Guest Post ~ Tom Schabarum, “Airstreaming” 2

 

What a pleasure it is to introduce you to my Guest Post ~ Tom Schabarum, author of “Airstreaming”. With a virtual introduction, I feel honored to know this kind, adventurous and caring man! And, besides his love for Airstreams, he is a huge dog lover, like myself. I have purchased my copy of “Airstreaming” here and have it downloaded to my iPad. Looking forward to reading it on a quiet weekend at the shore! Here is quick glimpse as noted per Amazon.com: “Airstreaming is set in Kansas City, the epicenter of be-bop jazz, train travel and commerce in mid-century Midwest.

The story begins in the early 1970’s, and uses the declining 18th and Vine Jazz District, Union Station and West Bottoms stockyards, as its backdrop, as well as the outlying town of Olathe, Kansas.

Airstreaming refers to the icon of American travel, the Airstream trailer, which conjures up dreams of escape for many people. The trailer becomes a catalyst for three women whose extraordinary circumstances bind them together.” Enjoy.

Please welcome, Tom Schabarum ~

Silver Writing: A Look at How AIRSTREAMING Evolved

The life of a writer is a strange thing. For this one, it’s a mish mash of dedication and fear. Fear that the next sentence won’t come, or more importantly, that it won’t be any good. Even with the response I’ve had from the work, I’m still hesitant to get the sentences out. Much like ‘Streamers polishing their trailers down to its bright silver shine, we writers work on our sentences until they, too, shine.

My new novel, AIRSTREAMING, brought to the surface many things I’d hoped for as a writer – a chance to tell a story outside of myself, to move others, to do research on a thing and place that would imbue the work with authenticity, and to meet a lot of great people as writing is such an insular process.

Twelve years ago I had an idea of writing about an Airstream trailer. Twelve years! The idea became a short story with a young girl named Linda, a couple, Jack and Martha, and the Airstream, which had magical powers of translucence. Hmmm. Not so good. Then the story became a screenplay, better – it became a finalist in the Chesterfield Screenplay competition, which is a pretty big one. Then, the story – or idea – began telling me it needed to be a novel, something bigger, something more detailed.

I enrolled in the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars and found out just how much work I needed to do. I finished up my second novel, THE NARROWS, MILES DEEP, in the first year and began AIRSTREAMING as a novel in the second year. One of my teachers, Doug Bauer (The Very Air and The Famous Book of Iowans) said: if I wanted to continue down the road of magical realism I’d better read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I did, and that book became my favorite all-time novel, and made me abandon my ambitions of writing magical realism.

At the same time, a neighbor of mine in Santa Barbara, California was restoring a vintage Airstream to take his family around the country and Canada for two years. He stripped it of everything and started from scratch. Watching him do this gave me ideas and I marveled at the craftsmanship he put into the restoration. When the trailer was finished, it was highly functional for four people and beautifully appointed for life on the road. This gave me the impetus to reset the story to a place that was quintessentially American – Kansas City – here was a city that had contained two important things that thread through the novel: Be-bop Jazz and trains.

My research took me to 18th and Vine where all the greats played, but had declined from its heyday in the 30s and 40s. Union Station, a grand old building that saw the comings and goings for decades, too, was in disrepair at the time this novel takes place. But the memories of music and train travel for the characters in the book are strong, and they steadfastly hold onto them to keep their lives on course.

For my MFA thesis, I finished about one quarter of AIRSTREAMING, which went through several drafts. Now I had more characters – a father, a mother, some neighbors, a boy.

And then, upon graduation in 2002, I abandoned writing altogether. Life got in the way. I moved to Washington State, began working a lot, and would revisit the book sporadically over the years and pages accumulated little by little. So much happened in those years to me personally and then, in 2010, a mid-life crisis shook me to my core. I’d been working so much, not enjoying life, and had lost family and my dog.

My first novel, THE PALISADES, had been sitting around in my drawer and computer for years and years. Then, the self-publishing phenomenon took off and I decided to put it out as an e-book and paperback. I began receiving notes and surprising e-mails from readers around the country, which buoyed my confidence. I won a poetry competition. I put my second book out and began working on AIRSTREAMING in a little corner of my local coffee shop. In the morning, I’d walk, come home, rewrite what I’d written the day before, shower, go to the coffee shop and spend 4-5 hours working on the novel. I was steadfast in my routine for several months, and did not break it until the novel was finished. This thing that was rattling around in my head was now finished. I was relieved and a little dismayed. Now what?

I was given the name of an editor who took the book and helped me refine it and make sure that everything made sense. I added another 4000 words and took out quite a few as well. I also went back to my coffee shop.

I’ve put AIRSTREAMING out on Kindle and Nook in hopes that it will find an audience. I’ve learned a lot about social media in the year I’ve had my books out.

In marketing AIRSTREAMING in the last couple of months, I’ve reached out to many people in the AIRSTREAM community, who’ve been incredibly thoughtful and wonderful. My hope is to buy a Flying Cloud soon and rid myself of the stuff that ties me down and go out on the road with my partner.

There is a sequel brewing in my head. I’ve written the first pages, the sentences are coming out clear and strong. Linda needs to continue her adventure, and so do I.

AIRSTREAMING can be found on Amazon.com as an e-book and paperback, and on Nook as an e-book. For more information, go to my website or tschabarum.wordpress.com where he writes a literary blog called Word Incident.

Photo Source: Tom Schabarum

Dreamy Pop-Up Glamper ~ Opera Reply

My oh my!! This is one cutie pie pop-up camper! For anyone who finds themselves not interested in towing a fifth wheel, Airstream or other heavier travel trailer, Opera is for you, my friends! The Opera is manufactured by the Netherlands-based Your Suite in Nature (YSIN) and was designed after the Sydney Opera House. This compact beauty has it all~gorgeous design, functionality and ease of transport. Luxurious details of Opera include: stunning teak deck, two electrically adjustable beds that can turn into one, hot air heating, the boiler (8 gallon water tank) supplies warm water to the kitchen, fountain and the exterior shower, ceramic toilet, 9.5 gallon top loading refrigerator, low-energy LED lighting from awning to floor, two cupboards, and a wine storage cabinet as well as baggage and clothing storage.

The Opera is about 1,350 kg (2,973 lbs.) and is available in three color schemes. It’s being sold in Europe and Australia for approximately €27,680 ($36,152) and the company is looking for additional international sellers.

 

Photo source: Opera~YSIN

Airstream 2013 Model Year Upgrades & Improvements 4

A big shout out and thanks to Colonial Airstream for providing members of Air Forums this just released list of Airstream 2013 upgrades, improvements and current trailer sizes available per model.

2013 Sport

Available Floor Plans: 16′ Bambi & 22’FB Bambi

Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation

2013 Flying Cloud

Available Floor Plans: 19′ Bambi, 20′ Bambi, 23′ D, 23’FB, 25’A Twin, 25’B Queen, 25′ FB Twin, 25′ FB Queen, 27′ FB Twin, 27′ FB Queen, 28’A Twin, 28’W Queen, 30′ Recliner Queen, 30′ Recliner Twin, 30′ Sofa Twin, 30′ Sofa Queen, 30′ Lounge Twin, 30′ Lounge Queen

Twin Beds now an option on 28′ and 30′
Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker
23′ CNB Deleted from model offering

2013 International Signature

Available Floor Plans: 19′ Bambi, 23’D, 23’FB, 25’B, 25’FB, 27’FB, 28’W, 30′ Lounge, 30′ Recliner

New Ebony laminate replaces Wenge laminate
New high gloss Amber Fusion countertop laminate replaces Sand Crystal
Contemporary new lavy faucet
Satin metal roof locker finger pulls
New Espresso ultraleather option
Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Filtered cold water in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker
16′ Deleted from model offering

2013 International Serenity

Available Floor Plans: 19′ Bambi, 23’D, 23’FB, 25’B, 25’FB, 27’FB, 28’W, 30′ Lounge, 30′ Recliner

Contemporary new lavy faucet
New Espresso ultraleather option
Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Filtered cold water in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker
16′ Deleted from model offering

2013 International Sterling

Available Floor Plans: 25’FB Queen & 27’FB Queen

New model line for 2013
Contemporary new lavy faucet
Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Filtered cold water in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker
Interior decors:
Arctic Dijon (White ultraleather with yellow Floor)
Obsidian Violet (Gloss Black ultraleather with Purple Floor.

2013 Eddie Bauer

Available Floor Plans: 25’FB Queen & 27’FB Queen

Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Premium aluminum dinette table leg
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker

2013 Classic Limited

Available Floor Plans: 27’FB Twin, 27’FB Queen, 30′ Twin, 30′ Queen, 31′ Dinette Twin, 31′ Dinette Queen, 31′ F/S Dinette Twin & 31′ F/S Dinette Queen

Jade interior decor no longer available
Ultraleather sofa is now standard in 30 & 31′
Deleted molded rear bumper with slide out storage compartment, replaced with polished rear bumper with storage
Added under-floor storage with lid at rear storage area under bed 30′ and 31′
Cutlery drawer with hardwood maple drawer organizer in galley
Aluminum entry door threshold
Batteries re-located from shell to A-frame
Cast aluminum clearance light bezels
enlarged BluRay roof lockers to allow room for satellite receivers
Upgraded flooring
“Green” Ecobatt insulation
Double exterior socket for park TV and portable satellite inputs
Portable satellite pre-wire from exterior input to BluRay roof locker

 
Photo Source: Airstream, Inc.

Super Easy & Delicious Potato Salad Reply

Whenever I’m in the deli section of a grocery store, I often wonder why anyone would purchase “store-bought” potato salad. It’s so easy to make and so much better tasting. This past weekend we attended our annual Rocky Mountain Triumph Club’s Spring Car Show. We pulled out our cooler and filled it with crispy fried chicken and our home-made potato salad and away we went. Not only did we eat well at our cute little picnic table and folding chairs but, we took home 1st Place for our 1968 Triumph TR250 and Best of Show!!!

I never really measure the ingredients for my potato salad so bear with my as I’m trying to figure out the exact measurements for you.

Potato Salad

2 lbs red potatoes

1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped

Couple stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon celery seed

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Boil the potatoes with the skin on till cooked, remove from water (you can peel them or if you prefer the skins on, your preference) cut into small squares. Add all ingredients together once the potatoes have cooled. At this point, taste the potato salad to see if you need to add more salt, celery seed or any other ingredient. Voila!! It’s that simple and really delicious. Bon Appetit!

 Photo Source: Anna Sullivan