Courtney S. Barr

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Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Memos: Car Shopping & Writing...

"If you've never bought a car, you don't know anything about maintaining a car. Young buyers don't figure out how much the car is going to cost them the whole year..."
-Jeff Oseroff
Car shopping is a lot of fun...when you can window shop & dream about owning the vehicle or when your funds are unlimited... Not so much fun when you have a budget you must maintain, a teenager who truly is not sure what she wants - and is still developing exactly what style even appeals to her, a husband who just wants to find a good deal and an insurance company to deal with as well. Now, I'm no saint in this equation - I have my own list of requirements and rules for her first vehicle. Overall its just an experience that is exciting, tiring, fun & overwhelming at times. (By the way - thank you mom & dad for a patience that I am now beginning to truly appreciate)

The big details of all of this are no different than any household big purchase but it is the little conversations that appeal to me the most. Discussing the costs that will go into it and informing a 16 year old she will be responsible for gas and that where it goes/who drives it are details that we are seriously discussing at dinner & while running errands. As maintenance & care becomes more & more the subject of the search I realized this is much like writing a manuscript.

You have an idea, a concept of what you want your end result to be. You are not positive that it will be that exact story but you are pointed in a certain direction. The big details: story arc, main character and genre is much like the body, make & model of a vehicle. But it doesn't stop there - interior colors/textures are like setting/time. The miles per gallon/gas prices are much like the relevance of your story/your want for completion: does it get you from A to B at a cost that will allow you to have extra cash - is the story one that you believe in and are ready to put everything you have into it? The engine is your characters. All those parts, those tiny pieces that get the story running & keep the driver going where they need to go...Such details that we sometimes labor over and other times we just dive right in. For us, we are researching, trying to make smart decisions, safe decisions yet also make it something fun. For me, I am still maintaining - working at getting the interior details & maintaining flow. We just don't always realize how much goes into maintenance. The revising, the changes, the aggravation, the excitement, the stress, the lack of sleep, the joy, the tears...the brake pads, the oil, the gas prices, the balance & rotation, the insurance, the cleaning...

The best part about all of this is that with both cars & writing, sometimes all we need to do is trade in or maybe, just maybe, we only need a fresh coat of paint, a weekend joy ride or an appraisal to remind us that we have a classic on our hands.

We need to be patient and enjoy the fact that over time our value will be retained, even if its only by a select few - we can be proud of the end result and enjoy those Sunday afternoon drives...
Hello Monday! How is everyone today?

Do you have to tell yourself to say "no" so that you can focus on writing?Roni Griffin tackles this issue & as a fellow Southern gal, I feel her pain...

So Blaze or Dry Rot? Don't know? well wander over to Book Dreaming..I can promise you Shannon is always blazing!

Frankie met Sara Shepard! Yep - are you a Pretty Little Liars fan? If not, well shame on you - the books rock and the show is fun! Scoot over to her blog and you just might win a signed copy - or don't more chances for me... ;o)

Have a Magical Monday!


  1. My son just bought himself an older truck. It was far better for insurance purposes to buy a truck - and he loves having it. He's paying for the whole shot himself (truck, insurance, repairs, gas) so he took a lot of time to decide what he wanted to spend :)

  2. Very cool analogy. You're spot on. The whole car thing...oy! Hate car shopping.

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  3. My ex-husband (her father) provided my daughters first car and I missed out on all these fun times.

    Since then she's traded up for a Jeep Cherokee and keeps up with the maintenance. Me I'm diving into the maintenance of my WIP now.

    Wonderful analogy!(Hugs)Indigo

  4. Oh, you are so sweet to include me in your list!

    Another great post, Princess. I don't know how you come up with this stuff sometimes, but you always AMAZE! :-)

  5. Do NOT envy your car shopping necessity right now. However, the Sunday drive metaphor sits quite lovely with me ;-)

  6. Dude, what an awesome comparison!

    Car shopping on a budget for a teen has not happened to me yet, thank goodness. Soon, but not yet. (I think we'll give her one of our old cars and buy ourselves a new one...I am thinking that's how it'll go down for us.)

    Lord, I am so not ready for letting the kid drive. *shudder*

    Good luck on your car shopping extravaganza! :)


  7. So glad that I know who I'm coming to for advise when I hit this big occasion...thanks for hitting all these experiences 1st so I can come to you! Love you!

  8. Thankfully, our teen got the hand-me-down fourteen year old car this spring and I got the two year old replacement. She does pay a set amount every week out of her paycheck to go toward insurance and maintenance, and pays for her own gas. Great metaphore!

  9. Thank goodness my son negotiated his own price on his first car, a used Nissan. Darn it. How'd he get better with money than me??? Glad to leave him to it, though. I despise car shopping unless I've got a preapproval from my own bank or cash in hand. Hopefully I'll never feel about writing the same way. Though car shopping and writing are similar, even the difficult parts of writing aren't so detestable to me as battling a greasy car salesman :)

  10. Dependability is the only thing I look for in a car now-a-days. None of the nice amenities make a difference if you can't keep the vehicle out of the shop. :)

  11. I love this! This makes perfect sense to me, and few things do.

  12. Love the comparison! Although, I really hate car shopping. With a passion. Too much to think about!


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