From under the pier.

From under the pier.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mexico

Yet another cultural delight. Puerta Vallarta mexico is referred to, by many coasties as party villarty. Once again heading off the beaten path, away from the tourist area you can find a deep rich heritage in the culture here. One of the current focuses is dia de los muertos, essentially Mexican halloween for those of you who don't know. This particular holiday inspires an artistic taste that has already begun dotting this sculpture speckled city. Another thing that many don't know is that the tequilla we get in america is garbage compared to the true blue agave spirits distilled in mexico. This is yet another area of the world I would suggest to any one. The only problem with this particular city is that, given it is a tourist area, a full wallet is a necessity here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Costa Rica

When you listen to singers like Jimmy Buffet and Robert Earl Keen what do you think of? Drinks on the beach, relaxing in the sun, torches in the sand ect. I now have a new view of what life in Jimmy's world should be. There is a small corner of the world where it rains daily, the sweltering heat and humidity leave a trail of sweat that will follow any American anywhere. In this small town in Costa Rica known as Golfito I have found a new layer to peace. The storm created by recent events onboard my boat still rages under this new layer, suppressed somehow. As I lean back and gaze over the green waters of the bay, the storm clouds spilling over the mountains, and the fantastic locals, I find myself wondering how anyone could be angry here. So many people in my line of work head to the nearest bar and shoot for zero to drunk in 5 min. They miss out on the purity of a place like this. a lot of it looks old, dilapidated, and broken. air conditioning is a rarity that will give you a new appreciation for cool air. Through it's tough exterior, there is a peace that flows from the rainforest here. It is unique in that it has the ability to smother all else. The run down appearance of this place gives it a character unmatched by anyplace else I have ever been.
Aside from the peace and quiet, Golfito offers a unique collection of foods (most of which I cant pronounce). One of my new favorites is something the locals call mamones. these bizarre fruit look like they came from an alien planet on the outside. they are green, to pink with long hair/spike things around the exterior. They have a white center with a pit resembling an almond and they taste like grapes.
This short port call has given me a new lease on sanity, even if certain unnamed individuals tried their best to rid me of anything resembling sanity just prior to arriving. Soon I will be back in America with the girl I love for a short break before this ship sails again. The saddest part of this stop in such a wonderful place, is that I have been forced to use it as a stepping stone to and end result and not its own adventure. The hard part is almost over, true peace will soon be returning to this tattered soul. So until I am able to post again stay safe and stay sane.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beware craigslist

Looking for an apartment in the first place is a pain in the ass, I'm sure all can agree on that fact. When you have spent the majority of your time out to sea in the past year, a new kind of "lost" sensation grows. Craigslist is a wonderful thing and a horrible thing at the same time. When you come across an entry entitled "gourmet ghetto" for about $600 a month in Oakland, California. Run, run like hell. Another interesting thing I have noticed is that there are a lot of listings that post newly remodeled. The funny thing about a lot of these posts, is that there are only pictures of the yard in the post. If you cant show the interior of a place in California on craigslist, and the highlight picture is dead grass in a yard fully equipped with razor wire across the top of a chain-link fence. I really don't want to see what is inside. (thank you for that by the way. Whoever you are). The best part is that the description included good neighborhood.

Truth is that there are a lot of vultures out there that create a truly interesting concoction of psychos that make up the majority of craigslist. In all reality if there is a posting on craigslist that sounds too good to be true, it is.

Prime example, my motorcycle. I got a 2002 Honda shadow in good shape for less than 2 grand. Custom exhaust, chromed out, new tires the works. Went and checked it out, everything looked great. Ride it for a month or so everything is great. I decide that I want to go for a long, beautiful ride. So, I ride from Alameda CA to Yosemite national park (4 hours away 5.5 by motorcycle). On my way out of Yosemite my exhaust starts to sound funny and my phone is dying. "of course." I ride 5 miles before I find a place to pull over in the fading light to discover that one of my super cool, custom exhaust tips is missing. I ride back and amazingly, find it intact. So, I put it in my back pack and ride 5 plus hours with my exhaust tip poking out of my back pack. Turns out that the tip itself was simply packed with shims and held on only by the bracket on the frame of the bike. Of course it fell off.

Friday, July 4, 2014

So, Independance day.

Lots of people understand that independance day was the day that independance was born in the great ol' USofA. It has more recently been celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, camping, ect. (Good dangerous fun for the whole family to play with explosives and white hot magnesium.) All on the same page? Good.
The thing that has always gotten me about the fireworks (aside from the end result bearing striking resemblance to battle wounds) is that they are designed to be a showy recreation of battle. Now, i know this is going to sound cold and a bit messed up, but when you spend 8 hours a day staring at water you tend to think a bit more bluntly than most. This all leads me up to one question.
Does it strike any one else as a little messed up? The celebration of the beginning of a full out war is marked with a simulation of battle. I can follow the barbecues, and family togetherness (it is what was fought for). However, a flash back for a shell shocked veteran doesnt exactly strike me as an appropriate celebration of what they did to protect our independance.

Just food for thought.

Dead Reunion

Travis smiled down as he wiggled his toes in the mud. The now brown and mud crusted overall’s chilled his ankles as they stuck to his legs. The cool fall breeze rustled the leaves on the surrounding trees. A cascade of orange leaves flowed and swirled like water all around him. He adjusted the straps over his bare shoulders. He bent down and scooped a hand full of mud to smear on his face.
“I only do it because it makes mom mad.” He said into the vacant air. Laughing, he pranced through piles of leaves, scooping them with the top of his foot and flinging them into the air. Halloween was close. It was always his favorite holiday. The earthy smell of decomposing leaves brought memories that weren’t his every year. Even though he was only eight, he knew things about life that shouldn’t be understood by children his age.
His mom had told him that he had a special gift that let him learn from those who had been there. She often would ask him who he was talking to; but by the time he would turn back from his answer they would be gone. The woods offered a safe haven for him it was rare that anyone found him out here.
The golden rays of the setting sun began to dissipate in to an orange hue that encompassed everything. A scraping sound caught his attention before the irritable squirrel began barking at him. “I come here all the time and you’ve never had a problem with me before.” He said shaking a finger at the angered rodent. The squirrel’s tail flicked with every bark for a few moments. Travis was captivated until it twitched and darted away back up the tree.
A rustle in the leaves and a slight chill crept up his spine. He turned in the fading light to see a man standing before him. His transparent appearance told Travis that this was another ghost. The man was standing close enough to seem taller than he was. He stood motionless in a grey civil war uniform. The large mustache flowed over the corners of his mouth. He held a rifle in his hand with a bayonet in one hand and under his other arm he held his hat. His boots were tattered and his pant legs were covered in mud. The man looked shocked when Travis spoke to him.
“Why are you so sad?” the man’s tear filled eyes fell to meet Travis’. The two stared at each other for a long moment before the man broke the silence.
“I have been traveling for a long time now.” The man stopped and gazed out into the forest. Travis followed his gaze then turned back.
“Where are you going?” he scrunched his face as he talked.
“I’m trying to get home to my family in Pea Ridge.”
“You know you’re dead right? My mom says that it’s good that I can talk to dead people because they help me learn.” Travis smiled exposing a missing tooth in the front of his mouth.
“Yes, I know I am dead. What is your name?”
“I’m Travis what’s your name?”
“I’m Robert” the apparition hung his hat over his rifle and extended a hand. “Robert Givans” Travis reached out a hand to shake it but it passed right through. Goose bumps appeared on Travis’ arm.
“Mom said something one time about Robert Givans. She said he went away and just didn’t come back. I don’t really remember everything because I was really sick.” The man perked up slightly looking around.
“Will you take me to see your home?”
“Sure, mom doesn’t see dead people like I do; but wer'e in Pea Ridge so, maybe she could help”
“Sounds good.” The man put his hat on top of his head and reached down his hand. There was a small clap as Travis’ hand connected with Roberts. The two walked for a ways before the small house came into view. Travis began to bounce slightly with excitement as the pair walked hand in hand. He broke his grip and rushed toward the house.
“Mom! Moom!” he cried as he ran. The screen door to the house opened and a woman appeared holding a basket of laundry on her hip. “Mom, guess who I met today?”
“Who did you meet?” She asked sweetly placing a hand on his head.
“I met someone with the same last name as us. Robert.” The woman stood up abruptly dropping the laundry basket onto the ground as her gaze fixed on the man at the tree line. The man dropped his rifle on the ground and pulled his hat over his heart. Tears began streaming down his face. She began slowly walking towards him, tears filling her eyes.
“Robert, I thought you’d never make it back.” She wailed as she broke into a run. The two met and embraced each other as they wept. “Travis come meet your dad.”Travis’ eyes went wide as he slowly walked up to the couple. Robert swept him up and pulled him into the embrace.
“All soldiers find their way home.” Robert said through his uncontrollable sobs before they all disappeared.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Staring at water

I have now spent way too much time staring at water. A phenomena that i never even heard of has ocoured. I have spent so much time staring at the same color that i no longer even register it as a color. That is the only way i can think of to describe it. However, when you get down to it, a military vessel is not exactly known for it's good scenery. Blue and white, two colors that have grown to fill me with stomach churning disgust
418 ft of steel. That is currently my floating piece of existence. I have taken to painting more often than i used to simply because i am tired of staring at blue. Another interesting thing is that too much time locked in a cage is stifling to creativity. For the first month and a half it actually spawned creativity. The CG giveth and the CG taketh away I guess. I would have gone mad weeks ago if it wasn't for the books i brought with me. Epic fantasy they call it (probably because any series is an epic undertaking).
I can only press on in hopes that when i get back you all will love my stories enough to allot me the time to continue to write. I have discovered that it is not necessarily the story it's self that people love to read. It is the wave of emotion, atatchment, and a re-discovery of imagination that draws eyes toward fantasy. Until i can get all of my ducks in a row i will post some short stories that i have written. Please tell me (honestly) what you think about them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New to this whole thing.

So, i guess an introduction is warranted. I am Joshua Hodges. I joined the coast guard at 22 years old. i am a writer in my spare time. Well, what little i have.  You may have read some of my girl freinds posts about me; but that would be suprising. We are very compatible but in our writing our styles are night and day.
I have finished writing one book, Anasazi's Nightmare. It is safe to say that i like writing a hell of alot more than editing. Once back in the states i hope to be finished with the editorial process of that book and attempting to get it on the shelf for your reading pleasure.
As with any other author's blog i will be posting updates as to the progress of the nightmare (lovingly named after it's conception for being a royal pain in the ass) as well as all other books i'm working on. Once back in the states i will also be creating a facebook page dedicated to my writing, and photography.
I am currently working on the beginning of a whole new series (series yet to be named) the first book however is called Wrath of Pandora. So, as of now that is about my introduction. I love questions so please ask them and i look forward to sharing what will most likely be way too much with all of you.

Here's to the start of something beautiful.