40 years and counting…

Good morning all. As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but to watch the clock, waiting for midnight, for October 2nd to roll over into October 3rd. Why? No, not for my break time (I work nights). The reason is simple:

On October 3rd, I will forever leave my 30’s behind. Yep, that’s right, I will join the group of 40 year olds.

By the time you read this, you will no longer be reading a blog post written by a 39 year old woman but from a 40 year old woman.

Big difference? Maybe….

There are those familiar sayings about a person turning forty. You know the ones:

  • Over the hill
  • Your life is half over
  • One foot in the grave
  • It’s all downhill from here

They go on and on. Now I’m not going to lie. Turning 40 makes me feel a tad bit depressed. I mean, I have been alive and on this Earth for 40 years and I don’t know, I just thought I would have done more with my time.

BUT….

I refuse to dig myself into a pit of despair about all of the things I have not done or the places I’ve never been. Instead, I want to think about everything I have experienced in my last 40 years.

1. I didn’t finish high school

BUT…

I got my G.E.D.

2. I worked on a stinky chicken farm

BUT…

I met my best friend in the whole world

3. Unfortunately I had to quit college

BUT…

I have a very good paying job

WITH…

A great partner

4. I got married…and divorced

BUT…

I met and married my soul mate

5. I didn’t have the twins I always wanted

BUT…

I did have two beautiful children

AND…

became a step mom to another beautiful child

6. I’m not living in some million dollar mansion

BUT…

I did purchase an even better, cozy, loving home with my wonderful husband

7. I didn’t get on become a NY Times Bestsellers List or sign a movie deal based on my books (YET…)

BUT…

I did become a published author!

P.S. The 3rd full length book in The Perfect Order series is in the early stages…

So, to sum it all up:

I may not have accomplished everything I wanted to in the way I wanted to…

And I may not have “The Perfect Life”…

But what I have accomplished is amazing to me

And what I do have, the LIFE I have, is perfect for me.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Enjoy!

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You can’t go home again….

To most, Greenfield, Oklahoma is a nothing town. It always has been, it always will be. But to some Greenfield was, and is, home. And up until I was was 15, it was my home as well. 

What was once a vital, prospering town when it was founded in 1892 has now become a virtual ghost town with the latest census siting less than 90 people living in the .1 square mile area. (Yes, it’s really that small.)  But it wasn’t always so desolate.

Established at noon on April 19, 1892, Greenfield, Oklahoma was founded when the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation was opened for non-Indian occupation. 
Named in honor of the first postmaster, William Henry Greenfield, the town’s first post office was established on January 30, 1900. 

The Enid and Anadarko Railway (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) built the first railroad line in 1901. Two freight and four passenger trains served the community on a daily basis.

Greenfield provided a trade center for the surrounding agricultural area. The town had two hardware stores, four general merchandise stores, garages, filling stations, cafés, a cotton gin, an elevator, and a bank.

The first bank, established in 1908, failed and closed in 1923. Another bank, founded in 1924, was later sold to Watonga State Bank. 

Early-day newspapers included the Greenfield Hustler and the Greenfield Booster. 

In 1908 in anticipation of an oil boom, several other businesses opened, including a hotel, a general store, a pool hall, and a butcher shop. Settlers organized Baptist, Nazarene, and Presbyterian congregations.
Twelve students attended classes during the winter months in the first schoolhouse. The teacher’s salary, usually fifty dollars, was paid on a voluntary basis. Eventually, a four-room building was constructed and enlarged as additional space was needed. 

A high school was erected in 1921 and a grade school in 1930. At that time there were twelve teachers. The Greenfield schools held their last commencement in May 1991.

No census was made until 1940,when the residents numbered 303. In 1960 Greenfield had 128 residents. With a population of 123 at the turn of the twenty-first century, Greenfield served as a “bedroom” community.

As you can see, the population declined sharply. And when the school system shut down in 1991, the numbers fell even more drastically. 

Going back to my hometown and seeing it as it is now was both shocking and heartbreaking because I remember what it used to be. 

I was shy, quiet and my nose was always in a book. (Not much has changed there huh?)

But I remember riding my bike to school and all around town. I remember my friends. (My best friend was named Jessica a.k.a. Punky). I remember the basketball games, the track meets, the school plays, and softball games. 

So much has changed over the last 20 years, the town is almost unrecongizable. 

Here are a few pics of my hometown now:

My old house

The church

The post office

The town park (this is a new addition by the way)

The only remaining store in the town. (Can you believe my friends and I used to climb to the very top of these towers?)

The railroad

My grade school

My high school

It’s in a sad state now. Nothing like it used to be of course. 

Absolutely heartbreaking….

I hate to see how much my hometown has fallen. How lonely and forgotten it is. But I will always have the memories of how it used to be. I will always remember the good times. And I will never forget where I came from.

Hi everybody. So the last few days I have watched several movies but only 2 truly stand out as great. I am going to share my take on both if them in the next few days. First up, A Dog’s Purpose. 

Now unless you live under a rock, you had to have heard of this movie. Whether it be the emotional turmoil of the plot or perhaps the controversial aspects such as animal cruelty. Either way this movie made headlines. And after watching it, it made it’s way into my heart. 

Starring roles include:

DENNIS QUAID


BRIT ROBERTSON


JOSH GAD


Here’s a quick look inside the plot if the movie. 

A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan. As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self.

This movie had it all. Happiness, joy, love, laughter, sorrow, anger, heartbreak. At times, I adored the characters and other times I grew so frustrated with them I nearly began giving them a good chewing out. (Like they could hear me right?) I smoked, laughed, and yes, even cried. A true roller coaster of emotions.

Although it didn’t rank very high in the review category, don’t let it sway you from taking a chance on it. I loved this and who knows, you might too. So check out A Dog’s Purpose today. Enjoy!

I HATE

Good afternoon everybody. I jotted this down and I wanted to share it with you. It’s about how much a person hates to love the person in their lives that hurts them and lets them down. Its one of frustration and sorrow and the realization of their own weaknesses toward their beloved.

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I HATE

I hate the way you hurt me
I hate the way you lie
I hate the way you push me away
I hate the way you make me cry.

I hate when you destroy my trust
I hate when you disappear
I hate when you won’t answer me
I hate when you leave me in fear.

I hate how your always on my mind
I hate how you break my heart
I hate how you mess me up
I hate how you can rip me apart.

I hate that I need you so much
I hate that I forgive everything you do
I hate that I can’t stay mad
I hate that I don’t want to be without you.

I hate that my love is blind
I hate that you know it too
I hate that no matter what you do to me
I hate that I don’t hate you.

A GREAT-ER kind of movie….

Good morning all. I’m here to share an amazing movie with you. If you haven’t heard of it, then please take the time to look it up, rent it, watch it. You will not be disappointed. The movie I’m talking about is                 

                          GREATER

The story of Brandon Burlsworth, possibly the greatest walk-on in the history of college football.

You do not have to be a football fan to enjoy this movie because although Brandon’s goals were to become an Arkansas Razorback and eventually for an NFL team, the movie is about much more than that. 

It’s about faith, family, ambition, determination, drive, and beliving in yourself when no one else does. And if after watching it, you aren’t touched, then you better check your pulse because you may not be alive.

Brandon Burlsworth worked hard for everything he had and everything he wanted. But one of the best things was that unlike a lot of people, he was not only focused on himself but also on his friends and family. He made those around him believe not only in him but in themselves as well. 

He was living his dream-playing for the Razorback team, graduating with a master’s degree, and signing with a NFL team when out of no where, tragedy struck.

Sadly, Brandon was killed in a car accident one day in April 1999 while on his way to pick up his mom for church services. 

His death rocked not only his family, friends, fellow players, and coaches but also the the entire football industry and fans. 

It was a tragic loss of great man. A kind and and gentle giant with the biggest heart and soul anyone had ever known.

In the months following his death, there were several things done to honor Brandon:

  • Brandon’s jersey #77 is retired at the University of Arkansas. It is only the second retired football jersey in school history.
  • His locker is enclosed in a glass case in the Razorback locker room.[7]
  • The Harrison Youth Center in Harrison, Arkansas, was renamed the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center in May 1999.

The Indianapolis Colts wore his initials, BB, on their helmets for the 1999 season.


In addition to these, Brandon’s family and friends created several charities and organizations in his name:

  • Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brandon-Burlsworth-Foundation/191029321118

In honor of his work ethic and Christian values, the Christian organization’s mission is to support the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities. The foundation’s logo prominently features Brandon’s signature boack-framed glasses. 

  • Burl’s Kids

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/burlskids.html
For this program, the Burlsworth Foundation provides underprivileged youth a chance to attend Razorback and Colts football games. Since 2000, the Foundation has bought 30 tickets to each Arkansas Razorbacks home football game. The tickets are distributed through Razorback Clubs across the state. The children are a big part to the foundation. The children are given an official “Burls Kid” T-shirt and replica glasses similar to what Brandon wore on the field.

  • Eyes of a Champion

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/eyeschampion.html
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in partnership with Walmart/Sam’s Optical Department and independent optometrists across Arkansas, provides eye care to thousands of pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Primarily they come from working families that cannot afford extras like eye care and do not qualify for state funded programs. Applications must be submitted by school nurses or counselors and are available in English, French, and Spanish.

  • The Brandon Burlsworth Football Camps

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/footballcamp.html

These camps are for youngsters going into 3rd grade through 9th grade. They are held once each summer at F.S. Garrison Stadium in Harrison, Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Children are given a chance to learn from former Razorbacks. Past participants included Anthony Lucas, Clint StoernerJoe Dean DavenportMadre Hill, Grant Garrett, Russ Brown, Barry Lunney Jr., Chad Abernathy, Michael Smith, Lucas Miller and others. The campers learn football skills but more importantly, they are taught throughout the day about character, attitude, morals, priorities and the desire to do it “The Burls Way.”

Memorial ScholarshipsEdit

Each year the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation gives out several awards and scholarships at various school levels. Eighteen students at the University of Arkansas who are primarily from smaller towns and who are characterized as academic “overachievers” receive $5,000 scholarships. Additionally, a Razorback football player who began his career as a walk-on, but then earned a football scholarship, is honored as the year’s Burlsworth Athletic Scholar. The students are selected by the University of Arkansas Scholarship Committee and are recognized in a ceremony in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

High School Football AwardsEdit

High School awards include the Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Awards. Every high school football coach in Arkansas has the opportunity to nominate one player from the team. Those players receive a plaque and a copy of “Through the Eyes of A Champion, the Brandon Burlsworth Story” autographed by Brandon’s mother, Barbara Burlsworth. An even greater honor, the Brandon Burlsworth Championship Award is presented at the Arkansas state football championships games to one player from each team for conduct above and beyond expectations.

State Championship AwardsEdit

Harrison (Arkansas) High School continues to award the Brandon Burlsworth Award to one male and female athlete who best exemplify the strength of character and work ethic known as “The Burls Way”.

The Brandon Burlsworth Award is given out yearly to a male and female at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas.

In 2010, the Burlsworth Trophy was created and named in his honor.[13] The award is given yearly to the most outstanding Division I FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

TO SOME, BRANDON BURLSWORTH WAS A HERO. TO MANY, HE WAS AN INSPIRATION. TO ALL, HE IS GREATER. 

Thought provoking movie

Hi all. I just wanted to share a movie with you. If you haven’t already seen it, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s not a great movie in my opinion but a good one. One that keeps you thinking about it days after you’ve watched it. Maybe in a way, that makes it a great movie…..

Anyway, the movie I’m talking about is Me Before You.

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This movie star Emilia Clarke

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And Sam Claflin

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You may know Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones and Sam Claflin has been seen in Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Both are extremely talented and they play their parts in this movie well. Ordinary girl meets ordinary guy.

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But Louisa Clark and Will Traynor prove to be anything but ordinary in this movie about life, love, and loss.

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Here, let me give you a quick run down of the movie:

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your heart?

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This movie will make you feel a variety of emotions. Sadness, anger, love, and hope. And in the end, it will make you ask the question:

What would I do if I were in that situation?

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You should definitely watch this movie. It may be one of your favorites but it may not be. But either way, it is one that will stay with you long after the movie credits roll….Enjoy!

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Introducing Kyle Perkins, Indie Writer

Good morning everyone. Today I wanted to share with you a recent interview I had with Kyle Perkins. Kyle is a self published author of speculative fiction. With no less than 7 books under his belt and hundreds more in his head, he is quite successful, at least in my opinion and I wanted to get his views on the world around him and this amazing craft that we, as authors, love so much.

kyle-1              kyle-6

Hello Kyle and welcome to my blog. But before we start the interview, Virginia Lee Johnson requested that I use this photo as the author photo so I’m adding it here.

kyle-8

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, I have a few questions. Some are basic, others not so much.

Okay, just fire away.

Other than write, what is your everyday job?

I build websites, fix computers, and build bots(Twitter apps). You can find more info on that here:  https://kyleperkinsauthor.com/

That sounds like a pretty interesting job. Was that your first choice or have you always wanted to write?

No, not really. Honestly, you could have asked me at any point in my life before the end of last year if I wanted to be an author, and I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I am still a relatively new author, my first book was published at the end of January.

Congratulations on becoming published. That is always a great accomplishment. So when did you first KNOW that’s what you wanted to do?

Once I published my first book. I didn’t think much of it, and expected it to go largely unnoticed in a sea of other, better books. When I started accumulating fans, that’s when it hit me that I might have a talent for it, and a responsibility to keep writing.

Well it seems that you do have quite a knack for it. I know that authors usually need influences to inspire their writing. What has been your greatest creative influence thus far?

Most of my influences come from gaming. I write most of books in a way that they could be video games, because ultimately, I want to play one of my books on my PC. Lol.

It would be amazing to see one of your books made into a video game. It’s very possible it could happen. You  just have to grab the right person’s attention through marketing. Speaking of which, what’s your views on social media for marketing?

Without social media, you won’t make it as an indie author, so it’s pretty important. However, social media(all platforms) have been becoming more strict on authors and pimpers, so I decided to make my own social media, built exclusively for our community. Learn more here: www.indiebooknetwork.com

Wow. You made your own social media site. I’m impressed. That must take a lot of time and effort. I have checked it out and it looks even more impressive. I’ve recommended several friends to stop by and check it out as well. But as far as sites other than yours, which social network worked best for you?

So far, Facebook. There are just so many people there, and Facebook has been instrumental in my success. Though, like I said, the restrictions they impose on us has forced me to think outside of the box.

Sometimes I think it is better to think outside of the box. It allows for new and more interesting ideas than the usual, traditional ones. But it can’t be all work all of the time. Everyone needs downtime now and then. How do you relax?

I actually find working with computers relaxing. I have the ability to shut off the world and chaos around me, and get things done. What might seem like a very complicated process to others, is a form of relaxation for me. I just get it.

That’s great. To be able to find a moment or two of quiet and peace is super important to the mind and body. I have one more question about marketing before we move on to something else. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

Well, I built a Twitterbot app that retweets the latest hashtags in the indie community. It has sent countless people to my website, and increased my sales, not to mention brought me a ton of new followers. Find out more here:  https://kyleperkinsauthor.com/twitterbots/

That site looks amazing as well. It’s great that you are able to help other indie writers. It can difficult to be an author, both indie and traditionally published. In your opinion, what are some of the most common traps for aspiring writers?

So many. Getting involved with the wrong crowds, using a cheap looking website, not utilizing every form of social media they can, limiting themselves to one genre(then they are expected to keep reproducing the same shit over and over), refusing to properly edit their books, not being appreciative of their fans, wasting money on shitty services(meaning bad editors, book cover designers, or purchasing rights to images that the seller doesn’t own), getting a few fans but then expecting them to carry you to success, and finally… Treating their author platform as a personal social media account. Look, you know if you’re likable, or you have unpopular opinions. Why alienate your fan base by preaching about God? Or how gays are sinners? Or whatever other warped opinions you have. You’re running a business, and stuff like that doesn’t get posted to McDonald’s Twitter account for a reason. A lot of authors want to pretend like “it’s not about the money,” but I don’t know who they are trying to kid. They’re selling products. If it wasn’t about the money, all of their books would be free. I think some authors just need to work on professionalism.

I absolutely see your point. We write for several reasons. We enjoy it but many of us would love to make a career out of it. Which includes: making money from the books we sell. As a writer, what was the best money you ever spent?

Hosting my own wordpress. With wordpress.com’s free accounts, you are very limited as to what you can do. However, wordpress.org is also free. You just need to host it, but it has a ton of options, including selling from your site directly. The best and cheapest hosting I have found so far is: https://affiliate.fastcomet.com/scripts/click.php?a_aid=585985642dc3b&a_bid=aaf57ae2

If you need help, you can always visit my site. =)

Wow, I didn’t realize there was another wordpress site to use. I am definitely going to have to look into it as well as the other you suggested. As of right now, how many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have hundreds of ideas and unfinished books in my head. lol

I know that feeling well. One question I like to ask other authors is what’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I haven’t really found any difficulties, but I write the opposite sex the same way I would my own sex. Very human, very real.

Those make the best characters and the best books. Love, pain, joy, sadness, death. Things we actually deal with on a daily basis. Death is a part of life. We all know this. But my question for you is: what do you want to leave behind? What legacy would you like to remain after your gone?

Well, my work. I would like people to be able to read everything that I have written for centuries to come. I hope to keep people entertained long after I’m dead. I am also working on sites and things that I hope makes a big impact on the world while I am alive.

That is all most of us can ask for. Here’s a question: How do you think others perceive you?

Probably a dick head.

LOL. Seriously? Ok then, how do you see yourself?

A dick head. =D

Well that’s not what I expected but I’m glad you are being open enough to poke fun at yourself. Most people don’t. From what I’ve read, in most of books, yours included, there seems to be a thread of immediate danger. Life or death, time running out. Do you consider your own morality on a daily basis?

Funny you ask, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one that thought about it on a daily basis.

Nope. I’m sure more people think about it. Probably more than they would like to admit. One last question. What pitfalls do you face as a self published author? Challenges? Victories?

Just getting noticed out of the million indie authors popping up daily is a success in itself. However, it’s all challenging. Never get into this hoping to make a ton of money right off the bat, or for anyone to give a shit about you. Do things to make them give a shit, and make them notice you.

Thank you Kyle for allowing me to interview you. It has been a pleasure.

For those of you that would like to  learn more about Kyle, his books, or his computer business, here is a list of his stalking links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KylePerkinsAuthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ReddenedWasteland/?fref=ts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14924560.Kyle_Perkins

Website:  https://kyleperkinsauthor.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KylePAuthor

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kyle-Perkins/e/B01BO9SYUI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Street: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KylesHarem/

IG:  https://www.instagram.com/kylepauthor/

The Indie Book Channel: https://youtube.com/channel/UCeGKDtCb8TpoCounkSK0rpg

Social media site:  www.indiebooknetwork.com