Trucking in English by Carolyn Steele



 
Almost Ice Road Truckers, except for the tulip bulbs…
“So here’s the plan. I’m going to train to drive a truck and go long-haul. I can get paid and maybe write a book at the same time. What do you reckon?”
“Go for it Mum, how bad can it be?”
This is the tale of what happens when a middle-aged mum from England decides to actually drive-18 wheelers across North America instead of just dreaming about it.
From early training, when it becomes apparent that negotiating 18 wheels and 13 gears involves slightly more than just learning how to climb in, this rookie overcomes self-doubt, infuriating companions and inconsiderate weather to become a real trucker.
She learns how to hit a moose correctly and how to be hijacked. She is almost arrested in Baltimore Docks and survives a terrifying winter tour of The Rockies.
Nothing goes well, but that’s why there’s a book.
Trucking in English began as a blog from the cab and became a popular podcast before taking book form. It will be the third in Carolyn’s Armchair Emigration series, as soon as Book Two is written.
 


Carolyn was born and bred in London, England and is almost a Cockney. After completing a postgraduate degree in Psychology she defected to the real world and spent ten years driving an ambulance around London’s seedier quarters. She has also earned her living teaching CPR to nightclub bouncers, proofreading accountancy exams, copy editing for not-for-profit organisations and decorating wedding cakes.
She was inspired to write after a brief foray into the world of stand-up comedy. Filling whole rooms with the silence of people smiling inwardly, punctuated by an occasional titter, it occurred to her that much inward smiling and the occasional titter might be disastrous for a comic but would be relative success for a writer. The inspiration to begin came on the day she saw a Canadian small ad. to work as an immigrant caregiver for two years. Realising that such a journey away from the familiar would be a good time to make a start, she sent short Letters From Canada home to the UK for London Mensa News. They liked them and asked for more. Encouraged by this reaction, she edited some highlights into an essay which was accepted for publication by the Rough Guides in their 3rd Women Travel anthology. That was the day she decided to keep writing.
The resulting work, her first book, A Year on Planet Alzheimer was well received by readers of travel literature as well as by those caring for and supporting people with dementia. She completed a reading tour of South East Ontario for the Alzheimer Society in 2005.
Now Canadian citizens, she and her son Ben settled permanently back in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, where the adventures began. Immigration decreed that the only legal way back into the country was to pretend to be an entrepreneur and buy a business; she therefore spent her first five years running a splendidly huge B&B which offered sufficient bizarre happenings and strange characters to populate another book. The stress took its toll however and after realising she was turning into Basil Fawlty, Carolyn sold the B&B and took to the road in an 18-wheeler. It seemed like a good way to see more of North America.
Trucking in English is the result of those hair-raising adventures and Bed and Breakfast, due to be published in 2013, will fill the gap in Carolyn’s Armchair Emigration series. In the meantime, she has accidentally become a proper writer, with a day job designing websites.
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