Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stepping Back...to Move Forward

I recently returned from a very well deserved break with my family. Michele and I took the kiddos and joined her family--my mother-in-law and her brothers, Ricky & Andy--and we visited her family in Arkansas. Her uncle Rick and aunt Connie live in Bentonville and we stayed with them a few days in a lovely home and then ventured to Lake Beaver in the Ozark mountains to visit her uncle Ray and aunt Vivian Pearce. It snowed and it was very cold, but a different cold than Texas. Michele and I left early Thursday morning/Wednesday night, trying to beat the approaching winter blast. By the time we snuck onto the mountains of the upper northwest (Fayetteville) region the snow had already arrived. We had an experience upon arrival and thankfully the kiddos rode with her mother and not us. We were probably less than one mile from her uncle Rick's house when my Trailblazer lost its traction in the snow/ice and we started sliding backwards! On my right was a wall of solid rock and on my left was a straight drop more than twenty feet below. I turned to Michele and told her to take off her seatbelt. When she asked why (they always ask why don't they???) I told her it was because we were going over the cliff. I pumped the brakes and pulled the emergency break while trying to get her out of the seatbelt. Bythe time it was off the truck collected enough ice on the back left tire to stop my truck before going over. We stopped four feet from the ledge that would have hurt the truck as much as it would have hurt me. I got Michele out of the truck and walked her up the hill to her uncle Rick who was waiting in his Suburban (with four-wheel drive). He was able to tow me up the hill and again a second time when moments later my truck lost traction again. Needless to say by the time we arrived at their home I was done driving--at least until the streets thawed out.










We enjoyed the stay and rode their ATV in the snow and the kids made some snowmen and more importantly played in more snow than they have ever been in at one sitting. Unlike Texas, Arkansas has real snow. We got some good pictures and spent some time checking out the hot-rods her Uncle Rick builds for R&R Street Rods. Her Uncle Ray owns the company and her uncle Rick and cousin Josh do the body/prep/customization work. They had some amazing vehicles and amazing stories to tell about how they design and build their custom street rods!







Once we got to her uncle Ray's cabin, we got a taste of true bliss and relaxation. He owns a substantial amount of acreage off Beaver Lake and has designed and built a 3-story, 7 bedroom (and 5 bathroom) lake front masterpiece with accompanying guest and kids cabins. We spent our last night in Arkansas having some drinks and talking and laughing in a true relaxed state. As cold as it was it was still truly amazing, knowing that at any time we could step out on the wrap-around patio/balcony and stare into total darkness knowing below us was a wonderfully clear lake, surrounding us was solid rock and above us were million upon millions of stars lighting up the night's sky. We had limited cell phone coverage, no appointments, no colums to write, no research on the web and no computers and deadlines...just smiles and the peace that comes with living and being alive with those you love.





As hard as it was I am honored to say I did nothing spectacular or work-related for my novel Proud Souls. It was hard...very hard! Since the book's release on Amazon.com I haven't done anything else apart from work related to promoting the book. I felt like a kid who wasn't allowed to go outside, but I got passed it. I made some contacts the week prior to our mini-vacation and I am honored to say my new friends in the city of Seymour Texas have responded! I am honored that you (and you know who you are) would take a chance on my novel. I can't wait to meet all of you!!! I can't wait to hear your review!


Great things are in theworks for my novel and my writing career this year. 2008 has already proven itself to become a potentially prosperous year. There is so much more to tell you and so much left to do...being gone for only 4 nights and 5 days was enough to set me back but it was well worth it. Sometimes we have to learn to unwind and relax and if you are like me, that can be work in itself. I have been going non-stop for two solid months to promote and publicize Proud Souls in the best manner I know how--with my big mouth. There are 8+ reviews pending release on the Internet between February 15th~May1st, including two contest notificatioins, 1 radio interview, a book signing and a potential meeting with the Seymour Book Club. And that is just the beginning. I plan on going full fledge again and I am hoping to hear from each of you who have invested your time with my debut literary novel.

Stay tuned for more details and thanks so much for the support! Remember, I believe...because you believe...

...And a very special thank-you to Michele's family in Arkansas! Thanks for taking us in and giving us a place to unwind.


Rick: Thanks for not letting me go over that cliff!!!

Connie: I appreciate your warm words of encouragement and let those friends of yours know that I can't wait to hear from them!!! Try not to rub it in that I signed your book....

Courtney: I appreciate the questions and without spoiling too much, I will use one of them in my next blog segment! Can't wait to see you in May!

Josh: I'm sorry about the dog...remember, she's 13 years old!

Ray and Vivian: I mean, tio Ray, thanks for letting us stay at the cabin! If you said "come anytime" one more time, I might still be there chopping wood to earn my keep! Be careful what you ask for...

Andy: I let you win...

Ricky: Disoranni on the rocks anyone??? By the way, I stole your shoes...

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