Live from the Road

Humor, General Fiction

By Patricia Zick

Publisher : Create Space

ABOUT Patricia Zick

Patricia Zick
P.C. Zick’s career as a writer began in 1998 with the publication of her first column in a local paper. By day, she was a high school English teacher, but at night and on vacations, she began writing novels and working as a freelance journalist. By 2001, she left teaching and began pursu More...



Live from the Road takes the reader on an often humorous, yet harrowing, journey as Meg Newton and Sally Sutton seek a change in the mundane routine of their lives. “Is this all there is?” Sally asks Meg after visiting a dying friend in the hospital. That’s when Meg suggests they take a journey to discover the answer. Joined by their daughters, they set off on a journey of salvation enhanced by the glories of the Mother Road. Along the way, they are joined by a Chicago bluesman, a Pakistani liquor storeowner from Illinois, a Marine from Missouri, a gun-toting momma from Oklahoma, and a motel clerk from New Mexico. Meg, mourning for her dead son, learns to share her pain with her daughter CC. When Sally’s husband of almost thirty years leaves a voice mail telling her he’s leaving, both Sally and her daughter Ramona discover some truths about love and independence.

Death, divorce and deception help to reveal the inner journey taking place under the blazing desert sun as a Route 66 motel owner reads the Bhagavad-Gita and an eagle provides the sign they’ve all been seeking. Enlightenment comes tiptoeing in at dawn in a Tucumcari laundromat, while singing karaoke at a bar in Gallup, New Mexico, and during dinner at the Roadkill Café in Seligman, Arizona. The four women’s lives will never be the same after the road leads them to their hearts – the true destination for these road warriors.


It began one night over a couple of beers at a local bar. It took more than a year to plan and pull off. “You know what I’ve always wanted to do?” I asked my friend Joy one rainy night as we sat commiserating about our complacent lives. “I’ve always wanted to travel Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. But I’ve never found anyone who wanted to accompany me.” “You’ve found her now,” Joy said, and thus began more than a year of plotting and planning our escape from our lives for more than two weeks on the road. Romantic visions of Jack Kerouac and the open road, John Steinbeck and a dog named Charley, neon lights and roadside motels clouded our minds as the mundane details of the trip threatened to intrude on our starry-eyed dreams. Our daughters, both in their twenties, asked if they could join us. We were astounded. “Why would you want to spend your summer vacation with two middle-aged women?” I asked my daughter Anna. “It’ll be a blast,” she said. Joy’s daughter Hillary said something similar, and so we became a foursome of road warriors ready to set forth on one of the most historic roads in the world. Just the words “Route 66” conjures up visions of greasy hamburgers, neon signs flashing “No Vacancy,” characters out of a Sam Shepard play, and, of course, freedom to disappear into the gut of this country. Even though the trip occurred five years ago, I still see those visions. Of course, my journal became my companion on the trip. Serendipity and downright foolishness collided into one of the most memorable trips of my life. Soon after my return, I began writing a novel loosely based on the journey. All I had to do was take a small event from the real trip and amplify it into a golden nugget of a story. Amazingly, there were many stories that never came close to appearing in the book because they were just too outlandish to be believed. Those stories remain sacred, only to be pulled out when the four of us reunite to reminisce.

RR Literary Reviews:

When Sally and Meg search for more meaning in their lives, they plan a trip, along with their adult daughters, along Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. Along the way they meet up with others seeking their own personal enlightenment, and slowly, their entourage increases. All of the travelers are seeking a new start, or fighting their own demons. Through tears, laughter, and lots of singing, they all arrive at their destination changed.

As far as the characters, Meg resonated with me the most, throughout. Having lost a son, she was searching for a way to heal, as well as to reconnect with her surviving daughter. The daughters, CC, the aspiring talent, and Ramona, often lost in C.C.'s shadow perhaps had more to deal with than they originally thought. Sally brought to the group the not-so-logical logic; "Always go in the direction you're headed." There was a lot of emotion packed within this book, and a whole lot of fun, as well.

This was your typical "road to self" book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I, for one, am always enamored with stories about women who set out to redefine themselves, and what better way than a road trip? Ms. Zick perfectly balanced the turmoil of personal battle with light-hearted antics, and the story flowed quickly and beautifully. Meg sums up the entire journey with one quote; "I thought I might find the perfect place to escape to when I started this trip. But the thing I needed to escape most caught up with me, and it wasn't so bad after all."