Saturday, April 11, 2009


One of my new fellow Florida writer friends sent me an email yesterday that made me laugh out loud. Not the "lol" kind where you type it but don't really mean it. I actually laughed heartily. I mentioned that I was heading to Orlando to visit my parents for the holiday weekend and that I was excited for the drive because it always inspired another great scene to my book series. The first line of her reply email is what made me LOL.
"Driving down I-4 allows you to tap into your inner creativity? That's impressive! :)"

If you've never driven I-4 from Tampa to the west side of Orlando, you won't think it's a funny statement. But trust me and Megan, it's funny. There ain't much to be impressed about on I-4. (Yes I said ain't. I know it's not proper grammar but given the backwoods feel of most of I-4 it is the appropriate word usage.) The giant fake dinosaur at Dinosaur World might inspire a Jurassic Park-esque novel writer, the big plane at the Fantasy of Flight attraction might impress aviation enthusiasts, and most recently the display of Airstream RVs burried in the ground beside Bates RV--based on the famous Cadillac Ranch--might catch the interest of RV travelers, but that's it. That's a detailed summary of the sites to be seen. I don't even get to pass the flashy Disney and Universal Studios billboards because I turn off before I even get close to those exits.

So it is rather strange that every time, without fail, the repetetive drive on I-4 evokes a fantastic scene or conversation for my book. I'm not sure how or why it happens but it always does. Maybe it's because of the music I listen to during my road trip. Lately my IPOD repeatedly plays Blue October and Moby--worlds apart as far as style goes but both are brillaint.

I mean, Moby alone is such a musical genius that I named my dog after him nine years ago. If you haven't ever listened to Moby's "Play" album, go enhance your wellbeing and expand your horizons. Seriously, that album alone has enough emotion in it to inspire a good three or four complete novels. Combine some of those tracks with a long meditative drive down any countryish highway, and I can almost guarantee that you too will have a moment of inner creativity. Even if you don't have the awe inspiring dinosaur, plane, or airstream RV's passing by your window.

And just so you know, I made the drive yesterday and YES another phenomenal scene made its way from my mind to my computer. Thanks I-4...well okay, and Moby.


  1. That is so awesome! I just laughed so hard a little tear appeared in the corner of my eye. I didn't know there were pictures of those RVs online.
    You just made me a little homesick actually. I lived in Plant City for three years, at the exit with the fabulous Dinosaur World. (The same exit also houses a great little winery, which more than made up for the embarrassment of a cheesy dinosaur park).
    And we laugh, but I always hear stories about tourists driving on I-4 and seeing the fake plane display and calling 911 in a panic, thinking they are witnessing an actual plane crash!

    The only long stretch of highway that I have found in FL that is more boring than I-4 is Alligator Alley, from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale.

    Thanks for bringing the laughs!

  2. Awesome! I love when simple things can inspire great scenes. I can't wait to read them someday! :D

  3. I have no clue about the route 1 - 4, but I can imagine the great scenes along this route. Hope one day I can have such a wonderful experience. Trust you have a good time with your your parents. Look forward to hearing from you again, cheers, James Oh

  4. That drive drives me nuts!


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