|That "Oh crap."Moment when he realizes he's a part of the blog.|
http://www.longhaulmagazine.com/ . As soon as I accepted the strangest thing occurred. Several loads fell into place in an almost divine succession that landed us in Portland, Or, where Luisa and her family reside. Luisa and her husband Mike graciously extended the offer to stay with them for the weekend. Luisa and I were able to put together a few missing elements for the debut magazine. We were also able to cook, laugh, and relax. They have the most adorable twin daughters, Abby & Zoey, who made the trip bright and sunny with their sweet selves. It was an awesome experience. I seem to be blessed with the ability to meet the most extraordinary people, and Luisa and her family are no exception. They are incredible people extending not only their warmth and hospitality, but providing an amazing opportunity to a budding writer. I am ever so grateful to work with them and to call them friends.
|Dutch-oven roasted chicken w/herbs|
Just as I was gearing up for one deadline, hot damn I rounded the bend with two. I had dropped a line with local editor/owner, Jessica Gregory of The Grip, in what is now my hometown of Griffin, Ga. I had asked her if she needed any contributors for our independent newspaper. I thought it would be a great way to share some of my experiences on the road with my community while getting a little more writing in. Of course, I had sent this to her a couple weeks before the magazine opportunity came up. So in comes Jessica with a resounding yes! Omg, omg, omg. Turns out the very same day my deadline for The Long Haul was due, so was my first article for The Grip. I say to both, "Sure thing, no sweat, piece of cake!" Ha, the least of what I've forgotten is that I still drive the swing shift for Swift, 70 hours, seven days a week. Oh, as well as maintaining the Freightliner, and the paperwork associated with both trucks. All kidding aside, I love the opportunity to speak to my community and am rocking and rolling with the punches. I have been a crazy writing fool. Someone had said to me the other day something about when you have some free time, or get bored, check this blankety blank site out. To which I replied, "I don't get bored and free time is when I sleep!"
If you want to check out the type of articles I write, you're welcome to follow this link, http://the-grip.net/2012/07/30/on-the-road-in-the-kitchen-with-gypsy-gourmet/ . There is a lot of great content and I think you'll enjoy some of the other articles as well. You can always get your own subscription at http://www.the-grip.net/ .
Drum roll please...........
Quasi Celebrity Status
I have alluded from time to time about my "producers". Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or here, I have possibly mentioned meetings in New York, exciting prospects, and later updates. Well, I haven't mentioned much for a reason. It's not because I didn't want to, but more because I've had a small taste of what kind of delayed process any kind of publicity can be. When I was interviewed for CNN's Eatocracy back in October of last year, http://www.eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/10/14/a-big-rig-kitchen-on-wheels/, they changed the concept and rescheduled a few times. So when I let the cat out of the bag the first time, I had to amend the release and the outlet. I wanted to talk about Rachael Ray contacting me soon after the article aired. Things seemed to move right along with them and they sent a film crew out to my location in Georgia. We filmed for an entire day. From the "B roll" footage to an interview, to an on-site filming at one of my favorite butcher shops locally, T&T Meats in Mc Donough, GA. All that was left was the in-studio taping and presto, a spot on nationally syndicated television. However, as season six of Rachael Ray progressed, my life turned upside-down with regular, normal, well, life. I went through a horrible break-up as you all well know, and gave them an update as things progressed. I'm not sure if that was it, if they honestly lost interest, got too busy, had folks a heck of a lot more interesting than me, or just deemed it worthy for the "project shelf". Last thing I heard was, "We don't have any more room in season six for you, maybe it'll be a good story for season seven. We do understand if you have to take other offers." This being said by a staffer I had NEVER spoken to before, and an email sent by me with an update was met by no response at all. Long story short, I love, love, love Rachael Ray, but am NOT holding my breath.
Superfine Films & WME
I had been contacted by several producers after the CNN article came out about doing television. I say doing television because some said "reality tv", some said "recipe based show", and nobody could really figure out which avenue or category I fit into. The moment some saw amateur video footage, they said in that "fancy" talk of theirs, "Nope." I went round and round with this, and through it all was one consistent, funny, warm fella that just wouldn't give up. His name is David Levitt, and he is with Superfine Films. He scared me off for a few months by talking about something called a holding agreement. I was unsure of how that worked, how fast things were going, and in general was completely out of my element. Rather than pressure me to make a commitment, he patiently opted to wait me out. David checked in with me from time to time during the following months, but never made me feel like I had to run screaming from him. This was the clincher. It turns out that not only would I get a great bunch of producers, but would also be represented by the oldest talent agency in the country, William Morris Endeavors or WME. William Morris has been around since vaudeville, and were the first to represent the cooking industry with people like Alton Brown, Paula Deen, and my fave, Guy Fieri. So in March of this year I signed with them. It's taken a ton of painstaking research on the part of Superfine, and a bunch of scheduling conflicts later, to get to what I call "The Shoot".
|Right to left, David, Stephen, Me, And Alex.|
|The Red Rooster|
|Andy & crew at The Red Rooster|
Voila! Mysteries revealed and you're almost caught up to date. Paul and I have been home for almost two weeks now, down for warranty repairs for the Kenworth. Something like this is bound to happen a few times a year whether you want it to or not. So I've been busy changing my website to a sleek, professional look, cooking, writing for The Grip, working with Luisa on The Long Haul's debut issue, (did I mention cooking?) getting some professional pictures taken for the first time ever (no offense Mike, but Stacy went to school for it), going to church, baking yummy breads, and trying to be active in my little community. You would think I'd take long naps, laze around in my pj's, and go to the beach, but a writer's work is never done, there IS always time for a nap somewhere, and some of my best work is done in my jammies. so until next time folks, eat well, laugh often, be free, & be YOU! It seems to be working alright for me.
PS I'll post another blog much sooner and include the recipe for the amazing banana bread I made tonight.
With Much Love,