Friday, January 31, 2014

Irresponsible, Unreasonable... and In the Wind...

The mountains in Arizona... make it hard for a drifter that's tryin' hard to be reasonable.

I sit and concentrate on the words in front of me... My eyes cross and my mind wanders. I try to tune out the voice... but I Always fail..

Those hazy purple mountains keep whispering... briiiannn... come to meeeee... see what's on the other side.

Even after a thousand sunsets... that seem to run together... if you give 'em just a moment, stop what you're doing and watch... the light changes and it's new...

Life says; Be reasonable. Do the job and quit-cher-bitchin'...

The purple mountains whisper... screw the regulators... let the bankers wait... put down your tools for a bit... life is here now so don't be late...

Today I should write. I should... I should work and produce and be reasonable...

Blech... I'm gonna throw a leg over, put it in the wind for a day... and lose the nastiness of reasonable, in the wind...

Makin' a Circle

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hmmm... I Seem to Have This Affect on Folks...

... and I just did my laundry too!

I pull in... and they start hitchin' up... If I wasn't such a crusty old buster... I'd get me a complex! :)

The day after the big tent shut off they started flowin' from here to wherever there is. I'd guess right in the part I can see 'round my lil' spot... half maybe 3/4 have hitched, honked and pulled out.

I could hear more already rollin' this morning before the sun ever got out of bed...

*Quartzsite Sunrise*
Gonna be less distraction and people watchin' 'round here for sure the next couple days. Maybe I'll get that rewrite done! ;) 

Yeah... I kinda goofed. In maybe ten chapters (way behind where I planned to be...but then... that's almost the routine around me ain't it?) and I realized that what I was doin' was just bone headed.

Workin' on the third installment of the Jeb Taylor series. The first two were written mostly from a first person perspective. So... bein' the bright fella I am... I started writing this book in third person.

Long about maybe a 1/3 of the way through the tale I come to realize... making a change like that after folks got used to a certain "way" in the first two books is like a guy ordering rare prime rib and you serve him up a leather tough and crusty burnt greasy burger. He's likely to have a bit of a difficulty with you!

So... went on back to the beginning and turned it 'round and put it right.

I believe it was a right choice 'cause a couple other things have come along while I'm doing that rewrite. Things that I'd missed first time through. Between them all, the fixin' of 'em has that story joggin' down the right trail now.

Now it's time to put the spurs to this thing and ride it!

Thought maybe a soft Arizona sunset, courtesy of Quartzsite, might warm up a few of you that are sufferin' through another bout of Al's global warming... 

With the sun shining... the solar panels juicin' up the lap top... and another pot using the watts to keep me caffeinated... I'm back hard at it.

Tap Tap Tappin' the Keyboard

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Exodous Seems to Have Begun

The Big tent closes out today in Quartzsite. Been a morning of honking and sounds of tires on gravel as people move on to other camps. I expect tomorrow will be the biggest thinning of the remaining outfits. I'll soon have a lot more room around here.

Seems like though the rigs might have been fewer... there are more of those zoomin' flyboys than ever...

This one was skimmin' low over the rigs and wavin' like he was a Rodeo Queen in a parade. I'd be a little more comfortable if he just kept his hands on the controls. ;)

Rode to Parker yesterday... spent about ten bucks less and got twice as many days of  vittles... amazing the number of meals you can squeeze out of a couple dollars with .20 cent Ramen soup... and .98 cent mac-n-cheese! ;)

But... I sure don't understand what all them people thought was so damned funny about the guy bungee cordin' the case of drinkin' water onto the back seat of his scooter? :-/

Oh yeah. It's high grade cowboy cuisine 'round here.

But... now it's time to buckle down on the discipline and start pushing Jeb and Ben to get their story done...

Still Movin' Along

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"It's Hello Blues and Down the Road I go..."

Moved camp to another of the "Old Haunts"... back to the Q... that'd be Quartzsite for newcomers.

This solo situation... meh... Old soldiers aren't the best company for themselves...

I'm parked just across from where I built my Freedom rock piling art a few years back... google earth still shows it to be there... if you hunt up and down the south side of Plomosa road... out at the fringe of the boondocking area... 'bout 1.8 miles in from highway 95... assuming you've nothing better to do with your time.

*First 2014 sunrise over the Eagle at the Q"
There's lots of folks around, though the place isn't crazy busy... not empty... but the "economy" is sure still draggin' on things I guess. Lots of room around.

Which I don't totally understand. It's far cheaper to live "this" way than the alternative. You'd sort of expect more folks to be fallin' into this life or being pushed into it... rather than fewer.

I suppose, if you're still owning a sticks and bricks... and the dinero is such that you have to make a choice... one or the other... the rig gets parked since the costs of the real estate just continue on no matter. I've been there for sure.

This being the last weekend of the "Big Tent" at the Quartzsite RV show... It'll be thinning out fast come Monday. I don't know if this is as much as it's been or if it already started slowin' up... but compared to past years... the numbers are sure off the "peak".

Today is slated to be supply run day... otherwise I'll be eating a two years old can of some sort of creme of something soup...

Another Day is Running Its Course

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pushing the Limits, Dodging Bulls, an Making Ends Meet as the Sun Sets...

Gonna have to move on along somewhere pretty soon... The "14 day stay" passed my time here... some time ago.

Some folks can sit in a spot without a care until the man moves 'em along. Truth be known, that ain't me. I don't like being in a place expecting to get hassled.... so though I stretch things a lot of the time, the longer I stretch it the more discomfortable I become.

I'd rather just pick up and get gone before I'm forced into having some sort of social intercourse with the kings men... where the hell is Robin Hood when you need him?

Had a neighbor drop by yesterday. He didn't seem too awful sociable either.

When I stepped out of the rig to say hello he stepped my way a lil' too quick and, well... he just didn't strike me, the way his head was flippin'...

... as bein' a gentle lil' puppy dog.

Fact is, I don't believe, poor as he is...

... that he's feelin' all that good.

I'm hopin' that whoever is runnin' this ol' boy isn't plannin' on too many calves this next season. Not out of this guy anyway.

In his shape... he ain't gonna be gettin' much work done! ;)

So, anyhoo...

If google does its thing this month the way it's been doin' it for the past several months... I'm hopin' to be "Back in business" for a few days anyway, sometime tomorrow.

My story whittling work is coming along slowly... though I need it to be coming along like wildfire! :) I'm kinda banking on my effort being invested in my ebooks as being the way around the recent shortages... and the reliable way into the future.

Another of those times when the best way is to put your trust and reliance on yourself... and not the promises of others.

Google has become as unreliable as Microsoft. The days of small publishers producing a decent income by way of google advertising are pretty much gone. Too much work is required for a declining return.

Between google itself constantly shakin' things up so badly and creating a huge amount of work for its publishers who struggle to just keep up... and the heavy negative impact on advertising revenue that smartphones and tablets have had for the small publisher... Those glory days are slippin' away.

So... with google goin' the way of microsoft, with one blunder after another... and Smashwords and Amazon stepping up to offer me a better way... it'll be the electronic Story telling that will be the focus of my attentions for the foreseeable future.

If I can just STOP all that rattlin' and bangin' 'tween my ears that keeps distracting me from my story spinning labors!  ;)

Yup... it's time to move... the sunsets are starting to get too damn routine around here... and I need something fresh to photograph...

Not sure where I'm gonna move to. I'd been thinking of NOT going out to Bouse and that country... since I've gotta pick Heidi up at the Phx airport to transport to Tucson for the winter business trip at the gem and mineral show... for the store...

... but... life is easy out there. It's not so very far... and it is more than ten days 'tween the now and the plane landing... so I guess we'll see.

Continuing to Keep on Keepin' on

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Is It Starting Over?... OR ... a Turn Along the Road?

Many follow the idea that once you start down any particular trail... that trail only is the one you must follow. Once you have invested time and effort, your die is cast... you have no choice but to "Stay the Course".

Seems to me, that pretty much prohibits anything that could be called learning or education don't it? I get my knickers in a knot when somebody tells me they allow me no choices... that lil' bit of arrogance is sure 'nuff the way to get on my wrong side.

Now I'm the first to say that looking at such things and making such a choice is hard. Miserable hard. That conditioning we're all subject to is tattooed on our brains. To stop and step off the trail we'd chosen is seen as failure by many.

I see it as you keep on keepin' on until you get where you're going.

Seems to me, stepping off of something that you come to see as not working... is simple common sense... and though we've enjoyed most of these past years and miles... the mathematics pretty much shows... a great big brick wall looming up in front of a speeding, aging old truck...

Make no changes and the wreck is gonna leave a mess.

Another season like this last one, and we won't just be sitting and wondering... we'll be sitting on the island in an intersection holding up a piece of cardboard.

So... an intelligent man would do something before the storm arrives... get out in front. Not wait for it to get here and then try to fix the roof in the middle of a frog strangler.

Lacking the intelligence, and a little behind timewise... all I can do is imitate those smart guys. 

If you read my "About" page on the website, you'll see that I already saw this day coming... a long time ago...

I said back then that somewhere along the road choices would get made... what I said exactly is;

It’s our thought at this point to leave the RV Boondocking adventure sort of open ended. Some time, down the road, we figure to have three ways we can choose to go.
  • Build a winter camp and just go RV Boondocking in the summer for 6 months or so.
  • Leave the road and our Fifth Wheel and go back to plain ol’ regular living……
  • Just keep boondocking on! Travel in the Fifth Wheel till we get weary of it. If indeed that is possible! 
So... it was some four years after I wrote that when we managed to finally break loose... and we've run for somwhere 'round four years since...  anyone who's been followin' along lately is aware... Our road has hit one of those forks.

In those three legs of the Forks I saw so many years ago is the trail I'll be taking. As of yet, that's still not a done deal... It could very well be that when I look back years from now, I'll find that it'll have been a mix of bits of all three and I cut a new and as yet unseen fourth trail.

There ain't no easy roads

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Spinning Yarns, Exclamation Marks and Proper Grammar

Well, it's been slow going and I'm far behind on my "Time" goal... but I believe I'm finally starting to gain some momentum. Takes some little time and effort to push past the dust and commotion in a muddled brain and put good words on a page.

I have two stories working. Buuuuut when I hit a box canyon with one I chose to swap over to the other series and keep on moving. That one, the Jeb Taylor series, seems to have grabbed some traction and be finally, gathering some speed.

I've found I don't take an easy breath until the story has finally caught traction in my head and begins to carry itself... and me... along.

All that comes in the face of some critical reviews the past few weeks. It seems some folks don't especially hold with what could be considered my odd emphasis and grammar. Funny... they still gave it four stars :)

You know... Cowboys tend to be excitable fellas... I'd warrant that if you recorded a conversation of a dozen of 'em compared to reg'lar folks... you'd HEAR a lot more exclamation marks! I consider my writing to be sort of a "Truth in Advertising" kind of a deal.

The thing is, I don't look at language as some static this-is-the-onliest-way-it-can-be sort of regimented science. Language has one and only one reason for being; To allow one fella to communicate what he's thinkin'... with another.

So... if that gets done, if the story gets told in a way my readers find entertaining... it don't make no lil' bit of a never mind to me if the commas are in the place dictated by an english teacher, or if I've got some part of a ciple danglin' some damn where. Ain't no cowboy ever knew what one of those was any damn way.

Now I 'spect that absolute precision is purty important when you're drawin' out the plans for a vee-hickle that's gonna fly some loco pilot to the moon and back... but... when ya'll are passin' on some cowboy's version of a difficulty he had in the high chaparral... with seven fellas that ain't got no better education than he's saddled with... good grammar would be a really dishonest way of tellin' the story.

Now that don't mean I'm against makin' things neater and cleaner for those that look for where the commas are at rather than reading the words... but if it seems to me that doin' such gets in the way of the proper feel and flavor of the tale... you'd be best to expect to find things arranged in a way that'll make your english teacher wiggle and squirm.

So, when the dust settles and the words hit the electronic shelf... since those that admire my particular way of spinnin' a yarn seem to outnumber the critical ones; and considering that even those that question some of the mechanics of my literary license claim they continued reading because the story held their attention... I believe I'll keep on keepin' on the way I been doin'.

Many Thanks for Reading My Stories!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day by Day

A slow time...not just for me but for lot's of folks I think.

I'm kinda pushin' the envelope 'round this camp. Been waitin' on the law types to come tell me I wasn't allowed to "Live" on the earth any more and have to move on. Don't matter that they're wrong.

A man has the right to just walk the earth without somebody makin' a profit off of him...

... buuuuut... they got the power... and there's only grief to be gained by arguing with fools, so you smile and nod... and move along... but for now I work and wait...

It's funny about this place. In the bright daylight it's a pretty spot. It just somehow doesn't lend itself to being captured on "Film" then... It's a nice spot to step away from my labors at the keyboard and walk through the cactus and mesquites for a while to clear my head and fill my lungs with some fresh air... before returning to the work.

But, let the light change and get softer. Let it gain some color and it comes into a pretty special time...

For those few minutes almost every evening... all the worries that tumble in your head all day float away and there's a time of quiet and calm... 

The sunrises, when a day is fresh and hope is still new... are an equally fine time... the air is crisp... the road in the distance is still quiet... it's just a good time to balance it all out...

The Trail Wanders On

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Attitude is EVERYTHING

Maybe you've caught the tone around here lately (kinda hard to miss)... pretty droopy... and I'm right there with you... that crap sucks. Big Time... but if ya'll been comin' 'round here expecting to find the Cowboy Biker version of some always smilin' Momma Theresa... you've engaged in an exercise of some pretty serious mis-perception.

I'm a lot closer to one of those bouncin' off the ceiling... crashing into the cellar, mercuric sorts than some even keeled, do gooding, philanthopist kinds.

Life is Life... Shit happens. You're sailing along and one day thinking all is good and then you look up and before you know it... you're mired axle deep in thick gooey mud, and it was YOU who chose that last turn... UGH.

Thing is... after a bit you Have Got to ~ I ~ have GOT to, push that all aside and climb out. One foot at a time.

It's not that you GOT stuck... The deal is whether you STAY stuck or not.

And it's not whether you make mistakes, bad choices or whatever either. Few make a life that's a long unending string of good moves. Like a boxer, it's often one of those cases where once you get knocked off's a tough go to get your feet set again.

But... there just ain't a good option. You Have to TRY.

The way I see it... you have to break away from what's hittin' on ya so you can take the time to catch your breath. You sort through all the possibilities and then one more time, you make your next "best" choice.

I can lay out here on the desert feeling sorry for myself and stewing about missed opportunities... or... I can take what's left and put the next chapter together in whatever fashion things fall together.

You take what you got and you do the very best with it that you can.

Maybe this will sound like just feel good baloney, but it is my belief a truth.

Success is not so much measured in ease and dollars. To me, a greater success is the one who, without collecting riches or accolades... they keep on running toward the sun. They refuse to quit. They keep standing up after each fall... until the last breath slides out of their lungs. No matter what happens. No matter how many hits they take... Their eyes are on the sun... not the dark. THOSE are the ones I admire.

Morning coffee around here is often a quiet candle light time before sunrise... some good music on the stereo... and just thinking about what the day should be.

It's been said that what you think about is what you do. That what you create is a reflection of what your mind spends the greatest time on.

That doesn't mean that you created the situation you might be in. It mostly refers to your ATTITUDE about that situation.

Pay attention to what you're dwelling on...

"The Problem is not the Problem. The Problem is Your Attitude about the problem." -unknown

Working on My Attitude

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hunger Moon

Don't know about ya'll... but this dollar thing is gettin' wearisome. Purt near worn out its welcome for sure. The Indians used to have lots of different names for the winter season. January was the Howling Wolf Moon... February the Hunger Moon.

They pretty much all referred in some way to bein' cold, hungry and losin' weight. Pushin' cows you watched 'em losin' pounds all winter... and then poured it to 'em late so they'd be gainin' come the spring.

Here's hopin' there'll be something to be Pourin' 'round here come late winter!

Till then, what does a motorized boondocker do when the paper that funds the go juice to operate the motors runs thinner than the generosity of a mother-in-laws heart? ... uh... not much.

One thing is, you pull the blankets out from their compartment to make a nice thick cover and leave the thermostat in the wait to warm up for morning coffee position to save propane for sure and for certain!

There's enough groceries in the fridge and cupboard to feed on for the next pair of weeks... if I don't eat most of the second one :) and there's diesel in the truck and gas in the bike... for plenty of rollin'... as long as I don't go no where! :)

With lots of time for thinkin'... I've calculated that there might could be a couple of advantages to not moving around a whole lot. Which helps make not moving around much reasonably palatable... assuming of course I snooker myself into believing my own yarn!

First, machinery don't break nigh as often when it's sitting parked! :)  So on top of saving fuel dollars that weren't there in the first place... there's fewer repairs to do! Ain't that slick?

and then...

you'd think such a long quiet time would be just prime for a fella to sit down and carve out some good stories wouldn't you? Well I thought so too!

Turns out... yes and no... there's plenty of time... but...

You see... when you're backbone is buffin' up the back side of your belly button it kind of creates a distraction to shapin' words into admirable stories. The noise is a fearful scrapin' sound and the vibrations tickle so bad you can't sit still in front of the keyboard for more than six minutes at a time...

Now... Ya'll might could think I'm just yarnin' here... but I Vow! It be a true tale. The only saving grace is that such poverty is 'bout the only protection from the D.C. scavengers and their parasitic fining ways for failing to sign up for the double priced savings on their latest Poh-lit-i-cuhl scam.

Yup! There won't be no fat cat's squeezin' this rooster... you can only get so much nuthin' out of an empty bucket! Haw Haw Haw! :)

Pursuin' the Cowboy Diet (1 Jar peeled air, 2 cups of dehydrated water, stir in 3 pieces of tenderized rawhide and salt to taste)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back Again to One Foot in Front of the Other...

That was maybe about the longest blank time in some little while. I'm back in the desert now. Left Denver the night before the DEEP FREEZE hit... and just after two days of snow... ugh.

Only took a couple days of that to know, my bones won't tolerate northern winters no more. 

That tired old truck just only barely started at ten degrees... the next day, when it was 11 below... would have been a no go as it turned out... as it was... I was slippin' an' slidin' to get out to the highway, since the towns around Denver don't do any plowing in any of the neighborhoods.

I suppose I should have shoved it into four by four... but... I hate giving in too quick. :) The problem is when it's a diesel. The damned things are so torquey... it's tough to keep 'em from just spinnin' that back axle.

I came back here to get the rig out of the Wickenburg storage yard... pull into the desert and do MY work... while herself has stayed in Colorado to work on the store... you do what you gotta do I guess. Make the best of the choices you have.

I pulled back to the spot I'd set up before. I'll stay here a few days... try to get my writing parts working and push on through.

We've got business in Tucson, for the store, in early February. The big gem and mineral show, like every year for the last sixteen or so... this year was kinda "iffy" deciding if it made sense as tight as things are... but not yet ready to pull back on that. Then it's race week to work the last of the month and into the first weekend of March...

After that... it's looking like a low mileage Front Range summer working to get a handle on things.

Doing my work here, it's hard for this ol' buster to concentrate on a story though... when everything around seems to be in a storm.

It also turns out that the serenity of the desert is a double edged sword. Sure it yields up the quiet and peace a man needs... but that silence and lack of distractions opens up a door that lets a bit too much pondering wander through... let me tell you... there are SOME places you just don't want to look too hard! ;)

So... since there's again no dinero for fuel to go wandering, and precious little for groceries (so I sure don't need to be workin' up an appetite) until my payday, maybe 3/4 of the way through the month, guess I'll muddle along working on that lil' thing they call Focus.

Keepin' on Keepin on.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dusty Wings

One of the brightest and wisest fellas I've read in the past few years wrote a recent essay... that says it all, clear and plain. One line kinda jumped out at me... considering the funk of recent times I've been mired in.

"Build your wings and try…and if you fail…well then you can bitch…but you’d better be dusting yourself off and trying again or everything that you are…is wasted." Daniel Meyer

He says a lot more in the essay about people... about Soh-sigh-uh-tee... but mostly it's aimed right directly at the person reading it; and that person has no choice but to judge just which category they have lined themselves up in.

I myself sit right squarely in the middle of that been-there-done-that, flown high crashed hard, learned the hard way, don't tell ME what I have to do, took my lumps and got up bitching, haven't quit yet group of learning disabled, damaged goods, running from demons, puss gut busters that don't have the sense to ride vehicles with four wheels or horses that won't buck.

Maybe I'm old and worn. Maybe I don't bounce as high or stand back up as quick... but bounce I still do... and stand back up... I always will...

... Until the gates of Hell slam behind me and the caterwauling bellow of ol' Lucifer echo through the bars and drown the thunder in the mountains, as he bounces around the bowels of Hades... a cowboy riding him to perdition, gut hooks raking his flanks and the cowboy's call echoing off the walls of Hades; "Let 'er Buck!"

... and a freshly harvested set of oysters frying in the pan!

Less than Delicate, I'm still...