Writing and Other News:
I'm thankful to be feeling better this weekend and more, I'm beginning to catch up on work, so I'm feeling much better creatively. I wrote two really bad short stories, one in a waiting room and another as my husband drove me to a mega gas station (more on this later); somehow I think the stories will evolve to their desired state if I let them sit and simmer a while. I like the characters. Also, now that I'm feeling better, I plan to return to my larger works that really just need polished and submitted. But one thing at a time...
If you live in San Antonio, and you're a pre-teen, teen, or have a teen, come out to the Parman Branch San Antonio Public Library on Thursday. I'm leading a Junior Journal Writing Workshop, and I'd love to see you. I've done this a few times, and I can guarantee, we'll have fun.
Personal and Of Interest (or Not):
I almost skipped the blog this week, but I couldn't keep such a magical experience to myself. Okay, maybe magical isn't the right word. And maybe you'll read this and think, Damn, why didn't you just take a week off, Jen?
Well, I was feeling better Friday, and my rehabilitation was welcomed, perhaps even catapulted, by the butterfly migration. I didn't see as many of the small monarchs this year as I did the year I moved here, but I had been looking out. As you may know, I wrote a short story about this migration which made me even more invested in the swarms (I've researched the migration quite a bit). I really thought they flew on by while I was sick, or that I had missed them at work; but while walking my dog Friday, there they were, flying around my ankles and ducking around the flowers by my apartment. This was magical, and seeing them made me feel the lightest (emotionally) I've felt in two weeks. That said, this is not the magical experience of the week but a mere prelude.
Here's the magic: I went, for the very first time since moving to Texas, to Buc-ee's. I'm sure it's been said before, but Buc-ee's is the Wal-Mart of gas stations, only more Wal-Mart than Wal-Mart. We pulled into the mega station, and Chris was cut off by a truck. He yelled at said truck's driver, but when I looked up and saw there was a pig in the truck bed, I told him to calm down. You can't yell at a man hauling a pig. We had to wait in line for gas (cheap gas - it was worth it), and then we took a deep breath and parked. We followed the crowds, headed for the front doors.
There were kolache samples being handed out near the entrance, fresh pies, three fountain soda machines with odd phrases (chewy ice indeed!), Buc-ee himself in stuffed form to the left and right. There were walls of sauces and nuts and spices.
When I first moved to Texas, I remember a friend telling me that I had to go to Buc-ee's. She explained that it was a gas station but also an experience, and once you've gone, you can say you've oriented yourself in Texas. Yesterday, I had my orientation. I saw cowhide coasters and cowhide flasks, cowhide wall-mounts and cowhide scarves. The workers all seemed thrilled to be there, and when I made a purchase, my purchase was gushed over for a good two minutes by a sales associate (I can name the purchase because it is, of course, a Christmas gift). At what other gas station can one have such an experience?
Look, I make it a point to try to make the best of wherever I am, but me and Texas don't get along. We just don't. I don't like beef, I don't decorate with cowhide, and I refuse to wear belts that will set off TSA alarms. It's not my thing. But, Buc-ee's was an experience. As my friend said, if you come to Texas, you might as well orient yourself.
Now that I've shared my magic, I'm going to bed. I hope to work well with others at the day job. I hope to have a good turn-out at the library, and I hope I can stay healthy, catch up more, and really find time to write again. It's going to be a long week, but I'm thinking a good one. I hope it is amazing for you as well.