Posts Tagged ‘Barney & Lexi’

Sunday night I completed another goal!

When I sat out one month ago to write my ninth book, I did so with the intention of doing so in 30 days. I have been pushed by several friends to write my story, my story of struggle and success and what I have done to keep moving on.

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I was inspired by my friend Nicole, who grew up in the foster care system and has used that to become a successful speaker and bestselling author. Her book: ‘Foster To Fosters‘ is her story of success by trial and fire. Because of this, I sat down on October 30th and began my own story.

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Sunday night, November 26th, 2017, I completed my 215th page and ended my story with my ninth book entitled: ‘When The Storm Runs Out Of Rain‘! The book is broken down into four ‘Stages’.

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Stage One puts myself under the microscope and discloses all of the negative things that have happen in my life so that every reader gets a real sense of my honesty to them and perhaps something that has happen to me has also happen to them and that will be relatable. Stage Two continues by spotlighting the successful events that have come into my life from sticking to my guns. Stage Three is a laid out plan of action using my ‘Go 2 Grow’ system that I have used as my own guidelines for reaching the things that I want. Stage Four is the reader’s self reflection stage. A 14 question self evaluation that will help every reader go a little more in-depth on themselves and see where they excel and where they can improve to live a more exciting life.

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This news is one I am so proud of and I shared this this past Monday with the students of Lancaster Christian School! I was asked several weeks ago about coming to Lancaster and putting on a presentation for Barney & Lexi. I have to say that this is an amazing little school in the countryside of southern Illinois!

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When I arrived, I was met at the door by Cherie, the office manager for the school who welcomed me in and gave me a tour of the school. If you know me, you know that while I love every school I visit, its the old schools that have so much character to me! I loved the small classroom sizes, years of students photos lining the hallways and the kind and considerate staff who work there.

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Not to long later, recess would end and the students assembled into the day room and off we went! I love how children respond to Barney & Lexi and how I am able to get teachers involved as well. I love the giggles and the questions as children who are shy to start with open up during our time together. I’m all about making the kids feel important and valued!

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I signed books for all of the students and as our time ended, I watched the students file into the gymnasium which also doubles as their cafeteria as they prepared for their lunch hour. I fell in love with this little school and it will rank near the top of my most favorite visits!

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This visit found its way into two newspapers which I am humbled to be in. Papers don’t have to print anything they do not want and to make the front pages of both leaves me with gratitude and thankfulness! Lancaster also became the focus of my weekly column in The Sumner Press.

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Yesterday I completed 20 Barney & Lexi mailers to school across the country and got them in the mail for school approval! Now it’s time to begin work on the front and back cover designs for my new book. A quick bite of pizza for lunch and I’m off to the races! It is my hope that this day finds you in great rewards!

 

It has been a while since writing last and I apologize. It has been a crazy month so far!

I just completed my 36th episode of ‘Write To Success’ (WTS) on my YouTube channel which now consists of over 120 videos that I hope encourage others to reach out and go for what they want in their lives.

I’ve also traveled to Charleston, Illinois and attended an memorial dinner for my aunt who past away to cancer a couple of weeks ago. My children and I drove with my mother and the fall scene that surrounded the two lane highway was beautiful and set the tone for our trip. Even getting lost on the way home was exciting and enjoyable. It could nt have been a better evening.

Tonight, my newest column article drops and will be out in the Sumner (IL.) Press newspaper. This weeks title is about letting go.

I also discovered that Barney & Lexi are now available online through Walmart. If you don’t have a copy, run over to Walmart.com and pick up your copy today! Thanks ahead for doing that!

As for my biography, I am writing faster than I have in my fourteen year career. In just over a week and half, I am now working on page 90 and not half way through the book yet. My goal is for a completion date during this month and to be able to have it in print by Christmas!

I also have many more mailers out to elementary school and have my first reply about coming out for a visit! More on that as it develops!

The t-shirt designs are moving along and will be available by 2018!

Lol,  my Jimmy is down again and makes me begin thinking that 2018 may see the time come for a new vehicle. The farther I drive for presentations, the more dependable vehicle I am needing.

Thank you so much for reading and following since 2009! It means the world and I am excited as this is all about to blow wide open! Have a wonderful day everyone!

Today is October 20th and I am happy to say that this months episode of ‘Inspired By JimmyL’ where I appeared as his guest! This was an amazing episode and it was my pleasure to sit in. If you are looking for a positive webcast, you have to check out JimmyL and his messages! Check it out below!!

 

 

I hope you are having an amazing Monday!

Today has been about growth, values and moving forward, full steam ahead! I was so moved by my good friend, Dr. Coyte Cooper PhD. at this summers TEDxHillard, that I officially took my first step towards possibly being on a TEDx stage myself in Evansville, Indiana! Though this is the first step, it is always the step needed to begin growing and moving forward!

As for Barney & Lexi this morning, they are just about ready to make their way to Atlanta, Georgia and to Peachtree Publishers. I’m excited to see what happens and wish them the best of luck!

As I get ready to head in and to the 2-10:30 job, I resolve to keep moving ahead, Full Steam! I’m wishing for you, a wonderful and successful week ahead!

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Cover Photo (chicago)

I finished my week on a new level! I went to Chicago, Illinois, faced every challenge getting there, crushed my presentation and made an impact!

Up at 5:00 a.m. and ready to rock it! Lynden spent the night with me because he went was going with me. I rocked my morning routine of reading and prepping my mind for the day ahead. My mother also went and we rode with her, even ole Jimmy wouldn’t make it to Chicago with out possibly having a breakdown.

With Fiji water in tow, we hit the road for the five hour drive to Chicago! It began quite cool, so much, I put on my running pants. I wore them to Chicago and realized that it was warmer in northern Illinois from where we left from!

The view upon arrival was amazing! The buildings reached into the fog as morning lifted and we made our way to Navy Pier with hours to enjoy the lake before the presentation! I will be returning to the pier after having a great time and great food from Giordano’s on the pier.

No matter where I go, traveling always takes me out of my comfort zone and I enjoy the rewards from taking my career to the next level! There were so many shops and eateries and the smell of Lake Michigan was so serene! If you travel to Chicago, I highly recommend Navy Pier!

 

Then came time to leave the pier and the crazy adventure began! We headed towards the hotel that had been covered for us. After seeing the firsthand, the insane skills it takes to drive in the city, we made it passed Wrigley Field as a game was closing in on beginning and made it to our hotel.

Upon arrival, we discovered that the room reserved for us would not accommodate three people and that their were no other rooms available. This left us with no place to stay, two hours before my presentation. We drove to the nearest gas station and sat for a hour, working on making other arrangements.  With an hour to go, we made our way to Everybody’s Coffee where I was speaking.

The owner of the coffee shop was super cool and let us hang out for the hour before others arrived. We got juice and a bakery item and relaxed for the hour before I used the restroom to change and prepared to rock my presentation. I gave my presentation and crossed the hurdles that came up that I had not planned for during my dry runs with determination and crushed it!

Chicago 22I gave my presentation just as I had rehearsed and when it was over, I had gone to the next level of my career! Dark and in a rougher neighborhood of central Chicago, we loaded up and decided to find lodging just outside of the city. It was an incredible day that grew my character so much and as I laid down that night, I was grateful for the opportunity to rise to the occasion! In life, we can choose to or not to do something, I chose to because regrets are hard to eat on your death bed! Live With Passion!

 

 

A story many will know…

One day, the master called in three servants and announced that he would be taking a long trip far away and would be leaving his treasure in their hands while gone. The master stood before his trusted servants and offered talents (bags of silver) to each.

The first servant held out his hands as his master placed five talents in his arms and asked that they be well cared for. The second servant stretched out his hands and was given two talents and asked that they be cared for. The servant was honored to have these talents and held them closely. The master walked over to the third servant and placed on talent in his hands and again, asked his servant to care for his talents until he would return.

The master would soon leave and be gone for some time. One servant took his talents into town and invested them. He would go on to earn five more talents as a result of his decision. The second servant also entered town and used his two talents to earn him two more for his efforts. The third servant felt the other two were being foolish by taking so much risk with their masters talents, that he took his one talent and buried it for safety to assure he would not risk losing it before his masters return.

The master would eventually return and upon his arrival, asked to see the three servants. Once they arrived, the master asked his servants about the talents and what became of them. The servants assured their master that the talents had not been lost.

The first servant explained that he had invested his five talents and that had garnered five more talents as well. The master was happy and commended the servant for his efforts. The second servant then explained that he too had gone to town and invested his two talents and had doubled his investment, showing the four talents to his master. Again, the master commended the servant for his efforts. The third servant explained that he had been most careful with his one talent. So much, that he buried it in the ground so it would not be lost until the masters return.

It was here that the master ordered that the talent be taken from the third servant and given to the first. The third servant was shocked as the master explained that if he knew that the master needed the money so much, why he did not invest it like the others and earn him interest on his one talent.

The moral of this story is that to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. Mathew 25:29

All to often, we are given opportunities that we doubt, fear or simply feel we can’t achieve. Often giving up before we even give something our first effort. If something worries you and you know it is still the right thing to do, there is a reason you should try. If you allow your worries to multiply to the point that you do nothing with your moments in life, you will find the old saying true, ‘If you don’t you it, you lose it’.

As your now reading this, I am 2 days away from sitting in Chicago and preparing to give my presentation to members of the Illinois SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). Is it a big place? You bet it is! Am I a bit nervous? You bet I am! But that nervousness is the result of working hard for 14 years when most of the time, others had no idea just how hard I was working! As I’m getting ready to invest my talents, I have nothing but faith it will yield a reward regardless of what type it may be. I do this because I want more and will not allow fear to force me to bury my hopes and dreams in the dirt, only to find out one day that I had a chance and lost it.

In 2 days, I will stand on the roof of the hotel and see the lights of Chicago and invest in what got me here. Friday morning my son, Lynden and I will walk two blocks to Lake Michigan and take our run on the beach together.

“When your tired, it’s a sign that your almost at the end of your fight!” – TD Jakes

*Catch me Live on Facebook @levibfoxbooks Thursday, Sept. 14th between 7-9 p.m. CST!

 

A Way, When There Seems To Be No Way

 

Have you ever put time into something and as time past, felt that you were spinning your wheels or grinding your gears trying to make something happen? I have! You see, my writing career didn’t start yesterday, I didn’t wake up this morning and just sell 1,000 copies of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville. I wasn’t traveling to schools in the early stages of my career either, in fact, I can’t begin to count how many times I felt like I was spinning my wheels with opportunity and there were a few times that I really felt like my gears were grinding for sure!

My career as a writer began in 2003, when Lynden was born. I would get up with him throughout the night and once he began to have a fairly regular pattern of sleeping, I began spending the time in between his waking up, writing my first book, The Adventures of Marky, Slash & Levy. Those moments were usually very late at night, by myself in a room with only a desk lamp on and just plugging away at my keyboard. No one knew what I was doing, no one outside Lawrence County knew my name or even knew I was a writer.

In those years that followed, I wondered if I would ever make it happen. Would my work ever be read by young readers? Would I ever do a book signing? Would I ever get a big break? All three answers are YES! Although I had no idea in those early days. I have sold over 1,000 books this year, done dozens of signings and my big break will come on September 14th when I travel to Chicago and speak to the largest children’s literary group in the United States.

Sometimes, I get told that I’m ‘just lucky’, or that ‘success just happens overnight’. I actually don’t believe in luck in the manner that it is viewed today. I believe that luck is the moment that preparedness meets opportunity. I also believe that success is no ‘overnight’ thing. I thought about quitting a few times and sometimes, had to walk away from my desk for a few months to take everything in and find clarity. Then it was right back to it, because I knew what I really wanted and had to see it through.

For years, I felt like I had little money, few connections and even less opportunity. For years I had no Facebook page, and then I finally created one and only used that to connect with others for the next ten years. I look back now and see that I had so many outlets but let fear keep me from using them. Then, one day, I looked in the mirror and told myself, “There will be doubters, you will be laughed at, mocked and ignored. Levi, your going to fail and that’s alright because you will learn and grow stronger. Carry those fears right into battle and watch them disappear!” I remember that day well.

I sat down and began learning Social Media. I began with no media and now use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to put my passion out there. This has given me so much back and while I could spend the time wishing I had done that sooner, I won’t waste my time with the past. I’m heading forward and refuse to look back.

I feel like it is a perfect time to retell the story of the Japanese Bambo Tree. The Japanese Bambo Tree remains a nut underground for five years. During that time, it must be watered and fertilized daily to survive or it will die. For five years, there will be no results (much like when we feel we are spinning our wheels and grinding gears). Then, something big happens and the tree sprouts through the surface and will grow 90 feet in one year! It took five years to actually grow that 90 feet though. It may have only seemed like a buried nut but during that time underground, that nut was earning its right to live and grow.

You may be sitting right now and wondering what else you can do to keep moving towards your dream. One thing for sure is to keep doing what your doing if it is yielding any type of result. If it isn’t, can you change anything about it to help it grow? Are you using Social Media to your advantage? Are you letting fear keep you from one avenue or another? Look in the mirror and tell yourself that regardless of any outcome, YOUR GOING TO MAKE IT, and the doors will open up as you press forward. I can’t explain it but the harder I push, the more doors that open for me, something I doubted years ago. Never doubt that there is a way, when there seems to be no way!

“Everything is IMPOSSIBLE, until someone crazy enough comes along and makes it POSSIBLE!”
– CT Fletcher

I want to share a piece of my Go2Grow presentation. My hope is that you will find value in my story!