Sloth_Smiles-4x6ACIt’s been a whirlwind week…literally. My husband and I left our little patch of West Texas scrub brush last Tuesday afternoon, so that we could attend the Texas A&M Abilene Club’s Aggie Muster celebration. For those of you who don’t know, Aggie Muster is one of Texas A&M University’s oldest and dearest traditions. Every year on April 21st, current and former students of Texas A&M gather together in all parts of the world to share some of our fondest memories of the school and to honor those Aggies who have died during the previous year. Since my granddaddy was a proud Aggie member of the Class of 1947, my family gathered with his local A&M Club chapter to answer the ceremonial roll call for him.

After Muster, Matt and I spent the night in Abilene and then traveled to begin our tour of three seminaries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. My husband has felt God nudging him into ministry for a couple of years now and we believe that now is the time to begin looking into the scholastic side of that Calling.

We visited one seminary on Wednesday, one on Thursday and Friday, and one on the following Monday. The graduate programs ranged from offering a mere 36-hour degree to a full 120-hour Master’s Degree. Two universities were affiliated with specific Christian denominations while the third is a non-denominational Christian seminary. Overall, we were very impressed with all three, so we have some work to do weighing the different curricula.

We took the weekend off from graduate school tours to have some fun together. Since we won’t take a full vacation together this year due to the expense of home renovations and such, we wanted a couple of days to ourselves to enjoy a mini-vacation. Friday afternoon, we did some shopping before heading to Dave and Buster’s for a good meal and some goofy gaming. Not to brag too much, but I thoroughly whipped my husband’s tail in Ski Ball. Since Matt is the consummate gamer, I rarely beat him at anything. We were just about to leave D&B so that we could catch a movie when the heavens opened and poured sideways rain upon the city. Needless to say, we missed the movie. Instead we were forced to ride out a tornado warning in a two-story building full of lots of sharp plastic, metal, and glass. Fortunately, no tornado touched down. As it turned out, everyone and everything in our area survived the storm without even hail damage to report. Several trees sported broken limbs afterward, but that was about the extent of the damage. Even so, I’m not eager to do that again.

Falconer_Don_Mia-4x6ACOn Saturday, we wondered around the Dallas World Aquarium, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and Medieval Times. I’ve loved the aquarium ever since childhood, so I had a wonderful time introducing it to Matt. We saw lion fish, bonnethead sharks, sawfish, sting rays, coral, eels, manatees, turtles, black-footed penguins, toucans, caimans, poison-dart frogs, sloths, tree kangaroos, tamarins, bats, and much more. Neither of us had been to the John F. Kennedy memorial museum before and we both found the history of JFK’s life and his death quite fascinating. Finally, on the advice of dear friends, we attended the Medieval Times dinner and tournament in Dallas. The food was great, but talking to the falconer and watching knights jousting on Andalusian horses definitely proved to be the highlights of my evening. Thank you again, Don and Mia, for the beautiful Barbary falcon feather!

Sunday, we went shopping for some much needed clothes at a mall in Arlington. I also found the cutest, most practical handbag ever, which is a bit of a miracle since I’m not much of a purse girl. We were going to see a movie that evening (the one we had missed on the night of the funnel cloud), but instead I became horribly sick. Consequently, we spent most of Sunday evening with me curled up in bed trying to contain the contents of my wayward stomach.

On Monday, I was feeling well enough to join Matt as he toured the final seminary on our list. Then we spent one last afternoon relaxing in the Metroplex. We spent most of the day Tuesday driving home from Arlington. When we finally did get home, I spent much of my time catching up on laundry and culling kitchen items. After nearly five years of living in our house, we have lots of unused stuff cluttering all of its cabinets and closets. I can’t wait to have a garage sale, but first I have lots more sorting and culling to do.

Now that the week out-of-town is finished, I also have lots of writing catch-up to do. My plan today and tomorrow is to finish implementing the proof reader’s edits on Skinshifter. I’ll also send him The Dryad’s Sacrifice on Friday and then begin work on the second draft of Thorn and Thistle. Once final proof reading and formatting is finished, Skinshifter and The Dryad’s Sacrifice will go up for pre-order. The Dryad’s Sacrifice will be available as an e-book while Skinshifter will be released as both an e-book and a print book. I have a ton of marketing work to do between now and this fall’s publication.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!