Fantasy Vs. Reality

Writing Juxtaposed brought so many memories to the forefront of my mind. I participate in numerous author and reader groups online, and one of the topics that comes up is the issue of writing realistic fiction. Fiction is comprised of many genres, from science fiction to fantasy, from historic to contemporary romance--the list goes on and on. However, many readers often appreciate a dose of reality within the confines of the intended genre. 

Paris was the first European city I ever visited--what an intense experience! The trip was the beginning of a love for the charm that came with Parisian architecture, art, history, food, and the people. From my first glance at the (kinda small and unassuming!)  Mona Lisa to a more recent taste of (authentic!) Texas barbecue at the Beast, I have enjoyed exploring the endless possibilities of such a vibrant city that embraces both the modern and the historic like no other.

For that reason, I chose the backdrop of Paris for Juxtaposed, the second book …

Finding Balance

Writing A Pinch of Salt was an exercise in finding balance. As a Christian, I want to keep my writing clean and point others to Christ. As a writer, I also want to keep my stories as authentic to life as they can be. The fact is, life is not always clean. Things get very messy, and the characters in my books are not all Christians. All my characters have flaws, and even the ones that are Christians make mistakes.

How, then, should I write in a way that shows the grit and grime of the world while keeping the writing clean enough for my audience to appreciate? Balance. For me, that means showing just enough detail in a given situation to be aware of the harsh realities of life without providing graphic descriptions or language to go along with the scene.

Writing a scene that makes the reader a little uncomfortable (for the sake of the character) is one thing, but writing a scene that makes the reader throw the book down in disgust is another. My goal is to afford my readers a myriad of e…

The Inheritance Inn

It has been a long time since I've updated my blog!  I apologize for that.  Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes I just forget and loose track of the things I have started and need to keep up.  With that said, I really appreciate you all for reading this travel blog and hope to get it going again soon.  
But first, I want to share with you my latest creation!  The Inheritance Inn, by my alter ego, Rebekah Burton, is now available as a Kindle book at Amazon.  I will also make it available in paperback form soon.   
Here's a description to get you started:
Avery’s life is turned upside down when she loses her job and a beloved great-aunt in the same day. Before the fateful Monday is even over, she discovers that she has also inherited her family’s inn. Soon Avery is at odds with her own relatives over the planned reopening of the inn. Avery isn’t even sure she wants her inheritance, but eventually discovers that someone else does--and is willing to go to great lengths to…

Lion Mural

This is the New Chapa Lion Mural by Jesse Trevino at the Goodwill building in San Antonio's Market Square.  Brian and I used to live in San Antonio but we have not visited in about seven years.  This past weekend we decided to go and reminisce.  I've seen this mural before but I don't think we had a picture of it until now.  Really beautiful building that adds another layer of character to the already colorful Market Square area.

Signs of Something More?

Brian and I saw similar signs to the one above at almost all the ruins we saw in New Mexico over Labor Day weekend.  They made me wonder how often rattlesnakes approach the area when humans are present.  We also saw mention of what to do when confronted by a large animal, such as a wildcat.  "Make yourself look larger" the warnings said.  How does one do this?  And do people actually remember the warnings if they are approached by a dangerous animal?Honestly, although I was aware of my surroundings the entire time, I was not worried.  I felt relatively safe staying on the trails with other people in the afternoon heat.  The rattlesnakes can have all the privacy they want, however.

Gran Quivira

Brian and I spent Labor Day weekend traveling to New Mexico.  Leaving after work on Friday, we stopped in Amarillo overnight and continued on the next day to visit some of the Salinas Pueblo Missions near Mountainair, New Mexico, just south of Albuquerque.  There were three, the first one we visited is known today as Gran Quivira.  The ruins themselves date to the 17th century when the Spanish brought Catholicism to the Native Americans in the area.  Famine, attacks from outside tribes, and disease contributed to the desertion of these missions, but little details remain to fill in the complete history.


On our trip to South Dakota, Brian and I drove through a wildlife refuge and found these guys by the side of the road.  We had been driving for quite a while, and had seen prairie dogs and other small creatures, but were wondering if the buffalo would grace us with their presence.  Finally we turned a corner, and there they were!  A field dotted with them, all different ages, colors and sizes.  They aren't too cute, but they are fun to watch in their natural habitat.