Hump Day Kick Start – The Ring Edition

September 13, 2017

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

Got the wheels going on this one. Tell me about today’s prompt. Is that his ring on the necklace? Is he making a promise, giving it to someone special? If so why and what is the promise? Is he going somewhere, likely never to return, on a mission to space or a suicidal assignment meant to save the country/world and is leaving a piece of him behind? Maybe the ring belongs to his deceased wife and he hasn’t moved on. Or does the ring cause him to struggle with corruption and he has vowed to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom?

Whats your take or caption the pic. I’d love to hear from you.

Link of the Week – Reading Bourbon Labels

September 12, 2017

This week’s link comes from one of my favorite blogs, The Art of Manliness. And it’s a great link for anyone who likes bourbon. I, myself, went through

a spell of consuming copious amounts of Jim Beam in my youth. Good times…good times…

There are distinctions between the varying types of bourbons. This link, How to Read a Bourbon Label, gives the skinny on bourbon terminology and provides a guide for consumers when buying the next bottle of whiskey. Cheers!

Never Forget

September 11, 2017

Friday Fun Facts- Hugs,We Need ‘Em!

September 8, 2017


This will be short and sweet. We need hugs.

Why? Check out this:

  1. It feels freaking good!
  2. Holding a hug for an extended time will boost levels of serotonin which elevates mood and happiness.
  3. They will strengthen your immune system.Big-Hearts-Deserve-Big-Hugs
  4. Oxytocin is boosted! This alleviates feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
  5. This special nurturing touch will build feelings of trust and communication.
  6. There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
  7. They lower your blood pressure, especially helpful if you are feeling
  8. They lower your cortisol levels (stress hormone) which will enable you to sleep better.
  9. They can increase your social connections and feed your sense of belonging. This in turns amps up your sense of safety and security.
  10. Most all of this science is based on a really good hug for at least 20 seconds!
  11. They trigger an increase in dopamine! Low levels of dopamine are linked to Parkinson’s and depression.This is your PLEASURE hormone. Go get a fix!

There are even more reasons to give and get good hugs, more than I can include here. With the craziness of our world, the devastation of Harvey and Irma, and so many more upsetting everyday occurrences, we need a steady dose of these marvelous things. There is NO downside.2-hug

I’ll start- Sending you a virtual hug!

Hump Day Kick Start – Writing Prompt #16

September 6, 2017

Writing prompts to kick start your muse.

Spooky! When he found the note, was he alive or, ya know, not? Had someone set him up? Did he follow through and now wonder why he was still here? Wonder what unfinished business he had that kept him anchored? Was he murdered and vows to solve the mystery as to who, what, when, and why? Maybe he knows who did it and will take his revenge. Uh-oh.

Share your ideas and/or post your creations, even if it’s just a line or two. I’d love to hear them.

Link Of The Week- Weather Watch

September 5, 2017


As writers, we often need to know things about the weather for our books. My first published one talked about an “Ice Tsunami”. I had never heard of that phenomena, but I knew I wanted to put it in.Dszpics1

This past week and a half has had weather on all of our minds with Hurricane Harvey. Jenn and I are both proud native Texans and are horrified at the loss our great state has incurred. Now, we have Hurricane Irma barreling down on islands in the Caribbean and will slam into Florida soon. After that? The models have conflicting reports.

Here’s a place for great research and current weather happenings! Stay safe.


Harvey Will Not Win!

September 2, 2017


“I’m not a Texan. I don’t adore the Lone Star State. I’m a transplant who’s lived in Austin for the last four years. I can’t name the state fish, I don’t understand the thing with mums at Homecoming, and I think chicken fried steak sucks. I don’t care about Friday Night Lights.

But I married into a Texas family. A Texas family with crazy deep roots. My wife is a direct descendant from the Texas Revolution. Through my marriage, I get a front row seat to all things that filter through the Texas lens. I’ve learned a lot about bluebonnets and Whataburger. I know the difference between casual allegiance with Texas colleges, what it really means to be a Longhorn, and the difference between good salsa and crap that came out of a jar.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned as an outsider looking in, it’s that there’s a sense of purpose to these people like I’ve never seen. A central passion runs through Texans unlike any other American identity. Pride percolates here. It’s something people who aren’t from Texas just can’t grasp. We may have a docile sense of civic pride for our hometowns, but nothing like this state demands of its residents.

The Texas flag flies as high as the American flag, while the state Capitol is just a smidge taller than the U.S. Capitol, because – Texas. There are Texas flags on everything. And folks all over this huge collection of miles expect a reverential obsession from those who choose to take up this address, if only for a while.

That sense of purpose and absolute unwillingness to bend in their pride is why Texas will only become stronger in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Before Texas, I spent seven years in New Orleans, a place that knows about heartbreak and flooding. To love New Orleans is to love the city. But a New Orleanian ain’t much of a Louisianan, despite them being hand in hand. They’re two different cultures. But here, even if you’re from the Panhandle or live along the Gulf of Mexico, you still adore this state and will bond together under that flag, that symbol.21192590_10213998119964673_278738989981716636_n

Typically, cities talk smack on one another, and the outlying country towns don’t want anything to do with the big cities and their completely different personalities. There are liberals and conservatives, cowboys and city slickers, white folks, brown folks, black folks and every shade in between wearing cowboy boots. This place has many stories, many sides to the dice.
Harvey took many lives. It dumped acres of water onto the streets of Houston, decimated Rockport, and flooded Galveston and cities and towns across southeast Texas. But Texas will lick its wounds. Texas will come back bigger and better, and brighter and with more Texas-ness than you can imagine. Texans cannot allow for their diamonds to go unpolished. The thought of a place in Texas where local culture dies just doesn’t feel right. There are no places where the roads are unfinished, or the buildings lie in ruins – that would go against everything these people have known their whole lives: This land is precious and it is our birthright.

…….. H-E-B and Buc-ee’s, two Texas brand giants, came to the rescue, offering shelter, food, showers, and support. Mattress Mack, a Houston mattress maven, opened his warehouses so folks could get a good night’s rest. The people here know a love that moves deeper than their sense of pride – it’s a calling of purpose.

You cannot count Texas out. There’s no other state in our union that could handle this hurricane. New York has taken its lumps. New Orleans knows what loss feels like, but this is a monster named Harvey that we’ve never seen before. Who better to challenge Harvey head-on than Texas? They’ll do it wearing an Astros cap and with a twisted smile, daring that water to take a piece of the land they love so much.”texas

Robert Dean is a writer and journalist living in Austin.