Caprock Canyon State Park, Quitaque, Texas

This is our first stop along our journey eventually ending in Northern Minnesota for the summer. We love the hiking here and it’s only a couple hundred miles from my parents home (our home base). So they came along with their travel trailer to do some camping with us before we departed Texas. 

It’s always hard on them (and us) when we first leave knowing we won’t be seeing each other for several months. Over all though, I think we spend more quality time with them since we’ve been fulltiming the last 5 years. 

Our next stop…. somewhere in New Mexico. 

Enjoy the pics from Caprock Canyon.

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A New Travel Adventure

We’ll be hitting the road again 2 weeks from today. It’s not that we don’t move our home fairly often, we just haven’t moved it more than a few hundred miles in a while. 

Heading west out of Texas, we’ll write and photograph our way across New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and up the Oregon coast into Washington. Our last time in Washington was in 2013. From there, we’ll head back east across the top of the country to Nothern Minnesota for the summer. 

Check back here often to follow us along if you’re so interested. 

I know Sharon will have new material along the way. And who knows, just maybe I’ll have my latest novel completed by summer’s end. Maybe. 

Brian

What is wrong with people?

I’ll try not to go all negative here. I’ll also try not to rant and rave and get up on my soap box. 

I used to like people and I used to like the atmosphere at a campground. Don’t get me wrong. We get some great campers here at the Pines Campground. We’ve met some of the nicest folks. They have been great, conscientious neighbors. We’ve been commended on how we run the camp and how clean everything is. Unfortunately, they’ve been the minority. 

We get a slew of people that can’t or won’t read a sign. If they do read the rules, it’s like they’re are going down the list breaking each one. We do our best to keep it nice and quiet for our campers who come here specifically for the peace and quiet. And I can tell you, it can be a 24 hour a day job sometimes. 

I have been coming to these camps in this area literally my whole life and it was always a rare occasion to see a camp host having to enforce an obvious, common sense rule. It should be as simple as being a good neighbor and not trashing nature. 

I don’t know what is happening to people but so many just do not care about anything but their own selfish agenda. What started out as a way to spend the summer in a place we love and stretch our dollar a bit, has turned into one of the most frustrating, stressful times for me that I can remember.

My plan was to finish my 2nd novel’s first draft here and have it published by the end of the year. But between collecting fees that folks try to avoid paying, making people park in appropriate locations, and telling people that their music shouldn’t be able to be heard by folks in the next county; and let’s not forget the ones who think their children should be able roam and run through everyone else’s camp site all day and all night, we have time for nothing else. 

I always try to keep this blog positive, but my poor wife is sick of listening to me gripe. So, my readers are the lucky ones today. Speaking of my dear spouse, she is such a better person than I could ever be. If it weren’t for her, I’d have hitched up the house and moved out to middle of nowhere by now, leaving this camp high and dry with no host long ago. So, I reluctantly agreed to try and stay to the end of our obligation. 

Even though we are not yet at the point of covering all our living expenses from my writing and her photography, I vow to not take a job that gets in the way of our dreams again. Though these workamp jobs do stretch a dollar, I have to wonder where we’d be with our respective crafts if we hadn’t taken temporary jobs along the way that inevitably delayed what might await us. Did they really stretch a dollar? 

The bottom line is I have stories to tell that many folks will find entertaining. Many of those folks have, and will be willing in the future, to pay a small fee to read these stories. I believed this from the beginning. Sharon has seen and captured many images through her camera lens that no one else would’ve seen or thought to capture the way she has. And, her images are only getting more beautiful and more interesting the longer she pursues them. There are also many people out there that are willing to compensate her to own copies of those images. That has already been proven. 

Don’t waste your time doing things that are only delaying your success.

Brian

Winds of Change…

So here we are, camp hosts at the Pines Campground in the Lincoln National Forest near Cloudcroft, NM. We left Fredericksburg, TX at the beginning of May, had a short visit at the parents place, then moved on to here arriving 2 weeks ago. 

As it turns out, Sharon had sold one of her photographs she has on display at Burro Street Bakery in Cloudcroft since we were last here. We’re very excited. Every photo she sells and every copy of a novel I sell puts us closer to making our meager living solely from the things we love doing. 

We were invited to return to the Fredericksburg KOA next fall and winter for workamping. So, we’ll head back there around the first of October. After that, we’re thinking of forgoing the workamping thing at least for next summer to get in some much needed travel time. Sitting in one spot for several months on end is not really ideal for us. 

The gig we have here in Cloudcroft is not very demanding and we should be able to spend some time on photography, and hopefully I’ll be able to at least complete the first draft of my new novel I started 2 years ago. Wow! I can’t believe it’s been that long since I started it! Yes. I’m very slow. And with our seasonal jobs, we aren’t able to dedicate full time to our crafts. 

That’s why we’ve decided after our workamping commitments end next May, we plan to spend more time traveling and devote the bulk of our time to working our respective crafts. 

I realize there are many talented writers and photographers in the world more talented than me that will never achieve what we hope to achieve. But we have done what we can to live a simple and low budget existence and our requirements are low. The funny thing is we’ve never been happier as a result of that decision. That was the first phase of our dream. The next phase is to support that dream from writing and photography. Now is the time to focus our efforts there. The best way accomplish any goal is to commit all time and effort to that goal. Someone wiser than me said that. It makes sense. 

So, if you find yourself near Cloudcroft in Southeastern New Mexico this summer, stop by the Pine Campground for a visit. Also, if you’re ever traveling through West Texas on US 180 or FM 669, stop by the Coyote Country Cafe in Gail, TX. They serve great home cooking and are nice folks. I owe them for shamelessly promoting my novel and selling more paperback copies than anyone. And that’s in a town of under 200 people! 

Till next time…

Brian

Sharon’s Daily Photo… An Old Mine Near Silverton, CO

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A Nice Run On A Rainy Day

It’s been raining the last couple of days, an oddity here in west Texas. It makes for nice running weather though.

I’m preparing to run the Rock n Roll San Antonio half marathon for the 4th year in a row. The run is on December 2nd so I’m trying to get some regular runs in and increase my mileage.

It’s going pretty well so far. I ran 4 miles today at about a 9 min mile and I’ll try to go up a mile once a week or so on my long runs until I get to 12 miles or so. That’ll give me a little time to taper off and rest a little before race day.

Unfortunately, the rained delayed us leaving for the mountains of New Mexico a bit. Our trailer is parked in a spot where I have to pull through the mud to get on the street, so we decided not to risk getting our home stuck. We’ll reevaluate in the morning and hopefully be at 9000 feet near Cloudcroft, NM tomorrow afternoon.

Till then….

Brian

Back to the Cool Mountains

It looks like we’ve concluded our medical visits in Lubbock for the time being. And since we don’t have to be in Fredericksburg, TX until September the 24th, we’re going to once again escape the heat of west Texas for a couple of weeks. So, this weekend sometime we’ll hook up the house and go back to the Lincoln National Forest near Cloudcroft, NM. It’s not a bad drive from here, besides going through the middle of oil field country.

Hopefully, I can get the new cover for my novel, Indian Paintbrush, mostly figured out and have the new version available around mid October. I’m hoping it will be more appealing to new readers after that. It’s amazing how things that you think shouldn’t matter can make or break you when your marketing something. It’s become apparent to me that when it comes to self publishing, writing the manuscript itself is all I’m good at. Maybe I’ll learn the other stuff along the way.

I’d really like to get my next novel finished and out to readers before the end of this year. I’m sure I could do it, but I seem to be spending much of my time still working on the completed one. I have always believed, and still do, if you write quality material, you’ll eventually be recognized by the fans of said material. The thing about any writing is, everyone’s writing is unique to them. Each writer just has to find his or her fans, then make their writing available to those fans. Sounds easy, right? And, as I have to keep reminding myself, it takes time. Sometimes a long time.

While I keep looking for new fans and making my writing available to them, I’ll keep living this magnificent life of writing, travel, and self exploration. I’m living as close to my dream life as I ever have, right now. To me, that means I’m going the right direction. If you have a dream, it will stay only a dream unless you actively pursue making it a reality.

Since the link feature on WordPress seems to be inoperative right now, please check out the “About Us” page of this blog. There you can learn what we’re about and find links to my novel and Sharon’s photography.

Brian…