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The Ghosts of Zodiac

My second story on this interesting place is in the Fall issue of Hill Country Visitor Magazine.



He sat on the bank in a shady spot.  His mind was full of random thoughts coming into his mind at what seemed to him like the speed of sound.  He pushed them out one at a time.  First the concerns about the mystery of this murder; then the regret of his failed relationships; then they disastrous date with Angela; then, finally, Kathy.  One at a time he moved the thoughts out of his conscious mind until there was nothing left but the warm air moving gently over him, the decomposed granite of the dry creek beneath his feet, and the grassy bank he sat on.  He moved his mind towards the center of his being. Finally, there was silence inside his head.  He sat, not aware of the passage of time, his mind empty, open.

I wrote this paragraph in Enchanted Rock Red in 2011.  This was somewhat prescient, as this was something I thought I just learned on the Camino in Spain in May.


Camino Retrospective

My first story on the Camino was written three months ago while I was on the trail, this piece closes the story after reflecting on the meaning of this grand pilgrimage.  When I reached Santiago in western Spain on June 8th, people asked me “Would you do that again?”  My answer at the time was “No way!”  Now my answer is, “Maybe,” but I am definitely planning to return next May to a different section of the Camino, and walk from Porto in northern Portugal to Santiago, a mere 232 kilometers.

Austin’s Secret Swimming Pool

I have been swimming in Barton Springs, but not in a while, as it is so crowded.  Then I learned about Deep Eddy from a friend.


The Wine is Coming!  This photo shows grapes fermenting at William Chris Wines, good people who let me come take a lot of pictures.  I have a longer story on Texas wine coming in the fall edition of the Texas Hill Country Magazine, soon to be called Heart of Texas Magazine.

Catching Up

I have not posted all my stories on this blog lately, so here they are.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have already seen them.

I wrote this story about the Dark Sky Movement on the Camino as I had run out of time before leaving for Spain, dictating it into my iPhone and editing in an albergue.  Joe Houde (publisher) and Cliff Kaplan (Hill Country Alliance) came up with the photos. I had intended to write it before I left but ran out of time.

This story was fun to write because I tasted a goodly number of the distilled spirits while doing the interview.  I’ve known Todd for quite a while and find him to be highly creative.  There are distilleries popping up all over, but Elk Store is the first on Main Street.

Craft beer is a subject near and dear to my heart, and when the U S Open Beer Competition announced medals one of my very favorite beers got the Gold.

I started swimming regularly on the advice of the physical therapist who is trying to sort out the problem with pain in my shoulder while walking distances.  I had seen the City newsletter by my friend Julie earlier that day, and when I met this engaging young lifeguard I wanted to spread the word.

I had some free time in Austin and decided to give the Texas History Museum a try.  When I met Bob, a volunteer interpreter in the museum, I knew there was a good story.

It took me a while to figure out how to write this story about an escape room business owned by a long time friend and fellow Toastmaster; I started it before the Camino, but it took another visit before I knew how to tell it.  I’ve never been big on puzzles, but this business is growing on me.

Last but not least is this article for Texas Hill Country Magazine on the Wine Road 290.  I got lots of help from my friend Chris Brundrett, wine maker and part owner of William Chris Winery.  I sent him the draft for comments and he re-wrote a section with marvelous result. The story is near the end on page 42.

My blog editor Shannon Salas recently put a link to this blog at the end of my articles, which is exciting.  Some of my stories are barely read, while others get lots of attention.  I have the freedom to find and write my own stories; that plus the link are the real reasons I spend so much time on this.  I am also working on two stories for the next issue of the print magazine; collecting the information and getting the photos is also time consuming, but challenging.  My editor for the print magazine, Marcy Stellfox, has also improved my stories, although I thought my closing line for the wine story was better than hers (There are no wrong turns on Wine Road 290). The featured image are wine grapes just beginning fermentation for my next story.

Thanks for reading, and I love to hear comments.





Writing about the 290 Wine Road

I have an article in the summer issue of the “up and coming” Texas Hill Country Magazine (soon to be Heart of Texas Magazine).

What’s different from writing on-line stories?  One is that my print stories have the benefit of an editor, Marcy, who makes them better.  Another is that the magazine will lay around on people’s coffee tables for a long time, waiting for someone to pick it up and find my story.  The downside? I don’t get final control over the title, the closing sentence or the photos used.  This is my 5th story for them, and I am always eager to see how the final story came out.

Here’s a link to my on-line stories.  I’ve taken some time off, what with being in Spain for 5 weeks and all, but I’m back in the saddle and will start posting again this weekend. Thank you for following my stories!