I used to think it meant bungee jumps, drinking snake blood, or gulping the worm after a shot of Mezcal. Now pushing 50, I believe CARPE DIEM is all the stuff in-between. What you do moment to moment, and how. With angst? No. Con gusto. Ganas. Reverence. And an eye on the ticking clock.
Everything you need is right outside your door. Not elsewhere. You can’t shop for it. It’s not merchandise. It’s the life you breathe, wherever you go.
Carpe Diem, to me, is seizing the day by fully participating in DAILY life.
Life is not elsewhere. It’s right where you are.
I hope these stories, all true, exhibit this belief. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I promise you I gave it my best.
Bobby was born in Lockney and raised in Lubbock, Texas on the South Plains. He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in Philosophy and worked in the restaurant industry for almost three decades, most recently as a General Manager for 13 years. He lives in Austin.
Bobby likes to read Louis L’Amour, watch neo-noir movies, hike, write stories, and ride his motorcycle all over the Hill Country. He is currently working on a novel, and as always, his poems.
I never thought that I would learn to write stories by writing posts about my hikes on facebook. If you would have told me that ten years ago, I would have laughed. But, that’s exactly what happened. I will always be a poet, first, but poetry is something I do for myself. Like listening to music, and dancing when no one is watching. But, I love people. So, I started writing these stories to connect more with the world.
To work on my storytelling, I started to post about my hikes in Austin and across Texas. I challenged myself to draw out stories from each excursion, no matter how ‘unremarkable’ the location. My first attempt at writing a travelogue was the McKittrick Ridge post in August of 2019, and the write-ups snowballed from there. It turned out to be the perfect writing workshop. Pretty simple, actually. With every hike, there is a setting. Things happen. And there is a beginning, middle, and an end. And usually, if you hike deep enough into the woods, you see things. You’ll look back and reflect, and find that a theme runs all the way through your hiking experience. You just have to look hard enough. That’s how I started out, anyways, and with my background in poetry, I did my best to put everything together. Sound, imagery, place, and theme. What started out as logs of our family trips has now become short stories set in the Texas outdoors.
Well, after a few dozen posts, I noticed that many of the comments said the same thing. I kept seeing it over and over again: “I felt like I was there.” I saw this countless times across all demos and platforms, and immediately adopted it. And the more I thought about it, I said to myself, “That’s the best thing a writer can hear! If they can say that, I did my job.”
So, I raise my glass to all of you, and hope that you all felt like you were there. Right there with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers!
I would first like to thank Jesus Christ for all of His grace and mercy, everyday. Life is good, Lord. Thank You. I would also like to thank my wife, Vanessa, for EVERYTHING. Thank you! Thank you for building this website, proofreading every story after it’s written, all 60 of them, and being my companion on every adventure. I can’t do anything well without you! And we still have lots to do, babe.
I would also like to thank the admins at Backpacking and Hiking Texas, Austin Hikes, and BRT*BackRoads of TX. Without your generosity and your platform, I would not have had an audience, and I would not have met all of these nice people. Thank you. Thank you to James F. Bailey and Pam Chapman.
I came across Erik Ly’s ‘DEEP DIVE’ in April of 2019 and immediately reached out to him to buy a print. When I received the package in the mail, the large envelope containing the print had ink sketches of fish drawn all over it. Just like in the painting. As soon as I saw it, I told myself, “This guy’s got style.”
Erik is a contemporary freelance illustrator from L.A.
Every now and then, I catch myself gazing at the piece. The way the diver looks up slightly, keeping still as schools of fish swim around him. This is exactly how I feel when I go out into the woods. And all of those fish represent all of the life teeming around me. The people, nature, everything.
I believe Erik wrote that this piece was intended for a Jules Verne exhibition in London. I’m just grateful for his kind permission to use it on my website. Thank you, Erik!
If you would like more information about Erik Ly’s work and merchandise, please click the links below: