More fiction news from my friend Xina!

Bundles are a thing now. Did you know that? Because I didn’t until recently. And now I’m in one! Wild! Anyhow, a bundle is when a number of authors combine their books or stories into a bundled set–also known as a box set–for readers to download. There are a few bundling sites, one of which […]

via My First Bundle, Baby —

Amazing Astorga, Spain – 148-158/200 Camino Photos

More beautiful photos along the Camino de Santiago from my friend Xina.

On April 23rd, 2015, I set out from Villaverde, Spain, on my way to Astorga. The hills, valleys, and red earth, were peaceful.

red earth

So peaceful that I decided to preserve the surroundings with shaky, dizzying video

Up I went to a squatter’s residence at the top of the hill, overlooking Astorga far below. David lives there in joy, peace, and simplicity. Here he is with my Camino friend Sarah.

Sarah and David

He maintains a little snack stand that is run off donations.

stand

On his free time, or during the slow seasons on the Camino, he makes esoteric art like this. He has made a humble home in the lean-to behind the tree on the left for six years.

swirl

Also atop a hill is one of the many crosses with mementos cluttering the base.

Camino 1123

In Astorga, a few Euros buys you admission to the cathedral, the museum, and the Gaudi house below.

gaudi

Inside…

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Stereotypes in Color – 2/100 Camino Photos

The beginning of our journey back in early April. That’s me on the left. Be sure to check out the rest of Xina’s photos/posts.

Some photos are obvious. So obvious that everyone does them. To not do them seems wrong somehow. Counter the human race in some strange way. When you are taking a long walk you naturally want a signpost to mark your journey. At Roncesvalles one exists.

sign

Janet and I, up for the challenge.

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Humble Beginnings – 1/100 Camino Photos

Check out my traveling pal Xina’s photos and highlights of the Camino de Santiago!

My good intentions for blogging while I was walking the Camino de Santiago have not come to much, unfortunately. One post was all I managed. The reasons for this are varied – intermittent WiFi, lack of suitable photographs (on a camera that required a computer to access), and general exhaustion being among them. I hit upon a solution of sorts one day while walking, though. One hundreds photos that will provide you with a taste of the pilgrim adventure that is the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain.

Roncesvalles church

This humble stone church in Roncesvalles, Spain, was illuminated by the early morning light. Built in the 12th century, the bell once guided pilgrims through the mists of a mountain pass. Appropriately, it is named the St. James Capilla de Santiago. The morning was chill, but clear, and the road lay open ahead.

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Into the Wild Blue Yonder

See you in Spain!

backpackThe backpack and sleep sheet have been treated with pesticide. The hat and backpack have been waterproofed. Duct tape has been applied to my heel blister. The proper socks and bras and pants and shoes (oh Lord have mercy, the shoes – I can write six more blog posts on just those!) have been procured. Reservations have been made. Electronics have been charged.

And the day has finally come. This evening I’m boarding a plane for the Camino de Santiago.

The shell is the symbol of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. My favorite story about them says that when pilgrims reached Finisterre (Latin for ‘the end of the world’), which lays just west of Santiago, they would pick up these shells from the beach to prove that they had been there. The ridges are said to symbolize the different directions that pilgrims come from, each to meet at one central…

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Ghlaghghee, 2003 – 2015

Reminds me that I’m still not ready to say goodbye to the cats I’ve already had to let go…no matter the number of years that have passed. RIP.

Whatever

Glaghghee came to us in May of 2003 when my then next-door neighbor Jerry knocked on my door, said, “here’s the kitten your wife said she wanted,” thrust a small, furry thing into my hands, and then walked off. I looked at the small puff of fur, literally no larger than my hand, said “okay” to myself and then took it upstairs with me.

Then I called my wife, who was at work, and the conversation went like this:

Me: You didn’t tell me you ordered a cat.

Krissy: I ordered a what?

Me: A cat.

Krissy: I didn’t order a cat.

Me: Jerry just came over with a kitten that he said you wanted. He mentioned you specifically.

Krissy: Oh, lord. I was talking to him the other day and he said that his cat had had kittens and that he thought that one of them was an albino…

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Listening to The Call of the Wild When You’re Stuck in the Suburbs

Picture this, if you will: a dumpy middle-aged woman with frizzy hair and a distracted look in her eyes. It’s been a hard few years. There’s been sudden death, shocking confessions, unexpected babies, invisible braces, multiplying dogs, grumpy cats, enthusiastic yoga, painful spines, drunk people, depression, doom, gloom, and menopause. What’s a person to do? Especially if that person is me?

Well, she could teach her three dogs to trot alongside her bicycle. You know, for giggles and that other stuff. Check. How about something simple,  then.

Take a walk.

I’ve been a walker for a long time. It makes me feel good to get outside in the sun and fresh air, dogs at my side, meandering route in front of me. The motion, the movement, getting somewhere even though I’m going at a slow pace, is addictive. I live in a valley with hills all around, and I’ve…

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