My next book (no title yet, earliest it will be out is August 2012) is much more focused on a man named Tom than it is on me or my family. But anyone who read Truck knows I have a soft spot for pickup trucks and girls, so here’s an excerpt from the current draft in which I am accompanied by my then 3-year-old, who is resolutely sucking her thumb as we hammer down the backroads:
Jane and I are on our way to visit Tom Hartwig. He’s going to cut and bend some steel for me. Normally the truck would be rolling on blacktop, but crews are resurfacing and reshaping the curves along this stretch of county road, so they have chomped and removed the asphalt. Gravel rattles in the wheel wells, and a whorl of dust spins from beneath the back bumper to drift in our wake. It’s good to drive a dirt road, especially in a pickup truck. You get a whole different feel coming up through the wheel. There’s a little give, a little float to the curves. You feel like maybe life is more liveable when everything doesn’t have to be all double-yellow perfect. Given time and good spirits in the company of a child I believe you should converse with that child, but right now Jane’s thumb is well-planted and furthermore I can cultivate in her worse habits than the love of watching farm fields slide past an open truck window to the tune of yesteryear’s country music legends, so I punch the radio button and dial up Moose Country 106.7. I do my best to raise my children right, but some lessons are best imparted by ladies, specifically among them Patsy, Tammy, Loretta, and even – especially – Dolly.
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