Leaving

We walked along the snow lined sidewalk down Main Street in Bozeman . . . 

The faint whisper of Christmas sprinkled about in sparkling light-adorned facades of homes and businesses. The brisk fall night cradled us like the cold lover that it is: reminding us of the transience of life, of love. We were walking somewhere, but nowhere in particular. My friend sought me out to talk about love, and life. Continue reading

Before You Go to Mesa Verde

The park ranger reminded me of an ancient alien theorist . . .

Maybe because my friends semi-jokingly insisted that the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were built by them. Or because the striking ambiguity behind their claims.

“We will be descending into an alcove where these ancient people resided,” Is something along the line of how the speech started, “What do you do? Are you a doctor? Carpenter? Teacher, student, farmer? I want you to imagine what you do on a daily basis as you enter this place, because these people were living their lives much the same way we do.” Continue reading

Time to Whittle

The last you heard from me I was tired and grumpy in New York City . . .

It is bizarre to think that I left that city exactly a month ago, after having spent only a week there. I’ve now been on the east coast for one month and twelve days. My original idea was to spend a majority of my time in NYC getting immersed in the literary scene. And as is the case with original ideas, that obviously isn’t what happened.

I spent a weekend in Upstate New York with a friend I hadn’t seen in five years. It didn’t feel like much time had gone by when, after walking two miles in pouring rain, we hugged and started to catch up. One of the days we took a trip to the Shawagunks and found a spectacular waterfall and a series of pools that led to it. That weekend also included a train stopping when it saw us on the tracks, and a sprint into the woods. Continue reading

New York City Part 1, or Excursive Exhaustion

I could write something really contrived . . .

It would probably be about Brooklyn. A remark on finally arriving in New York City for the first time in my life; a place I have seen recreated more then enough times on a screen. I’d also include that I’ve already eaten pizza twice in the four hours since I’ve arrived.

It rose from the flat deciduous delirium that is New Jersey. That much was clear from the $7 front row, upper deck seat on the bus from Washington D.C. I struggled to stay awake at the beginning of the trip–that’s what happens when you’re at the whim of your hosts, stay up 20 hours the day before, walk all around D.C., go to two concerts, and get to sleep at 4am-ish. Almost like an accident, the skyscrapers disrupt the continuity. Continue reading

Crowd Sourced Capers

A pithy confession . . .

I don’t read blogs. It is a medium I often don’t find myself drawn to. That is part of the reason for the insistence that this is not a travel blog. The reason my colleague and I started this website was in order to create an open, accessible space for all to discuss the deeper elements of travel. In addition it is very self-serving. It is a place where M. A. Chavez and myself can publish our own original thoughts while developing a voice within this popular medium that is blogging.

I normally write spoken word poetry, incisive observations of our society, and may have been caught in the somewhat obsessive attempt to use the written word to portray that which I’ve seen. I’m outspoken. Hence why I get on a stage with a mic and yell my feelings at an audience.

This is where M. A. Chavez and myself diverge. He is a refined artist, a wordworker, purveyor of prose. yes, he does contribute pieces to this website, but he also spends months developing story lines, characters, and themes. At a rather young age (something I am not at liberty to divulge) he has one novel manuscript completed, and the impressive beginnings of a second, in addition to multiple short stories, poetry, and essays. Where I admittedly crave the snaps, claps, and cheers of the stage, he has little desire for that. His fulfillment lies in the months of work it can take to describe one scene.

In short; he’s a recluse, and I’m a shameless exhibitionist.

This is why I will be the one making the journey to New York City on a one way ticket this week. The goal of this trip–albeit a rather audacious goal–is to make contacts in the literary world to work on publishing M. A. Chavez’s debut novel. Do I know anyone in the publishing world? No. That’s the reason I’m making the literal literary pilgrimage to one of the Meccas of publishing in the United States. Also, I want to eat some really good pizza.

This will be my first time to New York City. I find it funny because everyone has an opinion about the place, even if they’ve never been. They all have some advice for me while I’m there, but they don’t actually know the first thing about it. Maybe because of the amount of traveling I’ve done I am going into this trip with very few preconceptions. I know the city is big, really big. But so were Tokyo and Mexico City. And really, I’m a human, a lot of things are bigger then me. It’s less the city that intimidates me, and more the idea of finding someone, one out of millions, that wants to publish my literary partner’s work. I have spent much time watching the development of M. A. Chavez’s characters and stories. If a character is a writer’s child they almost feel like my god-children, or even nieces and nephews. It’s important to me to see the stories spread to a broad audience, but honestly the man is a hopeless hermit. That’s where I come in.

Of course, that is not the only thing I will do in the city. I plan to visit friends, attend spoken word events, and learn more about the city I’ve heard so much about. Then who know where I’ll head, I have more then enough friends along the East Coast and curiosity to support the endeavor. Who knows, if NYC doesn’t work maybe I’ll try the publishing microcosm that is Boston.

 

Now, let’s try something. We have a good amount of loyal readers, and plenty of folks who have stumbled across this website in the past. And I would wager that more then one of you knows someone involved in the publishing industry. So, I am going to ask if you have enjoyed the work of M. A. Chavez and myself thus far, and would like to see a wonderful writer become a published author, that you share this post with your social circle. Let’s see if we can crowd-source a debut novel for M. A. Chavez. I think that would be pretty cool, and that I would have a lot more free time to explore the Big Apple.

All I’m asking for is a novel, or at the very least a good slice of pizza.

 


Jack Dawkins

is a spoken word artist and writer who has been traveling North America for the last five years. He has worked as a tour manager, ride operator, caretaker, and salmon canner, along with attending some college and many different social/environmental justice summits, conferences, and camps.

       Do you have any suggestions for Jack while he’s in NYC or want to show him around your city? Know anybody that might be able to help with publishing?

Let us know what you think: Leave us a comment, connect with us on Twitter (@VagrantAnon), Instagram (@VagrantAnonymous), or email us at VagrantAnonymous@gmail.com.

Why You Should Take a Gap Year for Summer Vacation (And Maybe Never Come Back)

An average person graduating this year . . .

in the United States of America is expected to make $39,045 per year. If the class of 2015 is anything like the class of 2014 they will also have an average student loan debt of $33,000, with monthly payments of $242 until it is paid off in 2025, 10 years being the standard for college loans.

      Based on a very unofficial calculation of the U.S. Average cost of living (from M.I.T.’s Living Wage Calculator), a person should expect to pay $21,000 per year for basic expenses. This leaves the average person $1,261 per month ($15,132 annually) to save or indulge in other expenses. Let’s say this person graduates at the age of 25, works until the age of retirement 62, and doesn’t spend their money on anything beyond living expenses. They would have $559,884 saved up to retire with after 37 years of working (if they retire at the anticipated age for millennials, 55, they will have $453,960). Continue reading

Blame it on the Tetons

I work with the band Indigenous Robot…

as their tour manager. A perfect arrangement for a vagrant like myself and a band like them. Since I started helping them at last year’s South by South West, we have traveled through nine states, one Canadian province, four cities in Japan, and I have heard them place at least 80 times in 65 days. That’s an average of one show every five days.

Thursday night they played a great show in Denver at the Marquis Theater with the legendary mr. Gnome. The weekend was supposed to look like; Friday-10am drive to Salt Lake City and spend the night there, Saturday drive to Boise, play a sold out Record Store Day after-party at the Neurolux with mr. Gnome, Sunday the band would leave me in Boise to return to Denver and I would find my way to Seattle for the birth of my nephew.

Obviously, that isn’t anything close to what the weekend looked like, because we wanted to cross the Rockies in spring, and we had plans. Continue reading