story I needed to get out of my head.
In the meantime, I can’t get this out of my head.
Well my daddy worked in the coal mine
Till the company shut it down
Then he sat around and drank hisself blind
Till we put him back underground
Now nothin’ grows on this mountain
And what’s a poor boy to do?
Except to wander these hills forgotten
With the oxycontin blues
I was ten days on the road, not six, and flying a lot more than driving, but it’s still good to be home. I’ve loved this song since I was a kid (I still own my great-great uncle’s copy of All Time Great Trucking Songs on vinyl), but I’ve never heard Steve Earle’s version until now.
Well my rig’s a little low, but that don’t mean she’s slow
Got the stacks blowin’ fire and the smoke’s blowing black as coal
My hometown’s coming in sight
If you think I’m happy, you’re right
Six days on the road and now I’m gonna make it home tonight