Fall Down, GET UP!!

Last week I got the shock of a lifetime. A literary agent who had liked Barney & Lexi passed after two months of positive hope. I spent the following Monday and Tuesday somewhat lost, wondering, “Do I have enough left in the tank to keep this ten-year dream alive?” My answer on Wednesday? I sat down after work for five hours and generated ten manuscripts and sent them off to ten different agencies!

Tomorrow I am entering B&L into two more contest for this year! There are times that I feel as though I am leaving Marky, Slash & Levy behind but I believe that with one great story published, that can led into a great series becoming published also!

Am I worn out? You bet your A** I am! I have been plugging away for close to ten years! However, I believe that if you want something strong enough, you will pick yourself up every single time you fall down. I will not fall down without getting back up. PERIOD!

As for The Boondock Kids, my oldest son, Lynden, finally came up with the name for Mario Gunzel’s best friend. He chose Louis Honeydue. I like it! Next he has to choose two girl names, LOL, that will be fun to watch! I have set TBK in the fall in what I think will become Oregon.?

As for Jack, Ashley and I had a great meeting last Tuesday and pounded out some great ideas! My problem is going home, eating supper and not falling sleep while eating! I am thinking about drinking coffee before it is even winter. That’s when I usually drink the joe.

Have I ever mentioned that I miss having the internet in my own home? I drive 13 miles after shooting pictures for the picture book (forseasonsof.wordpress.com) for 5 hours. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though!

Is it rough? Yep, what in life worth while isn’t? Do I fall down a lot? Tons!! Do I get back up? EVERYTIME!! Until next week, LIVE WITH PASSION!!

Round 2

With last week being my final handful of “not” traveled roads, I began my way back around Lawrence County, Illinois for the second (of four) trips. To make this day even more special, my son Lynden joined me and got some great shots on his own! He ultimately fell asleep but he said he loved seeing places he hadn’t before!


After dropping my two little boys off, Lynden and I returned home so that I could clean up and finish my laundry. That entire time, Lynden wanted to get out and start taking photos. The parent in me kicked in and I reminded him that some things had to be taken care of first in order to do that.


We finally did take off and began just outside of the town of Lawrenceville and made our way towards the Wabash River and the border with Indiana. Once again, the lack of rain this summer brought the return of the looming dust cloud that was left everywhere we went! The Jimmy is no longer silver with black tires, but rather, earth toned from top to bottom, literally!


The weather is finally beginning to break, as the hotter than heck summer is slowly letting go to the Illinois fall. With that said, it will soon be time to purchase yet another memory card for the fall season.  I recently checked and have close to 1,500 photos. Should that stay its course through all four seasons, then I figure I will complete this mission with close to 6,000 photos! Then, the hard work will begin, sorting through those and selecting the best for each seasonal volume.


I have thought about turning this into a YouTube video journey as well, however, I am not that suave in front of a camera, so, that may not be the best idea.


I loved having Lynden with me today! I would stop to mark my map and just look at him, fast asleep, laying in the passenger seat. It is moments like this that make everything so worth it!! So as I leave you this week, I wish you an awesome week ahead and hope you Live With Passion!!

Success & Failure

Tonight, I was planning on celebrating with a smile  and a toast to the claim that I have now been up and down every road in Lawrence County, Illinois. I shot my last few photos to finish up my first of four tours through the county and made my way to my folks house for my two hours of weekly internet.

I sat down and read an email from a literary agent who had shown interest in my book Barney & Lexi. I thought that it was going to be her saying that things were going to work out and this was going to be my foundation laying moment to a successful writing career and thus a better life. Although I understand that life is life, it wasnt;t like that. She thanked me for my patience but had decided not to take on any new clients and was passing on my book.

The hardest part about this rejection is that it came wrapped in the gift wrap of hope. It is nothing to get a rejection from an agency who may have or not have read your work. Those are most the time cold and without emotion. Those are the ones that you can thank them for their time and move on. This one had emotion, it had me hoping and smiling. That makes this one hard to swallow. It also has me wondering after ten years of trying…”Is there anything left in the tank?”

To make things more difficult, I am losing the battle with the fact, that my children no longer live near me. Moving with their mother to another town, they are no longer in the school I had come to see them graduating in. As the father, you have little say in your children’s lives. It is a pain I am barely containing.

With that said, I should be celebrating my completion of my accomplishment, but instead, I find myself reaching my breaking point. As I go home tonight to my home, were no one will be, perhaps just enough gas to get there and then no food to eat until payday, I am saying to the God I believe in, “Please stop, you think I am able to carry this weight, but I am beginning to falter.”

I toss this question out into the universe:

With five written books and two in the works plus a picture book in the making and two blogs,

“Am I just a dreamer?”

The Hardest Rejection

On what should have been a celebratory night after finishing the last few roads in Lawrence County, Illinois has turned into a moment of reflection and self questioning. In May, a literary agent wrote me, saying that she liked my story, Barney & Lexi:Lost In Lawrenceville very much but had to place another book before looking at taking B&L on. Two months later, I write back as asked to touch base with her. She replied by saying that she had decided not to take on any more clients at this time and was passing on the project.

This is the hardest rejection I have ever had! To be given hope and have it all taken away is something that has come from left field and hit me right square in the chest. Even now, sitting here and writing to you all, I fight the tears like never before.

I will say that the past two months have left me feeling hopeful and to that I am grateful!

I have been struggling for some time to hold this positive attitude together that began this year. I truly feel I am being me when I feel that great, but physically, I feel the pressure of holding it together, weighting down on me. I’m sure it is just simply the reaction to the hardest rejection but it echoes my deepest fear…what if this is it for me?? Am I just a dreamer? Single with no love interest  in sight. Five books written, two more in the works, for a literary world that might never read it??

Since I was a boy, I always felt like I was ment for so much more than the norm. I have always felt creative and believed that it will come. I don’t know, right now I feel that something I want more than anything in the world is the farthest it can ever be from me.

To make things more emotional, my boy’s mother moved them to another town, taking them out of the school that I had fallen in love with. The heartbreak of having no say just adds to the fire by making me feel out of control and wasted. Now, alone in a town with no family and for the most part, no fuel to even go see anyone I ask the god I believe. “Please God, no more. You might think I can handle all of this but I am only human.”

I enjoy writing to you but wonder if this crazy thing will ever take fire or is it “Just another WordPress blog”? It has been since 2009 and I am grateful to have maybe six views in one week. Not to promising for someone with dreams?

As Sunday winds to a close, I am out of gas, out of money, and out of food, with a week before payday. I am getting ready to leave and head back home, hoping I make it on what is left in the tank.

Oh, how I wish everyday could be lived with passion. Lets just leave it up to faith right now…

Coming along with ‘Jack’ and TBK

This week I have been spending more time working on ‘Jack’ than The Boondock Kids simply because I have not gotten with my co-writer, Ashley for several weeks now and want to get a couple more pages down before we meet on Tuesday. I am midway through the scene I am writing and I’ll be finished with it. I plan on sitting back down tonight and working on TBK with another page or so.

 As for Barney & Lexi, I have sent them off to a couple more contests, so keep your fingers crossed! I have had no word from an agent who is interested but those things take time! I am trying to work on some more MS&L sketches, I’ll keep you up on them as they get done.

I apologize for the cluttered post, but I still have no internet at my home, thus I am ever so grateful for my folks laptop and their kitchen table! I have decided to get that PO Box that I have been asked about from my picture book site (forseasonsof.wordpress.com). I’ll let you know when I get it nailed down. Until then, I wish you an awesome week and hope you LIVE WITH PASSION!

Darn near it!

Do you see the face?

Do you see the face?


Today was the first day since I began this assignment in January that, amidst a drought, it sprinkled on me! It was far from a “rain”, but it was nice to have enough moisture on my windshield to remove the dust that had been collected from the day!


After milkshakes from McDonald’s for my boys and a dropping them off with their mother, it was the typical laundry, vacuum and dishes before heading out. I love the feeling of coming home after five or six hours snapping and entering a clean and taken care of home! In the beginning, I tried doing all of these things after coming home, but found myself up until midnight or later doing dishes. Now with my writing two books at the same time, LOL, I need those hours for that!


I grabbed my RC Cola, dropped 20$ in the tank and made my way to the same point that I first noticed my overheated engine two weeks ago! Today was overcast, which was rare, and really welcome! The temperature was in the low 80’s which is a godsend, given the fact that for two months straight it has been 95 or higher!


The strange thing about today was the fact that this part of Lawrence County seemed to look so much the same, corn fields and irrigation equipment! One or two shots out here and they started to seem the same.


I like this photo but it does not shout ‘warm and fuzzy’ does it?lol

The Embarass River runs along the town of Lawrenceville and sadly that is where I have seen the most garbage tossed to the side of the road. I saw plenty of bottles but what blew me away is I saw T.V.’s, microwaves and even whole couches tossed off to the side of the road. That is one thing I will never do! I mean if you left that couch their forever, you know how long it will take to return to the earth? Come on people! Not to mention what will happen when a mowing crew comes by and gets up close and personal!


This one does!

None the less, it was an awesome day! Next Sunday will make the completion of trip #1 through Lawrence County Illinois. Something I am really proud to say! It means that one-quarter of my assignment has been completed and I’m having a blast along the way. Oh, I almost forgot, with some request of some readers wanting to send me some scenic photos and things to try with shooting photos, I decided to get that PO Box. This week I have to nail down the rate and get it paid. I will let you know what it is. With that said, it is time to close out another Sunday. I wish you all the best on a great week and hope you LIVE WITH PASSION!

Another Short One…

Note to self. Need to find money for the internet!! I’m working on The Boondock Kids  and will post progress more once I get the net again soon! Ashley and I are plugging away at Jack and its starting to take shape!

The Picture Book (fourseasonsof.wordpress.com) is coming along quite awesome, check it out! Sadly, this is short. I need to head home so my folks can head to bed! It’s all about to change! LIVE WITH PASSION! Thank you SO much for reading!!

A Miss And A Half Sunday

First of all, I can’t begin without apologizing for the miss last Sunday, it was a nail-biting shoot to say the least! I took my sons home at noon and took out for what I was hoping would be the completion of my first pass through Lawrence County. I grab some great shots around the old gravel pits when I began to notice a smell that was familiar although, I could not place it to save my life.

I continued driving, snapping shots and stirring dust. I then managed to wonder into the back side of the county airport which I quickly found out was posted on the end that I came back out of! I turned around and ‘got out of dodge.

I took one more shot and climbed back into my Jimmy. I then noticed the corners of my windshield hazed over. Right then I knew what that familiar smell was, it was antifreeze!

I checked my temperature gauge and found it almost in the warning area! I quickly turned off the a/c and turned the heater on full blast, which pulled the dial back enough I was able to make my way back towards Lawrenceville, the closet town to me, and where my grandmother lived to park the Jimmy.

I made it the long way to the highway and watched as the gauge began to climb again, not to mention the temperature in the cab! I entered Lawrenceville with the caution light flashing on and off, meaning it was borderline crossing into the warning area! I reached a hill before my grandmothers home and turned off the engine and coasted to the curb out front.

I spent the past monday night (and 120 bucks) changing out antifreeze, thermostats and hoses. After four hours of sweating and working none stop, I not only had the Jimmy back on-line, but running ten degrees cooler! Today I did not take any photographs because me and my sons went to my fathers for my oldest son, Lynden’s ninth birthday party. It was a great evening today and some great memories were made!

I will end tonight by saying that next Sunday will be the end of the first cycle through Lawrence County! To say I will have been down every road in this county is something I will be very excited about! So until then, LIVE WITH PASSION! P.S. THANKS SO VERY MUCH FOR READING!!