Friday, April 7, 2017

Born to be--Wise

 HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I have two step-kids, and they are awesomely awesome, but one thing about my life, and I think about this sometimes, is that it was never my responsibility to say to a child:  No tattoos! No staying out late! No MOTORCYCLES.  Which I would, indeed, have said.

For ten million dollars, I would not get on a motorcycle. And I cannot remember ever having been on one.

So, that said. I looked today at the Jungle Red stats, and found we've had more than four million views. Yow. 

And in those four million views, we have never ever had a post like this one.  

First, You know Lori Rader-Day, right? You know she's the marvelously talented, Mary Higgins Clark award winning author, whose brand new THE DAY I DIED comes out next week! You might know Library Journal said it will "thrill readers who can't get enough of the psychological suspense genre.

 But you certainly did not know--until know--about Lori's past.

My biker years

You might not know it to look at me, but I’m a former biker. Yeah, I come from a short line of serious motorcyclists. The whole pack of us used to take off on trips,  an afternoon here, a day-long ride, a weekend away, a ride over to Ohio to meet up with at a family reunion—in the rain. Once the whole family went to Niagara Falls on our bikes.

Do you have a picture in your mind when I say that? Duck Dynasty beards, leather, tattoos? Like...















A little younger, actually. How about...



(Thanks to this post, that photo is going to come up when anyone ever Googles my name.)

Not hogs, though, because we didn’t ride Harleys—my grandfather was not a fan, and so we all rode Hondas. 

So maybe not so many tattoos, but a real leather jacket with the collar popped...




No, we were never that cool.



Maybe a little cooler than that. Wait. Look at that dog. That’s pretty cool.




Not quite.

No, my motorcycle family history is a little more... boring.


As a kid, it was just a thing we did. As a small child, I got the occasional chance to ride in front of my dad, literally falling asleep on the warm gas tank (and strapped to the driver, obviously). When I was older, my mom got her own bike—a Honda 900 series just like my dad’s, only with a smaller fairing on the front to keep it lighter. I rode behind my dad; my younger sister rode behind my mom. The four of us would coast around the countryside, zip up and down state roads, and sample the wares of many a small-town Indiana ice cream shop.

Sounds like a pretty amazing childhood, right?



I hated it.



Really hated it.




I was such an ingrate. Here’s the chance to ride all over town on the back of a motorcycle so that my friends can see me—do they have a motorcycle? No, they do not—and see the world with the wind in my face. The freedom of the road. The call of the wild. And all I wanted to do was... be home, reading.

See, motorcycle riding might be exciting for the driver, who has the job of keeping the thing upright, leaning into curves, mapping out a route or winging it (Gold Winging it) when something interesting pops up on the horizon. But for the kid stuck behind her dad, the view is pretty limited. I could only see to one side or the other, not ahead. How many cornfields can you stand to look at? How many abandoned buildings and tidy country churches? How much asphalt passing below your feet? Yellow line, double yellow line, dotted yellow line. The wind whips at your eyes. Oh, and it’s hot, and you’re wearing long pants to help protect your skin in case of a lay-down or accident.

Also, real talk: your butt hurts. You’ve got saddle-butt, and there’s not a horse in sight.

And that’s just a few hours up to visit family or to ride around the county a bit to end up at the local Waffle House. Imagine going to Niagara Falls from central Indiana. My mother wondered why she couldn’t get a single good photo of us, that trip. My guess? Our little pre-teen butts hurt.
(Our mother literally threatened us to smile for this photo, the only photo from this trip where we don’t look like sad Soviet children dragged to Niagara Falls.)



I don’t ride anymore. I never transitioned from the kid on the back to the adult with my own bike, the way some of my cousins did. Sometimes I wish I had, because now, as a driver of a car, I know the joy of a leisurely jaunt, nowhere special to be. I get it. Whenever I’m driving along an Indiana highway, I see roads pass overhead or dive away alongside that would be best traveled not by Ford Fusion but by bike.

Now that I live in Chicago, “going for a drive” is not a thing. But I’m often on the road for events and have found that a drive on a nice day, when the traffic is flowing, is as generative a writing activity as any I’ve found. I always have a new idea for what I’m working on; I always think of a way to unstick from some spot I’ve written myself to. 

And, in fact, when I was kid on the back of those boring rides, that’s how I passed the time. I told myself stories about those abandoned buildings and tidy country churches, making up people and moving them around in my head. The open road is better than any writing prompt. I should remember to keep a notebook handy.

I should remember to get on the bike I do have: a blue Giant bike named Betty that will never see Niagara Falls.

I’ll never be a retiree on a Gold Wing, the way my grandparents were up until the day my grandfather passed away. I’ll never be as cool as James Dean. 

I was not, as it turns out, born to be wild. 

There’s a part of me that’s a little sad I didn’t enjoy my biker years fully while I lived them. I enjoyed the ice cream. But at least they taught me, if not how to lean into curves, how to tell a story. And that’s a ride I take all the time.

HANK: Truly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. But you are endlessly fascinating, and hilarious, and the conflicts of childhood are never-ending. (You have read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I hope, one of my faves.) 

So, Reds, how do you feel about motorcycles? (And Lori--you are a rock star!)




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Lori Rader-Day, author of The Day I Died, The Black Hour, and Little Pretty Things, is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and is the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter.

About THE DAY I DIED

From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy.

Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she'd rewritten.


63 comments:

  1. Oh, Lori, I am chuckling as I read about your motorcycling adventures but, like Hank, I’ve never ridden a motorcycle nor have I ever had any desire to ride one. Loved the pictures, too.

    I am looking forward to reading “The Day I Died” . . . could you please tell us a little bit about it?

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    1. Thanks, Joan! It was fun looking for the photos, though I had less on hand than one would think. Maybe my mom still has them.

      The Day I Died is the story of Anna Winger, a handwriting expert who works with corporations, the lovelorn, and the FBI. She's raising her young teen son, and they've just settled into another new town when a crime there pulls her in to use her expertise. The crime, unfortunately, starts to unravel her perfectly revised past.

      Thanks for posting!

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  2. Wait, four million views?! Wow.

    Lori, you are a treasure. Who knew? Too funny, about the sore butts!

    My first husband brought home a Honda, but I never warmed to the thing. We couldn't afford two cars and a bike, for one thing, and for another, there was no place to put a toddler. Also: helmet hair. I didn't get it then, and I really don't get it now, when there are vastly more cars on the road, some with texting or otherwise inattentive drivers. No, thanks.

    When I was single and dating, I went out with three different men who had each lost all or part of their left legs in motorcycle accidents. I realize how strange that is, considering I've never been a rehab nurse, or anything remotely similar, but I swear it's true. That experience might also have something to do with my indifference.

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    1. Helmet hair was a real thing. I was a teenager, and it was the 90s.

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    2. (Well, it's the 80s in these photos, but I gave up riding in the 90s, probably because my parents got divorced, not because of helmet hair.)

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  4. When I was a kid, my mother strictly forbade us to go anywhere near motorcycles, or the men who rode them. Naturally, I grew up with a secret yearning to ride. By the time I was in college, I had managed to hitch a couple of short rides with nice guys who were proud of their new bikes, and it was fun but . . . Bikes aren't air conditioned. Bikes aren't kind to long-haired riders. Bugs become high-velocity projectiles when you're on a bike. And, seriously, there is nothing but denim between your legs and the asphalt, which is not a good thing at 70 mph. When you consider my adult opinion that Smart Cars, Fiats, and Mini Coopers are not enough metal between me and the road, motorcycles lose their appeal fast. I do like some of the guys (and gals) who ride them, however. Several of my friends have motorcycles and love them. I prefer to enjoy hearing all about my friends' adventures from the safety of my couch.

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    1. I feel the same way and yet... the muscle memory of being on a bike is very strong. I would probably try it again, given the chance. And you are right---bikes are NOT air-conditioned. Except, they kinda are. It's when you stop that those long pants are a real problem.

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  5. What a great funny, sad story, Lori! That you, of course, tell perfectly.

    I dated a man with a motorcycle the year after college for a little while. It was fun riding with him around town. But one day he decided I needed to learn to drive it. He was, as most people are, nearly a foot taller than me, and his bike was sized accordingly. I made it very slowly down my quiet street a few yards before gently tipping me and the bike over on our sides. That was it for solo riding, and for the relationship, too, as it turned out. Now? Never, especially since one of my four very tall, very sweet nephews died in a motorcycle crash last October. It makes me shudder to even think about anyone riding those things. Not a coincidence that last week I wrote an attack scene involving a Harley into my WIP. All my best on your new book - can't wait to get my hands on it!

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    1. Sorry to hear about your nephew, Edith. The statistics aren't good, and drivers (of all vehicles) drive so distractedly now. Thanks for posting!

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  6. In my early 20s I learned how to ride a motorcycle. It was a most thoroughly empowering process. I did not go on to own a bike of my own (the course provided bikes), but I carry with me still -- after more than 30 years -- both the image in my mind and the sense in my body of the thrill and the power of being in the pack of riders on our graduating highway ride on the Alberta prairie.

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    1. It was fun to go on rides with my uncle and my grandparents. The LOOKS WE GOT.

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  7. My sister had a boyfriend who had a motorcycle. (Ooh, that sounds like a good first line for a short story. ). I way, she loved it, but one day they were riding, and my sister decided the bike was going to tip over on a turn, so she decided to lean the other way. Out of the turn, not in. The boyfriend finally had to pull over and tell her not to do that. I guess I can't say whether I would really like riding a motorcycle, so can never have…that I remember… But I still have to say it does not seem like it would be fun.
    Yes, Lori! Tell us all about the book!

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    1. She was making it harder for him to make the turn. I guess motorcycle riding is a bit of math and science?

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  8. I live in bike country--Roeder's sponsors Ohio Bike Week, and I've ridden on the back a few times. But, Edith, we lost a sweet young man in our family, too--a careful rider--not doing anything stupid or careless--so, when youngest asks "Will you help me get a bike?" the answer is "No." And Lori--I'll be looking for "The Day I Died" and anything else you've published.

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    1. I'm so sorry, Flora. My nephew was also a very careful driver. And his wife and two teenage children had to go on without him.

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  9. What a story! Coincidentally I gave a talk last week at Linden Ponds, a sedate retirement community, and one of the "ladies" shared with me that she was/is a biker. Belonged to Boston Bike Bike Enthusiast Sisters (BABES). Her husband's 60th birthday present to her was her own Harley.

    Lori, I'm a serious fan of your writing. Looking forward to reading THE DAY I DIED.

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    1. That's awesome! Well, I am a serious fan of your writing, too, and YOU. Thanks for having me today!

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  10. Lori, that sounds like you had some cool childhood trips, sore butt and all with your family.
    Thanks for sharing.

    And many of you know I never learned to drive but I have been a passenger on a motorcycle twice. We went really fast on deserted country roads north of Toronto...it was exhilarating!

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    1. Thanks, Grace! My experience was *occasionally* exhilarating. And a lot of waiting around. I HATE waiting around.

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  11. Hi Lori and welcome. I look forward to your new book.

    Motorcycle? No way in hell would I consider it for myself or anyone else with an IQ above room temp, except for politicians. ED staff call helmets "brain buckets," with good reason, really help in the clean up. In California it is legal to split the lanes, so imagine driving 80 on the San Diego freeway and having a line of motorcyclists pass between you and that car on your left. Terrifying. I watched one doing that one day, saw him get off at my exit, Sharp Park for you Bay Area people, and come off his bike. Yes, I stopped. Called an ambulance, assessed him and stayed with him until help arrived. All he had was a broken leg. Should have had a broken neck. Idiot. I think I mentioned that to him. Stupid idiot.

    Uh, have I made myself clear on this?

    Ann in Rochester who prefers to be wrapped in steel with all sorts of airbags at the ready.

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    1. My oldest daughter was an ER nurse at Cincinnati's Level One trauma hospital. She refers to motorcyclists as "brain donors".

      It doesn't take much to hurt our vulnerable bodies. One of my husband's classmates has been a paraplegic since 1968, thanks to his one and only, 30-second solo motorcycle ride.

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    2. One of my cousins (who still rides) is married to an trauma nurse. She doesn't ride. I believe she has opinions on the matter.

      But then life can be short in all manner of ways. The problem is people who think they are invincible---they do it in cars, too. :)

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  12. Thank you thank you thank you for my morning laugh! I'm going to be chuckling about horseless saddle butt for most of the day. I have only ridden motorcycles as taxi alternatives when overseas. I hop on the back of a bike driven, usually, by someone who appears younger than my children and entrust them with my life on roads that are either impassable for cars or in cities where traffic laws are really more like suggestions. I kind of love it every time. I cannot wait for The Day I Died as I am a huge LRD fan.

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  13. I grew up calling motorcycles "Donor Bikes." My dad was a doctor, and everyone in the medical community called them that because of the death rate, and hence, organ donation that was associated with them. My parents were once on their way to a wedding and stopped to assist at an accident scene involving a motorcycle, which did not end well for the motorcyclist. There was never any doubt where my parents stood on the issue: never get on a motorcycle!

    Lori, I realize you rode under duress, but do you think your childhood on the back of the bike made you more or less risk averse? Do you bungee jump? Rock climb?

    Congrats on "The Day I Died!" It will definitely go on my TBR list!

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    1. I'm not risk averse in some ways. I quit a pretty lucrative day job to write full-time, for instance. :) But I don't like any death-defying activities and I would never bungee jump or jump from a plane.

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  14. I always wanted a motorcycle but by the time I got out of law school, baby in tow, my mother persuaded me to wait until the kids were grown up because she didn't want to get stick raising them if something happened. So 20 years later, I'd lost the urge and spent the money on harps. Like Harpo Marx harps. I do play the harp; it isn't just a giant coversation piece. Anyway, I too now have a blue Giant which I ride to work in the summer. Spilled last year. Mostly roadburn and some nonsurgical knee damage but I'll be on the road again in a few weeks.

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    1. You have to be careful on the Giants as well as the motorized kind! And I wear a helmet, 100 percent of the time. (My parents also always had us in helmets. They wore them, too.)

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  15. As a mother with an inordinately highly set safety meter, I cringed so hard hearing about the startingly dangerous Strapping Baby Lori to the Front of a Motorcyle Rider and teleported myself back in time to call the non-existent child protective services from our youth. I did leave a message for Ralph Nader though.

    It's a wonder you're alive. And I mean, it's wonder that you haven't currently succumbed to the sucking terror I'm feeling and had a heart attack.

    Motorcycles, no. Never. Not a side-eye, maybe wish, ever.

    That said, unlike Hank (and in seeming defiance of my above-stated Highly Psychotically Tuned Mother Safety Meter) I have repeatedly told my actual, physical, almost-died-bring-her-into-the-world child - GET TATTOOS, RIDE MOTORCYCLES, STAY UP LATE! It takes every ounce of energy I have to beat down the impulses to tell her to stay safe and warm in my kangaroo pouch forever, but ... being a mom means I put my needs aside to raise her to be the fully formed human she deserves to be. And life demands taking chances. Life is meant to be lived.

    Just not with a child strapped to the front of you while driving a motorcycle because gravity always wins. ;)

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    1. I lived. Back when we were kids, lots of things were different. Seat belts? The only seat belt I wore until I was about ten was the one on the motorcycle as a baby.

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  16. I seem to be attracted to the type of men who ride. Never had the direct urge myself. My late husband rode both tweet and dirt bikes and raced the later. After a few years of watching him at he dirt bike tracks, he built me my own. I learned slowly out in the horse pasture. Eventually graduated to the tracks, and then trails, and a then shiny new Honda of my own. That was until a particularly hard ride in Urawi park. I climbed a steep hill out of a creek bed and accidentally dropped the clutch at the top, revving the engine and sending the bike skyward and on its side through a rock pile and into an oak tree. OUCH MOTHER... So That was my last ride on my own. My current husband has a big street bike, and I ride with him occasionally.

    Loved The Day I Died and wish you much success!

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  17. My husband had a motorcycle when I met him. In fact, there is still one in the shed out back, but it doesn't run. In time, my husband taught me how to drive a motorcycle and we both had our own cycles. I still have my license but I haven't been on one except as a passenger for years. When we moved to a larger town, it just wasn't safe in town & we didn't go out to the lake to ride as often as we had previously. It was fun while we did it. My husband gave up his motorcycle just a few years ago as part of a trade-in when we bought a new car. He said he was getting old enough that the bones wouldn't heal as fast as they did when we were young. I think my 87 yr. old father-in-law still has a motorcycle that he rides, but he added what he calls training wheels so he doesn't have to balance it. He just rides in the small unincorporated town he lives in. I do think they are a lot of fun, but can also be very dangerous. We both always wore our helmets & wore clothing that would protect our skin a bit if we crashed. I still cringe when I see riders in shorts and no helmet.

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    1. I should have included a photo of my sweet grandmother riding on the back of a "crotch rocket" bike my cousin owned. She missed riding with my grandpa, so my cousin took her for a ride. She was probably at least 80 at the time. Pretty sure she loved it.

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  18. Love the James Dean photo, since I live in Fairmount and wrote the photo history book. lol I'm also a huge Dean fan. As someone who has only taken one ride on a motorcycle, while in college, which I found thrilling and possibly addicting, I can't relate to your childhood! It didn't help that all I could think while riding on that bike was, "If we wreck and I'm not dead, my mother will kill me." Wouldn't it be great if you guys stopped on one of your journeys at Ivanhoe's, the ice cream shop in Upland, Indiana where I grew up. Maybe I was the soda jerk who waited on you, since I worked there for a great deal of my youth. Thanks for another great story!

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    1. I don't think we ever made it over that way on the bikes, though we DID go to Fairmont once so that teen-me could moon over James Dean. He was my dead teen boyfriend! I've been to Ivanhoe's as a college student/young adult, though. YUMMMMM.

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  19. My grandfather had a Honda - he took long road trips until well into his sixties, maybe his seventies. He used to ride around the backyard with us kids on the bike. And, um, the village streets. We never told my mother. As a nurse, it freaked her out enough that her kids were on the back of the motorcycle doing five miles an hour over the grass. I don't think she could have handled the stress of knowing her kids were traveling on asphalt at 30mph.

    I love the idea of a motorcycle - and reading about them. I don't know that I'd love to ride them in real life.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. I have a fondness for it now, if that wasn't clear in my post. But given the chance to ride them now? Probably not. I'm wayyyyy too klutzy.

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  20. Motorcycles and me: Trying to impress the guys I liked with my wild chick demeanor. Sure, I'll hop on the back of your motorcycle for a ride. Always being conscious to not clutch the guy's waist. I was casual, all right, the way I kept my hands loose. Hah!

    Congrats on the book, my friend!

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    1. You gotta hold on to *something*. Thanks!

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  21. With my sense of balance, me and motorcycles are not a good mix. Hadn't thought about how boring it would be riding on the back of one before.

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    1. As an adult, I might have been able to see over my dad's shoulder. The back of the seat is higher than the front on most models. But yeah. As a kid---BORING.

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  22. Some of the best times in my young life were riding behind my uncle as he practically laid down his bike on the curves in the mountain roads in Colorado. Always wanted my own bike, but other family and friends talked me out of it, saying it wasn't safe. Now that I'm in my 60s, it's probably not going to happen either. But, I'll have the memories. ��

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    1. Hey, the older you get, the more you can be like, What have I got to lose?

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  23. So funny, Lori. I can totally relate to being the kid who wants to sit inside and read instead of experiencing the "adventure" of the open road. When we lived in Europe, we traveled around as much as possible, and my poor mother would literally pull books and comics out of my hands and order me to look at the Alps/the windmills/the Roman bridge, etc.

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    1. This is totally me. I can't swear that I never read a book on the back of the bike. I couldn't find photo evidence of it, but I'm pretty sure it happened.

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  24. Lori, that is hysterical! But all that boredom obviously did you good in the imagination department.

    I was expressly forbidden to EVER get on a motorcycle. So, of course, when I was a about fourteen, I told my mom I was going for a walk on a hot summer day, then met an older guy I had a crush on around the corner for a little spin on his bike. I was, again of course, wearing short shorts. I promptly stuck the inside of my left calf against the blazing hot exhaust pipe. I still have scar. What on earth I told my parents to explain the burn, I've thankfully forgotten. That was pretty much it for me and motorcycles...

    Lori, the new books sounds fab. I love the handwriting angle. Where did that come from?

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  25. That's why we had to wear long pants! The handwriting thing was a little bit of an accident. I was trolling my local library from some writing inspiration (this was back on 2007, when I was in my MFA program in creative writing and needed to draft a short story for my workshop). There was a book facing out on the shelf about handwriting. Why not! Little did I know...

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  26. A teaching colleague told me she read books riding behind her husband on his Harley -- I can't imagine how, but she said it was easy, and that she also napped. I promised my mom I'd never ride one. She had lost her youngest sister at age 15 in a motorcycle accident and couldn't get over it. Later my favorite cousin, my Aunt Paula's only son, just barely out of college, died on the motorcycle he bought to celebrate his new job. The condo I bought had belonged to a motorcycle victim. Mom said she tolerated my brother's motorcycle in her basement awaiting repairs for decades because "as long as it's there, he's not riding it." I'm consciously protective of motorcyclists on the road, so vulnerable.

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    1. I'm pretty sure I did read behind my dad but couldn't find any photographic proof. Hard to come by when everyone is on motorcycles.

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  27. Lori- That's fantastic! I absolutely love the pictures and the bribe shot from Niagara is a classic. My parents were more of the pack up the RV and drive across country -- several times -- type, so I had plenty of time to read and nap. I'm not much into motorcycles but Hub would love one. It's too much in the suburbs but out in the country, I could see the appeal. Congrats, on the release of THE DAY I DIED - it looks fabulous!

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  28. Out in the country is where I rode as a passenger. And, it was fun the couple times I went - once even on my lunch hour from the library. That was enough. I only wanted to try it. Loved that picture of you, Lori, when you said you wanted to be home reading.

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  29. Lori Rader-Day!!! I came in here late today, but what a treat was waiting for me, Lori Rader-Day! I first met Lori at the Raleigh Bouchercon, and I am such a gushing fan of her and her writing. Lori, you are funny, friendly, interesting, and so talented. I've already told you that I spent an afternoon of my recent Hawaii vacation finishing The Day I Died. I was sitting, looking at the beautiful Waikiki beach, and reading this amazing book. It just does not get any better than that. I so love The Day I Died! I'm writing my review this weekend, and my confidence is so lacking that I can do this book justice. I read an ARC, but you better believe I'm buying the first edition out next Tuesday. I have it pre-ordered. Favorite book shelf, here it comes.

    And, you rode motorcycles with your family growing up. Some people have all the luck with the interesting childhoods. I had the visit-the-old-aunts childhood, complete with an outhouse at one of their houses. I'm really glad that you didn't continue riding as a adult, Lori, as those bikes scare the heck of out me.

    My only experience with a motorcycle was a boy I dated, much to the dismay and utter horror of my mother (not only because of the motorcycle). I only rode on his bike once. He picked me up at my house to go to a church camp meeting (oh, the irony of that). When we stopped for the first time, I jumped off of the bike, and he sweetly told me that I didn't have to get off of the bike every time it stopped. Of course, if I'd listened to my wise mother, I would have gotten off the bike and kept walking. I wasn't especially scared, but I wasn't impressed enough to try it again.

    Looking forward to seeing you, with Lesa, when you visit Evansville, Indiana on Monday, May 8th. And, I expect that big hug you promised.

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  30. I dated a man for awhile who had a motorcycle (and a Porsche and a couple of ex-wives...but that's another story) and his idea of a great day was to ride out to West Marin and on those windy, narrow roads. I saw his back, a bit of the same yellow lines Lori talks about, and the hair that escaped my helmet and got caught in my mouth. Enough.

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  31. Yeah, I rode in the wayback of the station wagon, reading MAD. My mother would say--look out the window! Participate! So funny. We all turned out fine. Thank you, amazing Lori! See you soon..and what a fabulous and thought-provoking essay. And those photos of you are completely adorable. Poor little tad.

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  32. I was typing and the computer erased the rest of my comment! I remember when you had a weekly post on The Debutante Ball, a blog for new authors.

    Not a big fan of motorcycles! However, I liked these little scooters, similar to Vespa, perhaps because they were smaller and easier to manage.

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  33. Ha, even in your humorous blog posts you manage to work in a twist. Bravo.

    I very briefly dated an army jerk (who I obviously didn't know was a jerk at the time) when I was still in Korea. One day he picked me up for a date on his motorcycle, a day I happened to be wearing a dress. It was exciting, but also extremely awkward and kind of uncomfortable. First and only time I've been on a motorcycle, and I never feel the need to get on one again.

    Unless you count the tricycles in the Philippines, which are little carts bolted to a motorcycle as a means of a cheap taxi-like service. Very rickety and kind of terrifying. Although all driving in the Philippines is kind of terrifying...

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  34. I road a motorcycle once upon a time. Why? Because the rest of the family rode. My father had been an Indiana State policeman and loved backroads and anywhere off the beaten path. After he retired from the state, which was when he was in his thirties, he started riding motorcycles: Hondas, Lori, or Suzukis. I started riding on my own (instead of in the view-deprived position of person behind the driver) when I was in high school. I never got hooked, though. I never felt the need to be out on the open road (other than in my '66 Ford Mustang). After laying one bike down on a graveled country road, I decided it wasn't all that much fun. I got back on to prove to myself I was not being scared into a decision, then hung up my helmet. Still not sorry.

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