Wednesday, June 1, 2016


sabbatical |səˈbatikəl|
a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year: she's away on sabbatical.
1 of or relating to a sabbatical.
2 archaic of or appropriate to the sabbath.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek sabbatikos ‘of the sabbath’ + -al.

Okay, not every seven years, but I am at the end of a self-imposed--and badly needed--sabbatical in which I've essentially written nothing of any substance.

I have a number of irons in the proverbial fire and trying to tend to all of them caused me more angst and stress than I cared for, so I simply began prioritizing them, making a list and knocking them out one by one. One of the major irons got knocked off the list, but there is still an even larger one still in the fire. It will be complete by the first week of August.

What little bit of writing I've been doing has been mainly relegated to Facebook. I only visit my Twitter account once every few weeks. As a marketing tool, I'm convinced it's the biggest fraud out there. I see people with over several hundred thousand tweets and when I check their profiles and find they've only been on Twitter for a few years. . . Do the math. It doesn't add up.

This past Memorial Day, I blasted NY Times bestseller Brad Thor, along with the carpetbagging Glenn Beck. I've never liked Beck, never believed him and from the outset saw him as a phony snake-oil shyster who jumped on the early cars of the so-called "conservative movement." His interview with Mr. Thor and the subsequent outcome of it disgusted me.

But in the meantime, on more pleasant and fulfilling notes. . .

The oldest acquired a Glock 43. Bear in mind that this is the woman who'd sworn eternal vigilance and loyalty to wheelguns. When she called and told me that we needed to go to the range and shoot--as in the next day--because she'd got a new gun, I was figuring she'd finally found her Rugar SP101 in a three-inch barrel. I got the barrel right, but the caliber, make and model wrong. Here she is loading and firing her new Glock 43 for the very first time ever.

Gotta love a happy dance. You also gotta love this gun. I fired it and was significantly surprised at how comfortable it was to hold, grip, aim and fire. It's light, easily concealable and has great ergonomics.

We've had some weird and dangerous weather down here this spring, ranging from hail to flooding. So far, no bad tornadoes in our immediate (Dallas/Fort Worth) area, but our neighbors to the north in Oklahoma are getting them. Here are a few pics of some of our stranger weather--

 This was the leftovers of a brief, violent hail storm we had in April. It looked like it had snowed in our yard and in the street. Had up to golf ball size hail in there.

Was lounging in the hangar puttering with the big door closed when my phone alerted me to a thunderstorm warning. Stepped out the side door and this is what I saw.

A few minutes later, some light hail and hard rain, and it was over.

Moving off to the north and east. I watched one of the most incredible electrical shows I've ever seen after the sun went down as there were more storms prowling around overhead.

What's a sabbatical if you have to shave every day. . . or even every week. This was the result of being pure lazy for thirty days. Drove my wife crazy. She doesn't like beards. At least, not on me. I figure anything that can cover up my face is an improvement. . .

A good thing about taking some time off is remember what is important in this life. And here is something at the apex--our granddaughter, Sadee. Twenty months old here and my heart melts even harder and faster every time we see her.

Not all total progress on my next novel, Oaths & Lies, has been halted. As is my habit, I am filling up legal notepads with scribblings and ideas and outlines. I'm also laying the foundation for a series that will be entitled The Pride and which will introduce a whole new set of characters, plots and scenarios.

Should be back in full swing by Labor Day. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys their summer.