Ride the Rails

  I first met Michael in a dog park in Philadelphia while on my Off the Leash journey in July of 2011. It was early on. Libby and I were still getting our sea legs under us, a bit tentative. The vibe in each city, each park, every situation felt different. Michael was cool. He’s a soft-spoken guy, cute, young enough to be one of my sons.  He was at the dog park with Frank, his client dog that day. Turns out Michael was a dog walker. We quickly fell in, with … [Read more...]

Three Little Words

He had no idea the maelstrom of emotion that would blow in behind one short, declarative sentence.  On a day when I was supposed to get a make over at the Clinique counter, with a particular interest in the “Dark Circle Corrector” and a new, natural look, which for me is code for “get out of the 80s”, but I cancelled due to too many competing demands for my squeezed-into-two-precious-days life now, I went to the gym instead. The gym was just one entry on my unrealistic … [Read more...]

What Writers Dream Of

Friday was a bittersweet day. The arrival of the first box of books, like real, live books, y'all, was due at my publisher's office any minute.  She told me she'd call the minute the shipment arrived. I tried not to think about it. I tried to remain focused on the pressing matters at hand, finalizing the last few tweaks on a video project for a corporate client:  prison nurses -- the irony is just too rich sometimes. Of course the other thing that really had me … [Read more...]

I Will Never Leave You

* This is  a re-post from September. Apologies to long -time readers. I am re-posting for some new visitors to the site. September 2, 2011 I hear the low rumble of trucks on the freeway from my porch, back home from my 8,600 mile odyssey. What just last night felt like a predator, the rattle and whirr of tractor trailer rigs, crowding me closer, closer and closer with each mile nearer home, now seems a seductress calling from a distance. It’s like a pack of … [Read more...]

I Will Never Leave You

I hear the low rumble of trucks on the freeway from my porch, back home from my 8,600 mile odyssey. What just last night felt like a predator, the rattle and whirr of tractor trailer rigs, crowding me closer, closer and closer with each mile nearer home, now seems a seductress calling from a distance. It’s like a pack of cigarettes in the dresser drawer, a bottle of booze in the cupboard, it is simply, there. Get in the car and just drive away, drive to the next town, … [Read more...]

Louie, Sean’s Beast of Burden

The absolute worst nights of this journey have been the ones in which I laid awake in some Motel 6 somewhere, or in the quiet of a friend's home and worried, "what have I done?"     I know this is old news, I've talked about it, you've encouraged me, I've appreciated it. I'm on Day 51 of this journey, thanks in large part to my backers and band of cheerleaders. Let me just say this for the record: This trip has changed my life. I have one hell of a book. Let me repeat … [Read more...]

When I Had to Draw My Weapon

In observance of taking the on-ramp onto EASTBOUND 80 last night out of San Francisco which signifies, ladies and gentlemen, that I'm St. Louis bound, after what will no doubt be a pivotal plot twist stop here today in El Dorado Hills, California, I wanted to deal with a little road trivia. These factoids will not garner you any prizes because they will never surface at any organized trivia night, UNLESS I get a best-selling book out of this little jaunt and the trivia … [Read more...]

They Don’t Cotton To Takin’ Pitchers of the Barn

It's Day 24 of our little trek, and I'm in Douglasville, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, staying with my niece and her family. Libby's getting another dose of country living, with her southern canine cousins, both females. There were a few raised hackles at first, reminded me of the woman who pulled up behind me at the Hope Mills General Store, in appropriately named, Hope Mills, VA. By the time that brief stopover was through, I was hoping to get out of there alive. … [Read more...]

Get Another Dog

So one of my readers, Alysa from France inspired me this morning. Merci. I have never set eyes on this young woman who is undoubtedly young enough to be my daughter, who encourages me all the way from Europe, some days, when I need it more than you can imagine. As much as this may seem like a lark, (I know, nobody put a gun to my head) it's lonely on the road. I get down. I get homesick. I get fearful of getting sick, losing Libby, getting a flat tire or the trots. It's … [Read more...]

Fear and High Water…

I  want to talk to you about fear -- fear over this impending journey. It rises and falls like the water in my basement last night. I have an 82-year-old house. We had torrential rain. Sometimes the storm sewers swell beyond capacity, and the water runs backwards, up through the floor drains in old basements like mine. I know I should have installed a sump pump, but college, cars, and emergency appendectomies were more important. So we bail, we mop. We cast a wary eye … [Read more...]