I have an interesting story to share with you today.
I've met a lot of people both "in real life" and "virtually" through my writing this last year. One of the people I've met is a writer named Jane Devin. Jane lives in Minnesota. We will be meeting in person in the next few months, but up to this point our acquaintance has been entirely online.
A friend mentioned what a brilliant writer Jane is. I decided to check out her writing myself. I was blown away. She is so much more eloquent than I am. Her writing is so articulate and thought provoking. I was very impressed. I decided I wanted to get to know her better.
I began pestering Jane with comments and emails and tweets. I can be annoying when I want someone's attention. Jane responded graciously and before I knew it a friendship was born.
"You're an amazing writer," I tell her frequently.
"Your sense of humor makes me laugh all the time – you crack me up," she tells me.
It's become a mutual admiration society of two.
By the way, Jane doesn't like exclamation points. As a result, I make sure to use a lot of them whenever I correspond with her.
I'm an excitable type of personality!!
Recently Jane has decided to embark on an amazing adventure. I'm so excited for her and a tad bit jealous at the same time. I asked her if I could share her story here on 24 and she was kind enough to agree. Yesterday, as I lay on the couch having a "my arm hurts like hell" pity party Jane and I spent an hour gabbing on the phone. I wanted to make sure I had all the details straight before I shared her story with you.
Jane is 47 years old. She is brilliant. She dropped out of school when she was 14. She was raised by a mentally ill mother and left home at the age of 16. She took her GED at 17 and later put herself through three years of college. She is a self made woman.
Jane is a single mom of two adult kids. Last year Jane had a string of bad luck. Like many people, Jane lost her job and with it her health benefits. Shortly after the loss of medical benefits she became very, very ill. At one point she wondered if she was going to live through her illness.
Jane traded in her new, shiny, leased car for a 1986 old Bronco to help with expenses. It was a very humbling experience. She began interviewing for jobs. She contemplated the fact that her twelve years of living in Minnesota had not been a great fit.
Jane took stock of her life. She thought about all the things she had put on hold over the years as she worked to raise her kids. She thought about the fact that there really wasn't a thing holding her to the life she's had in Minnesota the last twelve years. She realized that her recent misfortune could, in fact, be an amazing opportunity. Jane was having a "now or never" moment.
On October 10th Jane is embarking on a one year cross country photo-journalism trip. She will be traveling and working across the US as she interviews people with interesting lives. She will blog daily to share their stories and tell us about her adventures at One Writer, No Address
. If Jane acquires enough interesting stories she will eventually be putting all of her stories together into a book.
Let me reiterate two important points. Jane has been out of work for some time now. Jane has no health insurance.
Jane is one brave bitch, don't ya think?
How is she going to pull this off?
She tells me she is going to plan each segment of her trip in thirty day intervals. This is what she has lined up so far: First, she will be traveling to Iowa where she will be interviewing some nurses about the state of health care as they see it. Next, she will be traveling to New Mexico. In New Mexico she will be staying with, and working for, a woman who owns a bed and breakfast. This will allow her to earn some money for her trip and interview people at the same time.
Arizona will come next. Jane has already made arrangements to interview the principal of an elementary school with a demographic primarily of immigrant children. From there she will be going to interview some "healers" in Sedona. After Arizona, Jane will travel to San Diego where she will be interviewing Jonestown survivors.
And guess where Jane will visit after that?
Yep, that's right. Orange County. I've promised Jane a tour of Money Town and I'm hoping to even line up a few Rich-Bitch interviews for her. She can't wait to drive into Money Town with her 1986 Bronco. The very idea of it makes her belly-laugh with glee.
After visiting with me, Jane will head up to L.A. and continue on with her journey.
I am fascinated with the entire concept of Jane's adventure. I asked her about the logistics of pulling off this type of trip. She admits she can use help in various forms. On her website she lists the following ways people can help if they so choose:
*If you’d be willing to host me as a guest for a day or two, please let me know.
*Likewise please let me know if you can provide a temporary job while I’m in your city. I can do almost anything from barns to offices.
*I am always looking for interesting people to interview!
*If you know of any businesses or corporations that might want to sponsor part of this trip, please contact me.
*Gift card donations for Verizon, gas, food, and coffee would be appreciated. I am also in need of camping equipment and a digital camcorder. Until October 1, donations can be sent to: 110201 Village Rd., Chaska, MN 55318
Jane also has a Paypal link on the side of her website. If you're interested you can go here to donate.
Good luck Jane! I will be following your adventures on your blog. I also can't wait to show you around Money Town!
© Twenty Four At Heart