Saturday, March 21, 2015


It’s the first day of spring, I’m not really here (I’m out-of-town), and it’s time for the BATTLE OF THE BANDS RESULTS. But, first let me ask you: Did you have a good St. Paddy’s Day? Raise a stein of Guinness? A shot of Jamesons? Please tell me you at least wore some green! Well, whatever at least twenty-one of you came by to vote. There’s a pretty good chance that’s an all-time record here at Far Away Series. I’m not much of a headhunter, so I don’t keep track of things like that, BUT I do appreciate each and every one of you.

Today I have another first here at Far Away Series – BATTLE OF THE BANDS. I HAVE MY FIRST TIE.

I cast my vote for Flogging Molly. I love their all-out rowdy sound. In this tune they are definitely a bit more subdued than normal, but they give a great finish.

Ben Currie’s version was very nice and very country (which I do not mind in the least), but just not the same rowdy fun.

The final tally is:

                Flogging Molly             11 votes (including mine)
                Ben Currie                  11 votes

I love the idea of a tie. To my mind it says this was a really good BATTLE and you guys enjoyed both versions posted.

I’ll be back sometime next week with a ‘New Leaf’ post and then I hope you’ll all come back on April 1st, for my next BATTLE OF THE BANDS. Now, hope on around and see how the other BATTLES turned out.

And just in case you still need a little 'hair a the dog'; here's some Flogging Molly in all their rowdy glory with 'Drunken Lullabies'.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'Turning Over a New Leaf' - Still Waters

Before we get into the 'new business', if you came by looking for my BATTLE OF THE BANDS post, just click back one. Voting is still open until early morning on the 21st, so please, go back and have a listen and cast your vote. Then come back here and see what I've been up to.

And now for my next trick... Keeping up with my 'Turning Over A New Leaf Series...

I like to take pictures. I don't think I'm anywhere near good enough to be called a 'real photographer', but I guess you gotta call anyone who stands behind the camera the photographer of the moment.

I live in a very photographic place, so I like to go out and see what the 'lens' has to say. Every so often I stumble upon a picture that is fairly unique. A few weeks ago, Olaf and I (oh, I don't think I have introduced you to Olaf yet)

There he is, my buddy Olaf, a six month old white Schnauzer, who does not sport one of them sissy Schnauzer haircuts. He's seventeen pounds of pure fun, boundless energy, and limitless love!

Anyway...a few weeks ago Olaf and I were at the beach just snooping around and Olaf thought he found a ball in the water.

Being only six months old and somewhat afflicted with Schnauzer ADD, ADHD, or whatever they call that 'oh look a chicken' syndrome today, Olaf lost interest pretty quickly, but not so with me. I got down in the sand and started snapping pictures. when I got home and had a good look, here's what I found.

I call it 'Still Waters'.  Courtesy of the crystal clear blue water of Lake Tahoe. Kinda cool, huh? I thought so.

Olaf and I will be back, hopefully with more interesting pics some time soon. Until then...Happy Trails!

All photos in this post are the property of Far Away Photography and may not be reprinted, reused, or reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the owner.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beware St. Paddy for 'tis the Ides of March - BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Today before we get to the business at hand, let’s talk a little bit about dates. ‘Fore today be ‘The Ides of March’. Do you have any idea what that be? Well, here’s what wacky-wachee has to say:

The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martii or Idus Martiae) is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances, and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.[1]

Although March (Martius) was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the oldest Roman calendar it was the first month of the year. The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations.

Interesting little tid bit that, no? Well if you don’t really think so, think about the importance of a regime turning from a ‘Republic’ to an ‘Empire’. That should keep ya busy for awhile.

Anyway…for today’s BATTLE OF THE BANDS I want to celebrate a different Holiday. That bein’ St. Patrick’s Day. Know what wacky-wachee has to say about it:

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[4] the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland,[3] as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.[5] Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.[6] Christians also attend church services[5][7] and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.[5][6][8][9]

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,[10] Northern Ireland,[11] the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Its sometimes said that on St. Patrick’s Day, we all have a wee bit of Irish in us. Truth be told, my heritage doesn’t really show any links to Ireland, but I was married to a bona fide Irishman for a time, so one could say I had a wee bit of Irish in me. (OK, that was a really bad joke. If you didn’t get it just move along ‘cause I ain’t ‘splain nutting.)

At any rate…although it may seem unseemly for a lady to talk about alcohol 
consumption I thought it only appropriate to play ya some “Irish Drinking Songs’ (hey, are there any other kind), for this BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

This one’s for you Mike. On the 17th of March as we raise that shot of Jameson’s to ya, know for a fact that you have nay been forgotten and are close of my heart and the hearts of those who love you! 

First up, Flogging Molly with ‘If I Ever Leave this World Alive’

Next a cover that sounds kinda country, but is actually done by another Irishman, Ben Currie

OK, now you know what to do and how to do it, but just in case this I will ‘splain. Leave your vote and tell me why in the comment box. If you’re new to BOTB and posting your own BATTLE today tell me that also.

When you’ve finished up here, head on over to the home of Mr. BOTB himself (AKA TSMOTP) *****. Stephen (a fine Irishman, I’m sure) will post links to the other participants. Please join in the fun and visit/vote at everyone’s site.

I’ll be back on the 21st with my vote and the final tally. But don’t be shy, stop 
back before that because I have something new and special to post for you on my ‘Turning Over a New Leaf’ series, Wednesday the 18th.

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Turning Over a New Leaf - 'I see dead people.'

Today as a part of my 'Turning Over a New Leaf Series' I decided to post a chapter of my current WIP. This is the one I'm currently agonizing over the edits and rewrites. It's told from multiple POV's and this guy, 
Everett is probably my favorite.

I'm gonna let you read it here and not say too much more. Quite possibly in a future 'TOaNL' post, I'll even tell you where the inspiration for this WIP and, most particularly Everett came from. For today go ahead and have a read, then let me know what you think. Go ahead; you can be honest. After all I'm in rewrites, so maybe there is something I should know.

Every time they open the earth in this place I feel it, especially in winter. I cannot help myself. I have to come and see who it is. It’s dangerous for me here. They can see me. Not like there is anybody left who might recognize me, but dangerous all the same. What if somebody started talking to me? Wanted to know who I was? What I was doing here? Answering those questions could be tricky.

As questionable as my presence in this place would be, it is nothing compared to that other guy. He’s not even the least little bit settled. My guess is less than twenty-four hours. In that first day, some of them do real crazy things. They have no idea where they are or what’s happening. He seems to be in control. Coming and going the way he does. Pushing those people and talking to them, that’s risky stuff. Apparently, nobody come for him. He acts like a loose cannon out there on his own. After all this time I can tell just by looking at him, he will not be hanging around long. No unfinished business for that guy. Well, maybe this was the unfinished business. He seems pretty intent on getting a message to those two.

Last words. They all have some last words that they want to be remembered by. Not me, there was no time. All I had time for was one last look of shock. There never was a pretty girl held tight at my side. No mother to cry for me. No large group of friend standing around saying nice things. Nope, just the quick end, to a short life.

That guy, the one holding the pretty girl so tight, he looks like one of the modern day ranch kid. You can tell by his build that he’s used to hard work. His face has seen the sun on it for more than a few harvests. That guy next to him, the same. They look like brothers. When I think about it, Mr. Loose Cannon looked like another brother. That would fit the picture, because they seem a whole lot more genuinely sad than the rest of this crowd.

The girl at his side; well, she’s perpetually sad, except when she looks at him. I know her. Her pa’s the horse breeder, the son of that squatter, the guy who tricked Emily and took the ranch. Her name is Sandra, Sandra Baker. I wish some girl had looked at me like she looks at that ranch kid. He’s about my age. I’m a little taller, but about the same build. I would have liked to have the opportunity to hold a girl like that, even Miss Sandra Baker.

I have spent the last sixteen years watching that girl grow up. It’s not that I wanted to. I didn’t have much choice. She and her family live in my space. She lives in my personal space, my room at the ranch. Since she’s gotten older, turned a woman, I spend more time in the attic. It’s only right.

She looked right at me, probably wondering about this guy who’s so irreverent as to be climbing all over a tombstone. Well, this is my space too. My name is right down there carved in stone. This lovely little park and the ranch that Baker guy still has the nerve to call the Williams Ranch are my own private little hell.  The only places I’m free to roam while I work for my name. I am starting to wonder if it’s worth it.

That ranch kid, the one holding Sandra Baker so close, I recognize him now. He works for her Pa, at least I think he does. He’s always hanging around the ranch, doing chores and helping out. Maybe, now I see him holding Sandra, he’s there more for her. He doesn’t touch her like that in front of her Pa. I wonder if Stan Baker knows how it is between them. I bet Stan would not like it. He and his wife keep Sandra pretty close. Watching the two of ‘em, Sandra Baker and this ranch kid, I find I don’t like seeing him holding her like that either. Somewhere in my head, I think I would like to be holding her instead. No use crying over spilled milk, Pa would say. That is never gonna happen. That ranch kid might be like me in a lot of ways, but there is one big difference between us. He’s still alive.

If you've made it this far, thank you. Also, you know why this is more soliloquy than anything else. Everett is no longer alive. Interested, intrigued, want to read more. Well, I'm looking for a few betas to give it a go over. I'm not finished with the edits and rewrites yet, but if your interested, please let me know and I'll get in touch with you. Anyone who is interested in beta reading for me with critiques in mind is welcome, but I am particularly looking for a male perspective. 

I'll be back on the 15th with a new exciting BATTLE OF THE BANDS. Until that time, Happy Trails!