Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Happy Halloween!

My Halloween costume, minus the makeup (I couldn’t stand it and washed off my whiskers 10 minutes after I put them on):

Photo 30.jpg

NaNo in 5… 4… 3….

As most of you know, today is Halloween, my favoritist holiday. It’s great for many reasons, most of which have to do with having license to run around wearing cat ears. But it’s also NaNoE’en, the day before the writing frenzy that is NaNoWriMo. My username there is mortaine; add me as a NaNo buddy if you like.

Because I have utterly failed to get a Big Honkin’ Tech Writing Job in time for November (and, hey, I’m available right now), I am participating in NaNoWriMo after all. This means that, over the next month, you can look forward to bizarre, sleep-induced posts with writing excerpts, and single-sentence posts like “2,600 words today– whew!”

Here is the rough concept behind my novel. I don’t really have much more than this, so I hope you will bear with me in the coming weeks:

Getting Buried in Vegas: A Zomedie in 3 Acts

When in doubt, add zombies. Think planning for and traveling to a wedding is stressful, crazy, and in some ways a whole lot of fun? Add zombies– it’s only funny until someone loses an arm. Then it’s hilarious.

Tom and Katherine have finally chosen to tie the knot, but she wants to do so in Las Vegas, taking a week or two to drive there and stopping to see the sights on the way. “It’ll be like our Honeymoon, but before the wedding!” Unfortunately, they embark on this journey on the eve of the zombie apocalypse, and so everything goes horribly, horribly wrong.

With legions of undead rising to devour human flesh, a maid of honor who keeps whining about her dress, a gaudy pineapple-flavored wedding cake, and a best man who’s been waiting and planning for the apocalypse since he was 12, what’s a frustrated bride- and groom-to-be to do?

Tune in for the zany, weird ramblings of a cross-country journey, a zombie apocalypse, and some really, really ugly taffeta.

Life Lessons in Lace

I post a lot of lace progress and finished object pictures, but I don’t often post about what knitting means to me. Here are a few of the little things I’ve learned about life, as learned through lace knitting:

  • Being too tense or too relaxed can make a difference in the moment, but ultimately, all your tension should even out in the end.
  • There aren’t many second chances in life, but knitting lets you frog and restart over and over again. Embrace the chance for a re-do; they don’t come around often.
  • A squiggly rumpled mess really can transform into an elegant work of art. It’s just a matter of a little soap and water and some hard work.
  • It’s always smart to have a safety line.
  • The negative space representing what isn’t there is just as important as what is.
  • Never underestimate the value of something warm embracing you in a cold moment.

Terlingua, Texas: RV Parks near Big Bend National Park

John and I went scouting this week for RV parks near Big Bend National Park. With the International Chili Cookoff happening in Terlingua on November 1, we’re down here to enjoy the cookoff and visit the amazing and beautiful state and national parks in the area.
All of the parks listed are on Highway 170, […]

Originally posted to Life on the Road. Read the rest of the entry there!.

Terlingua, Texas: RV Parks near Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National ParkJohn and I went scouting this week for RV parks near Big Bend National Park. With the International Chili Cookoff happening in Terlingua on November 1, we’re down here to enjoy the cookoff and visit the amazing and beautiful state and national parks in the area.

All of the parks listed are on Highway 170, except the one inside the national park. The entire region is still recovering from the Rio Grande flooding in September, so you can expect great river rafting available, but several roads and activities are still closed near the river. The road to Presidio, Texas is still closed to through traffic.

The parks are comparably priced, with most of them costing$25-35 per night.

BJ’s RV Park
432-371-2259
It’s a dry patch of parking lot with full hookups. “It is what it is,” and what it is is close to Big Bend National Park. There is Not Much Here, to be honest, but it’s (hot, dry) walking distance into the town of Terlingua, which is something. It does have 50 amp service and the spaces are large enough for big rigs, but I had a sense of the sites being a little bit narrow.

Big Bend Motor Inn RV Campground
800-848-BEND
Even closer to Big Bend National Park, this one’s been called overpriced by some. It is as close as you can get to the national park without being inside it, which means it’s only 20 miles to the nearest visitor’s center and park HQ. We only drove past this one, but know it has full hookups and no shade trees.

Lajitas Resort Maverick Ranch RV Park
1-877-LAJITAS
This is where we’re staying. It accommodates very large RVs with many pull-through sites and lots of wide open spaces. Sites are quite wide. There are trees and some shade– Lajitas used to be an upscale resort, but has since gone under new management and is now more affordable for everyone. There’s a nice conference center and lounge, and there’s a pool and WiFi, something the other parks don’t have. Lajitas also has TV hookups, but other campers report the service wasn’t working very well.

Rio Grande Village RV Park
Inside Big Bend National Park
1-877-444-6777 reservations
432-477-2293 information (call first to find out if it’s open!)

It’s on the far side of the park from Terlingua, which means about a 35 mile drive from Terlingua to the RV park. It’s also right next to the river, and when we visited, it was still closed from the flooding, but due to open any day. Fees are $26/night,

It has full hookups and 50 amp service, but the sites are on the small side. There are a lot of trees and shade, which is unusual in this part of the country. There’s room for about 1 really large motorhome here, parked diagonally. If you’re 32′ or shorter, you should have no problem. All sites are back-in, and there’s a general store within walking distance of the park.

There is also a campground in Chisos Basin for dry camping, and these sites are $14/night. However, this campground is not recommended for RVs over 24′ long. The road that’s open to Chisos Basin has a number of tight switchbacks, and you’ll find it difficult, if not dangerous. That said, we did see a long yellow school bus successfully maneuver the road, but buses handle differently from RVs.

There’s another dry campground at Cottonwood which is still closed due to the flooding, with little chance of reopening soon.

Big Bend Ranch State Park
432-424-3327
Next to Lajitas, and about 20 miles from Big Bend National Park, is Big Bend Ranch State Park. This is a beautiful and less-visited park with plenty of hiking and off-highway trails to explore. There are 5 full-hookup sites in the park which, while reserved for staff members, are available for campers on a “come in and ask” basis (tip: this season, they expect no more than 3 sites to be occupied by staff!) The sites are full hookup and a little bit narrow, but even a 40′er can fit. The sites are $18/night, plus $3/person/day (but you can reduce that with an annual pass).

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