Crushing 2018

I can’t say enough about how wonderful 2018 is and will be! This is the year that I continue the journey towards achieving my goals and making my dreams a reality!

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It snowed here on Friday, enough that they closed the local schools and I spent the afternoon with my sons in the backyard. We made snow angels, threw snowballs and drank hot chocolate as we warmed up! I may be finding my was to success but it means nothing if I am not making positive memories with my children who are my why!

After my sons went back home, which is just next door as I rent a home to their mother and step-father. I love being so close to my kids and thank my God for allowing such an opportunity to be here. Anyhow, after they walked home, I found myself online when I came across a question from my friend Boyd, a biohacker extraordinaire, who ask for all of his friends to post a song that fit their moods right then.

I had been pumped for 2018 and began thinking of a movie that I had not seen in some time. An eighties movie called ‘The Secret of My Success’ staring Micheal J. Fox. That soundtrack has a song performed by Pat Benetar called, ‘Sometimes The Good Guys Finish First’. I had to post that song!

Thank got me to really thinking about what I still feared and the desire to take those head on! We have but one life and I am a successful author and speaker, now it is time to go out there and get what is mine!

I woke up and went in on this Martin Luther King day (my personal thank you to Dr. King for having his own dream and going after it), and went into work at the high school and helped clear snow off the walkways. I was blessed to use a snow blower but found myself getting quite cold after four hours. I watched as the snow came out and thought to myself, ‘There is more and I am going to get it!’

Now, with school being out tomorrow also due to the weather, I will be returning to work in the morning to do a bit more before moving inside for a short time. It will be a short day but enough to inspire me to work even harder to make each day my own! Before I go, I want to wish you a safe and warm rest of the week. If your reading this and have a school I can come and speak at, LET ME KNOW! We’ll make something happen! Have a great day ahead everyone!!

P.S. I got back into The Boondock Kids today and completed pages seventy-three and seventy-four!

The Second Day Of 1st For Me!

Boy was it hot today! The air conditioners at my day job almost quit and the store-front was very, very warm. I was very happy to return home and get a refreshing shower before heading of to my evening job. I admit that my back is a bit sore tonight but I believe the heat helped with that today. I do enjoy entering a cool building and working until my work is done though.

Regardless of the heat, I am very excited with another first for me and my writing! The editor of Tri-State OUTDOOR Magazine contacted me today and asked if I would work up an article on my picture book project for the upcoming Fall issue of the magazine! I quickly said yes and after gathering just a few specifics, I now have a new article to write and get sent in before the October 10th deadline! And the 1st for me is that I will be paid $40.00 for the article! It has also taken 12 years to make money with my passion and I am so very grateful for that!

When the editor found out about my writing, she informed me that they have a sister publication that might be a good fit for a story about my writing career up to right now. I am in shock some that I may get work into two more magazines this year, and good solid publications at that!!

I also spoke with a teacher who heads up a high school writing class and have confirmed that I will travel to the school in October and speak with her students about the process and dedication it take to hang in there when writing! I will know more as it draws closer.

As for now, I bid you a goodnight. I hope you have a great Thursday and make your mark on the world! Have a great day!!

In Hand

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Today, my wife delivered some great news!

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My first copy of the first volume of the Spring Edition had arrived and I could not wait to look at it! Having it in my hands fell as though my trek that began three years ago had come full circle. Being my very first picture book, I could not be more excited to see a finished volume in front of me.

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One thing that I have been thinking of since then is that instead of three volumes of each season, I may layout a combined edition and publish one edition of Spring as an individual hardback book. I will put more thought into that before deciding but can not hide my happiness over this accomplishment.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday and Live With Passion!

Volume #3 Is Now Out

I am very excited to have all three of my Spring Volumes now out and available. It has been a long road from the very beginning to now but they look wonderful and well worth all of the effort, gas and time.

Before my eyes shut for the night, I want to invite you to check them out! I appreciate the wonderful response and want to thank you for your kind words of support!!

Click below to see Volume #3! And, as always, Live With Passion!!

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spring volume 3 cover

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!!!

Fall Farewell

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As the snow slowly begins to melt, I make my way south of U.S. Highway 50 and into the last small section of my ‘Fall’ map.
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When I began in late September, I knew that I had the most ground to cover before the end of the season. Due to my transportation changing, the ‘Fall’ map had the least amount of ground covered. Meaning, I was going to have to run a proverbial gauntlet in order to make up ground and finish on time.
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As I traveled up and down the few remaining roads, it was actually bittersweet, knowing that I could cover such ground and sticking to my guns and getting it done! The good feeling that accompanies an accomplishment is merely icing on the cake of hard work!
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This time, I made my way along the Wabash River and into state preserved wetlands. The landscape had gone from vast farm ground, riddled with irrigation pumps, to mostly uninhabited wilderness in only a few short miles. never the less, I got in some great shots and enjoyed my time!
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The weather also helped considerably, I had gone through the blizzard only a few weeks sooner and was now glad to see such precipitation go as the days turned for the better. I would imagine that as Winter makes its way, the cold days, most certainly lay ahead!
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Battlefield Blizzard

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With a Sunday morning covered in white, I wake with my three amazing sons, each, covered up warm under blankets. With the fire burning, I look out my frost covered windows and see, not the sun, but rather a very grey, clouded sky welcoming the early morning.
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Still, not even a cold and clouded day could stop my sons and I from entering the backyard and playing as though it were Summer, Winter coats included! We enjoyed our time together with snowball fight, playing on the swing set covered with snow and even letting Lynden’s dog, Rascal, out for some fun in the ten inches.
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Even with all of the fun, it would soon be time for my sons to see their mother and I would return them to our dropping point. You know, it is sad when children have to have a “Drop Off Point”. None the less, a great weekend was had and that is all that matters to this Dad!
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By this time, mother nature was stirring up the snow that had fallen the past couple of days and begun dropping the temperature. I would grab my fountain drink and head back out for my next to last Sunday on the ‘Fall’ map. That’s right snow and Fall in the same sentence.
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Now Allison Township is home to what, we in Lawrence County call, Allison Prarie, a very large area of Lawrence County, Illinois that is nothing more that flat, open farm ground with very few trees scattered across the landscape. It is, by far, the most barren are of the county.
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This trek would also be the most treacherous one in the two years that I have been working on this project! I logged 51 miles in the midst of a blizzard. There were many points during my trek that the roads were not visible and travel was slow and steady.
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Heck, there were a couple of situations where I was making the only tracks down a snow-covered road for the first time that not one vehicle had been down since the first snowfall. I am always ever so thankful for my four-wheel-drive! It has gotten me through some of the hardest conditions while working on this project. Without it, some of my photographs would not be possible.
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With that said, I want to wish you a safe and careful remainder to your week! I am always so grateful for your time and hope you Live With Passion!

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