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2018 Austin Spartan Super (Prep & Post)

3 Jun

The struggle is real.
The struggle is required!

TimShaneAustinSpartan2018This year’s Austin Spartan starts a new chapter, or rather a new book or possibly life era for me.  It was my intention to hang up my OCR gear at the end of 2017 and go out having exceeded my goals in Sparta, Greece .  Then I started to realize I had a whole new perspective from other years. It was less tempting to make unhealthy choices when eating and I embraced the opportunity to push myself.  It became a way of life. I realized how much my journey enhanced my mind, my work, my creativity, my drive and most surprisingly my spirit.

Tim Shane 2018 Spartan Super Sandbag

One of the reasons I thought I would retire is every year the courses get harder and Spartan comes up with new obstacles and challenges as my physical body gets older.  I quickly learned my journey as a Spartan has given me strength, balance, endurance and discipline

Tim Shane Canyon of the Eagles 18

In 2018 my Spartan journey goes beyond the starting line to the finish, but the entire lifestyle leading up to it.  The first is the people. Each race has tales for friends, family, foes, companions, lovers, trainers and life events that all play an important part to each medal, wedge and “Did Not Finish”.  About a month before the race I connected with Stephanie Hengstenberg and we had synergies on many levels. As a “dancer momma” she fit the profile of the artist that built her own success through sales and authentic human connection that I am evolving my profession into, and I fit the profile of the kind of client she was looking to coach.  I shared with her the trial and error of finding the healthy lifestyle for training for a Spartan Race, horse shows and other such adventures and we thought we would explore her coaching me using her ISAgenix system.

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To be transparent I am not selling the ISAgenix system nor did I purchase the products so I would not have the bias of defending my choice, but rather having tried many supplements in my journey opened my cynicism to any shortcuts for such a demanding endeavor as a Spartan Super.  The Austin Super Spartan race is among the only two DNF (Did Not Finish) in my OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) career. A few years ago that I attribute to misjudging my nutrition the night before the race. I treated myself to a nice steak to celebrate the days victory and thought I could use the protein.  This may work for some and maybe it did for me in my younger days. This was still during the struggle when my body was adapting to the extramed. This year I learned my body seemed to go into rest and rebuild mode when I eat beef. I learned this by my muscles seizing up at the very top of the “Stairway to Sparta” obstacle.  Since then I learned never do anything new on Race Day and pay attention to my body’s nutrition leading up to and actually on race day. The role of coach and trainer was open this year and she thought she could put together a custom solution for the little over 2 weeks leading up to the race.

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Stephanie brought her family to the All British Car Day and loaded me up with parts of the ISAgenix system with very clear instructions and a plan.  I explained my strategy for the Super is to cut any excess body and water weight to stay lean yet hydrated for the race. I would need to stay hydrated, flexible and powerful.  She put together a plan that did not include the entire system but some things she thought would help.

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TIP– A quick sidebar in case any of my friends in sales and swear by Shakeology, Kyani, Herballife, Nuskin and all the new stuff on the horizon and know I am a hard sell on any one of these nutraceutical or fitness products, but you never know 100% what someone is struggling with (Sometimes we don’t know 100% ourselves) or all the luck and science that goes into timing, but Stephanie got my buy-in on 2 things.  The first is that she believed in me and her product so much she was willing to cover the cost and second she offered a system that would save me time and money between all the supplements and diet hacks I was juggling. A Beach Body rep named Melissa McAllister did something similar in 2012 and really helped me on my way.

Week 1 – ISAGenix

I was off to a good start in the first week which consisted of 2 Shake Days followed by a 2 day cleanse, then picking back up the shake days.  I researched the products and was happy to learn it was a clean and natural solution pretty close to my original plans that made me so successful the year before.  The shakes tasted great and actually saved me time in the mornings and the evenings with my lifestyle and still delivering the protein, carbs and calories that I needed.  I measured immediate weight loss in the first few days and was feeling pretty good. Following the system and he daily check ups for accountability helped me resist the unusually high amount of temptations to falter that week.  Then came the “Cleanse” and that is when things got complicated.

The Cleans for Life drink seemed well enough but I did not have access to the other items that typically go with the cleanse so by lunch I was already “hangry” even with the IsaSnacks.  I am a pretty big guy so I was feeling it in a major way. Stephanie kept encouraging me through until I realized I was losing energy. My rest days can be considered work out days to most and I was getting ready for my first horse show. My dress rehearsal was a disaster so we opted to turn it into a Shake Day until after the race.  Also I was sure that I measured the amounts I was supposed to take and maybe I should have taken a bit more.

Week 2 – ISAGenix Adjusted

WEEK 2 – Most of the other aspects of the system were actually already part of my regime.  For example there is a Natural Accelerator Capsule is pretty similar to my Irwin Naturals Triple Tea Burner combined with my Cool Cayene from Herb Mart.  The Recovery Drink is similar to my FIT AID which is only at Central Market, Amazon or as a sponsor at some Spartan Races. When I total up the time spent tracking down my normal routine, some of the redundancy of some of the supplements and the actual cost, I can appreciate the savings in time and money of getting them all from one system.  

THE 2018 SPARTAN RACE

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Of all the Spartan Races I have done I always feel like I could be more prepared.  That being said I felt pretty good about this one. I was up in front on the starting line and I overheard a female voice basically telling a similar story (Did the Ultra Beast last year, thought I was done and somehow right back here) and I turned around and recognized her.  Just as my mind said “Yea she’s late 20’s maybe early 30’s tops and maybe I am the oldest one still being so insane” the emcee gave a shout out to the oldest person in our heat, George at 76 Years Old going for his 5X Trifecta. #NoExcuses is a great #Spartan hastag for 2018.

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I had a good handle on the course as it was a similar layout to 2017 Super and Hurricane Heat with a few additions of my favorite portions of courses past (Granite Cliffs, The Granite Chapel and the legendary green PVC Tube).  The sky had low fast moving clouds strobing the Texas May Sun that caused a cool Zack Snyder effect on the course and I had my custom soundtrack. While there were plenty of water obstacles, the sandbag carry was more of a muddy terrain than the sharp gravel I always dread on the Austin course.  

I was actually about 30 minutes earlier than my projection but made up for it with burpees on the end.  Found a nice balance of improving my time and fitness while enjoying the power, beauty and soul of the terrain each Spartan course is notorious for.  Many of the famous competitors opted for the BIG BEAR race this year both gave me an opportunity to shine but also missed the feeling of sharing the same course with such legends.   I am evolving the #WhyIRace part of my journey.

The Austin Races usually have severe thunderstorms and as I finished the wind was picking up and the dust was blasting the racers and spectators alike.  For the first time I am aware of Spartan cancelled the Sprint due to weather. This was fine because I was looking at the AT&T Stadium as my Trifecta Sprint.  

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RECOVERY & CLEANSE

The Recovery was good.  About 2 days until I was back 100%.  Minimum bruising, no blood, and the recovery drinks from ISAgenix supplemented much of the routine, but still relied on BeetElite and FitAID who was at the finish line this year.  There was a new recovery drink called Armor but their drinks were warm and pulling a can or two of FitAID out of the ice cold barrels was becoming a tradition.

Upon my return I started the ISAGenix Cleanse for life following the instructions to the letter.  It did get me to an all time low as far as weight loss but not sure the lack of energy was worth it.  I will say I am open to continuing to try the system if I can find the right balance for my lifestyle    

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Are YOU in a Healthy Relationship with a Salesperson?

14 Feb

Valentines
You could be.  

Whether it is your first date or your 50th Anniversary, you agreed to go out with them in some capacity.  They connected with you on a level that you liked and you said “Yes!”.  Good and healthy sales professionals are typically emotionally intelligent and help us feel genuine authentic emotions.  They understand how to influence us to feel excited, safe and secure in our choice.  That is what many want in our personal lives.  How about you?

Human nature focuses on the negative, but the sales professional traditionally finds ways to turn that negative pain into a positive opportunity.  They are trained to see both sides (and many more) and understand how to leverage them into action.  Who doesn’t want more action?

Life is Pain, anyone you says differently is selling something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThDwS79HPhs

Both men and women alike want to be heard and their thoughts, feelings and opinions valued by their partner.  Sales professionals have to continually practice to be good listeners as an essential part of their craft.  They know when to speak, and when not to be silent and just listen.  We tend to buy from those that really “Get us” and can anticipate our needs.  We tend to stick with those people in our personal lives as well.  Do you?

TimDraping

Do Ask Don’t Tell

People do not like to be “told to” do anything anymore than they like to be “sold to” by someone.  A good sales pro knows “Telling is not Selling” but will rather ask questions.  This can be a real asset in personal relationships where you can come to important decisions together.  Do you like to make or be included in the big decisions?  

Those that may not have the good fortune of being in a healthy relationship with a salesperson and I hear them talk about how much work it is and all this talk about sacrifice.  Sales people know how to negotiate for win-win outcomes.  While speaking of good fortune, good salespeople often make good money for their hard work and usually have incentives to make them want to be better every day.  Is that something you would want in a partner?

They do not take you for granted.  They are usually confident, secure and have a thick skin because they are usually facing rejection and high stakes on a regular basis.  They know customers are loyal right up until something better comes along so they make sure to stay on the pulse of what you value and thinking about an upgrade rather than an out.    

Fortunately we are all in sales whether we realize it or not.  We wish you the best in your personal life.  If you can use some help in your professional life, you know how to reach me.

Tim-Brazil

Goals 2018 Edition

31 Jan

What did you do?   

Those 4 words drive me to have the best answers.  This is where I put my ambitious goals and plans to achieve them out there to the universe (and the internet) but I am looking at a stack of journals and I see evidence I have been practicing this all my life.  If I can dream it, write it down, I can and most often make it happen.

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It seems having goals and being successful seems to have fallen out of fashion in 2018.  While I appreciate fashion, I prefer to influence it rather than follow it.  Part of me wants to keep my goals private but the stronger part wants to share the struggle and the success because that is one of the positive aspects to this digitally social world.  

It is also challenging because in many ways this all feels like a dream and in so many ways I am starting over.  Looking at last year (or last two years as it turned out) I wonder if I should set these goals for 12 months or 24?  I am pretty sure I time traveled back to my younger self and said the future is crazy!  The Cubs won the world series (2016)!  Remember that joke about Ronald Reagan being President of the U.S. in the movie “Back to the Future”?  Well now Donald Trump is President but now it’s called POTUS.  Remember how you wanted to know what that black monolith was from 2001 A Space Odyssey?  It is a smartphone or tablet.   

What will I do?
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Stay Healthy!  This is a big complicated one that sounds deceptively simple.  The biggest lesson I have learned over the years is we already have everything we need in mind, body and spirit.  However it seems everything is designed to distract us from that simple truth.  In recent years I have been fortunate enough to experience health in all three in varying degrees.  It is amazing and there is no substitute.  The mind has all the answers, emotions, drive, endurance, focus and fantasy if you keep it healthy and treat it right.  If you destroy it with drugs (of any sort), deceptive distractions, poisonous philosophies or just take it for granted it will not serve you as well as if you work it, feed it and test it.  As we get older it is even more challenging to take care of our minds and our bodies.  While I feel in good shape it must be a priority to maintain and improve.  I am proud of my accomplishments in fitness but also know from past years if I do not keep it a priority it is very easy to slip out of and much harder to get back to where I was previously.  It makes it even more challenging to improve.  Riding horses (correctly) turns out is an excellent workout, especially for my core so I intend to focus much more on that as well as participating in races and maybe exploring the Triathlon and IronMan world more.  The spirit is certainly the most private yet I will share the ways it ties to mind and body.  The euphoria I experienced crossing the finish line or cantering on a horse the first time was certainly a spiritual as well as physical experience.  Finally learning to measure adequate amounts of rest to match my ambition has been a major breakthrough for the trifecta of mind, body and spirit.    

Continue the Creative!

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Although my creative talents have been utilized in development in the past few years, my creative juices have still been flowing and I look forward to get back to the mission “Seeking, Retaining and Cultivating Audiences and Talent to Enhance the Cultural Community”.  Specifically looking for new ways to use new technologies to maximize audiences and performances.  I hope to get back to writing, performing and producing starting with bringing the Comedy Killers Murder Mysteries back and not only getting the “band back together” but building a core ensemble for the next generation in a brave new world.

Horse Around!

 

Horses have become so much a part of my life yet I still feel as if I am just getting started.  It is my intention to always learn something new and no matter how much time I get in the saddle every day feels brand new.  I am beginning Dressage which I consider an intense level of performing arts, but it’s officially a “Sport”.  It is my intention to go to some shows and work my way through the ranks while continuing training and riding.  I also plan to go to Germany to get an overview of horsemanship in Dressage, Jumping and Cross Country.  I intend to get as much training and experience as possible in the coming months.  I am also very fortunate to have found a beautiful mare (with the help of my trainer at Rocking M Stables and Nikki Littrell at Starstruck Eventing) named “Artful Design” a.k.a. “Capri” (short for Capricorn, not skinny cigarettes or short pants).  She is a great partner and I think we are a good match.  My goal is to go as far with her as we can.  

Build your Business!

In my leadership roles in the incredible organizations I serve I have consistently assembled and served a dream team generating growth and opportunities.  From my days working in higher education to Better Business Bureaus, BOLD and now all my creative non-profit experience comes together with my aggressive drive for development.  The Bold contact center, now an affiliate of the Dallas Lighthouse For the Blind typically doubles in size year over year.  To do this again in 2018 is a challenge I willingly accept.  There are alot of moving parts  and infinite opportunities.  The more we build your business, the more we all win.

Happy New Year 2018 - Cover Photos For Facebook5Specifically I have made 3 sets of goals for each category.  Maintenance goals to stay on track based on my current progress.  SMART Goals that are focused on improvement and growth and as always ambitious and epic goals.  

SMART-goals

Chapter 8- 60 Characters In Search Of An Author

20 Mar

Shots Fired!” misused an apathetic and ironically misunderstood millennial because this was indeed a serious situation and not a simple verbal assault over interpersonal trivia.  This is not to say that verbal assaults on the internet are trivial or that this epic war of superheroes is just part of the natural order of the chaos in the universe.  It simply is.

Lou Smith and Brenda Lindenberg Stanton both felt this is the time to put a disclaimer that the names and situations in this story may be real or fictional but may reflect real life and certainly does not reflect the exclusive view or possibly any part of the views of the people that embody those names or the author in perpetuity throughout all the infinite  Universes. Elizabeth Wright would also like to add if they might seem to be true or based on real events that is entirely up to you and your imagination.  Chris McMurtry wanted to encourage the taking of flash photography or low-light or with filters all under the preferred hashtag (Might I suggest #HappyTSBday, #Shanespeare or #OurPro). Mike Salcido wanted to thank all the artists that made this possible, and also the car with the License Plate THX 1138 left their lights on and it was causing too much lens flare for Nikki DeShea Smith‘s fantastic light design.

Now  Sandi Bailey brings us back to the story from the front lines of this super battle.

Angela Raelene McGuire signaled she was ready to engage as she always enjoyed a fray for the right reasons.  Lauren Godfrey Patterson,  Ashley Head and Dixie Still got in position.

“I have the shot” affirmed Scarlett McAlister Harris.
“Then take it” commanded Daniel R States.

The shot was taken and quickly enhanced by Dalton James and the Prince of Pisces, Fan of the Fishes Mycal Sykes because it is what they do and they know how to work their craft.

So do the others.  Just then Greg Grayson dropped a joke grenade to bring us back to the story.  Jamie Wollrab waited for it to go off and then had to explain that is when you tell a joke but it doesn’t hit its audience right away.  However, since he had to explain it he felt people still were not laughing it was a dud… or maybe you were just not meant to get it.  Yet.

Cristela Carrizales reminded us to Beware the Ides of March right after Pie Day but Meg ShidelerLaura Laine and Taylor Munholland were already dressed in green leading the parade right out of the ironic land to the land down under while Mia Rae and Shelly Koehler were flipping their real estate like no one has ever seen.

Laurie McNair and Tiffany Williams skeptically joined the parade and as they saw it heading toward a large ship on the water they both thought at the exact same time.  “Deja Vu“.  They both said looking at each other”Pinch Poke, you owe me a Coke“.  They pinched each other starting a trend, like they do.  Monalisa Amidar pinched Bono and Nathan Allen Pinard pinched The Riddler.  However when Laura Reeves pinched Captain America he vanished!   POOF!  Gone!  This is when things started getting very interesting.

Laurie Williamson pinched the Green Lantern and he smiled and thanked her for keeping him relevant.  She though to herself “I’m Smart!” like people do and saw Batman and Superman promoting their movie and thought this would be a good time for her to take her own justice on Batfleck.  She got close and pinched him and nothing happened.

Rest assured you are not the only one disappointed with these circumstances.  Well… technically something happened, but it wasn’t the result she was going for.  Superman asked if she was with him and the mouth breathing Batfleck said “I thought she was with you” confirming they are going for the simplest dialogue ever spoken by superheroes.

Fiona Ann Norton interrupted them saying that since Batman didn’t have Robin or someone to say something along the lines of “Holy Green Thumb Batman, those not wearing green disappear when pinched.” She thought she would explain with her proper dialect to help move things along and we thank her for it.

Erin Treadway pinched the Hulk and there was no reaction and of course Ironman was hovering just out of reach.  Melissa Hartman Couture pinched Wonder Woman and she Poofed and Melissa coined the term “Pinch Poof!”  Why is it that those wearing green were immune to the Pinch Poof wondered Vivian Jimenez Hall.

Diamond Jim and Randy Tinkle were bummed that Wonderwoman was PinchPoofed so they started pinching everybody not wearing green causing a wide spread panic, even though the green smiley faced said “Don’t“.

Easy for you to say” provoked Zelmer Phillips “You’re nothing but a green smiley mouth“.
“And I’m not” said Steve Davis as a classic diversion allowing Eric Soto-Riggle to get close enough to Superman to pinch him but nothing happened.

“Why didn’t that work?” asked Dylan Hollingsworth.

“Because he wasn’t pinched by someone wearing green” explained Mary Williford Bayer.

Suddenly Batman pinched Superman and Superman Pinch Poofed followed by a thunderous applause from a variety of people wearing green or not.  Lisa B. Whitfield thought about pinching Batfleck but Ashlee James McCollom just walked right up and asked to pinch him.  Batfleck nodded, or maybe he was just looking down as such a sad Batman does, either way there was a pinch and he remained.  There was no Pinch Poof for Batman, not even the Ben Affleck one.

batfleck-originalHerschel Alan Weisfeld demanded an explanation because there was absolutely no green visible on Batman, but the mouth breathing crime fighter finally closed his mouth to make an uncomfortable smile and reveal he was wearing kryptonite underwear.

Ohh!” explaimed Donald Wayne Brown Jr. not exactly sure how he felt about that.

Lara Seibert Young loaded the last few from the green parade onto the ship and those not wearing green were scattering for the hills.  Jenni Tooley advised everyone to show their green and Hilary Tipps asked where the ship was going.

Probably to the moon” suggested Chris Spinks as there has been much of that going on.
Jorge Luis Davila led a team on the ground to break up the battle as Batman asked Mike Daniel what his secret identity was since it’s a dead give away that you are a super hero if your secret identity has 2 first names.  Jeramie Crawford suggested that they not reveal his hero yet because then you’ll just get into fights with other superheroes.

It’s all the rage these days” agreed Kristy Krüger but when you have all the feelings as a Pisces, a comic conflict is the last thing you want or need.  Diana Faro Daugherty and Russ Pond agreed.

As the ship left dock and powered out to sea towards the almost full moon Carie Welborn-Bair and Caramie Cason watched mermaids and Aquamen followed singing each to each.

Michael Brower noticed a man in a toga on the bow of the ship with his arms spread like he was King of the World.  Alicia G. Thomasson mentioned all of these heroes are people that she’s recently been reading about and that was Julius Caesar.  Bunny Miles Rothrock and Lynn Kawano noticed he was not wearing green.  The world leader turned to see he was about to be pinched into oblivion.  All he could say is “Etu Mia Rae
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Chapter 7- Well Wishes Through A Wishing Well

9 Mar

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It is wished that one day in the future one might say it’s an old saying; “To survive a broken heart makes you a better person”.  To say today who’s wish it is may jinx it, but in this moment twice as many eyes were closed as they made their wish and blew out their candles.

Jessy Black had exponentially more candles than her planetary clone Judy Smith Blackwell, so Linda Wallace pointed out that gave her exponentially more wishes as she sat back and sassed and sipped.  Shannon Kearns maximized the epic emotional exponent of the event as Terry Brink nursed them all in recovery.

Joshua Dennis must have wished for a light because he was all a glow, which was handy since everyone was in the dark since the candles were blown out.  Audrey Tennant led everyone in a serene prayer which Marie Del Marco commented on was a great way to understand the infinite spectrum of emotions they were all feeling at this party.

It was indeed an emotional time.  Terry Ash EbboMontie Jo Burgy and Logan Maxwell Green were tending to a group of crying guests and Jason Acton asked what was wrong.

Nothing!” respectfully replied Cynthia Santiago.  “They’re actually very happy“.
Why all the tears?” he politely probed.
If you’re not a Pisces you wouldn’t understand.” affirmed Kristine Mansour Armentor.

Haley Esposito and Etty Horowitz nodded and sipped their drink while Laura Lutz Jones and Karen Wiley commented on the snacks and Donald McLaughlin wrote a script about the party favors.  Of course Lydia MackayAndrew Aguilar and Heather Forsythe asked about auditions and Lee Jamison wished she could fit it in between saving all the kittens in the animal kingdom.

Jocelyn White and Christie Renee Welch were wishing in one hand and I would be no gentleman if I were to say what they were doing in the other.  (Lisa Moore says she will tell you if you really want to know)

 Shana Anderson was serving drinks like Bettie Martini and Mallory Malapeño Carrick was pouring shots while Carmen Dexter was serving books that Tiffany Riley was humorously interpreting for those physical comedy connoisseurs Arthur MortonKiki Curry Winters and Celeste Rogers.  Amanda Mount HunterCandy Buckley and Carolyn Collins cut a rug on the dance floor as José Bowen led the band in a funky new groove.  All was chill until the thrill of Kevin Long letting the dogs out.  As he did he noticed on the horizon a league of Spartan Race Warriors led by Matt Nguyen and backed up by Stephen BrodieScott WhiteJeremy EscobarEric Gacia and Trey Birkhead in his 5.0.  As Matt removed his duct tape helmet he commanded to his troops….
SPARTANS!  Prepare for Gloriiiious Birthday Cake!

Aroo!  Aroo!  Aroo!” they all said wondering if it was Gluten Free and exactly how many burpees would be involved.  As they stormed down the ridge to the party the moon eclipsed leaving them all in darkness once again.

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This is pretty cool” acknowledged  Brandon J. Walker as Brad Ward added
I’m prepared” lighting up his torch as did Shawn Gann down in the party camp.

The two lights traveled to each other just as the new moon reached it’s total eclipse of the heart and then once again, as before, there was an unmistakable sound.  Everyone looked toward it and once again, the moon seemed to be a portal transporting visitors from another world.

There was another crack of thunder followed by a downpour of something other than rain.

OUCH!” complained Wale Akin getting hit in the head with what he thought was hail, but turned out to be cold, hard cash with an emphasis on the cold and hard.
Coins!” identified Brad Hartliep
Yes, but they don’t seem to be from around here” observed Douglas D Martin
And they all seem to be coming up heads instead of tails” warned Becca Shivers 
“What’s that?”asked Abi Abel pointing to a tiny light which grew larger as it got closer.
Maybe it’s a shooting star” hoped Jerry Martin as she made yet another Birthday Wish.
Maybe it’s a soul” theorized John M. Flores
Looks to me like a train” pondered Margaret Ponder
It’s a SOUL TRAIL!” zinged Roxy Hernandez with her coming timing and dry wit

Robyn Fletcher Acevedo pointed right at you as you laughed for validation that you are developing an expanding sense of humor as well as imagination.Kevin Jeffers pushed everyone to shelter as the train glanced the ridge and came down towards the party camp.  All the hopes and wishes came through the portal in the eclipse but everyone was too busy scrambling from oncoming train to notice. Jessica Foster and Michelle McElree stood like a dear in the headlight until Tom Urquhart pulled them from the path just in time.
The train slowed and stopped right at the camp as if it was exactly what it intended to do.  Steam, smoke, dust danced in clouds of electric zapping as passenger cars doors opened and people flooded out.  Stefany Cambra and Eimilie Mitchell emerged wearing exceedingly fashionable steam punk attire.  Jacqueline PettitEric Wilder and Josh Hepola emerged at the caboose with what might have been strange weapons.  There seemed to be others but they were hard to pinpoint in the commotion.  Just as the clouds seem to settle and light began to return the train blew it’s horn so loud everyone covered their ears.  The engine turned off and the door raised open to reveal a man in a top hat carrying a large wooden box.  He dropped it down on on the ground to make a stair and two chucks appeared.  As people looked it it was #OurPro.  Her voice seemed to be amplified as she said…
“I heard it was your Birthday”
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Chapter 4 – A New Hopeful Moon

8 Feb

Darkness fell across the land as a cloaked discombobulated figure skulked through night without as sound.  Wise men such as Wylie H Dallas say that if you are not present in the moment you cannot see the figure.  Other cynics such as Mack Herbert say it’s just imagination and Shannon Lee Dyson argued it is a stress monster and everyone needs to chill out.  Little did they know they could all be right.  “So SO RIGHT!” echoed Amber Womack Skipper  Little did they know they could all be wrong.  “So so wrong” worried Steven Jeffers.

AND when I say “So So Wrong” I mean to emphatically stress Soo Soo wrong, much like those that still know which “2 “to use in a sentence might say “too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew” and not be apathetically confused with “so so” as in not one extreme or another.

Those with a Class C Creative License such as Brandi AndradeAlana Macías de Cortes and Larry D. LeMaster know what I am talking about as they also have a current one and support breaking the fourth wall (or Drew Wall as he likes to call it) in writing.  So lets continue.

The figure glided by a distracted Curtis Raymond Shideler completely undetected and right in the path of Jennifer Roe without skipping a step and cut in line in front of Shannon Knipp without missing a beat.  The figure slipped between Raven Jacobs and Whitney Kelley who were discussing conservative politics while the businessmen slowly get stoned.

Finally, the keen Patrick McAlister noticed the mysterious figure and got the attention of Rob Hood by tapping him on the shoulder and nodding in the direction of the mysterious figure.

“What in the world?” Whispered Andrew Redd
“Could it be the spirit of the missing Doctor?”
Asked Mark Fickert
“Perhaps it’s the ghost of Spot Acus Yasso Yang” Pondered Trae Morgan
“I think we should pursue it, just to see what’s going on.”
Stated Craig Norris

James Beasley hopped in his hearse (All Dukes of Hazzard Style) as Katy Polito, Helen Woodrum, Belinda BoydMonica Moody and Nicole Holt piled in.  They crept along behind Anja Holweg power walking with her German efficiency and long legs.

 William Shane Thompson followed ringing a bell, and like some sort of Pavlovian response people started to form a parade. Andrea Reich Fender emerged with her fashionable entourage from an upscale art gallery and fell in line with Dora Chu and the fashion police.  Candice Ordered Steps Johnson and Diana Tucker followed too.

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Before long the cloaked figure was leading a parade of followers through the Haunted French Quarter.  Alexis Jo and Maria Hildreth Zsohar danced behind a float featuring Knizza LiveChris BarteeJim Cady,Dean Lindsay, Peter ElkinThomas Jacob LovelaceGleb Tarro all throwing beads to those gathering in the streets.  Even Gloria Smith who was working security got distracted from her conversation with Monique Childers about training and both were caught up in the spell.

Kevin Hunt juggled fire around Lorca Simons brilliant puppet, mask and mime work.  She was leading a troupe featuring the sexy and sassy vixens of Vixens Vaudeville and League of Lovely Ladies Bettie PinkVivienne VermuthShanna LeeAmber Williams, Naima Lett, Brooke Hamblet and Amber Garton.

Matt BarronStephanie Ward-Pierre and Christi Dalton Whitworth were dancing the dance in the streets and scooped up by the parade.

There were pirates and ninjas fight dancing and dance fighting depending on your perspective.  Sarah Saathoff was doing flips and Metsy showing off with her forward rolls.  Kathy Robinson-HaysElizabeth Dewhirst and Adrian Santiago had a tumbling act that would make the most experience acrobat envious.  Stephen KirkhamLindsay McEllen James and Chad Kelly Dotson were making music as Citlalli Smith played her cello on a nearby float while Rich Frohlich made sure they sounded amazing.

This parade now filled the streets and swelled into the walkways and climbed the walls.  Linda Jackson rode on the shoulders of James Warila.  The lovely Joyau Pénard was nominated the princess of the parade and her court displayed the most breathtaking international fashion the world as ever seen displayed by Angel AndersonAdriana I. Romero and Tamara Voss.

The mysterious figure led them all to the largest riverboat they have ever seen.  There was no hesitation whatsoever from the crowd.  Lyzz Kirk danced wildly down the boarding plank with no rails or guards.  The plank bowed and bounced like a guitar string as Daniel Sandoval, Delfina Bedarte, and Noel Lucky Brucker plucked aboard.  Breonny Lee and Donatelle Mascari noticed the ripples of the water matching the beat, or rather the pulse of the massive combined energy of party, yet the cloaked figure had yet to make a sound.

Silently slipping up stairs and ladders to the higher decks the figure slipped past Clifton Hall who was guarding the door to the wheel house.

Kenneth Fulenwider had the wheel and halted the figure before you could go any further.

“You do not have permission to come aboard!” he declared rather bravely.

The figure paused, untied the rope belt that made him resemble a Frangelico bottle and removed its hood.  The cloak fell to the ground to reveal Steven Hacker II on the shoulders of Frankie Garcia III!

“SURPRISE!” busted Hacker as he jumped down to fire up the engines.  “We’ll be takin this boat” he then said in an unsuccessful attempt to sound like a pirate.

Rick Spivey and Zachary Stefaniak charged them but Frankie took them out so effortlessly next thing you knew they were asleep on the floor, and not hurt or injured in any way.  Steve gave the signal and his masquerading troops engaged the next phase of the over elaborate plan usually led by mysterious figures in cloaks.

“Just like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi!” Referenced Stephanie Butterfield

Jennifer Culp and Nancy Soto untied the boat from the dock and Heather Dinning Perry retracted the plank.  Cheryl Reedy cranked the music and Lori Garcia dimmed the lights.  Kenne Earl and Kathleen Terbeek began to sing captivating the guests and crew as the boat left the dock on the still water that reflected the wide smile of the moon of the almost new moon.

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Robin Clayton for one was thrilled at the hope for a new adventure as was Tiffany Bryan who is always up for an unexpected journey.  Jackie Kobe started a new “Ships Blog, Stardate Now point Now Two!

“We got company!” Bobby Friske noticed as they headed out to International Water.
Looks like the U.S. Armed Forces!” commented Megan Myers

Lindsay Martin Walser with the Air Force, Molly Mitchell with the Navy (Call Sign: GOOSE!) and U.S. Marine Allie Shane were all awaiting orders to engage, but none came as the moon went out into total darkness.

“A New Moon! But not in a Twillight Novel kinda way” joked Comedian Mo Zan
“Thank Goodness!” chimed Diana Wickman

From the shadows a beautiful olive skinned woman with green eyes removed her masquerade mask.  She beckoned for those that saw her to follow her.

“Don’t do it!  What if she be a spirit to tempt you to the water!?” Worried Pamela Ward
“Lets both follow and we will stick together.” Explained Mardi Allen

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They followed the woman to the bowels of the ship where they found 2 sleeping men holding a letter addressed to a King.  Those two men were David Jeremiah and  Christopher Dontrell Piper.

 

 

Chapter Two – B*Day Boogaloo

24 Jan

Meanwhile across town, on the wrong side of the other tracks, the mischievous Jenny Slocum was explaining to her honorable henchmen Manny Mendoza, Andrew Milbourn and William Brown how one way, or another, she was gonna find her and “Getcha Getcha Getcha Getcha“.

Who is she?” asked Sean Patrick Henry rather sincerely.
…or rather her?” corrected the marvelous Marmendy Welker Thompson

Jenny explained that the one she was referring to was the granter of Birthday wishes and that her name must be kept secret to build suspense for the story and also if you say her name three times she will manifest in the mirror of a bathroom when you turn out the lights.

What are we even talking about?” exploded Ethan A Sheffield
Yea.  So what!?” heckled Angela Cushing
I don’t want to be in a dark bathroom!” popped Sarah Baranauskas

Jenny calmed and soothed everyone’s suspicions as she elaborated on how they were all very instrumental characters in the story.  Of course Amy Barrick and PJ Palmer wanted more details complete with charts and graphs and Michael MrHumanity Guinn knew he could explain it all better with rhythm and flow.

“What do we call her as so she doesn’t manifest?  Is it like ‘he who shall not be named’ or the Scottish King’“? asked thespian Julie Collmer Campbell

She shall be referred to only as #ourpro proclaimed Jenny.

After a skeptical and awkward pause, the fashion prince Dan Pritchett told the tale of how he once set his armada of fashionistas on a quest to find her but to no avail.  Ineka Guerra believes she is a story.  “The stuff of legend” reaffirmed Jamie Scharfschwerdt Nugent.

I am the stuff of legend” cried Jenny!  “I taught her everything she knows!”  And now she just goes around using the power of the universe to grant everybody’s wishes.  “What does the think she is?

A Leprechaun?” asked Anna Loya.
I think she means Genie“offered Deborah Marshall
Rainbows, bottles, pots of gold, it’s all the same thing“concluded Mike Hathaway.
My favorite film fantasies?” Sonny Boucher
A product of our endangered environment.” suggested Maria Consuelo
Angel Unger pointed out that is the stuff for another blog.

NO!  The stuff of dreams. Just like us.  If she is not stopped she can put our whole world in danger.  Who’s going to bring me her head? ” Jenny asked but her enthusiasm was not shared by anyone else.  Then in an effort to reconnect with her audience she said “I also want a taco.

YES!  That is a cause I am into” sassed Andres Ortiz.
Me too!” said  Shakey Amy Behar.  “Right after Dystonia Awareness“.
I LOOOVE TACOS!!!” sung Michelle Hames

Mark Hanson offered to drive but he could only take one person on his motorcycle, and he knew he wanted that person to be the charming and beautiful Chelsie Birks but Scott Prewitt had other plans jumping on the bike just before Chelsie could get her leg over.

No Fair” she complained!  “I am the fairest of them all” Scott retorted.
You are both silly” observed Antonia Hubert.  “We can all go in Captain Nick C Kirk‘s Starship
Or!  Or you can just let me cook for all of you.  I make great tacos” offered Linda P Nguyen
Dan Carro passed out some #TEAMTACO SWAG and Shaunda Terrell trained everyone to be #Lone Star Spartans while  Michelle Harvey put together an incredible design.  

So as they all agreed to stay and eat Linda’s tacos and form a strategic plan to find #ourpro.  All aside from Stephanie Patterson who thought the Dallas Stars would be there and would rather hang with her cat than pursue this mysterious wish granter. Kenneth Noisewater also declined because it was his Birthday not realizing the future of all Birthday wishes stood in the balance.  Sara Dawn Wilkins certainly got it and so they put the plan in motion.

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As the full moon hit the sky like a big pizza pie, that’s… more of a cue than anything else.  A cue for Peggy Kruger-O’Brien to call “PLACES!” Jennifer Fortson, Noelle Mason and Kateri Cale and Angela Wilson to hit their marks while Lynne DeeAnge la Roc and Kaylee Murray found their light. Bill Rhoten yelled “ACTION!”  Brandi Nicole to set her watch and started her epic run while Gregg Csikos and his crew to set sail leading the masses of mermaids led by Shanna Rozelle Baynton.  The over-elaborate plan was set in motion.

The soundtrack of the delightful Delores Elder-Jones played as Kelly Cochran Davis
and Shay Hall made sure the next phases were taking place.  Gini Mascorro made a calendar of all the phases and Brenda Ann Saball made a checklist to be sure nobody dropped any balls. Bob Erwin and his opposite from a parallel universe Erwin Bob had them do simple tasks.  Isabella Russell-Ides began writing the epic tale with Nick Gibbons who punched up the comedy and Jody Pham-Gurke agreed to do the illustrations.

Robert BellamyChris Yacoub and Charlotte Crumm cleaned up any left over Tacos.
What will they call this epic plan?” asked Mike Landry.
The B*Day Boogaloo!” answered Sharla Cockrell quickly.
And Jenny nodded for it was written and it was good.