Monday, November 28, 2011

Bieber Brews and Macy's Day Clown Shoes

       It seems logical to be in one place.  I have found that since "settling down" for the holidays in North Carolina that being in one place is good.  You get the advantage of, if you're lucky and hardworking, to know the feeling of ownership, whether it be property, a house, or in my case, two dogs and a truck.  I think that initially I set out on this journey to see as much as possible, saturate my mind with the great wide open, and become wise with travel.  I'm not sure who said it first, but I think back to a modest mouse line that reads, "the universe is shaped exactly like the Earth, if you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were."  This line has always been in my thoughts, an Eastern philosophy for dreamers.
       After a very warm time in Michigan, I traveled south to find Erin at her family farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  We comforted her grandmother who is grieving the loss of her husband, and also had the opportunity to be with Erin's parents while they signed for their new 24-acre property next to the farm.  It was about a year ago I visited this place, and it felt great to be back.  It's funny to think that I was coincidentally camping just a few miles north before meeting Erin there for Christmas festivities.  Her family has made the small joke about how "random" that was.  Nonetheless, erin and I had so much fun checking for new cattle, going on four wheeler rides, and watching TV with Grandma.  In the back of my mind, I knew that it was time I start thinking about my book.  I have had all the fun, seen the sites, tasted countless brews, but all these notes, pictures, and stories needed to find a home on my computer.  It wasn't until last week that I finally organized the photos, and collected dates and times.  It feels great to have those ducks in a row, but now it is time to write.
       Currently, I have thirty of the 100 short stories written, and couldn't be happier with what is finished.  It comes and goes, as I'm sure it does with most artists.  I'm talking about that spark, whether it's at three in the morning or three in the afternoon, deep inside of your soul that pushes its way to your present thought and escapes loudly.  It's up to you to harness this energy, because like all things, they don't disappear, but change shapes so quick that it's up to in my case my hands to capture their meaning.  It's a song, story, picture, drawing, and thought provoking idea that needs to be procured.  This frame of mind is essential in my life to capture such things, however the difficulty is found in losing these thoughts due to under preparedness, or simply because you're busy with the last spark.  It is important to tend to a mind like this, for if you care for it and aid in its growth, great ideas will consistently grow preventing a clogged up and confused or disappointed end result.  This of course, is why I enjoy drinking beer...haha, well, maybe beer has a bit to do with that last part whether I like to admit it or not:-)
       So onward I write blazing the trail for adventurers alike that dare to dream of a life most fulfilling.  I have successfully traveled to 35 states, and now am getting ready for the last leg of my trip into the unknown.  Actually, it is very well known, but I thought that sentence sounded powerful.  To the Southwest United States I go, searching for the never ending delicious draft, along with two huskies and a thirst for knowledge.  I am beginning to understand beer, what it takes to brew good beer, and what it means to those who brew it. I assure all readers I am in no way a beer taster, I simply enjoy drinking good beer with good people on my journey towards becoming an author.
      I set sail as of now in Early January, and in the mean time can be found at the Raleigh Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays selling photo prints of my travels, as well as the Flat Iron in Greensboro on Tuesday nights playing guitar.  Sled dog presentations are in the works for the Wake and Alamance County school systems, but if you have kids or relatives that would enjoy a Joey P. sled dog assembly anywhere in the South, feel free to contact me at for further information. Safe travels, cheers to beers, and remain free in all that you see!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fuel the Fire

       Waking up early, Erin and I headed down to the eastern part of Yellowstone towards Lamar valley.  Home of the wolves, our eyes and dogs' ears were alert, well, everyone except Ketza, she didn't have had her coffee yet.  A pack of nine wolves streamlined across the river, letting out a group howl, and began their day's travels.  We followed suit, driving out of the park and back on to the highway towards eastern Wyoming.  We set off towards South Dakota and enjoyed Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug, and the Badlands.  As our eyes are bombarded with new every day, I find the time to collect thoughts of the future often, as inspiration tacks on to these new experiences.  The houses we stay in, the grounds we pitch a tent on, and the cheap motels are a reminder that ownership of land is a Great American Dream.  I would love to wake up in the morning to the smell of fresh baked apple pies, and farm raised bacon sizzling, as I watch erin tend to the garden and milk goats. All the while dogs are barking, chickens being chased, winter wheat diffusing the creek's sound.  When you come back home, or leave home, there is a sense of belonging that pulls and pushes.  Like a tide, we enjoy the ride, because we feel alive, and we're living outside. 
       Our hearts go out to Erin's family, who celebrated Grandpa Minnicks life this last week.  He was a true farmer, and obviously a fantastic Father, who's stories will live on throughout our lives.  I am lucky to have met him, and even luckier to know his granddaughter, the love of my life and best friend.
         We enjoyed a great beer from Firehouse Brewing Company in Rapid City, SD.  Our server Danny was way cool.  He knew a lot, and recommended a very kick ass Reuben with incredible side sauce.  This guy knew his food, but also new some other SD breweries for us to check out.  That was a blast, and the brewery is a must see if you are traveling that way.
       Alan and Adam have been puting me up since erin flew home a few days ago.  It sucks when your best friend leaves, and I know that erin is helping the fam, but I wanted to show her more of where I grew up and all the fun Fall festivities around the Mitten.  Michigan will always be here, and we will come up again when we find the time:-(  It is a great chance for us to look at the winter, and see just how it will all work. We will try and see each other as much as we can, and I will definitely try and get erin to come on as much of the journey as possible, but she too is anxious to find a job on a farm with animals and start learning about all kinds of great skills.  I'm hopeful that this research and final book will help us finance such dreams and ideas.  So it goes, life on the road, making connections, setting your vision in stone. I am gathering a following, of people inspired by life's mysteries and constants.  My music has been knocking on the door asking to come out and play, but for now I will remain focused on writing, writing, writing.  I have 25 of the 100 stories written for my book, and now I brainstorm, collect, and edit stories that are based off of my life experiences, full of sun and stars.  Lately it seems that when you miss someone or something so much, you work harder to get there, maybe not physically, but in your mind work towards making your dreams become realities.  And though at first time spends like molasses, it becomes oil for your...molasses motorcoach..or, you know, metaphorical moped.  Haha, looks like I'm warmed up for writing, thanks for stopping by, and once I get back to Virginia, I will have traveled to a total of 35 states, just in time for the holidays!  See ya next time!