I have had the most unproductive week ever! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but it sure feels like it to me. Since I last Sunday’s little excursion to the Dallas Cowboy’s embarrassing game, I’ve been under the weather. It didn’t help that the weather decided to turn cold and rainy. I’ve been miserable and my productivity shows it.

All I’ve done is play games on my computer, which isn’t really my computer, but my brother’s. I finally am getting one soon. Since my job is a sucky one, I put one on layaway at Walmart. I loathe them, but at the moment I’m without much of an option. Being online and having a way to write is great, but I need my own machine, and since I’m having to do it in installments, I’m springing for a relatively good laptop.

As for being productive, today’s not the day to pretend to be so. I’m going to be lazy and get back on track tomorrow. I have a few projects on my plate, but I think it’s time to pull an old one out, dust it off, and get it ready to be read by others. Right not the whole beginning is driving me crazy. I’ll just rewrite it and go from there.

That’s it for tonight. I don’t want to ruin my unproductive streak. Have a great week and I’ll see you soon.

My fun weekend

gas monkeyI wish I had the energy to wish you a Happy Monday, but that requires a level of enthusiasm that I can’t seem to muster at the beginning of the week. Instead, I’m holed up in my room, wishing I had the energy to do anything, but it was worth it!

I had a rare weekend off, both Saturday and Sunday, which was nice. I got home Friday night, about half an hour before midnight, and that’s when my plans for a quiet weekend fell through. Two of my brothers, and my sister, who had tickets to go see the Cowboys play, were able to find better seats, leaving them with three party passes and asked me if I wanted to go. After much wishing and washing, and nearly thirty minutes of teeth-gnashing, I scrapped my nothing plans and decided to go for broke and go to Dallas.

Four hours later, and maybe an hour and half of sleep later, we were on our way. I slept about half of the way there on Saturday. I got through to my friend somewhere around Sweetwater, TX, telling her we were on our way. She agreed to meet us at Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas later in the afternoon, (check out my post about my first visit!)

First, the four of us hit up Gas Monkey Bar & Grill for lunch. For those of you unaware, Gas Monkey is the name of garage in Dallas made famous on the Discovery Channel’s show, Fast n’ Loud and owned by Richard Rowlings. In the past year or so, he expanded his empire and opened a restaurant.

I’m a fan of the show, as are my gear-headed brothers, and have been wanting to make a trip to check out the bar & grill. We hadn’t expected to see just how crazy the place would be. At one p.m., the parking lot was overflowing, people were standing in line waiting for a seat. My brother Julian put of on the list and I was shocked to see how long the wait would be. An hour to an hour and a half.

Normally I would have left, but we drove six to seven hours to get to Dallas, and what’s another hour or so? We sat and waited, watching people come and go. A group of motorcycle enthusiasts took over much of the patio seating outside. People young and old streamed in and out, many leaving with souvenir cups or shirts. No one left looking disappointed.

After waiting just shy of an hour, we got a text saying our table was ready. Our server, some young guy whose name I can’t recall, took our drink order almost immediately. Our drinks arrived promptly, took our order, and we sat and visited, marveling at the place.

It didn’t take long for our meal to arrive in a wax-paper lined metal tray, which fit with the atmosphere. I had a chicken sandwich which left me a little disappointed, but it was still good. My sister had a carnitas taco plate which I tried. I should have ordered that! My brother Andrew ordered a burger topped of with a fried quail egg. I can’t remember what Julian ordered. Regardless, everyone liked what they ordered.

Gas Monkey Bar & Grill certainly delivered. I was expecting a tourist trap, and in some ways it’s a way to capitalize on the success of their television show. Unlike some tourist traps, their wait staff were professional and their appearance were in keeping with the spirit of the car show they are based off of. The food was delicious, though I still wish I had ordered the tacos.. All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the establishment. I’ll have to go back soon, preferable when they have a musical group in-house, *hint hint*.

As for the rest of the trip, well, we also dropped by the garage, took a few pictures, and bought a few t-shirts. I also revisited Reunion Tower with my siblings, this time during the day. My fear of heights remains, but I didn’t feel as sick as I did the first time. As for the reason for going to Dallas in the first place, let’s just say, the 49’s owned Cowboy AT&T Stadium that day, with almost more red in the stands than blue. It was an embarrassment and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

At least I got a cool souvenir Gas Monkey Pilsner glass out of my trip. Woo!



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NaNo 2013 revisited and possibly finished

I’ve taken my 2013 NaNo novel out of mothballs recently, deciding the time was pipe to revisit the unfinished work. After reaching the 50K word goal, I had nowhere to go with the story, no idea as to the next logical progression. I was in a rut, so I set it aside, convinced it would never see the light of day. Now I’m not so sure.

I had to delete nearly 10K words, and I see a ton of discrepancies from where I started writing and where the story ended up. I have a lot of work in store for me to make this a cohesive narrative, but here it is, in all it’s 62K word glory! Okay, you can’t see it yet, but believe me, it’s there.

What took me by surprise is the direction and change of tone it took, particularly in the past couple of days. What started off as a novel about a forty-two year old woman facing a divorce, morphed into a story about neglect, love and sex, abuse, including sexual abuse and rape, and even death. It isn’t simply about coping and moving on from a cheating spouse anymore. It evolved and became messier.

However, that’s what I like most about writing, the adventure. I have a general idea of what I want, but sometimes the way between two points can’t be a straight line. Sure it’s the quickest, but when in life do we take the quick way. Human nature is way too complicated for so simple a route. I may be the writer, but sometimes I feel as though I’m only along for the ride, just like everyone else.

It took me nine months for a solution to present itself. It took many nights for me to figure out my main character’s motivation for doing certain things, actions that ultimately imperils my main character and possibly her daughter. I tried my best to tie up all loose ends, but the husband isn’t one of those characters. He didn’t deserve that kind of send off, though he’s never the antagonist, just the catalyst that launches the story forward.

I plan to read and make as many corrections to the story before shelving it for a month or so. I’ll have to print it out and begin making wholesale revisions next, trying to get everything in line, but I need a little time and prospective first. I may pull out another unfinished word and play around with it next. I don’t know. I’ll play it by ear.


Autograph this


Photo of A. G. Howard’s books, Splintered and Unhinged.

I stopped by the Amarillo Barnes & Nobel bookstore this past weekend. Author and Amarillo resident, A. G. Howard dropped in to do a reading of her book Unhinged, the sequel to her first book, Splintered. 

The week before, my and a friend dropped by the bookstore, just looking to kill some time. On the storefront, I saw a poster for a book signing along with a photo of the cover art for the book. The dark beauty of the covers were haunting and breathtaking. I had to see what they were about.

I left with a copy of the first book. I didn’t get a chance to read it until the day of the signing, but what I read seemed promising, so much in fact that I bought a copy of the second book and had them both signed by the author.

I spent most of the night Saturday – after I wrote my 2100 words for my own work in progress – reading. The next day, after returning home from church, I climbed back into bed to finish the rest of the book.

I have the second book on my desk, but I’m rereading the first book, trying to absorb the this world she created. In brief, it’s a reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The main character, Alyssa Gardner is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell. When she returned from Wonderland, she came back with a curse, one that drives the Liddell women insane.

I’ll get more in-depth if I should I decide to do a review, which I’m thinking about doing. I rarely review books that are not self-published, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. I really think this is a great book. It’s so vivid that I had to reread it before moving on to the second.

The third book of the series, Ensnared, is set to be published early next year. Of course I’ll have to get a copy, then figure out a way to get it autographed as well. I’d like the complete set. I’m silly that way.


Autographed copy of Unhinged.