Below is the link that I mentioned for the Troy Times-Tribune. I invite you to click the link and like their page! Have a great night and Live With Passion!
The other day, I came through a small town in southern Illinois called Troy. Nice little homes and businesses on every corner. One in particular caught my eye, a quaint little craft store that I must take Marcey to some time fairly soon. She loves crafts and would probably buy the store out if possible. Being that she is from a much larger town, with many chain craft stores to choose from, I reckon she will enjoy a small yet inviting change of experience!
As I cam around the corner of a block, I saw an old brick building that, if could talk, would have many stories to tell of time past! I love old-time buildings, they have a ton of character and class! This particular building was home to the local newspaper: The Troy Times-Tribune. I instantly feel for the charm of a newspaper holding up shop in, what I assume, is a historic structure to the small town. I immediately thought of Sumner, Illinois and The Sumner Press, which also runs its publication out of a historic building on the small towns main strip.
With that thought in my mind as I was driving, I returned home, some hours later, and made the decision to take a chance and write to The Times-Tribune. Being hours away from this publication, I knew that the possibility of interest in the picture book project might be slim. Then, good ole positive affirmation sank in! I asked myself, how many others have gone out and driven over 6,000 miles in their home county to take pictures through all four season? My answer, none to my knowledge, at least that my small town circle knows.
I wrote the newspaper, telling them about the events leading up to the picture book and then waited. It was not a single day later that, Mr. Rensberry, Editor, returned my reply. He thanked me for driving through Troy and had told me that although they were a small press that dealt mainly with local news, since I took the time to drive through and discover Troy, he thought my picture book event sounded interesting!
See, even if you think it may not work out, give it a shot!!
Now, as for tonight, I sat down at my desk and gave life to a character that has had a name for over a month now, The Articians. For over four weeks now, I have thrown ideas around in my head but to no avail. Then, tonight, as I sat here with the sound of a fish tank bubbling in the background, I found what I was looking for.
The Ariticians are wizard warriors who defend their homeland of Wistenbrook. While they do not open seek conflict, if you cross lines into Wistenbrook, you had better be able to defend yourself because they to not take to trespassers!
Live With Passion!
*Live in the snow cover lands of Wistenbrook.
*Enemy of The Grindlebacks of Shacklemare Cliffs.
*6 feet tall.
*Skilled wizards and warriors.
*Can move through the snow with great stealth.
*Wear large, thick coats with hoods that hide their faces.
Did you know that the beloved Colonel Sanders tried 1,000 times and failed!? It’s true! He marketed his own personal brand of chicken to over 1,000 marketers in his life. It was only after that, he discovered one who took a chance in this crazy southerner and the rest is original recipe history!
I have always dared myself in my writing. Be raw at times, write from the heart and never be afraid to send a story to an agent or publisher whom you know will surely turn your work down. For me it builds my character! Yeah, Think about it, how can you be heard if your never seen?! I have had great reviews and I have been torn to shreds by the literary world and yet to the mattresses we go again!
Why keep doing things like this? It keeps my uncontrollably humble! I enjoy appreciating what I have and what I want out of my life! When I get that envelope in the mail telling me that a story has been ‘rejected’ I smile, yep, you heard read it right! I smile! Why do that? Well, you never know, that’s why! That one chance could be the deal maker, besides, if you don’t try, you always know what the result will be for sure, NOTHING!
Now, Barney & Lexi, being the troopers that they are, are off again! I came across a small and inviting printing-house called Blank Slate Press that caught my attention and has me thinking, why not right?! While my word is just below the age of what they are really looking for, it is worth the chance vs. NOTHING!
Click on the picture and check them out for yourself. I like giving props, even if a publisher passes, humble keeps it real! So, for the night, I want to take a moment to wish you a great day ahead and hope that you never lose sight of your prize!! Remember, Live With Passion!
P.S. I really need to work on Character Development! Lol.
As midnight knocks at the door and is ready to wage war on my going to bed, I wanted to take a quick second to wish Barney & Lexi all of the very best as the travel to Austin, Texas and into The Short Fiction Contest held by American Short Fiction. I love being able to see these to off on another adventure. They seem to have almost as many adventures as Marky, Slash & Levy, lol, almost…
Goodnight and Live With Passion!
What a beautiful day! I mean really, not too hot, not to cold, just the right temperature and sunshine, I Love Sunshine!!
It is because of this because of this wonderful weather, I was able to leave my ‘paycheck’ job and head towards the local park for an hour and half of baseball practice! I love time with my children, at an age where they make the most memories that will follow them forever, I want to jump into every opportunity and remind them that ‘Dad will always be there’!
What a start to my Spring! There is a week and a half left of Cub Scouts, I am sending four into Boy Scouts(one of them, my oldest son, Lynden), I am helping coach a Little League baseball team with Lynden and a T-ball team, with my younger sons; Ethan and Rylen. I currently work 50 hours a week at my ‘paycheck job’, I am looking into publishing the picture book, continuing work on The Boondock Kids, preparing for my wedding in June, preparing to move into a larger home in June, looking to change ‘paycheck’ jobs, sending out Barney & Lexi and doing interviews with publications. You know, I LOVE IT! Why, because it reminds me that I am alive!
I decided tonight to sit down and create The Tussels, a small squirrel civilization that reside in The Misty Mountains. While I am very lacking as an illustrator, I think these fellas will look great in their old fashion miners hard hats with a light on them! Funny what makes writer tick, right? Lol.
* Squirrel-like creatures.
* Stand one foot tall.
* The fastest diggers in Spyderia.
* Many wear a hard hat with a single lamp on it to light their cave as they dig.
* Become very good friends to The Boondock Kids.
* Speak a language that is not understandable. A squeaking tone that only The Boondock Kids can hear after drinking ‘Misty Muck’.
* Pointed wings allow them to scale steep mountainside to dig caverns.
Although it was a cool day outside, nothing was going to interrupt todays events that were planned! Today was t-ball practice and I love being a large part of my children’s activities, therefore, I spent my time immediately following completion of my ‘paycheck’ job, at the park with my sons team for a little practice.
It was also church night in the Fox house! The practice let out with just enough time to spare that we were able to enter the church just as things had begun. I am seldom late but tonight, that was pushing the bar slightly, lol. After church, I took my sons home to their grandparents house for a sleep over. I would imagine that they are having the time of their lives!
Tonight, after church, I found myself beginning with working on a new character. I will soon have characters for every single territory in Spyderia! Then, I will begin proceeding forward! That character is The Zephyrwhisk from the land of Hysteria.
* 9 foot tall figures, composed of whiling air that make up its being and armor.
* Not know if Zephyrwisk has any sort of real body to begin with!
*Can create thunderbolts and shoot them with pinpoint accuracy.
*From the land of Hysteria.
*No allies but can be bought off with coins.
*Able to create and shoot lightning bolts.
*Very seldom attacks others, but is very defensive of those who enter Hysteria with no prior warning.
As a writer, I always work to get my stories out and into the world. Sometimes this is an easy task, and sometimes it can be rather daunting. However, when I give an interview with a newspaper or magazine, I feel blessed. You see a publication has but one purpose, PRINT TO BE READ! The question, then is, “How to attract those readers?” With limited space and many topics clamoring to be placed, publications must choose which topics are going to garner readers and which ones are not.
I am always excited when I give an interview! Whether it is a larger newspaper or magazine or a wonderful small press who has a devote readership! When I am interviewed, I always remember one simple thing: “The person talking with me does not have to be there, they don’t have to be interested and they certainly do not have to, for any reason, put my stories into their publication!”
I have given interviews that were lengthy in detail and excitement and once published, end up as a small section in the center of the magazine, while some are rather short and seem somewhat routine and find a way on the front page cover! These are all the same though, because I remember my simple saying. From the smallest article to the largest feature, it is all brought to life by those who don’t have to care but see it to be worth bringing to light.
I keep almost all of my interviews in a cabinet, I have been keeping them since 2006 and sometimes, I enjoy getting many of them out and taking a glance at memory lane. To see where you want to go, you need to be proud of what got you here from the past! The achievements of the past keep me humble and help me appreciate every person who takes time out of their own life to ask me about mine!
Into my sixth book and some couple of thousand photos later, I can not help but look back at those who have entrusted their time to me and realize that every interview could lead to that ‘Big One’ that gets Marky, Slash & Levy, Barney & Lexi, The Boondock Kids and my 6,000+ miles of pictures into the eyes and hands of many readers! Humbled however, each interview is a ‘Big One’ to me!!
Live With Passion!
Do you ever have a great day or weekend? You know, one where all of the stress of the daily grind fails to enter your life?!
This past weekend, from Friday night until today, I have had one wonderful memory after another! It all began as I picked my wonderful sons up for a weekend, out-of-town. We traveled to Evansville, Indiana for rest and prep for our busy weekend. I, my Fiance’, Daughter and two of my three sons (my youngest had a great day with his grandma) left Evansville and made the two hours trip to Marengo, Indiana and the Marengo Caves National Park, where we embarked on a wonderful, two-hour, cave expedition! We had traveled with the Cub Scout Webelos that I help lead and had a great time! Watching my children smile and get excited in the caves is what makes my job as a father so rewarding!!
My youngest son, went to the local children’s museum and had a fun day with my mother, the museum had so much to offer and I thank my God for the day he was given to spend with her!!
Outside of Evansville, we met up with her and got him and made our way back to Illinois, where they children laughed and played in the back yard, until dark. I know I have said I am glad to see winter go, but this time I was more serious than ever! Hearing two boys (now my oldest son spent the night with a friend from scouts) and a girl laugh and have fun, while I washed our car from the days adventure made me so very thankful to be alive and blessed for all that I have!
Sunday brought a wonderful morning of church, followed by a great cookout with some dear friends! There is nothing like sitting around enjoying others company while all of our children play outside and make positive memories of their own. The kids played there hearts in the back yard and the food, well, for a writer who lives off of microwaved meals, was as welcomed as water would be from a suffering fish, lol!
Sitting in the sun, I closed my eyes and simply appreciated the time and the moment! There is nothing like the feel of pure sunlight hitting your body and soul and seemingly, recharging your batteries! Lol, I know understand why cats love it so much!
Even though I took my sons back to their mother afterwards, not even that moment could cheapen my memories made. I returned to Evansville and spent the evening with my fiance’ and daughter before returning home today. Now, here we are at 11p.m. and I have given Kelmare (the creature that befriends Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena in ‘The Boondock Kids’) a visual life and a creature name. I have decided upon calling Kelmare a ‘Eldenthorn’ being that he, and others like him live in the Eldenthorn Forest. I sat and tried to use my thoughts to come up with a sharp and edgy name, however, Eldenthorn just stuck with me and I have learned that, as a writer, if it sticks, I have to try it out!
*All stand at 5’11” tall in height.
*Have magical powers to make inanimate objects come to life to perform tasks.
*Large triangular-shaped ears that protrude from long spikes of long hair.
*Kind in nature but must warm up to other before trusting them.
*Neat and tidy civilization.
*Kelmare (an Elderthorn) befriends Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena.