Trabantians

I can’t go on without saying that I have just finished what was an amazing weekend! A weekend filled with love and family. You see I am getting married, (yes I know I have not mentioned it before now) and this weekend brought my family together with my wife-to-be and her family, without me!

My Marcey and her mother went shopping Saturday with my mother and step mother for our wedding. It not only ment a lot that my mother and step-mother have a pleasant time, but that everyone, as a whole, got together as a family to celebrate and have some memory making moments! I truly thank my God for this blessing!!

Every weekend is a blessing with my sons! Add my daughter and wife-to-be in and movie theater in and you talk about fun! I had the pleasure of viewing Mr. Peabody and Sherman Last night and found the film very good and the picture was great visually!

Then what could be more fun after Sunday church, than a homemade lunch and a backyard for four children to play in the sun with! I am so very glad that old man winter is moving on and will not return for many months!

Returning home I have found myself creating The Trabantians! A rather small and peaceful civilization that live within the grasslands of Tabantia. I love these creatures because they are so very gentle and welcoming. Their generosity has led many to try to use their kindness for trickery, however, the average Trabantian is no fool and very difficult to manipulate. Never the less, they are some of the most peaceful, and productive inhabitants of Spyderia!

Trabantian
Trabantian

Trabantians
* Two feet tall.
* Troll like inhabitants of Trabantia.
* Very peaceful.
* Use cycles to harvest the grasses of Trabantia for their food supply.
* Long and floppy ears.
* Thick spiked hair on their heads.
* Though extremely kind, very seldom manipulated.
* Evil queen despises the entire civilization because of their bright personalities.
* They have the power to shape shift the ground beneath them for protection.

Don’t forget, hard work will show reward, careless wishing with bring your broken hopes. Live With Passion!!

Abyssians

Abyssian
Abyssian

I sit at my computer screen tonight, with one eye shut, leaving my right eye to watch the words as I type them in front of me. It has been one heck of a long day and what energy I had for this afternoon is now gone, out of here, no existant! I have to admit that I am very glad to have Spring officially here, even though I awoke this morning to a light coating of snow upon the ground! I am very much ready for the warmer, sunny days!

So, tonight I sat down and began thinking about my next character for The Boondock Kids. After two hours, I have given life to The Abyssians. These enormous, water based characters live in the deep waters of Juniper Lake, which is created by the magical Ruby Falls. The Drane River cuts into Spyderia and reaches out over the Shacklemare Cliffs, creating the falls. Juniper lake then funnels itself down and into the Pasteria River, before completing the dissection of Spyderia.

At first I could not decide if The Abyssians were good or bad, but I have settled on bad for the reason that, in my mind, I can see them as clearly, gigantic and devastating to those who would drift into Juniper Lake. Ok, so with that said, here are some stats on The Abyssians. Remember, Live With Passion!

Abyssian:

* Water based character that looms over 200 feet tall.
* Composed of thousands of gallons of water.
* Resides within Lake Juniper.
* Very devastating, can drown most creatures within striking distance of its massive aqua punches.
* Guards the mouth of Juniper Lake and Ruby Falls for the evil queen.
* Will only allow the evil queen to safely travel across Juniper Lake.
* No known weakness.

Whimsics

Whimsic
Whimsic

Wow! I can not believe that I have a character created and it is not yet 10 o’clock! I admit that I am never at a loss for amazement! Thinking about The Grindlebacks took most of the evening and I sat up until one in the morning to complete it, Hmm,could an early bed time be taken tonight?

I had a particular image stuck in my head of pale creatures with crazy hair and dressed in black that could control others with the sound of their shrieks. It almost came out too quickly! I love creating characters! There is something about giving life to a character that is somewhat similar to a young child being born. At one point it was not their, then, in the blink of an eye, it is not only here but growing as we speak with a life of its own.

The Whimsic:
*6 feet tall
*Pointed ears with white, spiked hair
*Hollow blue eyes
*Slinder build
*Powers of trance when their shriek is heard
*Inhabitants of The Clawthorne Mountains
*No Friends
*Bribed servants of evil queen

With a very busy weekend ahead of me, I want to wish you a Happy Spring and a wonderful day! Live With Passion!!

The Sumner Press

Sumner Press 2014
So there I am, driving my Jimmy down the timeless main street of Sumner, Illinois. I pull to the side, near the curb, and park in front of an old insurance agency building. I climb out, and with the wonderful (and welcomed), warm, pre-spring air gently blowing past, I make my way across the old black top thoroughfare and under the canopy of one of the towns oldest business, The Sumner Press, for an engaging, one on one interview with the publisher.

The one thing that I enjoy as I tell my stories to others is the moment they become inspired! Inspiration is such a wonderful emotion, it truly can make a mole hill out of a mountain! I opened the old and creaky, wooden door and stepped back into time. An antiquated cash register from a time gone buy greeted me as I entered the lobby.The walls, lined with photographs of memories past, announced that I was in good company!

I was then, ever so politely, welcomed by Barbara Allender, Lead Writer and Photographer for the hundred year old press. With a smile upon her face and two empty office chairs sitting close by, we sat down for an engaging interview, telling the story of the picture book project!

As a writer, I have done my share of interviews. I have to admit the ones that mean the most are those, to which, the person or people you are conversing with have a passion for the questions they are asking me and are curious themselves. Mrs. Allender, a seasoned journalist in her own right, filled her yellow notepad with every answer that I would give and fired off the next question before finishing with her notes.

As we talked I found myself being drawn back to what had inspired me to do such a project, the times with my own grandfather, driving around in the countryside! I was taken back to the sights, the smells and the sounds, only this time, I did not have to be driving my Jimmy down back roads of Lawrence County, Illinois to see, taste and hear them.

It would be a memorable hour in the hospitality of a such an inviting publication! As we finished, our interview was completed with, no other than, a handshake! Talk about appreciation! The gratitude was fully on this side of the table!

Live With Passion!

Grindlebacks

GRINDLEBACK
GRINDLEBACK

I see it is 12:47a.m. meaning my paycheck job is closer than it was before. However, I had to stay up and work on ‘The Grindleback’! I enjoy rock creatures so much and loved giving birth to ‘The Rock Gods’ in Marky, Slash & Levy that I continued that love with ‘The Grindlebacks’. I am so excited to give them a life!!

GRINDLEBACK-
*25 feet tall
*Live in Shacklemare Cliffs
*Semi-Peaceful
*Only known enemy is the Articians of Wistenbrook
*Very intelligent while being very laid back
*Carryies a double edge axe

What I had not planned on was beginning work on my next character, but I will leave that for tomorrow night!!

Live With Passion!!

Barney & Lexi: On Their Way To New Mexico!

I just finished the touches on Barney & Lexi and got that dim-witted dog and confident cat packaged up and ready to ship out tomorrow to the Noemi Press-Book Awards in Mesilla Park, New Mexico. I am so excited for this two! They have been everywhere and a winning entry is on the horizon, with God willing! Wish them the best as they head out tomorrow!!

Live With Passion!

Noemi Press

Roadblock Breakdown

SPYDERIA
SPYDERIA

A couple of months ago, I sat down and began work on my map for Spyderia. Spyderia being the magical world around the characters of my sixth children’s book; The Boondock Kids. Then, I had planned to sit down and let it all come to me, just as it had when I laid out the world of Mavenwood in my 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th books of Marky, Slash & Levy. Well…that wasn’t ment to be I reckon!

I laid out four very realistic landscape of Spyderia that night. The Misty Mountains, The Clawthorn Mountains, which together, created Misty Claw Hollow and the enchanted Eldenthorne Forest. I was doing great and having a smile on my face when, BAM! A roadblock hit that left me with no further ideas!

I would be forced to shelf the map of Spyderia for a few months, those months ending tonight!

I sat down at my desk tonight and stared for only a few minutes and then it hit me like a block! For the next 45 minutes I worked, thought and drew my way across Spyderia. I began by creating the lust prairie of Trabantia, the rolling Shidler Hills, the dogwood tree adorn flat lands of Warrensted, the plateau riddled lands of Shaklemare, the beach peninsula of Sands of Mistenmare, the bitterly cold tundra of Wistenbrook, the barren wasteland of Hysteria and the murky Swamp of Rayback!

After ten years of writing children’s stories, I am always surprised when how things might seem like a roadblock for what seems like forever and then (once again, lol) BAM! You sit down and work through it like it was no sweat at all! To top it all off, I created Ruby Falls, Juniper Lake, Drane River and Pasteria River!

All in a good nights work I reckon! Live With Passion!

All Within A County; (6,224 Miles Of Farewells)

6,224 miles driven! A final farewell for the pictures treks...
6,224 miles driven! A final farewell for the pictures treks…

You ever realize that at some points in our lives, you have to step away from things? Well, I found myself so wrapped up in trying to be a success that I could not see that being a success in real life was not what I had in my mind-set!
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You see, I had come to a point in my career that I was so pulled between The Boondock Kids, keeping up with this blog, adding pictures to Flickr,working on completion of the picture book project, raising three boys and working at my ‘paycheck’ job 50 hours a week that I lost sight of what mattered the most and it was to be a success to myself! I stepped away from most of it in order to find what I valued most.
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One thing I found was completion! That’s right, in my time away from Facebooking and blogging, I wrapped my picture book project!!! Every Road, Every Season is now completed from the field!! You wanna know the coolest thing of all?!
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I drove 6,224 miles and remained inside the small area of Lawrence County, Illinois!!
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That is the distance of crossing the United States and back and then crossing 1/4 of it for the third time!! Now, I know after my time away that this news may not impress many. It will probably not become some national newspaper fodder, and you know what…that will not be the end of my celebration!
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I am not sure how many others have done what I have completed, perhaps none, maybe many. Still I am proud to say that just I finished my first book of Marky, Slash & Levy, I am proud to look up and feel so wonderful for completing something that I began wondering if it was possible, well, it was!!
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I am proud to say that an amazing woman has entered my life and with it the sense of renewal! When things get too rough, you sometimes have to step away from what matters to really see what matters. Lift your faith above, close your eyes and learn to believe in yourself all over again!
The vehicles that went on this trek with me!!!
The vehicles that went on this trek with me!!!

I am truly thankful for the two vehicles and two cameras that made my project a success in my eyes and to my God for allowing it to come full circle!!! As I look to returning to writing soon, I find myself learning what matters most, and it sure wasn’t the success I thought it was! Live With Passion!!!