What type of scalpel?

So, after spending a bunch of time on the road, I’m finally home for the next several months (I hope). That means I’ll finally get to spend more time writing.  I did manage to get in a couple of thousand words between Mexico and Canada this past week, but not as many as I would like. Of course, I still have competing interests (teaching, business, family, etc.), so I won’t be spending all my time writing (sorry, Clairese!).

I estimate I’m about half-way through Trekker, but there’s still a lot to do.  Nothing like developing plot twists and asking a medical doctor wife advise on field expedient surgical procedures (so, what did they do 100 years ago? What about general versus local, and not having general? What type of scalpel is best for a field emergency kit?).

Loooong drive!

Well, after three days of driving, I finally returned home with Spawn 2.  Mexico was fun, but got absolutely zero writing done (zilch, nada, none). Hope to make up for that later this week, but swamped with paying work in the meantime.  The worst part of the trip was waiting to get through US Customs.  Going through Mexican customs was an experience – just drove (along with hundreds of others) through a set of cameras in a “Nothing to Declare” lane.  Didn’t even speak with a customs official (not used to that – never had that happen ever before, well, except for that inadvertent trip into Burma when I was 17, and a quick swim across the Mekong from Laos to Thailand and back to Laos when I was 12). Weird.  The trip back was quite different though – three and a half hours moving one car length every minute or two before being greeted by an ICE agent at the US border.

Starting in Ensenada, BC (Baja California) we drove to Santa Clarita just north of LA.  The next morn, up and out the door by 7 AM and made it to Ashland, OR (over 600 miles) by about 6:30 PM. Up at 5:30 and out the door shortly after 6:30 and home by 3:15 PM. Even drove by the site where the Amtrak train flew off the bridge and onto I-5. Quite the sight.

Turns out the tequila I brought home is quite tasty 🙂

UPS driver gave me a neat idea for a plot twist – debating on whether or not to include it.  We’ll see.


So, I bought a bottle of tequila for 133 Pesos (or $133 as seen on the price tag).  Roughly $7 US.  Don’t know how good it is (I don’t drink tequila), but I figure if you’re in Mexico, you should get at least one bottle (so I did). Wonder if I’ll ever crack it open.  The label reads “100 Anos” (sorry, it doesn’t really say 100 asses, rather I can’t get the squiggly line over the n to say 100 years), Tequila Reposado.

My Spanish is getting quite the workout.  Most places people speak Spanish to me first (I guess I look like a local). Only one place asked me if I wanted to speak English – “No, your accent’s fine” they said – riiiiight.  Feeling a bit like Brad Pitt in Inglorious Bastards as he fakes an Italian accent – Ahriverderchee (said in a fake southern accent).

Whoaaa Mexico!

James Taylor I ain’t, but I am in Mexico.  Youngest adult daughter spawn just wrapped up 10 weeks of studying art in SoCal, so being the great, totally awesome dad that I am, I flew down (hence my ability to get some writing done) to help her drive home (ain’t no way in hell this dad is gonna let an 18 year old girl drive home to Enumclaw, WA, alone).

A couple of weeks prior to flying:

Me: Y’know, I’ve been all over the world, but I’ve never been to Mexico.

Spouse: What are you trying to say?

Me: Can you book me into an Air BNB in Ensenda?

Spouse: Sure

Me (later): We’re going to Mexico!

Spawn 2: Why?

Me: Just because!

So, a quick weekend trip from Oceanside to San Diego with Spawn 2, Cousin, and Cousin’s SO.  Driving through TJ in the dark with three different cell phones giving different directions was quite “interesting” followed by words such as STFU!

Now to explore the Greater Ensenada Metropolitan Area.


Just because…

One good thing about traveling is the opportunity to write.  One bad thing about traveling is the lack of opportunity to write.  I’m currently in Oceanside, CA – it’s about 7 AM (I’ve been grading final exams for the past hour) and about to head down to Ensenda, Mexico. So, what does all this have to do with writing?  On the flight from Seattle to San Diego I was able to crank out about 1200 words – not a lot for the flight length, but more than I’ve managed over the last couple of days.

Will I get any more writing done this weekend?  Not sure.  The plan is to visit Ensenada with my youngest spawn (who is finishing up 10 weeks of intensive art study at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas, CA) and cousin (who just moved to San Diego) for the weekend. Why? Just because.

Just because I’ve never been to Mexico.

Just because I’m this close to Mexico, and the opportunity presents itself.

Just because I’d like to visit a foreign speaking nation other than Canada (eh).

Just because I like to travel.

Just because I enjoy experiencing new things and cultures.

Just because I want a Negra Modelo in Mexico.

Just because.

Life is full of “just because’s” so take advantage of them when you have the opportunity.

Of course, will I be able to write?  Likely not, especially since after spending the weekend in Mexico youngest spawn and I will be driving back to Enumclaw (2200 km).   Just because.

Recommendation for a Mystery Thriller

When I was a cop (gah – almost 30 years ago!), I worked with a police officer named Mark Bergin. After 30 years, Mark retired as a Lieutenant (but he was a beat cop when I worked with him). Prior to his work as a police officer, he was a newspaper reporter (I think I used to call him a “Cub Reporter”). Now he’s working toward publishing his first novel. You can read more about him, and you can actually read the first chapter of his book, on the website below. He needs 250 people to pre-order the book in order for the publisher to move forward on the project (and, yes, I already ordered one). If you’re looking for a new book to start the new year (and you’ve already purchased and gifted numerous copies of Surveyor), and you want to support a good guy starting a new career, check it out….