I’ve Gotta Travel On

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9:19 p.m.

I haven’t spent a night away from home since last May, which is probably the longest stretch of my entire life.

That’s going to change. I’m taking off. I don’t know when I’ll be back. Probably in a few days. Could be, oh, Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday. I’m going to take enough socks and underwear for that.

I’ve laid around / And played around / This old town too long.

If the phone doesn’t ring / It’s me.

Turn me loose / Set me free / Somewhere in the middle of Montana.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I don’t anticipate making Montana. Nor Amarillo by morning. I’m starting north. Maybe I’ll hole up in Asheville. Who knows? I might flip a coin at every interception.

I need to think. The smart thing to do would probably be stay home and write emails. It’s too easy. I think best on the road. It would be surprising if I don’t come up with a song. Three years ago, I thought up the basic plot of Cowboys Come Home on a road trip to Texas. I came home and wrote a few chapters. The publisher that had expressed interest in a western didn’t like it because it apparently wasn’t western enough. I set it aside, wrote Forgive Us Our Trespasses, returned to Cowboys Come Home, and self-published it last fall. I’m working on two more novels at the same time now. I think I’m going to self-publish one of them, I hope in the spring.

I’m writing all the time. I’m just not going anywhere. So tomorrow I’m going somewhere. I’ve got to get away from here. If everything went perfectly, I might not come back.

Today my sinking feeling … sank. After several weeks of deafening silence, I learned that Bleacher Report is likely discontinuing my weekly column. It wasn’t that much money, but it was reliable. Fiction income is sporadic. I need that anchor.

Today I paid a bunch of bills and left myself enough money in two banks to go where I want to go and get back. I just don’t know where that is. Maybe I’ll blog again when I’m there. Wherever there is.

I need to find hope and get my spirits up again. I’ve got to resist the growing realization that I am presently worth more dead than alive. I need to do something about it. I need to think outside the county.

A lot of you have said you’re sorry. I appreciate it, but a small way to help would be to buy a book. A book, or at least its electronic equivalent, can be had for as little as 99 cents. Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a 99 cents download for Kindle (or most any other device, thanks to free apps) through January 31. Kindle versions of my book are no higher than $4.99 anytime, and print versions are no higher than $17.95.


If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is on sale for 99 cents all January as a Kindle download at amazon.com.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.


(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).




2 thoughts on “I’ve Gotta Travel On

  1. Paul Warner


    You’ve always been my favorite NASCAR writer. When I started with the Hooters Pro Cup Series, I couldn’t wait for FasTrack to come every week so I could read your column. It was pleasure to somewhat get to know you and Poole, thanks to Tim Southers, during my time there. I, to this day, try to mimic your pacing in my writing. I don’t know that I can take Nascar without you and Barney. Hope your road trip goes swimmingly well and I get to keep reading your takes on the only sport I still follow religiously.

    Best wishes,
    Paul Warner

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