Tea, Questions & A Feeling

fire place fire photoAs Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena sit near the fireplace, on the floor of Kelmares hut, Kelmare brews his special tea for the newcomers to Spyderia and hands each child an old, tin mug filled with the wonder drink. Being thirsty, Mario, Louis and Sindy gladly sip their drink with appreciation. As Kelmare hands Cristena her mug, he senses by the lost look upon her face that something is on her mind, to which Cristena, unsure of her thoughts, assures Kelmare that everything is alright as she takes her mug from him with a half-smile upon her face.

As the children sip their tea, Louis begins to ask Kelmare about Spyderia and what it is exactly. Kelmare compares it to Red Hill, the children’s home, assuming that the two worlds are similar. Mario, Louis and Sindy assure Kelmare that Spyderia is nothing like Red Hill and vice versa!

Kelmare then becomes just as interested in learning about Red Hill and makes an agreement with his new friends to tell them all he can about Spyderia if they, in return, will tell him all about the sleepy little town of Red Hill, Oregon.

I am so glad to have another page of The Boondock Kids complete! I have become so determined to complete The Four Seasons Of Lawrence County picture book that it has left me with little time to sit myself down at my desk and continue this amazing ride that Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena are taking. The hardest thing about blogging is keeping myself progressing enough to share with you amazing stories. It means so very much that you read this and I want to share something with you every day if possible and I look to work very hard to do just that!

Again, thank you very much for taking the time out of your life to read what I am trying to do with mine as I reach for the dream of becoming a successful children’s author. I love reading your comments and look forward to more! Remember to Live With Passion!

Prairie Writer’s & Illustrator’s Day

So I just entered for a free opportunity to travel just outside of St. Louis and attend the Prairie Writer’s & Illustrator’s Day Conference! The last contest I entered was with Bk1 of Marky, Slash & Levy. I won the Great Stuff Writing Contest and attended the Connecticut Fiction Fest which was amazing!

This time around, I have chosen to enter Barney & Lexi being that it is fully edited and more polished than M,S&L. I can only ask if you will wish me luck! You know, I have just as much opportunity as anyone else!

Live With Passion!!

Offroad & Offtrack

The clock in my office/bedroom said 1:00p.m. I grabbed my mileage book, my highlighter, “Summer” map and camera and headed out the door. A quick stop at the gas station for a fountain drink and I made my way north towards “The Dust Bowl”. It would be a day filled with dust!
I began this bright Sunday afternoon in the northwest corner of Lawrence County. I always enjoy standing at the intersection of three counties, to me it is a geographic oddity where you can literally be in three places at once! This intersection was ironically, a crossroads, much like the one I feel I am at in my life…
This area of my home is also the most isolated! The vast majority of corn and bean fields lie in this township and the homes are few and, at some points, very far in between. Today I drove 88 miles(a record log for my treks) and I only past two vehicles in the five hours I spent out getting shots.
I often drive down the road not paying any attention to the road beneath me and my Jimmy, today however, I found myself always looking behind me and observing the tracks I made on the gravel roads. LOL, I can clearly see now that I am all over the place while out getting photographs!
Today was adventurous! I had come to a section of road that I had come to in the Spring of 2012. This is a stretch of road that runs into a very low-lying area of Petty Township and is the intersection of two creek beds. This section is often underwater and thus has washed away the road so many times that the road crew officially abandoned it.
I walked two miles on foot up the abandoned stretch of road to make sure that the foolish child in me was not going to become hung up in the old roadbed and make the adult in me look silly. It is always a rush to go off-road! My map said it was a road and keeping with my promise to travel every road through every season, I was going!
I put my Jimmy in four-wheel-drive and flew through the forgotten road with ease! As I eventually made my way to where the gravel had not washed away, I stopped and got out, looked behind me, thinking about how last year this same area had been underwater and the adult in me said, “I don’t think so young man!”
All in all, I covered some ground and got some great shots on my way to closing the gap on the “Summer” map! I am also very happy to say that I will be one of 45 authors across the country to be entered in Midwest Writer’s Guild’s novel: “Truths& Tales”! This novel will have various authors telling their personal story on the road to success, “The Life of L.B. Fox” chapter will give you a very deep view into the road to where I am (thankful to be) at. I will post more on “Truths & Tales” as its official release date is announced!
Before I say goodnight once again, I wonder, if life came with a manual, would we use it? I admit that my mind seems so off track anymore and the simplest things seem so large. However, here is to life without a manual! Live With Passion!!

Diesel & Dust

100_4972Today was not the typical Sunday afternoon for me. It was and afternoon filled with laughter and memories as my oldest son Lynden, who recently turned 10, had his birthday party with his mother. It was a beautiful afternoon and I could not feel more happy to attend and spend more time with my children!
I love watching my sons laugh and smile! What parent doesn’t right? I watched as Lynden, flanked by friends of his, open presents and eat Minecraft style cupcakes and cookies! You know these moments are special and will not be forgotten!
I walked my four-year old, Rylen, who had grown tired of staying in one place, across the local city park and played until he was beat red and need a drink of water. I never had to many memories of doing things like this with my parents and work my tail off to give them to my children! To watch him run and play is a joy in itself!
After the presents, the playing and the visiting, friends went home, food was packed up and I gave my boys a hug goodbye and made my way home. I knew it was much later than I had ever started before, however, I took my Summer map of Lawrence County, Illinois off my wall, grabbed my mileage log, highlighter, camera and fountain drink and made my way over the highway to the north side of the county.
Just as it had been the previous year when I was in the area I call “The Dust Bowl”, the lack of rain and miles upon miles of gravel roads gave way to droves of dust as I made my way up and down the 67 miles of ground I covered. At times, I would stop and then wait about 20 seconds for the dust to pass my Jimmy before getting out to take my shot.
Even with all of the dust, I loved being able to stop and snap shots of the beautiful flowers that continue to grow along the roadways! The color amongst all of the browns and greens of Summer are amazing to capture with my camera.
This is also the time for farm machinery and road construction equipment to be out and sitting in set asides and fields, waiting for their owners to return on Monday and begin work again! Nothing like a drive on a late Sunday afternoon amongst the diesel and dust!
I want to end by saying, we don’t ever know how much time we have on this beautiful Earth, so make the most of it and Live With Passion!!

Movin’ On Up!

100_4838As I finish up No Man’s Land, I find myself ready to cross US Highway 50 and head north into an area I have termed The Dust Bowl. However, as I finish No Man’s Land, I am overcome by the rustic beauty of my home county! Every season brings new life to everything I see.
I stopped in the local gas station at Sumner, Illinois and grabbed my fountain drink and took off, south, to finish up the long and narrow strip on my map of Lawrence County, Illinois. You ever notice how refreshing fountain drinks are, I don’t know, maybe it is just me!?
No Man’s Land is always difficult for me to shot because I always find myself driving up the county line road and looking on the other side (which is another county) and starting to take a shot before realizing what I am doing and stop. My project is of Lawrence County only, so, to take a photo of any neighboring county would take away from the pure feeling I have for this series. Thus, I keep every picture with my home county!
I still have to cover this area twice more before I am finished, but as things begin to close in, the very smallest of light at the end of the tunnel is now showing itself. I can not begin to imagine how many photos I will have at the end of this but I will have captured parts of history that are beautifully captured by a photograph.
I was recently approached with the suggestion about sending some of my material to places like Farm & Ranch magazine when I am finished. I never thought of that but zines just like that might like some of my photos perhaps. What do you think?
Anyway, it is 11:00 and as I am ready for my pillow I want to thank you personally so very much for taking the time out of your life to read about my project. It means a great deal and is appreciated! Live With Passion!

No Man’s Land

100_4832On this particular trek, I journeyed to the very farthest I could travel in Lawrence County Illinois, an area I have titled, No Man’s Land, simply because this far corner of Lawrence County has very few homes and miles upon miles of farmland.
I did not cover much ground on the map, however, I managed to log 68 miles to my journal. My accountant told me that I might get half of that money back this coming tax season which would be wonderful given the hundreds I have spent on fuel!
At one point in my trek, I captured a shot, then simply leaned back, against my Jimmy and listened to the absolute sound of nothing. This area truly is No Man’s Land, for not even a sound was heard at times. Still, I must say that this area is very beautiful. It is home to some wonderful butterflies that have eluded my camera to this point, LOL!
Mother nature also has spared us from some rains as of late, thus, this is the first trek out this Summer, where the dust has reappeared and covered my Jimmy quite nicely. There is nothing more country than when you spot another vehicle coming your direction on a gravel road and as it passes you, it leaves an enormous dust storm in its wake.
I am covering more ground for the fourth and final time on this trek and realizing that by New years, I could be close to completion and on my way to publication! Strange actually, to travel some roads for the final time and know it is on the down hill slope.
Still, I am moving on, tired and wiry, but moving on! I want to invite you to stop by my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ImaginaryFox and I would love to hear from you via snail mail at Imaginary Fox P.O. Box 134 Bridgeport, IL. 62417 I wish you a great night, Live With Passion!