A Little Less Texas

What’s the word, Pigeon Handlers?

“What is this?” You ask yourself as you’ve received some sort of notification alerting you that a little old website you follow has come out from underneath a desert rock with a new post and a run-on sentence.

You betcha!

Not only that, but if you hadn’t noticed by now, we here at Tierra Negra Fiction are also sporting a brand new look! We are getting ready for a big year coming up and we’ve got a new focus: Better quality, sleeker looks, and other things that I can’t think of right now.

“If you are promising better quality, why are you still writing silly introductions where you narrate what I’m thinking?” You snicker, believing you are getting the same old dance with a slightly different song.

Well, I’m glad to see that all you leopards haven’t changed your stripes. Why don’t you just trust me when I say that gooder things are coming?

Anywho, I’m getting off track. For those of you who don’t know yet, your boy the Chief Pigeon Handler Ted Dawson (formerly billed as the People’s Writer: A writer for the people [said title is being left off for better-quality-reasons mentioned above and the rising cost of written words]) has some exciting news. After many months of living well beneath my means, cramming myself into a small bumper pull travel trailer, and saving just about every penny to put down against financial goals, I have announced my second retirement from the oil and gas industry.

If you are still here and have a little time (and lets go ahead and be honest, if you were here to begin with, you obviously didn’t have anything more pressing going on anyway), let me tell you a little story that is somewhat of a resume.

I grew up in south Texas, working on the family farm in North Kosciusko and lived the whole small town life. I’ve row cropped, cowboy’d, harvested pecans, baled and tossed my fair share of hay, worked on irrigation systems, cleaned water troughs, cut a few nuts, been run’d over a time or two, been up before the sun, and worked well into the night.

Still fairly amateur in terms of Polish Farmer, I decided to step up my game and study Agriculture in at a little school nestled in the Brazos Valley. I kept up the farmin’ lifestyle by working on a little ranch doing much of the same old, same old. I also fried chicken. Towards the end my tenure schoolin’, I made a trip up to the Panhandle to work on a large feedlot to get even more cow shit on my boots. And once I graduated, I was faced with a unique choice.

As soon as I arrived back home, the Eagleford Shale play was just kicking off damn near in my back yard. Stepping up to the cross roads, I could have gone north back to the panhandle and the flatland or I could have stayed put and cinched up my boots in the Oil Patch, which is what I did.

I was fortunate enough to work for an industry leader all while having the opportunity to work with a great group of people, most of whom I still call great friends to this day. With this company, I spent most of my time in the small towns around my home town, but did have the chance to travel around. I did a small couple of hitches out in the Fort Worth area as well as a small look into West Texas out in Barnhart, the latter of which I enjoyed enough to provide the setting for my first book.

After about four years of pumping a beat in the Eagleford, I reached a point where I wanted to get back to my passions and go back to the farm. I put my notice for my first retirement in, sold my home in New Braunfels and prepared to restart the old family farm. Poor planning, bad execution, and with a little help from a hurricane, this little venture ultimately ended unsuccessfully and I wound up getting back into the patch, this time relocating to West Texas Proper. I maintained a mindset, however, that this stint out West was short term. I was here until I was no longer financially obligated to be so. And with a whole lot of hard work and some sacrificing, I have reached that point.

Now if you think you’ve got parts of this story figured out, I’ve got a twist. Though my goal is to still return home and restart the farm again (now that I’m older and wiser, ahem), the old homestead is still leased out and I’ve got some time yet before I can get all prodigal.

If you followed along to the odyssey above, you’ll find that all of these jobs and travels involved a common theme: Texas. Yes, the Lone Star State. I’ve once described the term American Exceptionalism by calling America an exceptional country that borders Texas. Texas is home and Texas (minus Austin) is great. But if you have access to a globe, you’ll find that the world is an awful big place and I’ve only seen and lived in a small part of it. While I’ve got a bit before coming back home for good, I intend to see a little more of what the world has to offer.

So that’s where we are now. Without even knowing it, you are currently in the first entry of a new segment of the website aptly dubbed A Little Less Texas. Clever and it rolls off the tongue. I can put them words together all pretty like that every now and again.

In a few short weeks from now, I’ll be relocating to the Sunshine State of Florida for a while, capturing all the sights, sounds, places, eats, and treats along the way and bringing them to you in the poorly written way you’ve all come to love.

“But I thought you said better quality,” you start in, rudely interrupting me as I’m trying to wrap up a dynamite post.

Of course it’ll be better. But not like I’m going to be using bigger and fancier words. I’m just going to tell you it’s better and you’ll go along with it because it’s on the internet and therefore must be true.

With all that being said, I’m excited for a new adventure and even more excited to be able to devote a little more time to writing and sharing some stories with all of you. So keep your eyes peeled on your notification board or whatever and button up your britches as we get this dog and pony show on the road.

Disclaimer: It is very unlikely that either dogs or ponies will be instrumental or involved in any fashion whatsoever.

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