But behind every short-winded story, there is a long-winded story…
It recently occurred to me that if I were not myself, but a reader of this blog, I might be wondering what Brad and Sheena did with themselves upon their return from their 927 days of wonder. Give in to Sheena’s discovered love for miniature barking deer and start a deer farm? Capitalize on Brad’s affinity for replacing wheel bearings and start a VW repair shop? No, and no. Please. It was nothing like that. There was a short period of jubilation, followed by a brief period of soul-searching and uncertainty, and then I locked myself in my mother’s closet. For thirty hours. I don’t have any idea what Sheena was doing during that time because we had separated. Temporarily! We had separated temporarily because she thought that my idea of locking myself in a closet was asinine, and she had better things to do.
The idea had come to me while standing outside of a comedy club in Portland with Pat and Ali Schulte, and their friend Nick. Our paths had last crossed in Mexico at the very beginning of our trip. Oh, such infectious memories…
Now, in Portland, I discussed publishing with Pat. Since our last meeting he had released two audiobooks, and he very casually threw around terms like “so easy,” and “no-brainer.” I thought to myself: Yes, this is just the thing for me. I shall turn Drive Nacho Drive into an audiobook. It will be an easy no-brainer!
Flash forward to me sitting in my mother’s closet. I had decided that it would be the perfect recording studio: quiet and private, where I could read our book aloud into a sleek recording device, free from the burdens of self-consciousness and social engagement. I had lined the shelves with pillows to absorb sound. I had crammed a big puffy chair in there. I had sealed the crack under the door with socks. It quickly became stifling, because my mother lives in an uninhabitable desert environment and I had hermetically sealed myself into a tiny closet.
But in that cramped, sweaty closet I read and I read, for three straight days, ten hours per day. My voice became hoarse and soon fell victim to acute vocal fry. It didn’t bode well for my audiobook goal. I sounded like a howler monkey. And furthermore, I couldn’t seem to go more than a few seconds without messing up.
When finally I emerged from my mother’s closet, I wanted to harm Pat Schulte, for he had sold me a pack of lies! But alas, the wounds healed, my vocal fry smoothed out, we loaded up Nacho and our cat, and we moved to Seattle. Meanwhile, Pat and Ali escaped to Mexico, avoiding my wrath. There is more to say, but I think I have summarized it well.
Finally, after much procrastination and internal conflict, I convinced myself to sit down and edit the thirty hours of audio that I had captured on my sleek recording device. I put on big headphones like the sound engineers do, and I looked at all of the waveforms on my screen. I deftly manipulated them, bobbing my head like a DJ as my fingers danced across the keys. And after my first twelve hour day of audio engineering I cracked my knuckles, took a swig of beer, sat back and savored the sweet fruit of my labor through the headphones. All twenty minutes of it.
I quickly tapped out an impromptu cost-benefit analysis. Pat was way off base here. This was neither easy, nor a no-brainer. I shelved the remaining 29 hours and 40 minutes of audio and made a spitting sound in disgust. If the people wanted to know what had happened out there, they would just have to read about it for now.
Which brings me, finally, to the subject of this short announcement: our second book. After a period of recovery, Sheena and I decided that it was time to write the follow up to Drive Nacho Drive, which, as you will recall, was our first book, and was about driving Nacho from Arizona to Tierra del Fuego. That part of the trip had taken 13 months, and we had published the book while we were in Thailand. But then we proceeded to drive all the way around the world–for 17 more months–from the east coast of Asia to the west coast of America. There was much left to tell!
Over the course of several months following our relocation to sunny Seattle, I more or less became a hermit, squandering what could have otherwise been a healthy and fulfilling social life, to write 927 Days of Summer. Despite becoming known as a “flaky guy,” and always being reminded of how red my eyes looked, the process was deeply fulfilling. There were so many things that we wanted to convey during our trip, but which were ill-suited for a blog format, and this gave me a chance to put it all down. The result is something Sheena and I are very proud of, and we’re both really excited to birth it into the world.
So here it is! Please enjoy! And when you’ve finished reading it we would be eager to hear what you thought of it.
Audiobook >> (Just kidding!)