The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

The three of us practiced until we were bleary eyed. We fine tuned, we honed. I kept working on new licks and rhythm patterns. We were becoming a true unit, feeding off each other, commenting, criticizing, encouraging, growing. 

We invited some others, the violin player and the whistle player from our jams, and, of course Frank, to sit in on various tunes. They were eager and we worked out those tunes as well. Other than Frank, the other two played professionally and had recorded before. Frank was a novice like we were but was up to his part.

Our session date arrived. Hanna and I packed up our gear, picked up Mick and Karen and headed to the studio which was in a nondescript building in an industrial area of other nondescript buildings. We were greeted by a twenty something woman, with purple hair and numerous tattoos and piercings, who introduced herself as Bobby, who led to an office where we met our recording engineer, Johnny, who was somewhere north of forty but south of sixty. He was a heavy set man with droopy eyes, and the requisite pony tail. He was professional to the point of being standoffish, but, as we got on, he turned out to a really nice guy.

He asked about our style of music, acoustic or electric, did we have pickups, what were our goals, and had we ever recorded in a studio before? Hanna, our only true professional and spokesperson, answered for us. He explained that we could each lay out separate tracks individually or do it together as a group. We chose the later option. So, We would be in separate recording booths and Hanna would be center where we could see her. At the end, we signed a bunch of paperwork including the contract. 

The rooms were completely sound proof so the only way we would hear each other was through our headsets. We would each be recorded on a separate track so we could over-dub any mistakes or anything we might not like.

We were led to our separate rooms and made comfortable. Bobby brought us each a bottle of water. Before we separated, we got in tune and we were ready . . . as ready as we would ever be and went to our respective places. I closed my door and all sound was gone. It was a sound vacuum. It was weird. 

I put on the headset and heard Derek talking. It was like he was right in front of me, his voice was so sharp and crisp it was unnerving.

I could see Hanna standing about ten feet away, but Mick was in a room outside my vision. Derek was in his control room off to my left. 

Touching Base

I have not been posting much as of late. The collection of short stories that I hope will be published by Christmas has taken up much of my time. Plus, I’m writing another novel (slow going) and several more short stories. And my luterie work can take up much of my time when needed repairs roll in. There are so many projects I need to post, but, for some reason I think, everything I post needs to be more extensive than is sometimes needed.

And another thing, I keep getting frutrated with WordPress and its sometimes weird behavior. I was going to try to move to another platfrom for blogging, but found the one that was supposed to be so user friendly was worse that WordPress. So goes the battle.

Til later . . .

The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

The next day Karen and I went to meet Robert, our young, soon to be, long term therapist. The three of us had a brief discussion centered on our family issues. Karen went first. She came out later with red eyes, but smiling. I gave her a quick hug and followed Robert into the inner sanctum. I told him about everything, including my earlier aborted counseling. 

I quickly liked his laid back but direct approach. I gave a brief overview of what I had discussed with my first counselor back in Chicago, mainly my parent’s reaction to my perceived failure. I talked briefly about my journey and my relationship with Hanna. That took up most of the session, so other than taking copious notes, he didn’t have much time to give much direction other than encouraging me to get back to my journaling the had fallen by the wayside after I left the retreat center. 

He said, “When you write your thoughts and feelings down in black and white, they become real, concrete, we can look them as more real than simply internalizing them. It truly helps us to understand ourselves better.”

“I never thought of journaling in that way. Thank you.”

“So, that’s your homework. Also, bring questions. From what you have told me, you seem to have moved on a lot, but there are some family things we need to talk about. Can you come next week same time and day?”

“Sure. I’ll be looking forward to it.’

I found Karen reading a magazine in the small waiting room. She too had rescheduled for appointments the next week. Neither of us talked on our way to her house. Once parked, I asked, “So? How was it?”

La Plata Canyon Adventure

We started out Sunday morning with breakfast at Kennebec Restaurant, one of our faves, which rests at 8000 ft. at the entrance to La Plate Canyon. Afterwards we headed up the canyon, a place we hadn’t been in three years due to smoke from the fires, which now seem to be a regular summer time fixture in the west, and then last year, there was the influx of too many tourists escaping their confines in their cities, needing a taste of the outdoors. Couldn’t really blame them but, from all reports I got, they were overrunnung our mountain four wheel drive roads and there were even traffic jams in places. This year, now after Labor Day seemed a good time, and it was. Things had quieted down and there was the normal amount of four wheel drive vehicles and not that many ATVs as we remembered it.

So we ventured out the 16 miles up the canyon from 8000 ft. up to 11,600 ft. with the last four miles of gnarly steep, rocky slow going jeep road about two steps above the time when Olga Little ran her pack mule train carrying in supplies for the miners and hauling out silver ore some 100 years ago. It took close to 45 minutes in four wheel drive to navigate the last four miles of the 16 miles.

The view due north from the parking lot at the top of the road at 11,600 ft. Check out the little rain squall. The red in lower right is indictive of all the ferrite, or iron oxide, deposits prevalent in our mountains.
We did a 3/4 mile hike up to Kennebec Pass, to 11,800 ft. for the view to the northeast. Those are the Needles Range in the distance, about 40 miles away. On our hike we met one mountain biker whe was finishing his ride on the Colorado Trail which streatches through the mountains, 500 miles from Denver to Durango. He had 25 miles left and was pretty stoked to finish. We also met a young woman backpacker just heading out to Denver and two other backpackers having all but completed the trail and were heading to Durango.
Looking East from Kennebec Pass towards Durango.
More red cliffs from Iron Oxide that exists troughout The San Juan mountains.
Engineer Mountain, the bright one to the right center, a iconic well known 13,000 ft. peak with copious spring wildflowers on the plateau directly to the east of the base.
Looking to the sunnier south, less clouds and haze.

So, after delightful afternoon of high mountain beauty, we headed back down four miles of a steep, curvy, slippery rocky rough and otherwise nasty road, then thirty miles to home.

Sorry about the intermix of flush left and centered images and txr, but WordPress is priving to be stubborn.

THe Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

“Why couldn’t you be happy and be closer by? Are you still with that . . .  woman?”

“Yes I am and ‘that woman’s’ name is Hanna.”

“Where are you living? Surely not in that dreadful little car.”

“I’m living with her at her mother’s house outside of San Francisco.”

“You-are-what!? What kind of woman would let a boy stay in the same house as her daughter? You haven’t gotten married, have you!? I sure hope not! What about Dana?”

“No, we’re not married. And, Mom, Dana is history. She and I will never get back together. Please accept that.”

“I was hoping you might make up and get back together. I feel so bad about you two. Never did care for that John that Karen married. He was too slick, that one.”

“As I was about to say, we are staying here because her mother wants us to. She likes me and is happy Hanna and I are together. She is a wonderful person as is her partner.”

“Partner? What does that mean?”

“It means she and Frank live together as they have for the last twenty years, without being married.”

Kaboom. That set her off on a tirade about hippies, bohemians, antichrists, satan worshipers, hell and damnation, fire and brimstone and on and on. I set the phone down and listened from a distance until she calmed down.  Actually, a lot of what she was saying was true. I smiled to myself.

“And what about you Russell. I sure hope you aren’t ‘partnering’ with that woman!”

She was trying to push all my buttons, and since I wasn’t responding, it probably was making her even more agitated.

“Ah, you mean Hanna? I guess we are partners. We do everything together: we sleep together, play music together, eat together, have fun together, and so far I’m enjoying and loving every moment I’m with her. I am in love with her and plan on being with her for as long as she can stand me.”

There was silence. I could almost hear her mind churning, trying to digest all this information.

Sounding defeated and having given up, she asked, “What about Karen? Is she working? Where is she living? Is she eating and sleeping okay?”

All of a sudden, I felt an overwhelming sadness for her. This was way out of her league. She sounded like a mother asking if her ten year old was all right. This was not like her to be nice.