In September, 2008 I started my first real book-writing project. I thought I had what I needed: sketchy details provided by the protagonist, my mother-in-law, of the adventures of two young women thumbing their way across America during the Great Depression. In addition, I had her written permission to use any or all of the occurrences outlined in her memoir, The Freedom of the Open Road, eighty-eight single-sided pages organized chronologically telling the most boring story I had ever read. Even the vintage photographs of the characters seemed lack-luster. I was mystified that such a vibrant, intelligent English teacher could write a stunningly lifeless narrative. And the details seemed intentionally vague, as if she didn’t want the full tale to be told. So, deciding I needed some guidance, I enrolled in my third writing class, Planning and Structuring the novel. The plot thickens.