Sunday, November 26, 2006
Tomorrow my road will lead back to familiar territory aka the J-O-B... It's always good to get back to work but I will definitely miss the road. I find myself trying to think and remember where I was this time last week. Every moment, every minute was all about the journey and planning everything at the spur of the moment. I had more fun than I ever did before on my trips or at least in a very long time. There were two other times which came close to being just as special and that was the very first trip I took about eight years ago right after my father passed away and then the trip I took with the special lady in my life at the time. That three week period it felt like we'd shared the kind of experiences that most couples take about ten years to experience. On this journey that I just returned from, felt like a lifetime of experiences too. I tried to squeeze in as much as I could and yet there was still a lot I wanted to do. And I definitely wish I could've stayed in Atlanta another week because that was too fun.
Looking back on my trip, the funniest moments probably had to do with certain hotels that I stayed at... It was hit and miss with those places but for the most part I always found some pretty good places. However, there were three exceptions. Three, dirty-funky-hotels that had me afraid to even touch the floor without wearing shoes.. The first was the Executive Inn in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. That place was nasty, the so-called highspeed wireless had no speed. The lady at the front desk was sexy and friendly, trying to show all sorts of cleavage but a pretty smile with curves can't entice me to spend the night in filth. Then there was the Best Western in Natchitoches, Louisiana. This was the place where I was like, there's no way I'm taking of my shoes or even placing my luggage on the floor. It was dirty, smelled very strange, and just felt unsafe to spend the night in without coming down with some kind of illness the next day... The last place that fit in the category of dirty-funky-hotels was the Best Western in Pecos, Texas. This place tripped me out. It looked nice from the outside and the people at the front desk were very friendly. Then when I got to my room I was happy because I had to use the bathroom really bad. After I did that, I took a deep breath, felt relieved and then happened to look up at the ceiling. I was like, what the hell? The celing was covered with about 30 or 40 flies... I couldn't believe those were flies at first so I threw a towel at them and they started flying around the room before returning to the ceiling... Yikes... That was a place I didn't need to be.
Now for the best hotels? Comfort Inn in Mt. Pleasant, Natchitoches and Atlanta(Union City). All three of those places made me feel at home and very at ease with highspeed internet that actually worked.. I miss all those experiences both good and bad.. That's what makes the road interesting and unpredictable... Great time...
Very kind words always give me inspiration... I have to send special thanks out to some ladies that recently emailed me. They thanked me for my novel "My Life Is All I Have" and my novella featured in the new anthology called "Love Is Never Painless." I wanna share some of what they said. I'm forever grateful for the kind words and inspiration...
I used to really avoid black novels because I always thought they were
all about glorifying a ghettofabulous lifestyle (I don't listen to
hip-hop, either) and deep tragedy...until I started reading a few, and
not too bad, but I'm still reserving the right to be very selective.
Then I read YOUR book: gramatically astute (majorly important to me),
intelligent, insightful, and very realistic. Leesha was a personally
relatable character for me.
Thank you so much for the privilege of reading..keep up
the good work, and stand proud but stay humble!
I wanted to let you know I just finished "My Life Is All I Have"
and it was wonderful!!! I can see all the events as they unfold. I am a
Teacher of middle school kids and I see so many Leesha's at my school, I
want to let them all read the book. I think it would be nice to see
what happened to Scottie and if he and Leesah's path will ever cross
again. Again I enjoyed reading your book.
Hello V. Anthony Rivers,
I just finished the tri-book Love Is Never Painless written by you, Zane and Eileen M. Johnson I just wanted to tell you I really enjoyed Love is 2 Blame. I am a avid reader and a hopeless romantic. I really enjoyed the idea of one man believing in love and realizing love before it became too late. I just wanted to compliment you on a well written and wonderful story. It makes believe there is hope out there for everyone. When one door is closed another will open for you. Thank You and I look forward to your next project. All the best in your future.
I just read your story in the book Love is never painless and it's
absolutely beautiful, only one problem WHERE ARE THE MEN THAT
EXPRESSES THEIR FEELINGS LIKE THIS LOL!!!!! I so wish I could find a man
that is a fourth like Malcolm ( maybe one day I will).
I loved the way you made me feel as if all the feelings Malcolm was
going through I could relate too, I eagerly anticipate reading more from
Monday, November 20, 2006
As I make my way back to the land of earthquakes, fires, speechless eyecandy, glitz, glitter and wild times at Magic Johnson's Starbucks, I look back on this journey with bittersweet fondness... I've seen A LOT in every single mile... It's been incredible. I've shared some images in the blog but I've got about 200 plus other shots that I haven't shared but plan to put together in a really cool book that documents this time.
A few standout moments to mention of course are my time spent in Atlanta with my sisterfriend Kim and her family. That was an awesome time. I never felt so special and at the same time was never able to appreciate and checkout Atlanta like I did this time. I must say I can understand why folks love it so much.
New Orleans was mindblowing to me. I still love the town and pray that the help that's needed is directed toward the less fortunate rather than solely on the tourists spots. Make the whole city beautiful and not just the areas that get on camera.
Daingerfield, Texas.. Had a great time visiting family. A good visit with cousin Maggie and Big Mama. It's a sad situation back there with the young men carrying no respect and no direction on their backs like they think it's the best thing since chocolate candy. What they do or perhaps dont do has really brought down what once was not only a beautiful area but also a very special place for the Rivers family from all parts of the US to come and visit loved ones, past and present... It used to be 136 acres of beautiful land, horses, cows, well kept homes, and a very historical family cemetery. Now it's beer bottles stacked on top of each other, pitbulls barking, deteriorating homes, land no longer owned by the family, and so much more that make you shake your head and wonder what happened.
Mt. Pleasant... beautiful used-to-be small town and the place where my father and grandmother are buried. I enjoyed my stay to the fullest there. Still the best hotlinks and chicken-fried steak you can find anywhere. This place is full of memories for me that I could fill up ten books with...
I've got to give special thanks to a very tall creole gentleman that approached me in the backwoods of Louisiana near the Cane River. Mr. Chevalier came up to me, introduced himself and shook my hand really strong. He was impressed that I'd driven so far but was proud to hear me say how much I loved where he came from and my frequent visits there. He said to me "it's very easy to fall in love with this place..." It truly is and the tradition and respect that this area has for not only the living but the departed souls is something that everyone should pay attention to and learn from. You can see the love on everyone's faces and the easy smile they give you the moment they see you. This backwoods area is where the St. Augustine church is and I smile at the memory of seeing a couple people come to the parking lot of this church to pick up all the pecans that had blown off the trees after some very powerful winds came through. Actually, those winds felt really good as I sat in my car eating some delicious meat pies and drinking grape soda.. *smile*
This has been quite a journey.. I could fill at least two books with stories about it..*smile* It's not over yet but I couldn't resist writing down some thoughts about it as I begin the long trek back to Cali. It's been incredible but as one journey comes to an end, another one must begin... Gotta find Love so that she can accompany me on next years long journey.. For now, time to hit the road...
Friday, November 17, 2006
I was blown away by what I saw in New Orleans... Parts of the city is like a war zone and the French Quarter aint the same but they seem to be trying to rebuild it. The freeways are being rebuilt. Life still aint the same but I still love that city. Can never get enough of it...
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This is what I saw today... The country air is clean and life is slow, simple, and complicated too because the young folks got issues out here! lol.. Despite the beauty of what you see in the pictures above, there's a lot of disappointment and ignorance especially amongst the young black men. History is forgotten and pride only gets a shoulder shrug. It's been quite a trip.. enjoy the visuals.. It was beautiful taking all this in.. East Texas, aka Mt. Pleasant, Daingerfield, Omaha, and Pittsburg, Texas...
Monday, November 06, 2006
The road was still smilin on me today.. Seemed like there was a parade going on with all the NASCAR trucks riding down the highway in convoys. Each truck was very colorful so every few minutes I had something colorful to watch. Then came this moving truck barreling down on me and that began a little tit for tat racing between me and him... I knew I could pretty much leave that big rig behind but from experience, I learned that certain towns in Texas you gotta be leery of when it comes to the Texas Rangers being nearby... My prediction was right on time as me and the big rig were approaching Sweetwater. That's when you begin to see a lot of rangers. I slowed down and the big rig got a little excited so he sped up real fast and went around me. Seconds later there was a ranger driving in the opposite direction and I saw his head look in the direction of the truck. He turned around and zoomed on by. I got off the highway for a second just to make sure he didn't know we both were speeding. I bought a little snack and then got back on the road. That moving truck was pulled over and receiving a nice ticket. I was careful from that point on because Abilene, Texas is the same way. Texas Rangers driving up and down the highway constantly...
I didn't do much picture taking today but tomorrow I will finally be in the heart of east Texas so stay tuned for some amazing reflections and images of life in the country... This is where Mother Nature is at her finest.. *smile*
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I'm making my way to greener pastures and lovin every blessed minute/mile of it.. Texas is a huge state and I'm only half way in it.. Earlier today I passed through a town called Truth Or Consequences. Yes indeed that's the name of the town located in New Mexico. I'm still bumpin some Snoop Dogg radio making my trip a whole lot of fun.. I'm new to all this technology stuff so I'm like an innocent kid in this candy store lovin the fact that all these hotels and even roadside tourist information centers have the wireless hook up so I can jump online anytime.. And of course as an observer of life, my cup runneth over.. As soon as you hit El Paso some serious cow shit hits your nostrils in a big way and you know you're in Texas..lol.. BUT.. I love that smell because it reminds me of summertime on the farm with my grandfather back in the day.. And over the years I've learned big time that there's BIG money where that smell originates.. As you ride on Interstate 10 approaching El Paso you see thousands of cows..literally.. All of them producing milk that ends up in our local grocery stores..
Now I look forward to getting past all these dry land areas of Texas and reaching the promised land of east Texas.. Hopefully I'll see more curves as well once I hit Dallas and make my way further into what will make this trip it's most rejuvenating.. Curves..yes..lol.. Umm.. the kind that have smiles attached and beautiful voices.. There's been a drought when it comes to that good stuff during the first part of this journey but nevertheless, this has been fun and its just beginning. *smile*
Saturday, November 04, 2006
As Big Willie Nelson would sing.."On the road again!" that's exactly what I'm doin as we speak and it feels really good.. This is a return to what I used to do every year around this time.. Take a nice long journey to whatever.. have some incredible times, speeding down the highway, flossing everywhere, eating delicious food, capturing life images, stirring up memories; new and old, inspiring smiles along the way and listening to interesting voices...
Whew..leaving LA was like being in an airplane, taxing to the runway but taking forever to get there! Traffic was everywhere and at a snails pace but I was blessed with a few moments which allowed me to fill my heart with a ton of patience..
First blessing was a quick visit from my mother who brought over a care package and some ice for my ice chest. She blessed me with a hug and the usual motherly worries that I dont take for granted as long as she doesn't drive herself crazy with it... I checked in so she knows I'm doin fine.. :-) Next blessing came when I visited my father's childhood friend; Vernice Lee. They grew up together in Mt. Pleasant, Texas which is definitely a major stop on this journey. I made his day by stopping by there. Then the last necessary stop to make this trip special was going by the cemetery where my grandmother(Alzata Moorings)is buried. I'm blessed to have had two incredible grandmothers who thought the world of me. This trip begins with that visit and once I get to east Texas I'll stop by to visit the grave of my grandmother on my father's side(Senora Rivers).
This is day one of what should be quite a journey.. I'm on some Willie Nelson ish and cant wait for tomorrow to come so I can continue.. Another cool thing I enjoyed today was that my recent purchase of an XM Satelite radio proved to be a good one.. They had the Snoop Dogg, Welcome 2 Da Church Marathon going on! No matter where I travel, I'm still westcoast! *smile* Snoop knows how to bring it musically playing everything from his latest stuff to some very old oldschool 70's joints... That was a beautiful thang! Blessings.. :-)