Monday, January 27, 2014

DiRT

    April is a wonderful time, it always has been for me.  Me and my 2 sisters, all born in April, two years between each of us.  I love the weather too.  As I have gotten older, the festivities associated with birthdays have dwindled, but at age 27, bound to my reluctance to accept number 28, I am excited for the progress made.  My chapter book, for kids ages 8-10 will be available via Amazon and Kindle.  I am particularly excited because this time I had the pleasure of working with a very talented artist some of you know, Brandon Ax.  This collaborative experience has taught me the benefit of letting go in your weaknesses and working harder on your strengths. 


   
    DiRT may not have the nicest clothes or the job of his dreams, but there is one thing he doesn't lack, and that's heart.  He has four of them in fact, and they ache for his secret crush, Chesnee Stillwater.  Love struck he finally gets the courage to ask her out, but plans don't always go the way you imagine they will.  Problems at work, out growing his home and humiliated in front of everyone, Dirt thinks that things could not get worse.  Dirt had no idea.  Sulking about his miserable life, Dirt gets caught off guard and is snatched by a fisherman.  Barely escaping death from a hook as large as he was, Dirt is saved by a falling leaf.  As he washes ashore an island, nothing could have prepared him for the danger, adventure and the lessons that stood in front of him.  A story of the power of love from the perspective of a worm named Dirt that is sure to make you reassess your ideas of happiness, Dirt is sure to make you laugh, smile and reflect on what matters most, the one's you love.


    

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You Are Your Worst Critic

   
IWSG
(Click Picture For Link)




      Writing is difficult at times because we have an understanding that no matter what we write about, somehow part of who we are and how we think is in there.  We reference past relationships or use friends and family as a mirror to our characters.  Sometimes the ideals and morality that is told in a story, whether fictional or not, has an undertone that comes from a personal place.  Because I am aware of this it makes it difficult to write sometimes.  I am a clam when it comes to most of the matters of my life so if I say too much, even indirectly, it comes through to someone that is also a writer. 


     I like to keep a certain amount of my identity to myself, and for this reason I struggle at times to write as freely as I think.  I have slowly learned that I can't hide myself from my writing because it is so much a part of what I do that without including it, I really don't have a lot to say.  So if you are insecure about showing yourself in your writing, you shouldn't be.  It just might be the best part anyway.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daily Success

      I received a gift yesterday that to most people would not be an emotional one.  I received a bed.  Now I know it may come as a surprise, but everyone does not have this common comfort available to them.  Due to some life changing events in my life, I have been without this comfort for months.  Granted, I have learned of several things you can sleep on through personal experience that are the "Do Not's" of good rest.  Nothing can make you feel better than a great nights rest, and so it goes that without, you can feel pretty crumby. 


      Sometimes I catch myself forgetting that the biggest blessings that anyone could ask for are usually the ones that they have already been given.  A bed for example, although looked forward to resting on after a long day, was never itself thought of as a gift.  After all, most people have never done without, but after suffering through neck and back pains and exhaustions for the better part of four months, I couldn't help but getting teary eyed when I saw it. 


     We are all blessed with wonderful things, family, a warm place to stay, a way to get from point A to point B, or just having a place to go in the first place.  Somehow we appreciate these things, but fail to accept them as successes in themselves.  Sleeping upon that mattress, I felt like a King for the night, knowing the struggles that led me to be without, and seeing myself with once again.  Through any part of your life, you can feel overwhelmed and consumed with foresight that doesn't equal your reality, but if you realize your lows exceed many others highs, then I think you will learn to stop putting so much pressure on your future and learn to live in the successes of your day.  Nothing is more rewarding and it will help drive you without bringing you down.  Rest well, but live better.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Gift Of Thought

Every idea does not come from somewhere deep and because of something important. Often times the greatest moments we experience are those of un-expectancy. I sat with fellow blogger and friend Brandon Ax and the idea came to him to write a song. He said it jokingly at first, as did I, because I write music when I feel anguish or excitement, and more times than not love.

This time was different though because nothing terrific or horrible was a precursor to the events that followed that innocent idea. It was silly in fact, to just sit and write as if some part of us were even capable. Granted I have written several songs and he as a writer himself showed the capability of doing so, but it always felt to me like when emotion charged the writing, I didn't feel responsible for the thoughts and words that fell from that moment, rather I was an assistant to my feelings, only doing the actual work of writing it down.

Emotions, whether good or bad act so often as triggers to the inert abilities we sometimes forget are in us. It seems effortless to tap into our own resources when emotion is involved, but as we found out over the course of about 3 hours, it is not emotion that creates the thoughts and desires within us, they only help to expel them when we normally would hold on to them selfishly. The truth is, we all have been gifted with thought, and whether or not we exercise it is up to us. It is easier to do when triggered by an event, but the gift is there waiting regardless so you might as well use it. You never know who could be waiting to hear the exact thing your thinking. Hope you enjoy. Thanks

Monday, December 23, 2013

BAD DOG

     Bad Dog!!!  We've all said it at one point or anther to our beloved pooches, unless you don't own a dog, in which case I have one thing to say....GET A DOG!!!  They are great.  Seriously though, you've at least heard someone say it.  In fact it's probably the most common phrase directed towards canines next to "good dog".  I have used the phrase many times myself.  It dawned on me though that maybe my dog understood what I was saying.  I mean I would certainly hope that she did, after all I am speaking to her as if she does, expecting her to listen and to be obedient. 

     One day when I uttered the phrase, Bad Dog, she lowered her head in shame and pouted.  I couldn't help but to reevaluate what it was I was actually saying to her.  The precursor to her scolding was really not that big of a deal.  She got excited and knocked a glass from the table next to my couch.  I reflexively barked at her with those two words that no dog wants to hear.  I didn't tell her she did something wrong, didn't show my dog her mistake, nope, I just flat out told her, you are a bad dog

     Imagine if you made a mistake at work and someone came to you and said, you are a bad person.  I mean that's really harsh to be told you are not a good person because you made a mistake.  I know that dogs don't think like we do and they operate on a different level than humans, but its something to consider.  If you think your dog understands what your saying, maybe it's not the best way to say it.

The conception of TWIG

      Feb. the 2nd in Nashville, TN I will be auditioning for the Voice.  I have been in love with music since I was very small and my dad always had me in a studio doing his recordings.  I fell in love with what music could do.  I have always had a heart for others and music is not limited to one type of person.  It is a universal medicine that can instantly change the atmosphere of a room.  So when February arrives and I stand in front of the producers and sing, it will be an expected journey.  I will be excited and nervous of course, but it is something I sought after for a while. 

     Writing on the other hand, at least writing books, was completely unexpected.  I never thought about doing it, and it never once crossed my mind as something I'd be good at or would enjoy.  Honestly it was a simple thought, one that wasn't miraculous or brilliant, that drove me to write.  I thought out loud one day, 'Hey, there should be a book about a stick that falls out of his family tree.'  I know, just a simple play on words that a child could have thought up, and at first that's all that I made of it.  Something strange happened though and I'll never understand why.  As I was working as a forklift driver in Charlotte, NC I found myself thinking about this silly little stick.  Something about it just would not go away.

     As I pushed it to the back of my mind several more times, it always reemerged.  I only had the one thought, not a complete story and I belittled the idea by saying it was silly.  That is until me and my wife went to an adoption agency.  She was unable to carry a child for me and adoption seemed like the perfect fit.  It was in that office, discussing the number of children that needed a family, that my heart broke for those children.  Kids of adoption are completely helpless in the situation and it's not their fault.  It was then that I knew that that silly little stick that I couldn't forget about was more than a mere idea, but something that embodied the condition in which these children were living in. 

     Unsure of how to even start the story I spoke with my wife and the engines started turning.  The story of Twig was written in less than a day, but I had sat on the idea for 3 years before it was written.  I have since fallen in love with writing and now feel like I have just one more tool to reach people.  I learned that sometimes you don't have to have the best idea in the world.  You just have to have the ability to follow through with what your vision is.  I hope that in doing so myself that someone will find comfort in this simple, but sweet story of a Twig that only wants what we all should never be without, a family.  I also hope that if you're reading this, that you will never short yourself in life because you feel what you are doing is insignificant.  Because everything matters to someone, and I hope just as I have ever so  un-expectantly done, that you find what matters to you.