Last year, Amtrak offered a residency program for writers, where Amtrak would provide a free round-trip ticket to qualifying writers. A type of “working vacation” if you will, where there is no distraction except for the clack-clack-clack of train wheels on rail as the train criss-crosses the continent. It sounds wonderful in theory.
I gave some thought to signing up, but I'm not a writer, nor an aspiring writer (even if I play one on the Intarwebs). I figured I would forgo the chance for a free train ride and let someone more deserving have a shot.
Yeah, like with 16,000 applicants I ever stood a chance of going.
Now we get to practice.
Calling the train ride “bumpy” is incorrect. It's not bumpy. It's not a constant “up-and-down” motion but more a “left-right” motion. I would call it “swishy.” It's a very swishy ride.
It's so swishy that it's damn near impossible to write! My typing rate was about a quarter normal and the use of the backspace key was at an all time high.
How in the world is anyone expected to write?
That is my biggest complaint about the trip so far. I had this intention of writing during the trip to Kissimmee but it proved a fruitless endeavour. It was just too damn swishy to write.
The other issue was the cell phone coverage. The Silver Meteor doesn't have wi-fi, but that's okay because I can use my cell phone as a hot spot. Or I would had the cell coverage been decent, and it wasn't.
What the XXXX, Verizon‽ I thought you were supposed to have like the best coverage of all celular carriers. Hello? Hello?
Hmm … I guess they can't hear me.
Three swishy hours later and all I have to show for it are nearly incoherent notes filled with typos. There is no way you can expect to actually write on a train trip.