Monday, November 9, 2020

What is This Free Time You Speak Of?

 I have been derelict in my writing duties for the last month.  Well, not so much derelict as much as a looked down and when I looked up again, a month had passed. The last month has been one of those "one step forward, two steps back" situations, and it has just damned near worn me out.

My wife and I have had to admit my mother-in-law to a long-term care facility due to her health. I work in a similar facility, but my facility does not accept Medicare or Medicaid. The place where she is does and the paperwork was incredible. I'd still be willing to bet something is not filled out right.

We spent every weekend since working up until this last one on cleaning out her house. When you have to do something like this, it really makes you look around your own place. I spent a lot of time inventorying and looking at things thinking, "Do I really need to keep that?" or "If I die tomorrow will this thing mean anything or just get tossed?" It's kind of sobering how much unnecessary crap you have when you take that assessment.

That was all on top of the usual car maintenance and repairs I have had.  The $600 Mustang needed brakes.  Well, it needed the brake system overhauled. Two new rotors, two new calipers, a cool new tool to do the back brakes (screw you Ford), and a lot of labor made it all safe again.

I haven't even touched on the shit we're having to do at work thanks to our new friend COVID-19. Nasopharyngeal swabs all around twice a week for the foreseeable future. With my role as HR Director, I'm overseeing the process for 120 employees. 

YAY! 

I honestly would have run screaming from the building before now if it weren't for my amazing staff.

For now, I'm just trying to keep my head above water, but I keep getting weight added to my feet.

Here's hoping the new year will bring with it some breathing room.

Wayne

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tales Around the Supper Table


 



Back in March I put up a snippet of a work in progress for an anthology that was slated for summer release. Took a little longer than anticipated, but it's live on Amazon HERE and available in both e-book and a dead tree version. Below is a snippet from the final version of the story.

You can read the rest of this story and others by Alma TC Boykin, Dorothy Grant, Kathey Grey, Pam Uphoff, JL Curtis, Jonathan LaForce, Peter Grant, Lawdog, John Van Stry, and Monalisa Foster.



     Trip hadn’t contacted his old mentor in over fifty years, but the old phone number was the only non-magical means he had of reaching out to the only person he could think of with the depth of knowledge he needed. Using magic would be a last resort because there was still a faction of hunters who actively looked for blood magic. Using that much magic openly would mean having to go underground again, not to mention endangering his old mentor as well. Trip was relatively happy with his life right now, so he decided to save that as a last resort. He really didn't even know if his old teacher was even alive, but it was all he had at the moment. Trip took a deep breath and dialed the number.

     On the fourth ring the phone was answered by a young girl, "Hacienda Garcia."

     Interesting. The old man hasn’t changed his name.

     "Hey there. My name’s Trip. Is Paulo around?"

     "Yeah. He's out in the back yard. Hang on I’ll get him."

     The sound of the phone rattling on a counter after being dropped came through Trip's earpiece followed by the young girl's voice flipping from English to Spanish. Her voice was as clear as if she were still holding the phone, "Oye! Viejo! El telefono es para ti! Es una hombre llamado Trip!" Trip heard the sound of running feet fading as they got further from the phone as the girl ran back to whatever she was doing before the phone rang.

     Trip heard the sound of an old screen door creaking as it was pulled open. It banged in its frame when the spring pulled it closed. He could hear the stomp of work boots approach across the old hardwood floor. A husky old voice with just a hint of a Spanish accent met Trip's ears, "Trip? How the hell are you? Haven’t heard from you in a lifetime. What brings you back my way?"

     Trip spent the better part of half an hour bringing his old teacher up to speed on what had been going on in his city, " I’ve dug as deep as I can with the resources I have, and I’m no closer to an answer than I was when I started. I hate not knowing what the hell I’m up against, so I figured I’d ask the only other person I know who might have a clue."

     Paulo was quiet for a minute, "Warlock covens usually only have twelve human members with whatever demon they follow as the thirteenth. If this coven has thirteen human warlocks, then you've got a very powerful, almost messianic, figure as their leader. Combine that with the child and the ten others that have been abducted so far, and it sounds like you’ve got a death cult looking to do some apocalypse level shit. I’m not surprised you couldn’t find anything."

     Paulo paused, and Trip heard the sound of a Zippo as the old man was lighting a smoke, "If what I’m thinking is going on, there hasn’t been anyone stupid enough to attempt it since just before the Dark Ages. If it’s what I think it is, they’re gonna need thirteen souls to pull it off. They'll collect and hold the souls of the first twelve in a crystal vessel, and the soul of the innocent child will be the final sacrifice to trigger the magic. Hers will be taken directly by the being they summon. You’d best track them down before they get to thirteen."

     Paulo being nervous spurred Trip to dig deeper, "What are you thinking? I don’t want to walk into this blind."

     "If it’s what I suspect, the leader of the coven is looking to ascend. They’ll gain power on the level of a lesser god and likely unleash Hell...literally. The last time this was tried, the ascended warlock unleashed several demons and set off a wave of cholera that wiped out a big piece of Europe. It would be best for all of us if they were stopped. You up for this?"

     Trip sighed, "Do I have a choice? Thanks for the info. If I pull this off, I may even come out that way for a visit. Say, who's the kid? New apprentice?"

     Paulo chuckled, "Yeah. She's not a blood mage, but just like you she was a scared little kid when she came to me. First in her family to have the gift. She seems to have a kind of earth magic that lets her speak to plants. When her mother's daisies asked her for water, it sort of freaked her out. She's been helping with my orchard and damned if she hasn't helped bring in a bumper crop of peaches. I'll tell you what. You save the world, and I'll make cobbler. Oh, and don't wait so long to call next time, Pendejo."

     Trip couldn't help but smile at the affectionate way Paulo had just called him a dumbass. That'd been Paulo's nickname for him for as long as he could remember, "I'll do my best, Viejo, and for some of your peach cobbler, I'll make sure I win. Talk to you soon."

     "Buena suerte, my friend," Paulo hung up the phone.

     I could use some luck. Trip headed for the shower to get ready to spend the night bar hopping in hopes of finding someone who saw something.

     He came out the front door of his apartment building about half an hour later to find Danny sitting on the ground, leaning against a Fed-Ex drop box on the sidewalk waiting for him. When he saw Trip, he got to his feet, "Another lookout went missing tonight right after dark."

     "Shit! That's twelve. I need to see the place where it happened. Take me there."

     The two of them set out for the site of the last abduction. It was only about four blocks from Trip's apartment building, so it didn't take long to get there. As they walked, Trip let the smallest trickle of power into his senses. He felt the blood on the ground a few steps before Danny stopped and pointed into an alley, "This is where she was. She was the last of the outer perimeter watchers. Hey, are you ok?"

     Trip didn't acknowledge Danny because his focus was completely on the four tiny droplets of blood on the alley floor. He walked over to where they were and went to one knee. He touched one of the drops, and it lifted away from the pavement with his finger like steel stuck to a magnet. He let his power touch the blood and the memories of its last moments in the body it belonged to flooded into Trip's mind.

     In his mind, Trip saw the street in front of them as it looked at sundown. He heard footsteps from behind and felt hands grab clothes. The watcher didn't go peacefully. She had heard them coming and was ready. She lashed out with a hand and scratched the neck of one of her abductors. Trip believed one of the memories must be a delusion; because, it looked like one of the assailants had the head of a snake. The last memory was of being hit by the one she scratched. One of the other assailants put a hand on the watcher's head and she fell unconscious. The magic of the sleep spell left a faint metallic taste in Trip's mouth as he broke his trance.

     Trip spat on the pavement trying to get the coppery taste out of his mouth, "That's just fucking great. Just great."

     Trip nearly spat on Danny's shoe. Danny took a step back from Trip, "Hey! Watch where you spit. What's the matter?"

     "Nothing you can fix kid. Sorry if any of that got on you. I need you to go back to Duke John and tell him to pull his people off of the street until he hears from me. This isn't something you guys can fight. Dammit. I need a drink to get this taste out of my mouth. Maybe someone in that bar over there saw something else, like which way they went. Get moving!"

     Danny took off at a run down the alley and Trip made his way across the street to the bar. He opened the door and was met with a really off-key rendition of Queen's 'Somebody to Love'. He did his best to tune it out as he worked his way through the crowded room. Ugh, karaoke. Just what I needed to make this night perfect. He finally got to the bar, flagged down the bartender, slapped a five-dollar bill on the bar, "Bourbon. Don't care what brand."

     Trip took a mouthful of the rotgut and swished it around in his mouth before swallowing it. After the third time the foul taste of that spell finally faded. Trip ordered a second drink and asked the bartender if he'd seen anything odd happen across the street tonight.

     The bartender thought about it for a second or two, "Yeah. You know what? Now that I think about it, there was a little bit of a scuffle in the alley across the street earlier. Eventually they all got up and walked off together like they were all friends. They got into a black SUV and drove off. I really didn't think too much about it. Hell, people scuffing outside of a bar isn't anything new."

     "They walked away together?"

     "Yeah. Was odd that one of them looked like a homeless person, but we don’t choose our friends, right?"

     Trip sat sipping his bourbon. Walked away. Not a sleep spell then. Mind control maybe? That would explain the nasty aftertaste the magic left in my mouth. All the blood would know was everything went black.

     The next singer started their turn and the first few chords of Shania Twain's 'Still the One' drifted over the room. It wasn't the music that caught Trip's attention, even though he'd always liked that song. It was the voice that came next that would not be ignored. Trip couldn't help but look toward the stage. The singer was not what he expected to see.

     She was tall and lithe with very short cut spiked blonde hair. She was wearing form fitting jeans that were tucked into knee-high, black leather boots. Her shirt was one of those things that looks wrapped on, crossing in the front. The v-shaped neckline ended somewhere between her navel and her breast bone exposing the white skin beneath. He could just make out the lines of a tattoo that could be an oriental dragon, or maybe a snake, that ran inside of her left breast and up over her shoulder. Once he made eye contact it felt like she was singing only for him, and Trip kind of just sat there until she finished.

     After she was finished, she walked straight through the crowd to where Trip was sitting. She smiled at him, "Mind if I sit here?"

     Trip motioned to the stool next to him and she sat down. She waved the bartender over and ordered a beer and another drink for Trip as well. Small talk ensued and the next thing Trip knew he was headed for the door with her on his arm. He knew there was something important he should be doing, but the smell of her and the bourbon in his belly were keeping him from remembering. That funny taste had returned to his mouth too, but that didn't really seem all that important at the moment. The last thing Trip saw before he blacked out completely was a black SUV pulling up to the curb.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

To Kill a War Leader is Live

 I uploaded the "final" version to Amazon last night. It is available on KU as well as for purchase as an e-book.  I'm not sure it's got enough meat on its bones to warrant killing trees to make a print version.  Who knows? Link below. Hope you enjoy it.

-Wayne


To Kill a War Leader



Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Affairs of Dragons Pt. 6 - Training...Kind Of

 In an effort to avoid cover design, my brain decided it would finish up the current chapter in progress for the next book. It's kind of odd how the mood in the short story For a Child influenced my writing with Tole. Trip, the main character in that piece is very somber and serious. I've had to work to get Tole's snark back. It hasn't been easy, but I'm getting there.

Hope you enjoy it and comments are always welcome.

-Wayne

 

      I sat there inside of a circle I'd drawn in the dirt with my dagger staring at an orcish rune I had also scribed in front of me inside of the circle. Valsh tells me it should help me focus while I try to reach my gift. All it's done so far is give me a fucking headache.

      Every time I stare at it another image jumps into my mind and distracts me. I've never been able to concentrate for very long. I'm just too easily distracted. I'd harnessed that tendency to help build situational awareness, but I've never been able to turn it off. Consequently, my head is fucking killing me from trying.

      "GODDAMIT VALSH! This is just not going to work! Man, I'm just not gonna be able to do this. Every time I just start to concentrate on this rune a crescent moon keeps popping into my mind."

      I stood up and stepped forward to leave the circle and smashed my face into the invisible barrier. Valsh almost fell off of the log he was sitting on when he saw that.

      "Well," he said around choked laughter, "you can obviously raise a circle. You can control the magic in The Bar to get where you want to go...most of the time, so you touch magic whether you believe it or not. Break the circle with your dagger before you break your nose."

      In spite of his confidence in my ability, I wasn't convinced. What he didn't mention was that it had taken me the better part of a morning to be able to raise the circle. The other side of it was that I really wasn't interested in learning this shit. If Valsh was right, I really didn't have a choice. According to him, once that tap is on it doesn't turn off. It would continue to open and eventually drown me if I didn't learn to control the flow. Fuck...my...life.

      "What I do not understand," he continued, "is why the symbol isn't working. It is a meditation technique that has been used for millennia by my people."

      I looked him square in the eye and said, "Maybe that's the problem. You remember how well trying to train me like you'd train a pup worked last time don't you?"

      That brought another round of his raucous laughter as I took my dagger and broke the circle. I picked up a dirt clod and bounced it off his rock head. He stopped laughing for a second and then burst out even louder than before.

      "You are right, of course," he said once he calmed down. "I should have learned then that I cannot teach you using our ways. Try it again, but this time draw the symbol that keeps showing itself to you. I am beginning to think that maybe it is your gift trying to tell you to do it your own way."

      I walked over to my packs and said, "After lunch. I'm starving like I've been working out all morning. I would never have guessed that this shit would be so much fucking work."

      We spent about an hour eating and talking. Food and water helped my headache go away, at least until Valsh started talking about magic and his theories on exactly what was going on with me. That put the pain right back in the old brain bucket.  When I finally gave the “migraine salute” by pinching the bridge of my nose, he stopped talking. That’s when I realized I could feel tension in the air that wasn’t coming from me.

      I looked up to see Valsh sitting stone still and staring behind me. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought he was afraid. Nah, not Valsh. Then I noticed he was chanting under his breath, gathering power to himself.

      “Tole. Do not move if you wish to live,” he said as he rose and unleashed a strike at something behind me.

      Then he sat back down with a look of complete and utter disbelief on his face. Now he was afraid. He was sweating and his hands were shaking, so I drew my daggers and spun.

      Serilla was there in her true form. Something in the way she was moving told me she was getting ready to eat Valsh. I put my daggers away and started walking to her. I heard Valsh trying to move. That was when I realized she had countered what he had thrown at her and locked him right the fuck down. He was completely at her mercy, and I was willing to bet that was a new sensation for him.

      “Valsh. Meet my employer,” I said gesturing to Serilla. “Serilla, this is Valsh. Please don’t eat him.”

      She shimmered into her human form and walked towards me saying, “Are you sure, Killer? I’ve never eaten anything like him before. He might be delicious.” She smiled at me.

      “I’m sure. Why are you here?”

      I heard Valsh draw his first deep breath since this all began as she turned to me and said, “In all truth, I was watching you through the link from our Communion. I could tell you had not moved yet, and then I felt you touch the magic of my world. I did not know what that meant, so I came to make sure you were unharmed. I arrived to find you sitting and talking to that. What is that? It is NOT of my world.”

      I tried really hard not to laugh...I swear. I didn’t do a good job, but I tried. Serilla raised an eyebrow at me, and I got myself under control.

      "That is Valsh," I said with a flourish and a bow. "He is an orc and the shaman to the Deep Valley Tribe of the world called Orta'ahn, and he's one of the very few beings I've met in the multiverse that I consider a friend. We have been through a scrape or two since my first job for him almost...shit...two years ago. Has it been that long, Valsh?"

      "It has indeed," he said as he got to his feet. "What manner of creature are you? I have never been at anyone's mercy like I was just now. It was a truly memorable experience, but not one I would like to repeat."

      Serilla ignored his question and came to sit on the log beside the fire pit in our camp. I offered her something to eat which she declined. She stared at Valsh for a few minutes like she was still unsure whether or not to eat him. I could tell that the scrutiny was making Valsh very uncomfortable. I tried really hard not to laugh when she would shift her body in her seat causing Valsh to twitch a little. I tried hard, but it was just so damned funny.

      "That does not explain why you were drawing on the magic of my world," she said. " I knew you had the ability, but I did not know you had the knowledge to do so."

      "I don't."

      "He does not."

      Valsh and I spoke almost in unison. I turned and shot him the finger, but I smiled while I did it.

      "That would explain why it was so...erratic," Serilla said with a nod. "It was like when a fledgling dragon first touches magic. What you are doing is very dangerous."

      Valsh continued, "That is the purpose of my visit to your world. I had suspected for some time that Tole had the ability to channel magic. I first saw him do it during his first, job I think he calls it, for me. I tested him earlier by feigning an attack on him when he was not expecting it. His reaction to the attack is what caused him to reach out for your world's magic. In the heat of combat, he pulls magic like a magnet and turns it into carnage. It is truly something to behold."

      "Horseshit," I said. "I trained long and hard to become what I am. Magic was not and is not a part of it."

      "No, Killer, you are wrong," Serilla said laying her hand on my leg. "If what I saw in our Communion is any key, magic is a big part of why you are the way you are. It may have been dormant when you were on Terra, but it most definitely is active now. You should learn to use it."

      I put my hand on hers. "I told you I don't want to know what you saw, and I meant it. Still do. As far as magic goes, I'll learn enough to keep it from killing me, but my trust is always gonna be with the fucking steel in my hand."

      Serilla looked me right in the eye and said, "That is most likely for the best. If what I saw in our Communion is true, I do not think either of us is going to be able to teach you how to control your gift. I think you would need to be taught by another like you, but I have never seen anything quite like what I saw when we joined."

      This peaked Valsh's interest. "What is this Communion you keep speaking of? How does it let you have all of this information about Tole? What have you done to him?"

      "It's private man," I said. "She didn't do anything to me that I didn't want done, but suffice it to say that we know each other on a level most people never share. We know who and what each other truly are. If she says you guys can't teach me then you can't."

      Valsh shook his head. "I will not accept that. Your gift is dangerous. If you do not learn to release it, you will die. I cannot allow that to happen when there is something I could do about it."

      "I may have an idea about that," Serilla said as she stood up. "I can teach you a pair of runes that will allow you to safely discharge all of the magic built up in your body. The only problem is that it will drain all of your stored magic...even that in your powered stones. You wouldn't be able to open a portal for a couple of days and your...what did you call it...nuclear warhead won't go off if you are killed. You will, however, be reset to start storing magic again. It's not the best option, but it is the only one we can choose at the moment. We really need to figure out how you came to be what you are."

      I gave her a look that said not to dig any deeper into that right now, so she got us both sticks to write in the dirt with and set about trying to teach the dullest kid in class. Luckily, the runes weren't hard to learn, and the process was simple. I just had to put my feet in water, one hand on each rune, and brace for impact.  Apparently, it's gonna hurt like a bitch. Oh well, life is pain right?

      While we were talking, five men stepped out of the forest into the clearing where I had made camp. From the looks of them they were highwaymen and probably looking for an easy target.

      The largest and obviously the leader of this band of merry men stepped forward. "Well, well, well, look at what we have here fellas. A woman, a tiny little man, and their pet...um whatever it is. They obviously didn't know that there is a tax to travel in our forest. I guess we'll just have to see if they have anything of value...and if not, maybe take a little sport with the woman."

      Serilla could have cooked them where they stood, and I'm pretty sure Valsh could have as well. The two of them exchanged a glance and Valsh acted cowed and slunk over to sit behind Serilla. She just touched her chest with her fingertips and said, "Please don't hurt us." Then she looked at me, and I knew they expected me to handle this. She wanted to see me fight.

      I got up and drew my blades and looking at Serilla said, "Fine. Be that way, but this is gonna cost you extra." She gave me a nod and a smile.

      As I walked towards the men, they all had a look on their faces that told me that they didn't regard me as a threat. Two of them exchanged punches to the shoulder, pointed at me and started to laugh.

      Right, those fuckers die last.

      I ran my threat assessment as I walked across the clearing. They were all taller than me. The smallest was probably four inches taller and at least twenty pounds heavier, and it just went up from there. One of the laughers had a cloudy eye with a scar through it. Right, bad peripheral vision. The rest of them looked relatively healthy.

      As I got closer they broke into a circle around me. I loved it when they do that because it hinders their ability to work as a team. I could feel the adrenaline slam home into my brain and suddenly my opponents' movements looked like they were in slow motion.

      When the circle closed, the leader glanced to his side to say something to one of his men, so I charged him while his head was turned. I had to jump to reach my target, but I put the dagger in my right hand up through his chin and into his brain. Turns out there was one in his head because his eye rolled back and he crumpled to the ground like a rag doll as I landed from my small jump.

      Once both of my feet were on the ground I pivoted right and gut stabbed the next man with the dagger in my left thrusting it up and into his heart. The look of shock on his face matched the expression of so many others in my past.

      I could hear the man to the leader's right charging so I turned and threw the dagger in my right hand. It didn't penetrate his chest, but I didn’t need it to. It caused him to turn his body to avoid being hit, and that opened up the inside of his thigh and that let me put my other dagger into the artery there. I made sure to slice as I withdrew the blade. He stumbled. I shoved him on past me and moved to retrieve my thrown dagger.

      That just left laughing boys who were standing stock still with their mouths wide open. They glanced at each other and turned to run.

      Oh, I don't fucking think so. You don't get to threaten me and run away.

      I set off at a sprint, and the landscape around me blurred as I ran. I caught them both before they'd taken three steps. When the gap between us closed I thrust with both daggers, taking each man in the back just between the fourth and fifth ribs. The pulse from their hearts traveled down my blades tell me the strikes had punctured them. We ran maybe two more steps in unison before they faltered and fell forward.

      I knelt down and wiped my blades on their leather vests and spit on the ground between them. I turned back to see Valsh and Serilla both looking at me like they'd just seen a ghost.

      "See? What did I tell you?" Valsh asked. "Is it not something to behold? That small human definitely has the heart of an orc!"

      "You mean dragon. I felt it. I felt when he touched his gift. I have never seen anyone or anything move that fast." Serilla's words were almost a purr. "Killer, I owe you an apology for trying to talk you into letting me release you from our bargain. Asking you not to be what you are would be like asking the sun not to rise."

      "Whatever," I said. "I'm hungry again though."  I sat down and finished off the rest of the meat on the carcass over the fire. I had to admit though; my headache was gone.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

It's "Done"

The quotes around "done" are a warning and a reminder to me that the real work is still ahead. I finished the draft of To Kill a War Leader yesterday. Now I have to go through it all over again and fix all of the terrible grammar and mixed tense sentences and maybe insert and/or remove commas at random.



Then cover design. My hated enemy rears its ugly head again. I honestly think that the dread of cover design is what keeps me from finishing anything. LOL

If all goes to plan I hope to upload it before the end of the month. I do have to fit it all in around work, a short vacation (because holy hell do I need it), and jury duty. 

Did I mention I got tapped for the grand jury? Every other Wednesday from now through the end of the year. Huzzah!



Pray for me.

Wayne


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

One Problem Down, 999 to Go

      I think I may have finally gained some ground in the ongoing battle with my 89 Mustang . I have been chasing an issue with the engine just falling on its face at around 2k RPM under hard acceleration. At first I thought it was vacuum related. That's why I pulled the dash. I'm not mad I was wrong because of all of the other crap I found hiding there. Specifically the fire looking for a place to happen in the blower fan wiring.

     A lot of online research later, I decided the next thing to tackle was the TFI module. I can't say I'm 100% sure exactly what these things do other than fail and cause problems. I can say that the decision to put something that is sensitive to heat on top on the damned engine was a bad idea. Only took Ford 10 years to realize it. This is the part in question.


        I ordered a relocation kit from McCully Racing and moved it to a cooler location. Of course the 31 year old plastic on the plug disintegrated in my hand, but my local parts store had a replacement in stock. (I damned near had a heart attack when they said they did.)

     Any way. The wiring was relatively easy and now it lives on the inner fender on the passenger side and my car accelerates like the monster it is once again....ok, maybe not monster, but it will get me into traffic in a hurry.




     As for writing, I'm trying. Between work, getting my wife and kids ready to go back to school, and trying to keep everyone's cars on the road, I'm finding I need another 5 or 6 hours in my day. 

     Writing is like a fart. If you try to force it, you're more than likely  just going to get shit.

      Everyone be safe out there.

-Wayne

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Twenty Four and Counting

Monday was my 24th wedding anniversary and I was given yet another shining example that I chose well. How did we spend the day you ask? Playing an online game together, and it was her idea.

We've played Everquest 2 off and on since 2003, but since the schools closed in March she's gotten back into it whole hog. We paid for lifetime subscriptions a while back and for some reason I just quit playing. She asked if we could play together since we couldn't really go anywhere and do anything. To be honest, it was really nice.

We were planning to order take out from our favorite local Italian place only to discover that they're closed on Mondays. 

"No problem," I said. "Call option 2."

Closed.

We found a place that was open, so we ordered dinner...we should've made our own.

Oh well, after 24 years we can muddle through a blown dinner plan.

All things considered, it was a really good day.

Now we forge bravely ahead on the road to number 25. That one will be a whole different thing.

Wayne

What is This Free Time You Speak Of?

 I have been derelict in my writing duties for the last month.  Well, not so much derelict as much as a looked down and when I looked up aga...