TBASB Day Two, Part Two: Love In Vain

TBASB Day Two, Part One

The hunt for Robert Johnsons. How else can you describe it? Three different markers for the same man, because no one’s quite sure where he’s buried. I had mapped us to the northernmost location only for us to make our way back south-ish. The problem is that once we leave Elmore James and Lonnie Pitchford, my phone has no service and I have no way to pull up our route.

“Well what city is it near and we can just put it in the car’s GPS?” Mike suggests. I have to dig into my bag and pull out the printed itinerary that Matt drew up a few months ago that just has city names that are different from what I have.

“Oh crap, and I changed the order of these, too…” I mutter, looking at the three Robert Johnsons listed with towns below them. In the end, I pick one: Sheppardtown. It’s close enough to where we need to go, and after twenty minutes of driving north, my phone finally finds signal.

I take us to where we actually need to go: Greenville. But before we cross the bridge on the north side of the town to the first Mount/Little Zion church, we hunt down the Blues Trail markers in town. Between Matt and myself, we tell Mike where to turn and when he finds it, he pulls off to the side of the road while Matt jumps out and takes a picture of the front and the back before hopping back in the car.

People must think we’re crazy. Continue reading

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TBASB Day Two, Part One: The Sky Is Crying

We begin the blues part of our adventure in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Elvis Presley’s birthplace is very much a sight you can see. Not that you need to, but when in Tupelo, you may as well. We do. It rains up until just before we park the car, one of two in the parking lot, as the place opens in four minutes. Rather than wait with the older couple sitting on a bench next to the visitor’s center entrance, we opt to stroll off to the right to the house where Elvis was born.

elvis presley childhood home

Elvis’s childhood home, photo credit me

It’s a tiny thing, plain white, a black porch swing still set up. “It looks like that scene out of The American Adventure,” Mom whispers to me and I immediately picture it in my mind, the three animatronics sitting on a gas station porch in the Depression, picking along on a banjo and singing “Brother Can You Spare A Dime.” On the cement surrounding the walkway is a timeline of events of Elvis’s life up until leaving Tupelo in 1948. We take our pictures and head into the visitor’s center to buy tickets to the buildings.

“Do we want one attraction or the grande with everything?” I ask, looking at everyone else. None of us necessarily care if we see everything from the inside (and there’s not much to see).

“Well, this was my idea, so I’ll buy,” Mom responds. “Let’s go for the grande, why not?” Continue reading

Muddied Waters

My oldest brother and I had one goal on our trip to Chicago: See Howlin’ Wolf’s grave.

He had thought of it a few summers back on a drive-through trip with his wife on their way to visit friends in Indiana, but it had never fallen into place for them to stop. This time, with me backing him up and our mom surprisingly also on board, it came as a three-against-two vote against our significant others, and our trip home found us taking a twenty-minute detour due west to Oakridge Cemetery.

Google Maps has us completely passing the entrance to the place, which happens to be about fifteen times larger than any of us anticipated. “Where exactly is his grave?” My brother asks, turning onto the main road and driving slow.

“Fantastic question,” I reply. Continue reading

After A Long, Unintentional Hiatus

In the words of Steven Tyler on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster in Disney World, “How to, people?”

It has been a lifetime since I updated this blog, and that is completely on me. Last week, I had a fantastic conversation on Twitter with a follower/friend about my writing because I linked to this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo, reminding people that sometimes I do write fiction things. Sometimes. “You should always be writing,” she told me.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing; it’s just that I’m writing things that are completely different. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 16

While the Husband plays Fallout 4 and I jam out to the excellent music within, how about a mid-NaNo update!

Day: 16

Daily Word Count: 966/1667

Overall Word Count: 27,355/50,000

Favorite Line (Or Two) Written Today“So what was the point of that ride?” I ask as we leave the pavilion. My retinas burn in the natural light.

“…Mexican It’s A Small World with Donald Duck?” she offers after a hesitation. “They changed it a few years back, but it really wasn’t any better then when it was El Rio Del Tiempo.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: I’ve had ELO’s latest album on loop.

And a longer snippet for those of you interested…

Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2015: Day Two

It’s been a long, long time, writing blog! Much has changed since I last updated this thing, most of which you don’t care about, so I’ll make it brief: New job, newly married, new house, things are crazy.

And it’s National Novel Writing Month yet again! It always seems to hit when life is the craziest. But the process of writing 50,000 words in 30 days wouldn’t be as fun if I didn’t have to work for it.

I went back and forth on what story to write this year. I desperately wanted to finish last year’s One Dozen Roses, but inspiration never struck. Instead, I decided on something that would come easy to me, which happens to be anything related to Walt Disney World. If you didn’t see my NaNo profile, it’s over HERE for you to check out before you continue on to my update and then a fun, relatively long snippet.

cover 2Day: 2

Daily Word Count: 1028/1667

Total Word Count: 4058/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “The darkness engulfed the boat once more and echoed uttering’s of “Dead men tell no tales” floated through the air as we came to a beach with that awesome anamatronic crab.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: It’s mostly been stuck in my head, but Postmodern Jukebox’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” is quite fantastic.

Now, for the snippet. If you’ve ever dealt with crowds, this one’s for you.

Continue reading

“This Old House” Introduction

I can give you lots of excuses as to why I haven’t updated since Christmas (but actually since the end of NaNoWriMo), but then I just picture Jake at the end of The Blues Brothers giving excuses to Carrie Fisher’s character about why he left.

Too much stuff has happened since Christmas–all of it good, mind you, but it’s kept me away from actually updating this place.

January and February were dedicated solely to house hunting. Then I bought a house. We closed on it March 9th. We are also less than five months away from our wedding date. We also moved the fiancee into the house five days after we closed. I’m still trying to balance work and housework and a normal life. I’m still writing at Bam Smack Pow, covering Agents of SHIELD episodes and just did this cool piece on eBay sales data.

On a sad side, I no longer do Red Wings blogging at Octopus Thrower. With life getting in the way of being so involved and invested in it, I just can’t keep up anymore. Analytics are diving deeper than anyone ever imagined and I don’t have the time, so I gracefully bowed out…except my Twitter account is still 80% capslock tweets about games.

cover copySo how am I still keeping writing in my life? Well, it’s tougher than you think, but since it’s part of what keeps me sane, I found a good way to keep it up! I’m writing about my home-owning adventures over at Wattpad! They usually sponsor NaNoWriMo and I thought, what’s a better way to keep myself writing?

Write about what I’m doing.

I know I’m not the only twenty-something-year-old who will be attempting to work on a house and get married in the same year. I’m sure others who have gone through it or will go through it will find relief in that they aren’t alone. It’s a terrifying dance. Growing up blows. (Maybe that’s why I’m so emotionally invested in Avengers: Age of Ultron…nah, that’s getting too deep).

So if you really want to keep up with me and what’s going on in my life, the entire story so far is OVER HERE!…even though it’s nearly a month behind at this point. It’s full of lots of references and even a flashback to how the fiancee and I met!

Just know that I’m still alive and still writing. And if you’re looking for hints at the sequel to On The Border, it is completed. But I need to desperately rework the beginning.