The next time I write in this space, and for months thereafter, I’ll be writing almost entirely hockey. This should be a welcome development for most of my friends and (dare I say) fans out there. Sure you’re mildly interested in Ralph the adventurer, you’re somewhat intellectually curious about Ralph the pontificator, you’re impressed by Ralph the other than hockey sports columnist, and maybe you’re thinking about putting down a few of your hard earned dollars on Ralph’s novel (if and when that ever gets published).
But – who’s kidding who? You want to hear from Ralph the voice of the Dallas Stars. I know you do and soon you’ll get it here and regularly this season at www.dallasstars.com. And to be truthful, I can’t wait for all things Dallas Stars this season. We got quite a group here in what might be the toughest conference I’ve ever seen. Games will be meaningful almost every night and our guys will play fast and fun and well, with everything else around the Metroplex these days, you’ll be happy to tune in and pay closer attention.
But – let’s wrap up an eventful off-season so we can all move forward with clean books.
THE NATURE CRUISE OF THE CENTURY
I journeyed with family to Ecuador in June for a seven-day cruise around the eastern wing of the Galapagos Islands. I tell everyone the same thing; think Jurassic Park with smaller wildlife. There is a balance there that can only be found in a place void of strip malls and freeways and apartment buildings. Species adapt to their surroundings through centuries of genetic mutation and the results are observable. It’s spectacular and I can not remember a place I’ve gone that is as beautiful and meaningful.
I spent a month in Venice Beach with the hippies and the weirdos doing book research and writing and getting out of the August Dallas sun. My little studio was close to the beach yet off the beaten path. The highlights; lifting weights at Muscle Beach, talking to the indigenous boardwalk folk, eating at Poke Poke, and bumping shopping carts with House of Cards President Garrett Walker who said “pardon me…” and I was so waiting for him to say…. “Frank…” even though that isn’t my name.
While in Venice Beach I tackled finishing up my first attempt at a novel. Writing a piece for this publication or others is like painting a room. Writing a novel I discovered is like building a house. So many unknown mine fields and entanglements to consider, but through sitting there and doing it for hours every day I returned with a workable first draft. If and when I ever publish it – you’ll be among the very first to know.
And now – let’s drop the friggin’ pill already!