Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time Keeps Marching

Tomorrow is this blog's 4th anniversary.

Four years in the grand scheme of things is not long and yet so many things have happened ... and not happened.

When I started this blog I was fresh back from a week long writer's workshop. I was in the midst of a series of back and forth phone calls with a prominent literary agent. I was certain that after 6 long years of writing my time was at hand. That New York and the world would soon agree I had the talent to be a real life, genuine author.

Well. here I am, four years later and while there have been some successes over the years, a half dozen calls from other agents over the years, if I am truthful the powers that be in New York are no closer to granting me access than they were then. The business side of writing has gotten harder of anything and now e-books and self-publishing has the entire industry in a confused tizzy.

But that is not to say I regret starting this blog, or chasing this dream of publishing a novel. I simply have to write and tell stories. It is who I am and as far as this blog and you all, the people I have met and continue to share life with on nearly a daily basis. Well, outside of my wife and boys y'all have been the biggest blessings in my life.

Y'all were there when we needed help, an encouraging word. It is through this blog that I have learned to trust my voice and take chances with my writing. It is through this blog that I finally saw Plundered Booty published in Deadly By the Dozen.

I guess what I am saying is thank you to all of you. The writer's who commiserate with me on the ups and downs,a nd provide me with a wealth of great stories to read. The photographers who stun me with their ability to capture stories in a single shot. The sports fans who cheer, rib, and goad me throughout the various seasons. The friends both here local and worldwide who take the time to comment on my plethora of absurdity.

Thank y'all for 4 great years and an outlet for my brain drippings.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spawning a New Venture

I have a new blog.

This one is not going away but my frequency of post might decline.

You see I have decided to write a humorous food book detailing my well refined culinary dogma. the new blog, twitter account and Facebook page will serve as a promotional tool for that book which will have a few recipes but mostly contain stories emphasizing and detailing my rather peculiar dietary habits. Actually it's more a style of living, an outlook on life, and a guide to happier living -- Travis style.

Oddly enough I owe a vegetarian, The famed, fabled and fabulously talented Erica Orloff for the inspiration. She'll no doubt shudder at the creations of my meatatarian mind but hopefully she along with the rest of you will find a few laughs.

The blog, facebook page and twitter accounts are of course called. LETTUCE IS THE DEVIL and can be accessed here.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Go West Young Man

I'm back after my little 2100 mile jaunt across the west.

Several of y'all have asked so here is a run down of my road trip.

Jennifer, the boys and my mom struck off last Sunday evening. As part of my upcoming conversion to Catholicism I attended a ceremony with all of my fellow converts within the diocese Sunday afternoon. The car was loaded so as soon as I shook hands with the bishop we were off.

We got on I-40 here in Amarillo and headed west at precisely 5:00 PM central time.

I took this shot not long after we crossed into New Mexico.

We drove to Gallup, New Mexico that first night arriving at 9:30 PM mountain time.

Day 2 we made several stops in Arizona ...

... to see the painted desert ...

 ... and The Petrified Forest.

The areas littered with petrified wood were cool ...

... but my favorite section of the national park was an area called Magazine Rock.

Here is some info (stolen from the park's website, but condensed for my purposes) about the petroglyphs carved into this rock.

Thousands of prehistoric petroglyph sites are scattered throughout the southwestern U.S. . These images are composed of petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings). For the vast majority of sites, the meanings and functions of these drawings have been lost. During the last 16 years, Bob Preston working largely in Petrified Forest National Park, has shown convincingly that many of these sites were used as "solar calendars" to track the yearly movement of the sun across the sky through the interplay of sunlight on the petroglyph. As long as time has not altered the alignments or surfaces of the rocks involved, these solar calendars function the same today as they did when they were created almost a thousand years ago.

Most petroglyph sites in the park date from about 1000-1350 A.D.

I find it fascinating to think my eyes are seeing something created that long ago.

From the Petrified Forest it was on to Vegas.

This was the boys first ever stop in Vegas so we took in the sights ...

Ate hearty ...

and had a dam good time. 


I'll post pics of the Grand Canyon and our return trip another day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Wake Up The Crabs

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cracking Up

The world is full of things I simply don't get. I've blogged about a few before such as those fluffy toilet seat covers, eyebrow pencils, and coffee enemas. I like to categorize these items under the Riddle Me This grouping.

Today I'm taking a random approach and adding two items to the list. Two totally unrelated items I might add.

1. Wake Up -- A common enough phrase. Heard at home, work and even the radio.

"Billy wake up, it's time to school."
"Hey Idiot, wake up and smell the roses."
"Wake me up before you go-go."

But riddle me this. Why must we always wake up? Just once I want to wake down. Or wake sideways. After all we don't say time to sleep down. I suppose you can shut down you mind, though in my case my mind seems to go into hyper thought when I get I bed for the night.

A person can lay down. I get that. And they can get up. But can they really wake up? I think not.

2. SpongeBob SquarePants I do not like Sponge Bob. My boys however love the show. Who do I not like it? The reasons are many. The porous protagonists nerve-wracking voice and laugh. The fact nary an episode goes by that one or more characters is shown in their underwear. (Why didn't they call it Sponge Bob No Pants?) Then there is Mr. Krab. The cantankerous crab that owns the Krusty Krab and sells Krabby patty's.

His name is Krab. He has larger red pincher's so I think everyone will agree that SpongeBob's boss is a crustacean. A crab.

Mr. Krab has one child. A daughter. Named Pearl. Riddle me this if Mr Krab is a crab, why is his daughter a sperm whale?

Far as I know there has never been mention of Pearl's mother. Maybe Mr. Krab and her had a one night stand and the baby was dumped on the doorstep of his restaurant nine months later. Maybe they are divorced and Mr. Krab is so miserly because he pays a hefty child support. Here's me theory. Pearl's mom is dead. She was also a two-timing whore.

Why you ask. Follow me as I deliver the evidence. It doesn't take Jerry Springer or a DNA test to unearth the fact Mr. Krab's is not Pearls real father. That means Mrs. Krab's sold him a bill of goods. It's rather obvious she stepped out one night and got drunk. Maybe Mr Krab's was away at a Small business owners convention and she simply got lonely. Who knows. But it is obvious she and a whale got busy.

So from there it's easy to arrive at the fact she's dead. If, and this is a mighty big if, Mrs. Krabs survived the actual deed. I'm saying that because .. well let's face it, a sperm whale and a Krab don't exactly fit together like fish and chips. There had to be some residual damage from the actual deed, but back to that if. If Mrs. Krab's survived the deed I gotta think a crab giving birth to a whale is gonna do more damage than a fat guy at Red Lobster with a pair of these.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still Nutty

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nut Very Smart

Do you read If not you should. It is hilarious. Until now I've resisted the urge to copy and past things from failblog to share with y'all but this one begs to be commented upon.

Where o' where shall I start?

Maybe with his decision to skinny dip in big blue. Mario. Dude. Have you never seen all the stuff that lives in the ocean?

Crabs and lobsters with big claws just made for grabbing a hold of your junk.

Eels, jellyfish, and sting rays are lurking below the surface all too eager to zap Mr. Squid. Haven't you ever heard of the Crocodile Hunter?

Sharks, barracudas, and a myriad of other toothy fish are swimming about and everyone of them would like a worm to snack on.

Yep, Mario swimming in the ocean while freeing willie was mistake number one. Oh, but you weren't punished for it, so you hop out of the chilly water and despite being the victim of shrinkage you don't feel the need to don clothes. I'll applaud you for the self-confidence as most dudes prefer to only be seen at their best, but Mario wasn't content to simply let little Luigi go about pale and shriveled. No he decided to camp out on a slatted deckchair. In the warm sun.

Now I've had a few nasty sunburns in my day so no way am I going to dangle my bits about and risk becoming the subject for a new version of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Not to mention the long term chance of skin cancer. A bit of melanoma on the ol' Manitoba would not be a pretty sight.

And then he dozed off. I know lots of people sleep in the nude, but doing it in the safety and confines of your own bedroom is one thing. Hanging it all out at the beach while you are unconscious is another. Ants, bees, biting flies, stray dogs, kids with a Frisbee, the list of hazards are endless. As Mario's fate proves it's simply not healthy to let things roll around unattended.

And man oh man would I have hated to be on that maintenance crew who had to come saw the chair in half. I'm pretty sure that was not in their official job description. And poor, poor Mario. No one since Bill Buckner, has done as poor a ball handling job, but I do feel a bit of sympathy for Mario. Any man with a set of his own would have to. Having you guys hanging about in the presence of a whirling saw blade is far from a situation any man wants to find himself in.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Boy Happy Faces Smile

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Smiley Face

My wife Jennifer is a Montessori Pre-School teacher. How she has the patience to handle a classroom full of three and four-year-olds is beyond me. She often tells me funny stories about things the kids said or did and today I'm going to share one of them with y'all.

While learning to draw circles one little girl made a huge happy face that covered her entire sheet of paper. She turned to me wife and said, "Miss. Jennifer, is this a boy happy face or a girl happy face."

My wife responded with, "Do you want it to be a boy or a girl?"
The little girl emphatically said , "A girl."
"Okay then make it a girl," answered my wife.

Seconds ticked by and yet the girl did not add to her drawing.

Finally Jennifer asked," What's wrong?"
To which the little girl said, "I don't have enough room to add in her boobs."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's A Sweater!

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Straight From My Brow


It's not something people inspire to do unless they happen to be exercising at the moment.

Sweat stinks. It's nasty, and even if you are at the gym working, covered in your own sheen of perspiration the last thing you want is to find some stranger's sweat pooled on a piece of equipment you wish to use. Outside of the gym sweat is rarely looked upon with favor.

Heck, we spend countless dollars on deodorant and antiperspirant just so we won't draw flies.

Sure, men can get away with sweating on occasion, yet in true double-standard fashion proper ladies are not allowed perspire.

Trust me, I think this is all going somewhere, but just for clarification here is my summary thus far ...

sweat = bad

Do we all agree on that?

Okay good. Let's move on.

So why do we name countless articles of clothing after something society frowns upon? Sweat socks, sweat pants, sweat suits, sweat shirts ... and my least favorite -- the sweater.

My wife has this sweater fetish where she has to buy all these holiday sweaters. She has Halloween ones with ghosts, goblins, and witches. Fall ones chocked full of colorful leaves, cornucopias, and such. Christmas ones with elves, twinkling lights, and dancing penguins. Heck, I won't be at all surprised when she comes home on February second wearing a sweater adorned with a smiling groundhog.

To me the whole holiday sweater phenomenon is goofy. I prefer clothes that I can wear all year, or the very least all season long. Not some tiny little window of time that coincides with a particular selection of Hallmark cards. And besides that, I consider sweater to be an asinine name of the utmost in bad marketing. Call them warmers or toasties or something to convey the snuggle not chilly way they are supposed to make you feel. But not SWEATers. Who wants something that produces an unwanted bodily function?

Do we have pants called gassers? Cosmetics called pimplers? Bran cereal called Poo-poo Puffs?

No we do not, and nobody would buy them if we did. So why do you women ooh and aah over SWEATers?

Sure back in the days when girls didn't wear thin, see-through t-shirts everyday of the week the tight sweater was a thing all us guys could appreciate, but even then the name was stupid. I am officially adding sweaters, especially cutesy holiday sweaters, to my list of things I do not approve of including (but not limited to) these below items ...

All forms of lettuce
Fluffy toilet seat covers
Sarah Jessica Parker
Precooked Bacon
Form Rejection letters on a requested full manuscript
The BeeGees
Vegetarian anything
Those who shun reading

William Shatner

However, I will make a concession and offer my approval of the vintage tight sweater of yesteryear because who am I to knock history. Also I will say the sweater inspired one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. Every Christmas, I at least once, mimic this great clip from the fine cinematic masterpiece, The Three Amigos.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jimmy Recracked Corn and I Still Don't Care

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I consider myself an intelligent fella. I am quite capable of following a string of logic and coming to an understanding, provided there is actual logic behind that said string.

For instance, I get the fact that the more corn we use for the production of ethanol, the less we have for the other, more traditional uses of those little golden kernels. I grass supply and demand economics. I buy the reasoning behind cattle feed going up and there for beef prices rising. I am not baffled that the Green Giant must charge more for his frozen packs of Nibblers.

And, I even understand that the price of popcorn has exploded. But here is where things get greasier than your fingers after eating an entire bag of eight-dollar popped gold at the cinema.

Movie tickets might take hit from exploding popcorn prices

That headline comes from a USA Today story that theater owners are planning to raise ticket prices by as much as 30% because of the escalating price of popcorn. According the the story, ticket prices are subsidized by the sale of concession stand goodies and the higher popcorn is the less people buy it so the less the theater makes. There are more holes in that theory than gray hairs in Indian Jones's stubble.

If I go the counter and see that a tub O' cholesterol now cost me more than Nick Nolte spends on bail money then I'm going to change my snacking selection. I'm just as happy munching on Sugar Babies and Junior Mints as I am on digging kernels of popcorn out of my teeth for the next few hours. As a fat guy I will go on record as saying I don't care what I eat. It's dark and my focus is on the screen. Give me chocolate covered ants, or deep fried grasshoppers and I'll probably never even notice unless the movie is total crap. I say the theater owners should get inventive. Tell the National Popcorn Society to go to hell and feed us something different. Unless your name is Orville Redenbacher you can probably sit through Pirates Of The Caribbean 18 -- The Curse of Jack's Kracken Bones without a barrel of butter drenched, air-infused corn. And if you can't well then you tell the kids there will be no Christmas this year and go ahead and break out the credit card at the concession stand.

This is the equivalent of strip clubs raising their cover prices because the cost of glitter has skyrocketed. I say we all put our foot down and start sneaking in bags of microwaved Pop Secret. Women use your purse, and guys, just cram it under your shirt. Sure you'll look fat and lumpy and you might even get a few grease stains on your clothes, but sacrifices have to be made. Besides, chicks still dug Elvis right up until the end and that same description could have been used to describe him.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dudes and Their Drives

The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Zoom, zoom

Booker T. Washington said, "Character, not clothes make the man."Mark Twain claimed, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Travis Erwin says, "Ask most men what they'd rather have - a nice suit or a sweet ride, 99% will pick the car every time."

Guys tend to think of their vehicles as an extension of themselves. Consciously or subconsciously. The choice of dream wheels depends on the man.

An outdoorsmen will demand a 4X4, maybe with a lift kit, a gun rack, a front-end winch or even a wench, depending on his state of loneliness.

Others want to go fast. They tend do fantasize of things that are sleek and curvaceous. Okay, all of us men fantasize of things that are sleek and curvaceous but I'm talking cars here. Porsche's, Ferrari's, Lamborghini's.

Others drool over pure unadulterated horsepower. Trucks that can pull mountains, and growl like a sixty-year-old, chain-smoking Waffle House waitress. The kind of truck that simply cannot pass a service station without stopping.

No man, I repeat no man. Dreams of driving a mini-van.

That does not mean sacrifices are not made. A real father will trade in his cherry-red Camaro for the sake of getting his kids to soccer practice.

But he won't like it.

Sure his buddies will tease him and toss around terms like henpecked, ball and chain, neutered, and maybe even the dreaded P.W. But he'll take the abuse and dream of the day he can get rid of the mini-bus and once again show what kind of man he really is.

Now the advice.

Most of my readers are female but some of you are guys.

Regardless of your gender, please pass this message along -- Guys DO NOT try and make a statement anyway. DO NOT say I am going to make the best of a bad situation. DO NOT over compensate - for anything. Regardless of what your shortcoming are.

I've typed all of that to tell you two stories. One new, one old.


Yesterday, I'm sitting at a stop light. I glance over and notice a guy about my age . He's wearing a ball cap and a blue mechanic-type shirt. The kind that usually has the wearers first name sewed on. Really nothing out of the ordinary.

But then they catch my eye.

By they I mean ... Flames. Big green ones, painted down the side ...

Of his black Dodge Caravan.

Dude, it's still a minivan. 

The flames didn't suddenly make me think ... Wow! Now that is one cool minivan. 

No, I thought there is a guy who lost an argument with his wife. A guy that should've invested in a TV long ago to stay busy doing something other that creating kids. I thought there is a guy who didn't want to trade in his Harley for a vehicle capable of holding car seats. A guy desperately clinging to something he has obviously already lost.

DUDE! Face the music. You are Fonzie no more. 

Welcome to Richie Cunningham land. You may be cool again someday, but DO NOT highlight the fact that today, ain't that day.
The Old
This story happened a few years back but I consider it one of my wife's wittiest moments, and she has a great sense of humor so that is going some. Of course anybody willing to marry me had better have one heck of a funny bone.

We were on the way to a friend's house. Driving through a residential area when we came upon a giant red truck. I'm talking the bottom of the door was a good three, three and a half foot off the ground. The wheels were huge and had aggressive off-road tread. Painted on the tinted back windshield in bold red letters were these words ... NO FEAR
And standing at the bumper was a wee little fellow that belonged on the back of Secretariat, or guarding a pot o' gold beneath a rainbow. He had his arms folded across his chest. The ball cap on his head was cocked a shade to one side, and the smirk on his face said, "Napoleon had nothing on me."

I was about to open my mouth and say something about the sight when my wife held up her pinky finger and said, "Big Red Truck, small pink weenie."

So let me hear the most ridiculous cars that you have seen. Not necessarily the ones trying to be ridiculous like those who paint their van to look like The Mystery Machine, or paint a rebel flag on the roof in Duke boy fashion, but the ones that say look at me and then when you do the only reaction is a chuckle or a cringe.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The birds are chirping. The tulips are blooming. The wife and kids are out of school. That's right folks it is spring break time here in the Texas Panhandle so while I am away from the computer spending time with my beloved and the fruit of our loins please enjoy these posts you may have missed the first time around.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Little Stinker

When I first met my wife she was a senior in high school and living with her parents. I was a cradle robbing twenty-year old college student. Also living with her parents was her older sister who had a two year old son. Yes, the same nephew who at 16 now stands several inches above six foot and hovers around three hundred pounds. The one I mentioned in a previous post about high school football.

So in the early days of our dating Corndog (I gave him that name when he was about four because he had a shaved head that reminded me of a corndog) was around a lot. And he was a funny kid, And since his Dad was absent I took it upon myself to introduce him to the finer aspects of masculine culture. Things like pro wrestling, fishing, making farting noises with your arm pits, and the joys of rubber band wars. The list could go on but I'll stop there.

He was about four or five one day when it was just me and him in the living room. My wife's parents were away as was her sister so Jennifer and I were baby sitting.

I felt a bit of pressure building in my guts so like a good future uncle, I called him over to me and instructed him to pull my finger. His eyes widened at the boisterous eruption.

"Do it again. Do it again." He squealed.

I obliged him for the sake of entertainment, and because I'd probably eaten at Taco Bell or some other such intestinal stimulating fast food joint.

He was in awe at my second acoustical outburst. After a few seconds he stuck out a tiny little finger and said, "Do it to me."

I pulled his finger at which point he grabbed onto the edge of the table and commenced to grimacing and groaning.

This is when Jennifer walked back into the room. She took one look at little Corndog and said, "What is he doing?"

"Trying to fart," I answered.

"No he's not," She said.

And in a very rough and strained voice Corndog piped in, "Yes I am." The the tiniest of pops came out and he smiled proudly.

My future wife simply shook her head and walked away.

I held my hand up and Corndog gave me a high five. It was a great moment that every uncle and nephew should share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Love At First Sight

The story I'm going to share with y'all today is true, but for years now I've held onto to it thinking that I'd eventually use it as the beginning of a novel or short story. But I have an entire notebook full of things I plan to write and it really doesn't work for any of them so I might as well share it with y'all. Like I said this is a true story about one of my former coworkers -- I'll call him Moe.

Moe was an older guy. About ready to retire when I got to know him. He was a sharp technician, able to fix any and all of the postal equipment. Gruff, honest to a fault, and rather anti-social, Moe possessed a dry perverted sense of humor that came out when you engaged him on one on one conversation. He considered three people a crowd so if another person walked up, Moe simply walked away. Mid story, mid sentence. It didn't matter. He took part in NO group activities.

Moe was also a Vietnam Vet and an AVID whiskey drinker.

His wife died not long after I joined the maintenance ranks and given that I barely knew him at the time I did not attend the funeral or the week long wake at his house. But I've since heard the stories and have deduced that the wake was basically a week long booze fest at Moe house which resulted in a near complete dismantling of the pipes beneath Moe's bathroom sink after another inebriated coworker claimed his glass eye had fallen into the drain.

The eye was alter found in the trashcan beside the sink, but the only sober guy at the gathering still talks about his emergency plumbing job while a hoard of whiskey hounds breathed over his shoulder.

But back to Moe.

Six months or maybe a year after his wife's passing, Moe gets an email from a  lady asking if he was the same Moe Schmoe who was stationed in Mobile, Alabama in 1967 or 68 or some such year. I've forgotten the details but you get the general idea.

Now Moe recognizes this woman's name. He was stationed there and she was his girlfriend there right up until the day Uncle Sam shipped him to Vietnam.

While serving his country, Moe and the chopper he was in crash landed. Moe was severely injured and after some months recuperating was sent back to the US and eventually Amarillo. Along the way he lost contact with Alabama Annie. He got married had a son and a number of years later once again began working for Uncle Sam. This time as an electronic technician here at the old Post Office.

This his wife died. And during his long grieving period Moe consumed many many bottles of whiskey. Then Alabama Annie's email arrived.

Moe email back. The began corresponding. Then conversing via the phone and then one day Moe Tells us Alabama Annie is flying in for a visit. He takes a few days off and upon his return this is the story Moe tells ...

There I was standing in the airport concourse. Her plane has just landed and I'm scanning the faces of those debarking. I spot one lady about the right age but she short, fat, and not at all pleasant to look at so I refuse to think she is Annie so I keep looking at the other faces. None seem right so I return the the only woman and pray to myself ... Please don't be her ... Please don't be her ... Please don't be her.

I'm still reciting this though in my head when she walks straight up to me and says, "The years haven't been to damned kind to you either."

Now knowing Moe, I wonder if his please don't be her prayer was actually a mere though in his head or words he spoke aloud or at least mouthed. Either way their reunion was a bit awkward to say the least. When Alabama Annie got on the plane and headed home Moe told us he'd never been more relived in his life.

Yep, this was the story he told us the next day. But three or four months later Moe announced that Alabama Annie was moving here to Amarillo and they were getting married. That's been six or seven years ago and while Moe has retired from the USPS he and Alabama Annie are still living happily ever after in marital bliss.

Love at first sight. It's a romantic notion that lots of people believe in. But  this story shows love 40 years after first sight ain't easy but it is possible ... at least with enough whiskey.


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Literary Laugh

This guy makes me smile with his literary minded musical spoofs.

The 3rd one, the New Moon, Twilight spoof is my fave.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Eyes Have It

I am lucky in the fact that there are many talented and successful writers living here in Amarillo. And most of them have been a tremendous help to me over the years. Some have advised on the crazy  business side of publishing, others have critique material I've written and helped shape me into a better writer, and still others or simply befriended me and provided genuine friendship from a like-minded soul.

Jennifer Archer has done all three and for that I am very grateful.

Jennifer is a multi-published author of several genres and soon she'll add her YA novel Through Her Eyes to that list.

In anticipation of her YA debut's release Jennifer is having a giveaway. I've cut and pasted the information from her blog here, but you may want head over there if you have any questions.

Enter the Through Her Eyes GARGANTUAN GIVEAWAY to Win a Kindle & Other Great Prizes!!!!!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Pre-order THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer (that's me) between March 1, 2011 (today) and April 4, 2011 and as my THANKS to you, I’ll enter your name into my GARGANTUAN GIVEAWAY!!

On April 6, 2011 the members of my marvelous writing critique group, The Divas, will draw eight lucky names:

  • 1st & 2nd names drawn will win a Kindle 
  • 3rd and 4th names drawn win an iPod Shuffle
  • 5th & 6th names drawn win a bound leather journal, like the one Tansy finds in the cellar in THROUGH HER EYES.
  • 7th & 8th names drawn win an autographed copy of THROUGH HER EYES. (Give the one you pre-ordered to a friend!)
 HOW TO ENTER (Only 4 easy steps!)

1. Pre-order THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer (that's me) on one of these online sites between
    March 1 and April 4, 2011:

 2. Email a copy of your pre-order confirmation from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indie Bound to me at

 3. Along with your confirmation email, send me your address so I’ll know where to mail your prize if you win!

4. Tweet, Facebook, blog or simply call a friend about the THROUGH HER EYES Gargantuan Giveaway! In your confirmation email to me, explain how you spread the news about the Giveaway, and because I’m a trusting person, I’ll take your word for it!

That’s it!

All steps must be made and information sent to by midnight (Central Standard Time) on 4/4/2011 to qualify! Winners will be announced on my website and on my blog after April 6, 2011. Good luck!!

*Contest entrants will be added to my mailing list & receive occasional updates about my future book releases and new contests.

*If you can't fulfill any of the steps & would still like to enter, explain in an email to me and I'll add your name into the drawing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coincidence or Conspiracy -- You Be The Judge

I've been writing a long time now. A solid decade of storytelling with publication in mind. There have been a few successes along the way but I've sure as heck found more doors closed than open when  it comes to getting my stories out into the world and the reading public.

I've been a heathen even longer. I put a solid 25 years absolutely snubbing my nose at all organized religion.

Slowly, but surely the Catholic Church reeled me in and a year and half ago I enrolled in RCIA classes. I've been in the learning process and at Easter vigil this year I will be baptized and come into the church as a full communion taking Catholic.

If you read my last post you know I shared other good news that my short story -- turned novel -- turned back into short story/novella was now available on both nook and Kindle as part of the fabulous anthology titled, Deadly By the Dozen :12 Short Stories of Murder and Mayhem.

The title of my story is Plundered Booty.

So after years of searching, I find both religion and widespread publication at nearly the same point in time. 

Then today I see this headline in the USA Today newspaper.

Bishops boot 'booty' from revised Bible

That's right folks, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has made the determination that a new translation of the Catholic bible is in order. Booty has been replaced by the term "spoils of war" when the New American Bible, the English-language Catholic Bible, comes out on Ash Wednesday, March 9. 

Call me crazy, but I do not think my story about cars, love, lust, Caribbean dreams and rum would sound nearly as good if titled, Plundered Spoils of War. Add I say it's good to have words like booty and virgin in the bible. The are the liturgical equivalent of a teacher saying Uranus while lecturing about the solar system. They get everyone in earshot attention. 

Now I'm in no way comparing the story I created about a good Ol' boy from Red Dirt, Oklahoma to scripture, but I do find it strange that booty is getting booted from the bible the same time my booty is actually occupying a pew.

Perhaps I'll be required to say a few Hail Mary's and Our Father's as penance for using a forbidden word in my title. Perhaps but this situation has given me an idea for the title of my work in progress. A story about a woman who believes sex is ruining her life. Not sex of her own, She isn't having it, but her senior citizen of a mother is about to get kicked out the retirement village for carrying on too load with Harold, Her 15 yo son is dying for his first taste and seems willing to break every house rule to get it. her husband is trifling with another woman and even the barn cats are keeping her up by fornicating under her bedroom window at night.

So what name could I choose for such a book that could possible offend, Catholic Church? Maybe, Out Of the Habit or She Ain't Getting None. I should be okay with either as long as I don't spell it nun.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Better News

On a lighter and happier note I am pleased to announce the anthology containing my story, Plundered Booty is now available at both Amazon and Barnes and

Twelve Short Stories of Murder and Mayhem written by an eclectic group of writers. Ranging from tough and gritty to light and comic and every landscape in between, DEADLY BY THE DOZEN promises to entertain, chill, thrill and inspire. Edited by award-winning thriller author Mark Terry. 

The collection includes:
I DIED, I DID by Natasha Fondren
IDENTITY THEFT by Robert Weibezahl
INDIAN SUMMER by Lise McClendon
FLAT-FOOTED by Mark Terry
INTO STONE by Keith Snyder
MARIGOLD MOURNING by Merry Monteleone
LITTLE SIBERIA by Erica Orloff

I believe Mark showcased his sense of humor by having my booty bring up the rear of this project.  At $2.99 this collection is going for the price as a Happy Meal at my local McDonalds and while there is no toy inside I promise you'll find find at least one story to fit your reading taste as it truly is an eclectic take on crime fiction.

Buy it now for you Kindle ...

Or your nook ...

But don't feel left out if you do not yet have an e-reader as you can download a free Kindle file for your computer here.

And a free nook PC download here.

Or if you are old school and refuse to read a ebook, you can wait until the print edition comes out sometime in April. But I warn you it will cost a bit more than a Happy Meal.



Aerial footage of the wildfire aftermath.

There is a short 15 sec advertisement before the footage.

The house they zoom in at the 1:55 mark sat directly across from my old home. Every last one of my old neighbors have lost their homes. I keep staring at the destruction with both shock and awe. Strange as it sounds this event has been harder on my psyche than the fire that destroyed my home two years ago. The area is still closed so I have been unable to speak with my friends but by all accounts everyone got out before the wind drive flames swept through the canyon.