Traveling Writers have found homes and hands among missionaries, apostles, winemakers, professional hunters, congressmen, engineers, life coaches and tennis coaches, farmers, firemen, artists, businessmen, lawyers, doctors, ministers, farmers, entrepreneurs, men and women, young and old, the self-employed, the gainfully employed, and the unemployed!!! What employment all the Traveling Writers have found is and always will be far beyond the reach of TW 001. That's understandable. Yet we know TWs have written reports on triumphs and on tragedies! They have penned legislation and scribbled drawings on brown paper table covers in pubs and pizza parlors! Some have gone to work while others have told stories now published in hardback books. Let's not venture into the romantic genre some TWs have braved. What is important is that Traveling Writers are traveling and they are writing. The stories, poems, letters, legislation, reports or drawings all belong to the unseen archives of the Order of the Traveling Writer and to those fortunate enough to carry one of these fine writing instruments. As the photo attached shows Traveling Writers have even penned songs best sung with medium gauge bronze strings tuned on CF Martin guitars and a fine chardonnay! Traveling Writers are not restricted to single malts alone but THAT's a very different story not to be addressed in this brief blog. Wherever your Traveling Writer is traveling or writing we wish you safety and significance. Write On!
Beneath the polished chrome and brilliant brass of the Traveling Writer pens there are shared threads and huge diversities among the members of the Order of Traveling Writers. The boys of the band (still waiting on our first female Traveling Writer) are scattered over Africa, England, and the US of A. They are a highly motivated bunch of blokes making dents on the playing fields of economics, humanities, politics, and religion! Their private personal journals are not available but the Traveling Writers also wield their pens for enduring public results.
The Honorable TW from South Carolina (Phil Owens - TW005) takes the cake when it comes to writing checks. Serving in the South Carolina House of Representatives TW005 was involved in trying to decide how to spend $5billion on the SC state budget. Them sums would make any ordinary pen wobble in the steadiest of hands but not so with a Traveling Writer. Check out the photo of our fellow traveler Mr. Owens taken in the stately SC House of Representatives and see if you detect any "wobble" in that hand. I don't think so!
From the unpolished Xhosa villages of Africa through the damp clime of the British Isles into the legislative halls of the South Carolina capitol in Columbia, Traveling Writers keep the dreams alive and maintain the pilgrim spirit that binds the Order as friends. Keep writing them fat checks, TW005, and when there's any "round off" change keep the pursuits of all Traveling Writers in mind. You make us proud, Mr. Owens!
TW001 Preparing For The Tiger Run In Zambia
If you've been goose hunting on the Eastern Shore of Maryland you've probably seen the bumper sticker that sums up the mindset there: "There Is No Life West Of The Eastern Shore!" My Ford pickups in SC used to wear those bumpers stickers. After a few visits to Zambia flying for tigerfish on the Mighty Zambezi I might trade that old favorite for a different version: "There Is No Life South Of The Zambezi!" When the 2011 tiger safari to the Barotse Flood Plain was canceled due to a couple of locals bailing out on me it felt as though there was no life! But 2012 offers the prospects of 7 days in the Barotse Tiger Camp in August so TW001 is beginning to feel the pulse of passion once again. Let's go north and stalk some striped river dogs.
Just pack a proper fly rod like a Sage Xi3 9 wt and a fast sinking Teeny line on a large arbor Bauer reel. Do not leave home without some 30 pound woven stainless Tyger Leader or you are wasting your time (and gear). Then live and let fly!!! Lord willing and the Zambezi don't rise TW001 will live to fly another day. August 11 to 18!
"Made In Eng" with "Made In England!"
William Harrison Stubbs gave an arm but not a leg for the farm! Back in one of the Frontier Wars in South Africa between the Settlers and the Xhosas the brave W.H. lost an arm. To show her gratitude for the arm the Queen through her chain of command in the Cape Province gave a valley the size of an English county to the one armed Stubbs. No, he did not change his name to suit the new status but rather went to Africa armed to serve his Queen as a Stubbs. Harrison Farm where TW001 has lived for 17 years is the location of William Harrison Stubbs' 1860something home. In fact the old cracked shed which serves as the Cellar for Harrison Hope Wine Estate contains the actual structure of W.H.S's home.
Now to make a short story longer before the old home/shed was converted into a wine cellar the original yellow wood floor boards were removed as treasured planks. Over the years those planks were destined to become relics and heirlooms. The idea is developing on the dark side of Africa so hold this thought for later. Point is a skilled and experienced wood master is needed to bring this project to fruition. Enter George Kockett and Driftwood Studios, East Coast, Africa! Check George's sculptures out on the Driftwood Studios website. You can also visit him and Claire (Angus and Anna) and sleep in their thatched Treehouse guest cottage.
On our first visit to discuss the yellow wood project George gave me a guided tour through some of his tool boxes and collections. I could not help the photo of the Made in Eng item with the TW001. Made In England! The Empire STILL strikes back! Nor could TW001 avoid a few notes in the Treehouse to anchor the occasion in the history of the Order of the Traveling Writer.
TW002 Usurping Credit From TW001
Can two different pens in the same hand of a single writer pull off the crime of plagiarism? Dumb question for sure but the theoretical sin came to mind when after the arrival of TW002 Fountain Pen from England she posed herself for centerfold photos on the manuscript labors of TW001 Rollerball! TW002 wants to plead insanity and be declared unfit to stand trial. TW001 wants to contest that plea and go for premeditated prostitution! My approach has been to separate the two relics until they come to their senses and admit to being "just pens." The stand off that ensued reminded me of the impasse I found myself in many years ago when I insisted a three year old daughter Abbey say "Thank You" before I would surrender her bottle. When that humiliating episode was over I wisely decided to let Abbey say "Thank You" whenever she liked. Thank goodness that Abbey grew up to be a very gracious lady who says "thank you" even when others would hesitate. TW001 and TW002 are as silent as machines and neither will budge. A compromise is being negotiated as TW002 has agreed to remove the suggestive images from her Facebook page if she is allowed to write one of the five Pokey Books in progress! The same hand of this single writer says, "Fine! We'll do it your way!" From now on TW001 is credited with all the hand work on the "Just Add Faith" manuscript while TW002 will share the credits on the Pokey Books. "The things we do for love," cries the single writer! "What's love got to do with it?" chimes the duet of Traveling Writer relics. If you ordered a matched pair with numbers in sequence just be careful.
Traveling Writers raise their pens to the amazing Sarah!
Some clever Traveling Writer help me out here! How does the quotation go? "Behind every successful man is a good woman!" Or "Behind every good man is a successful woman!" The problem with the genuine Traveling Writers is that they seldom quote anybody other than themselves. Maybe it's ego! Maybe it's experience? Maybe it's illiteracy but seldom will a genuine Traveling Writer get a quote right. I'll leave this one for now and press on.
What can be stated with certainty is behind the success of the Traveling Writer venture is a very clever, hard working, creative woman! Since I met Sarah Hayes in 1989 when she was bumping 5 years old it's a stretch for me to call her a woman. But fast forward a few years to 2012 and we find RahRah managing the Whitehall Gallery in Bournemouth, Dorset, UK under the "I Do" name of Mrs. Faulkner.
In spite of her day job at Whitewall Gallery Sarah found time to put together this fine website which enables us Traveling Writers to do business, to tell lies, and to participate in something that is bigger than ourselves. Her labors of love make it possible for us to exercise our right to bear pens, fine writing relic pens like Traveling Writers.
Let's just pause in our travels for a second and thank Mrs. Faulkner for her donated website. Thank you, Mrs. Faulkner. Behind the successful Traveling Writer there is a good woman. If you are strolling the streets of Bournemouth, Dorset, UK then drop in on RahRah and tip your hat. Take your large wallet 'cause Sarah will probably send you home with a piece of art far more costly than the fine writing relic Traveling Writer that you will use to write the check. Good luck. You will find Sarah to be the same as always....ever ready, always steady, and never heady!
Thank you, Mrs. Faulkner/Sarah/RahRah for making it possible for us Traveling Writers to do business, to tell our lies, and to acquire pens and membership into the Order of the Traveling Writer. You make us proud!!!
TW001/Out Of Africa
TW001 spent exactly one month between February 7 and March 11 spitting out words like a Jedi laser sword spitting out light. The Book Lady Charmane issued the challenge over tea at Java's in Stellenbosch back in January. She also put a "handle" on the slippery task of making a manuscript so the Traveling Writer could open that door. The task commenced under thatched skies on Harrison Hope Wine Estate on February 7. But the Traveling Writer ran up against the same stumbling block as always!!!! Sitting in front of the MacBook Pro keyboard there was no inspiration, only the cold, lifeless glare of a blank screen.
Enter TW001. Once the Traveling Writer took relic to hand and felt the weight of all those stories, all those flights, all those miles, and all those memories the pump got primed. The first pages of the manuscript flowed from the pen like a love letter. Within a few pages the mind was being carried forward by the stories and then the laptop was useful. Throughout the month when new chapters were started the faithful writing relic would prime the pump, get the creative juices flowing, and give the words momentum. Then the switch to the laptop where typing faster than a speeding bullet could pile up the words 1000, 2000, 4000 at a sitting. Within the month the 56,360 word manuscript was "sorted, mate!"
If you find the blank stare of the laptop screen and the static formation of the keyboard a deterrent to your writing then pick up the magic wand of the Traveling Writer and "write on." I assure you once on the road jammed in solitary back seat of the Cessna 402 nothing but a Traveling Writer will function properly. Congratulations to the Traveling Writer for completing the 56,360 words with a little help from his friends.
TW001 Chillin' On A Crate of Chardonnay
Traveling Writers often appear out on a limb or on a ledge! You know the maxim: "If you're not living on the edge you're taking up space!"
TW001 got involved in the Harrison Hope Wine Estate 2012 chardonnay crush today! Even though the harvest was nearly wiped out completely by a fine African hail storm in December a few grapes made it to maturity. Harrison Hope figures the bottles may be scarce but the chardonnay could be their finest. Check them out at www.harrisonhope.com. Such are the destinations of Traveling Writers.
TW001 was not much use clipping the clusters from the vines but once the crate weights had to be recorded the TW took the lead. The grapes will be chilled overnight down to 6C and then crushed, destemmed, pressed, and allowed to settle for 12 hours tomorrow before barrel fermentation begins on the HH 2012 Chardonnay. The track of descending sugar readings and ascending temperature readings will all be recorded by TW001 over the next few days. A good, cool, slow fermentation is the desired result but around the rough and untested terroir of Harrison Hope some fermentations have been known to charge off like runaway locomotives. Once the chardonnay is sorted the pinotage follows next week and then the merlot. A Traveling Writer has to be alert in the cellar but thrives on watching the miracle take place in the barrels and open fermentation tanks.
If you are in the neighborhood of TW001 (Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, South Africa) then drop in for a tasting or a tour or some dueling pens. Chat later once the cellar work is done.
The Traveling Writer Above The Victoria Falls
The Traveling Writer is airborne! Sooner or later a Traveling Writer will fly! One of the Traveling Writer's most memorable flights lifted off a rough dirt track a couple of miles upstream from the Victoria Falls, Zambia. Dressed in the required padded jump suit and strapped behind the Australian pilot the Traveling Writer watched Africa diminish below as the Mosi Oa Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders) loomed ahead. This Traveling Writer is a genuine traveler but nothing of an adrenalin junkie or extreme sport freak. Microlighting 800 feet above the Victoria Falls felt a bit too close to foolishness once the Falls appeared directly below our craft. On a good day when the Zambezi is in flood the "smoke" from the Falls rises hundreds of feet into the air, visible from ground level some days at 20 miles distance. The Traveling Writer considers the Vic Falls a "must see" for all Traveling Writers but recommends the microlighting ONCE. Thank you, I'm done with that now!
But that airborne experience is not what I am talking about here to open the TW Blog with the first entry. The Traveling Writer that is finally "airborne" is the writing relic itself. The website went live a few weeks ago and the first ten pens went on sale. Within two days all 10 Traveling Writers had been adopted and are destined for new homes in the United States, England, and South Africa. Remember when passing through any of the Traveling Writer neighborhoods contact the brothers and sisters.
The Traveling Writer pen venture is airborne. Keep up with the availability and new owners here on the website. The next 50 pens are being formed and fashioned by the Jedi Pen Master now.
Until the next Traveling Writer comms, you are free to "move about the cabin" and "write on!" Out of Africa.
Ronnie/Traveling Writer 001