Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Musings: Accidents & Happenings

I commute an average of two hours a day, 45 minutes to work, 1:15 home, if I'm having a good day. I've done this for six months now, and it started out being terribly long. But over the past few months, I've come to embrace it because it gives me two hours a day to read (audio books and text-to-speech on my Kindle).

With six lanes of heavily congested highway traffic at all hours of the day, I've seen my share of accidents. But since I've been doing this extended commute, I am caught in extra traffic due to accidents daily, whether its on my side of the freeway, or on the opposite side causing drivers to slow down and gaze upon the carnage.

Last week, I was caught in a three car accident. A fire engine and several police cars completely blocked traffic to help clean debris and make room for an ambulance. The three cars were smashed together to make one long Frankenstein-fused vehicle. Once I was allowed to pass, within five miles of driving, I witnessed two cars collide on the opposite side of the freeway, sending several more cars into the concrete center divider and others to shoot out to the shoulder. Two days later, I passed a five or six car crash, with one of the cars flipped upside-down. People ran through traffic trying to help one another. No emergency vehicles had yet arrived.

Seeing these things every day is helping to mold a new perspective. I am very small in this great big world, but I can have a significant impact on many people's lives, for good or bad. Accidents may be a strange place to find inspiration, but the world is a strange place. And perhaps, I'm a strange person.

This week in Happenings

Candilynn @ My Writerly Musings has announced her July Follow My Lead flash fiction contest. Be sure to check it out and submit some fiction of your own. I'll be submitting mine on Friday the 20th. Why not this Friday for Friday Flash you ask? Well...keep reading to find out.

James Anderson has just begun a new Friday theme: Ask the Editor Fridays. Have an editorial question you've been dying to ask? Send James an email and your question could find itself in his next post.

On Friday, I'll be with Arlee Bird @ Tossing It Out for one of his Hijack My Blog posts. It is an extra special post for me because I'll be announcing the title of The Lorne Family Vault, Book 2. I'm so excited to share it and I hope you enjoy my post. It won't quite be my usual flash fiction, but I hope you find it entertaining. :)

What else is happening this week? Would you like to share? I'd love to spread the word.


  1. When my late husband was alive we used to travel quite a bit by car and have seen some dreadful motorway accidents. Caused by people just being in a hurry.

    Blog wise have not much on as
    Usual , just the odd poem here and there but I enjoy reading fellow follwers blogs.

    Have a good week.

  2. I ride the bus every day and my commute is always about 2 hours each way with the wait times. I have to take two buses now that I have moved. i see accidents all te time and it inspires me to be thankful I am on a bus and to pray for those involved.

    Inspiration comes from all over and you never know what will trigger it.

    Congrats on the new book! I can't wait to read all about it at Arlee's blog.

  3. I think accidents happen because drivers are too aggressive. We need to get where we are going yesterday. This makes us drive too close, fast, while multi-tasking and so on.

    Congratulations on your new book.


  4. I'm thankful my commute is much shorter!
    Accidents remind us that we are mortal and all it takes is one moment of stupidity to end a life.

  5. You don't have mass transportation where you live? I've been thinking of moving out of the city to a suburb which would make my commute an hour. But the good thing is I can take the train into town. I still haven't decided if this is the right thing for me.

  6. Wow! That's quite a long commute, but at least you get some reading done during it.

  7. My commute is very short, but a few years ago it was long. I found it aggravating, since I'm not an audiobook person. I did enjoy listening to music, though. Thankfully, I didn't witness too many crashes.

  8. We used to drive from NY to Myrtle Beach, SC once a year for bike week. My husband took the bike, I took the 'support vehicle' aka my truck. That was the best 12 hours. I wrote in my head the whole way. Saw some bad accidents too but mostly just 'me' time and it was awesome.
    Looking forward to your news on Friday!

  9. Thanks for the shout out Mike.

    My commute is similar since I have to pick up my son. People do drive really aggressive. I do wish So. Cali would get its act together and make viable public transit.

  10. Yvonne, we're all too anxious to be somewhere else. As Ferris Bueller would say, "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Thanks and have a great week! :)

    Melissa, thanks, I'll look for you there. :)

    Teresa, thanks, that's the good thing about listening to a good audiobook, I;m not in a rush anymore.

    Alex, yeah I miss my 15 mile commute, that was a breeze in comparison.

    Michael, there are a few trains around, but none to where I have to go everyday.

    Cherie, I feel productive most of the time.

    Medeia, I love music too, so there are days I have to take a break from reading and crank up some tunes!

    James, that would be nice, I'd take it.

  11. You've got such an amazing perspective, Michael. It's so refreshing to see. I'm really loving your blog and your posts. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I don't think you're strange at all, I admire your perspective.

    I'm anxious to read about your next book on Friday, very exciting! :)

  13. I can't believe how long your commute is? WOW! California, right? Man, that sucks. Be safe!

  14. Carrie, I'm trying. It's tough out there.

    Morgan, I appreciate that! :)

    Julie, thanks so much! :)

    Mina, So. Cali, there are a few too many people here. haha.

  15. Thanks for sharing the latest "happenings." :)

  16. I used to commute an hour each way before relocating to a new job in a new state and I'm down to 30 mins each way, but I cannot listen to the text to speech option on my Kindle. The robot pronunciation is too distracting... I may as well have my GPS tell me a story. Is there a trick to it or were you able to download a better voice option? If I could listen while driving, I bet I could have Provex City knocked out in a week or two ;-)

    As for accidents... there's nothing like a little danger and/or near encounter with death to make one re-evaluate their place in this great, big universe. I don't think that's strange at all. I saw one back in Florida that sat very heavy with me for a long time... I started to write a story about it, but had forgotten it altogether until now. I think you may have just inspired some flash fiction on my end. So how's that for some inspiration transference stemming from an odd place?


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