Friday, March 28, 2008

Kicking, Contests, and a Bit of Regurgitation.

We've been practicing for several weeks but tonight is the first game for the pre-K soccer team I'm helping to coach. My youngest is geared up and ready to go. Already this morning he's had to don his shin pads and socks just to make sure they fit.

I'm grateful this is indoor soccer since the wind is howling upwards of 40 mph today.


I'm feeling random today so be prepared for one of those unfocused posts.


I submitted two entires to the Women's Fiction contest over at Bookends Literary Agency. These are the first 100 words from the first two novels I ever wrote ...

From Ain't Life Grand

Angela Ross slowed her beat-up Datsun to a crawl. Wind tugged at the duct tape on the top of the passenger window. Only a couple miles of barren highway, and acres of rangeland, separated Angela from her old hometown. The sight ruined the tranquil, peach-hued sunrise.

What she wouldn’t give to turn the car around and disappear again.

This time forever.

From this distance, the towering grain elevator loomed over the trees and smaller buildings like an over-sized tombstone. Yep, from this vantage point the entire community of Grand, Texas looked exactly like a giant grave.

and The Dark Side of Luck

Click, clack. Click, clack.

The gurney’s wheels ticked across the sterile tile floor. Rolling death. Three years at Heritage Nursing home, and Destiny Holt had yet learned to cope with the regular sight of patients leaving for good, beneath a stiff-white sheet.

Click, clack. Click, clack.

The men from the funeral home rounded the corner with Mrs. Gershwitz’s body. Destiny thought of the two blue-eyed little girls who smiled down from a frame beside the woman’s bed. Working nights, Destiny rarely met the residents families, but she knew them just the same. She'd heard all the stories.

I know realize that beginning with your protagonist going back to her old hometown is a bit cliche but that was my very first novel and I still believe in the story as a whole. The second one was originally called UnLuckLess but no one except for me ever liked that name so I changed it. Unlike a lot of authors I still like and have hope for both of these stories even if they were part of my learning process. I have rewritten them several times and might do so again one of these days.


Speaking of contests, this info comes from one of my writing friends, Cicily Janus


Exciting new opportunities are underway at Aesthetica magazine - New Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition

The Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition will champion new talent in the genres of visual arts, photography, poetry and fiction.

The competition is separate from Aesthetica Magazine, however the annual event is organised by the founders of Aesthetica Magazine.

Details of the Annual Competition:

1. The competition will accept entries of creative writing (poetry & fiction) as well as artwork and photography.
2. Each section will have one winner that will receive a prize of £500 and a subscription to Aesthetica Magazine
3. The new Aesthetica Annual will be a book that will present winning entries and runners-up in the genres of artwork, poetry and fiction.
4. Entry allows the submission of either five images of artwork, three short stories (up to 2000 words each), or five poems (up to 40 lines each).
5. The entry fee for the Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition is £10.
6. Deadline for entries is 31 August 2008.

For further information please go to

Since the deadline isn't until August, I might even enter myself once I get Plundered Booty finished and out the door.


Somebody visited my blog from Cork, Ireland today. I just felt like adding that little tidbit since I think that name has a nice ring to it. Cork, Ireland. Any of y'all ever been there? How about any of these other (what I would consider) exotic locales where I've recently had visitors from.

Reggio Emilia, Italy
Cuiaba, Brazil
Haslev, Denmark
Baden Baden, Germany
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Hello, Christene)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Brooklyn, New York (hey, it' exotic to me)


In the last few days these search terms have led surfers to my blog,

tramp stamp fiction
pretty butt
liar, liar pants on fire
benefits of a molasses enema
nymphadora spanking
testicle hitch ball covers

There are more but they are not nearly as damning as these are. If no one knew a thing about my blog except that searching these terms inked them to me what do you think their opinion would be?


And let me leave y'all with a great invention idea from me.

If even some of you fall into my habit of hitting the snooze button three or four times each morning have I got just what you need ... The Pukinator Alarm Clock.

I can set the alarm clock radio to full blast or set the dial to that annoying shrill buzzer but neither of those sounds can penetrate my drowsiness.

But let one of my boys crawl into bed with me, and and the first hint of a gag, (you know that ruuugh sound), and not only am I awake in an instant but I spring out of bed like Spiderman at the merest hiss of a Raid can.

I'm thinking I'd never oversleep or be late for work again if alarms clocks sounded more like a child about to vomit on your head.

Ahhh ... the joys of parenthood.


Have a nice weekend. I'll see you Monday for next week's My Town Monday.

(Don't tell anyone but I usually cheat and get my post up Sunday afternoon, so I can spend Monday gathering everyone's links.)


Lana Gramlich said...

"benefits of a molasses enema?" There's such a thing? The benefits, I mean? *LOL*
I completely understand why you post MTM on Sunday, particularly as it seems to be getting more popular! Your Monday's must be fairly busy, blog-wise. Keep up the good work, at any rate (lovely writings, too!)

Anonymous said...

Amarillo didn't make your list of exotic places? I have been there!

Me Me! I have been to Cork! Dublin - the smell of warm Guiness

I checked my maps.......we didn't go to Reggio Emilia, but were north of there!


Charles Gramlich said...

I entered that bookends contest too and didn't win. sigh.

Debbielou said...

My Mum was born in Cork and still have family over in that neck of the woods!

Think the alarm clock is a great idea!!

The Anti-Wife said...

Love your random posts.

Jennifer said...

Rambling post! LOL
So you're a soccer dad!
I liked your two entries. I've been (sort of) following the contests (I check in and read the winners), and I'm always amazed at how much talent is out there.
A lot of those entries really make me want to read the rest of the book!

Jason said...

My daughter's in outdoor soccer. And so far it's either been too cold or too rainy to practice or play a game. After four weeks. It simply started too early. But indoor soccer...hmmmm....I should look in to this.

Mr. Shife said...

I think you are on to something with the Pukinator. Good luck with your contests and have a great weekend as well.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

I've been all around Ireland several times but never quite made it to Cork! Did get to Limerick, Ireland on one trip.

Been to Brooklyn, NY too! (It's down the road a piece.)


Monnik said...

Ha - that pukinator would do it for me...

I crack up at the search terms that hit my blog too.

I love the beginnings of your stories, Travis. I know you're going to get one of your novels published soon. You have the talent, now you just need the luck.

Michele said...

Hey, best of luck in the BookEnds contest, Travis!

The Honolulu, HI one was me. I checked your blog while I there last week. :-)

Michele said...

P.S. I wrote last week, but it was actually this past week. (My brain's not working after time zone hopping.)

Design Goddess said...

I'll take one Pukinator, please. I'm one of the snooze-hounds as well. Can't go one morning without hitting it at least 4 times!

Hope you and your family have a terrific weekend! :)

angel, jr. said...

Have fun at the soccer game.
That was some good writing. I think randomly so it was easy to follow.

Jerseygirl89 said...

I love random posts.

And I've been to Brooklyn. (which is still kinda exotic if you're from Jersey. Trust me.)

And I've been to Denmark, including some small places whose names I can't remember, so let's just say I've been to that one too. :)

Shauna said...

ROTFL! I've heard that ruugh sound, too. Most effective wake up call EVER!

I LOVED the hundred words from both stories! I love a good opener to a story and yours hooked me. Now I won't sleep 'cause I'll be wondering what happened next.

Melissa Marsh said...

Yeah, the sound of my kid puking would rouse me from a deep sleep. Or even the, "Mom, I think I'm gonna throw up." That would do the trick, too.

Bubblewench said...

Hey I have family in Cork! What, Eagleville, PA isn't exotic?