It finally happened. Honea Express has moved to greener pastures, or possibly just out to pasture -- you make the call.

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Please pardon the dust and update your feed readers accordingly. Thank you - Whit

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Honea Express Has Left the Station

If you've come to the site you probably see that really annoying box that already broke the news. It's what we in the biz call a "spoiler". In fact, you may have lingered 6 seconds too long and moved on already. It happens.

However, you might be reading this in your feed reader and to that I say, a) thank you, and b) the blog has moved. After 5 years of flirting with Blogger I figured it was time to buy a domain and settle down. So I did. The New Honea Express can be found at www.whithonea -- yes, I'm somebody. Thank you for making it happen.

I hope you've enjoyed yourself enough to consider an update to your feed reader and continue the journey. I'd love to have you.

Anything can happen.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Riding the Rails

Beyond the steam there are trees and through them hills and over them lakes and across them mountains and then the vast stretches of forever are all we have left. Behind me are children laughing loudly. They are the passengers of this train and our ride is full of obstacles and metaphors. Tracks are long, lost and out. The view from the window is full of things that float like stars and for every breath taken a new turn awaits to take it away.

There is light at this end of this tunnel and it trips fantastic.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Fantastic Four

The night is long and restless. Bones grow, the body rests and all kinds of other things I've learned and long since forgotten. Tonight is different. The change in the air isn't winter fighting with spring or the rotating anthems from podiums just across the border, but something bigger and yet, much more personal. It is the gentle turn in the night from one age to the next -- a parade of years that has just started and is already moving much too fast. Memories blow on the wind like so much confetti.

This would be my scrapbook.

The sun will be up in a few hours and with it the son. He rises with the world and immediately starts to conquer it. There are a lot of fart jokes along the way.

And dimples.

He is my fearless one. He runs head first into the day only looking back to make sure we follow. He explores every nook, cranny and the musical offerings of legendary rock bands. His world is filled with games and things to throw. His creative process is fueled by equal parts curiosity and mud puddle. His imagination is only limited by my ability to comprehend it.

"I'm not a big boy," he said. "I'm your baby."

And then he went to bed a three-year-old for the last time, ever.

Zane is turning four and I'm the one getting older.

Happy birthday, Son.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Five Curious Years and Cat-Like Reflexes

I can see the cat, white and quick, through the bare, gray trees. The cat runs in sudden bursts and stops on a dime, or whatever passes for currency amongst the wild. He stops and he stares.

There is a pattern here, for I too am stopped. I too am staring. I am watching him watch something else and that thing may be watching yet another something and so forth and so on and I can't help but wonder who is watching me.

I live in a glass house. I like to throw stones.

This past Monday my little blog turned five. That's like 80 in blog years. We didn't have a party. We didn't decorate. You didn't get me anything.

It's okay.

I take solace in the thought that you are there. Each post is a piece of me and together they blur like the trees for the forest. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I sit. Sometimes I stare at something else.

And always you've been there for me. Thank you for watching.


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Monday, February 01, 2010

UPDATED: Life is Like Winning a Box of Chocolates - Share Your Sweetest Love Story

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I rolled the virtual dice and three came up. Everybody drink.

Three was assigned to the third comment, meaning the winner is Laughing Mouse, soon to be Full Mouse and possibly Sugar Buzz Mouse.

I need to hear from you by noon (PST) on Monday (2/8)!

Thanks to all of the romantics that entered the contest. Your love makes my notebook pale by comparison.

Also, thank you to See's Candy and Clever Girls Collective for making the chocolate happen.


Where does one start a love story? Does it begin across a crowded room on an enchanted evening beneath a layer of warm whiskey and the sudden knowing that nothing will ever be the same again? Or did it begin years ago in a field overgrown with wildflowers and hands swaying in singsong fashion as the meadow gave way to memories and the most beautiful thing you have ever seen was the way the sun glowed upon her skin?

Where does it start and where does it go and how many pages need turn before one is living in the happily ever after?

Me? My story is your classic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl marries some soldier, boy fixes up old house, boy gets picture in paper, girl comes back, girl leaves soldier, boy reads to girl, flock of birds fly away type of thing. It was pretty romantic. They made it into a movie.

And it goes great with chocolate.

This is where you come in. The good people at See's Candies and Clever Girls Collective want to help you out with the pinnacle of romance: Valentine's Day. Yes, you can win some chocolate -- a See's Candies Red Signature Box -- that's two pounds of delicious chocolate, which the winner, that could be you, will receive in time for Valentine's Day! We want to hear your sweetest love story, hence the "Share Your Sweetest Love Story" contest. Leave your story - or a link to it, in the comments below and a winner will be picked at random after the contest ends - 11:59 PM on the night of Feb. 5th. It needs to end before midnight due to the whole pumpkin thing - but that's another love story.

Wait, that's not all!

Extra Ways to Enter

Do you really, really want to win? Here are some opportunities for
extra entries, in addition to your comment with your Sweetest Love Story:

1) Visit the See's homepage and sign up for the newsletter

2) Tweet about this contest using the #seescandy tag (you can Tweet daily and post the link in the comments below!)

3) Blog about why you want to win the Share Your Sweetest Love Story with links back to this post, as well as to See's and post the link it in the comments below.

Enter Now! Deadline for entries is midnight, PST, Friday, February 5th and we will notify you by email.

Did you get all that? Enter on my blog and one winner will be chosen. Also, enter via the ways outlined above for additional chances!


Behind the curtain:
Compensation received for post - $50 Visa gift card & a Red Signature Box of See's Candies (Yum!)


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Friday, January 29, 2010

Stuff I Write and Things I Review

I try to maintain a pretty constant flow of quality posts here at Honea Express. Constant being relative and quality being stuff my mom marks as liked on Facebook. This post isn't either of those things.

It may appear to the naked eye that I've been MIA, but that is not the case. I've been wandering the internets and dropping knowledge into whatever web will catch it. Also, non-knowledge.

If you have the time I'd love to share some of it with you. Seriously, it's either humor me or go back to work, and we all know how that will end.

At DadCentric I've been waxing poetic about stuff that is centric to dads, namely this dad and the raising of two boys. A Tale of Two Mornings is a little slice of life piece where one day sort of represents the whole pie - à la mode .

Also at DadCentric I pay my respects to J.D. Salinger in The Day was Mixed with Foul and Rye. It's funny, I always knew that Catcher in the Rye played a big part in helping me find my voice as a writer, but it wasn't until yesterday - nearly 20 years after I read the book that I realized just how much it had influenced me. Holden Caulfield is a classic unreliable narrator, something I later embraced with open arms in the Pushcart-nominated Madness and Bubblegum. I just tooted my own horn, excuse me.

Over at UpTake I've been talking about how I came to be in this country illegally and a little place down the street that may very well be the BEST. DOG. PARK. EVER.

It pays the bills passes the time.

I've also been using my children as guinea pigs by having them consume their body weight in Pom and Funky Monkey snacks. They also went to a very cool warehouse event for bloggers that changed their life forever, give or take an hour.

Pom sent me some of their wonderful 100% pomegranate juice and it was delicious. It was a bit tart for the kids so I took the liberty of making them some pomegranate lemonade - which was also pretty tart, but they loved it.

Here's why I agreed to try Pom: A) It's healthy. It was right before New Years and I thought some healthy stuff in the fridge would be a great way to get on track in 2010. B) When I was a kid my neighbor had a pomegranate tree (bush?) in her backyard and we used to pick the fruit and throw them as hard as we could against the back of her garage. They smashed against that white brick like Jackson Pollock's lunch. Or possibly his head. Yes, we were hooligans but we made up for it by staying off drugs. Occasionally. My point is that pomegranates and I have a history.

I used most of the Pom making pomegranate martinis. They were fantastic.

The Funky Monkey treats were hit and miss. I liked all of the flavors but the kids didn't care for them - not until I opened the MANGOJ (see what they did there?), which went over pretty well with the oldest. He loves him some mango.

For the record, the cat also liked them, which is kind of weird, but so are cats.

What is a Funky Monkey? It's dried fruit THAT CRUNCHES! Basically it a freeze-dried snack that manages to maintain nearly all of the flavor and nutrients found in the fresh fruit version. Again, I was going with the healthy angle. Funky Monkey is gluten free, which is cool (my neighbor has a gluten allergy and it appears to suck).

Speaking of neighbors, did I tell you that we had a huge bonfire last weekend and burned 6 Christmas trees and drank too much? Well, we did. See:

While we were standing around the fire my gluten-less neighbor, a carpenter by trade (the profession not the musical group), turned to me and said, "this should be easy to write about," to which I replied, "you know what else is easy? remodeling a fucking kitchen," which is not something I know for a fact, but it can't be any harder than writing this damn post.

Where was I?

Oh right, the warehouse event. Stacey from Because I Must Blog was kind enough to set up an event with Lance, the owner of Clowns Unlimited and Games2U. Lance invited a group of us to his warehouse outside of Seattle where he and his staff had set up a handful of inflatable slides and mazes, some cool games, an assortment of cotton candy and THE TRAILER.

What is THE TRAILER? Well, as the name implies it is a trailer, and it is filled with pure awesome - the name may not have implied that part, hence my mentioning it. The trailer is all tricked out with cool lighting, comfortable seating for 12 adults (16-18 kids), and six 52" HD flat screen televisions (4 inside, 2 on the outside). Everyone can play the same game- if the game can handle it, or each TV can have its own game from over 51 choices on the latest XBOX, Wii and PlayStation systems. They can also play actual television if that's your thing.

It's as cool as you hope it is.

The trailer will come to you. Yes, you. A very knowledgeable game coach is included. I'm thinking about getting the neighbors to chip in so we can rent it one of these weekends- after we run out of Christmas trees.

In closing, I've been doing stuff. And now it is the weekend. I hope you have a good one.


Behind the curtain:
Compensation: No
Products Received: 3 small bottles of Pom juice, 3 small bags of Funky Monkey

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Breathe While Dreaming

I tend to float and dance around the things that I must do. Deadlines are stones in my pockets, paperwork is an anchor around my neck and writing because I need to write is a pair of cement shoes weighing me forever downward.

And yet, writing because I need to write pays the bills. Deadlines are, obviously, necessary and important. Editing without paperwork is like breathing without air. I am living my dream and I lay awake at night.

Perhaps the grass is always greener. Perhaps I am never satisfied. Perhaps these are the glory days and someday I will remember them fondly.

I'm inclined to embrace the latter.

Still, I have never been further from the literary accomplishments for which I strive, and therein lies the rub. Such things require a firm stance and not the spin and dip of a drive-by tango. My lips have grown bloody from a mouthful of roses. Whiskey stings and lingers longer.

I need to spend less time writing because I need to and more time writing out of want. I need to want. It requires a tether and some discipline and a great deal of sacrifice.

It requires me to stay afloat even as I drop stone upon stone against the lining of my pocket.

It requires me to keep dreaming and to look forever upward. One breath at a time.


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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amazing Grace

Everybody falls from grace sometime. Athletes, politicians and actors tend to fall the farthest due to their pedestals being placed so high. And yet, fame bounces. The minute they hit bottom they start clawing their way back up.

Grace rains all around us. We know nothing but the space between dreams and the trampoline and the slight change of view that each direction brings.

Some find solace in having the grace to fall from. Some find hope in the promise of a net.

Some climb steps just to jump from the highest one. They dive deeper than where they started. We score them on their splash.

Some trip and slide over misplaced trust and misguided confidence. They are pulled down by others and some grasp for the ankles above them.

Most of us take two steps forward for every step back. More or less. We face each day and await our spin, not seeing the chutes for the ladders.

It isn't the fall from grace that need define you but how you stick the landing. Remember to bend your knees.


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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Settling of Seattle

It is winter. It falls. It is not yet spring.

Twilight dances from dawn to dusk. It is morning. It is evening. It is mid-afternoon.

There is sunshine on my window. There is a lamp shining softly through and out of the day. It was raining. It will rain again. It may be raining now.

There is coffee in a mug to the left of me. It is always there from the moment I rise until the moment I sleep. Sometimes it tastes like whiskey.

There is something of soul and strings on the stereo and it drives me to work and to play and to sit and do nothing but stare at clouds caressing the mountain.

These words fall like so many other melancholy ramblings that have come before them, but they are deeper than that. They are the edge of my contentment and the threat of pending comfort. They are fresh water over old grounds and a cup that never empties.

It is a safe place within these walls. There is love, peace and lingering laughter. There is warmth and a view and a fire always burning. It feels very much like a thing called home.


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