Posts Tagged ‘Levi B. Fox’

Now, the summer vacation for kids around my home is over, it is back to the evening shift at my job. That’s a good thing! I will now have time to travel to schools!! Here we go and I love it!

IMG_20170816_113003_053

I am now 75% through writing my presentation for the SCBWI of Chicago, I am looking into what I need to do to make a photo slide show to play during my speech. Once I have it written, I am going all in on the slideshow!

0815171253_HDR

I am excited to have my bookmarks and postcards in for Barney & Lexi and they look spot on with my hopes. I am excited to get them out to schools in the U.S. and help give Barney & Lexi more push!

0815171253a_HDR

I woke up to a busy morning, having three orders for Barney & Lexi to go out. Florida, Georgia and Kentucky readers will be receiving their copies this week. Just swung by the post office and got my daily mail sent out.

0815171301_HDR

Also got an email from Two Tomatoes Records, in appreciation of my gifting copies of Barney & Lexi to them during the trip to Moline with my kids. I was grateful to read the email and thank them for their kindness.

0814171128_HDR

Welp, off to work. My goal, this being the last year that I work for anyone but myself. Let’s go get it!! Have a great day guys!!!

Back in April, I submitted Barney & Lexi to Kirkus Review for a book review. Kirkus Review is a longstanding organization that gives unbiased reviews on books, looking for a boost from having a favorable review from them. Some books gain positive reviews, while some gain not-so-positive ones. Kirkus Review has earned a reputation over many, many years of being a pulse on books ability to sell in the literary marketplace.

Today, (Monday) my review came back. When I first read the notification, I cleared my mind and told myself, “Regardless of the outcome, I did it and didn’t let doubt hold me back.” Knowing that Kirkus Reviews are straight up and favor no genre, author or any other mean in the literary world, I knew that what they saw in my story could be different from what I saw in it. However, forward progress only moves in one direction, and that next step was to open that review and be proud, regardless.

I read through the review, and when finished, closed my eyes and thank my God above for His favor. Kirkus Review of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville was positive and while being unbiased, the end result was that Barney & Lexi walked away being considered, good characters.

*Following is two excerpts from the Kirkus Review and for professional purposes, I need to let it be known that in no way, have the excerpts been altered from their original review. *

“Fox (The Adventures of Marky, Slash & Levy, 2014) brings out the personalities of his animal characters well.” – Kirkus Review

“A mild story with good characterization.” – Kirkus Review

Positive reviews from Kirkus Review can often be a boost for any author and is one reason I paid for my review. That’s right, I paid for this review. Kirkus Reveiw builds its reputation as being unbiased but only reviews works done by authors who pay for their services. While it cost me a bit of money for my review, to have a favorable review of Barney & Lexi made the cost irrelevant compared to the benefit of having a review with Kirkus Review after it.

This review is great and I am honored to be given my review for Barney & Lexi, but this review didn’t happen because I paid a service fee and out popped a review. This review came because I spend many, many nights up after everyone else was sound asleep, writing, editing and working hard to bring Barney & Lexi to life. The result of hard work was a great review. The result of believing in my work and not allowing anything stop me from succeeding or, at the very least, learn from the steps I have taken.

I am not sure what it is that you may be thinking of doing in your life, but I want you to know that it is 100% possible. The only thing stopping anyone on this Earth is not their parents, their friends, their boss or the system. Its the person in the mirror…YOU! You are the result of the hard work or lack of work you put in. If I had sat around at home an thought, “Oh man, $450.00 is too much for a simple review,” then I would have never done it. What I did believe is that, “This 450.00 review could lead into a career, earning $850,000 a year.”

The truth is, most times, the people closest to you will not always see your dream the way you see it. You may start out and feel your all alone. I can’t begin to tell you what 12 years out of 14 was like when no one knew my name or could even guess close to it. If your willing to put in the late nights, the early mornings, if your willing to go all in, despite the naysayers, it will happen. It may not happen in six months, it may not happen in a year, (in fact, mine beginning to see the light has taken almost 14 years,) but if you put in the hard work, the result will be ultimately your dream come true!

In one week, Lynden and I will be on our way to Columbus to sit in on TEDx hillard. My good friend, Coyte G. Cooper PhD. will be speaking at TEDx for the first time. In a seminar of positive mindsets and elevated focus for achieving success. I am proud to support Coyte in what will be the first of many presentations given at these events. I’m proud to have spent the last year and a half learning from Coyte and taking my own success to an entirely new level!

Part of that level has been seeing signs everywhere as I work hard to succeed. Today, one sign revealed itself! As you know, I will be presenting to the SCBWI in Chicago September 14th. This is the largest organization for children’s book writers in the country and hand down, so very generous. I was informed that as part of my presentation, the SCBWI will be renewing my membership for next year! That’s $100.00, just for showing up and doing what I love doing! Success is not always a dollar in the hand but reward of value given at the climax of hard work paying off.

What ever you are wanting in your life, chase it and make it your reality. You really can have what you want!

20245730_10210028354655917_3189788431492827118_n

So, my Jimmy broke down the day before leaving for Moline, Illinois with Ethan and Rylen. I didn’t let that get in the way of traveling to Moline and watching Laurie Berkner perform an intimate solo event. I had rented a car prior to the breakdown and the only things keeping us from going was, well, nothing!

19983227_10209915289469358_8694346443943223432_o

When we arrived at the car rental, our car was not finished in the wash area. This was not a bad thing, because we were given an upgrade to a small SUV for the same price. The vehicle was wonderful and gave us the room we needed to make out trip comfortable.

19990424_10209917545005745_3161590913509491333_n

Five hours later, we arrived in Moline and after checking in, hit the pool for two hours. Then it was time to simmer down from our day and it was not long before Ethan and Rylen were out like lights. It was then time for me to get some work done. Being Tuesday, my weekly column was due and that meant it was time to get it done. With Ethan and Rylen asleep behind me, I sat at the table with a small lamp and wrote my column and got it sent off before turning in myself.

19884358_10209917932615435_4741076050693183036_n

We woke to the sound of rain hitting our windows. With our venue being outside, I got on the email with Laurie’s assistant and COO of Two Tomatoes Records, Katie, and was told that the show would be moved inside. With that reassurance, we made our way across the street and had breakfast at the local Denny’s before filling up and heading into Bettendorf, Iowa for an afternoon at The Family Museum.

19989512_10209924656063517_4760346776831895177_n

I must highly recommend this museum for children! Colorful, entertaining, educational and hands on, The Family Museum, at a cost of only $8.00 per person, is worth its weight in gold for the value it gives and the memories you will make!

19756570_10209924685224246_4838003531024099151_n

It was then time to return to Moline and its amazing historic district. The Laurie Berkner show was being held at the historic, Deere-Winman House and the intimate performance was being held on the side lawn. The beautiful grounds led up to the breath-taking home, built in the 1872 and looking just as great as it likely did then.

19800893_10209925353440951_6093127750194729651_o

As we approached the side lawn, we heard Laurie’s music, we all assumed it was being played over the speakers for visitors as they awaited the show. However, Ethan and Rylen froze in their tracks as they came around the corner of the house to find Laurie standing on the stage in the middle of sound check.

19989490_10209926217262546_3823702840684065551_n

The time at Deere-Winman was for Ethan and Rylen, but I was humbled to be invited to bring copies of Barney & Lexi to the show and leave with Katie. I left copies with her and picked up copies of Laurie’s children’s book: We Are The Dinosaurs for Ethan and Rylen. They began reading their books as Laurie appeared and the show went underway for an amazing hour and half.

19894801_10209926217542553_6586101545744757518_n

With pigs on heads, beach balls bouncing around and children dancing and laughing, Laurie put on an impressionable show and left no one feeling left out. The weather held off and made for an amazing evening!

19959355_10209917546485782_6394679924091278944_n

As Thursday can, Ethan, Rylen and I climbed back into our rental and made the five hour journey back home to southern Illinois. Singing songs and talking about how much fun we had along the way.

19905199_10209917545285752_3750227741716401685_n

Friday would come and I would find out that my Jimmy issue was nothing more than a bad distributor cap and with a $50.00 replacement, she is now up and going great.

20046635_10209958300104597_5913563929573514900_n

As the weekend would come and go, I would send Lynden off to band camp at EIU for the week as he earned a scholarship to the collage camp and is having an amazing time.

19990495_10209919035843015_8737246362815957796_n

So, in the end, everything is just as it should be, great and plugging away. Remember, no matter what comes along, if you stay the coarse, you can make anything happen!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

 

Work was busy, ready for evenings to begin in August and for schools to get back in session so Barney & Lexi and The Lizard Wizard can meet more students and inspire them to create!!

Although school is out for the summer, it WILL NOT slow this author down! I just got an e-mail, letting me know that an article I have written for Tri-State OUTDOORS Magazine is past the layout process and will go to print very soon and is scheduled for a July 1st release date!

Last night, I began work on my outline for my presentation with the SCBWI in Chicago, this September. I might only get one shot at an opportunity like this and am gong to shoot for the moon, because even if I miss, I’ll still find myself among the stars!

With some needed e-mails sent out and work caught up to this moment, I am heading out with Lynden, Ethan and Rylen, to watch them play baseball in the country league, Chauncey Community Baseball. I hope everyone has a great evening and wonderful Tuesday!

I was able to write page an half of The Boondock Kids and with that, planning to take a jog before picking up my kids for the weekend. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

With dinner underway, The Boondock Kids begin to explain that Kelmare is taking them to Serabantha Castle and to see Queen Zardanin.

This concerned Rascone until Kelmare explained that they would be looking throw a telescope from the safe distance of Raven Pass. It was then questioned about the safety of the kids journey when Rascone explained that Queen Zardanin was not on her throne by those of Spyderia but, by her own force through her ability to control magic in order to control others.

Kelmare then lightened the discussion by explaining that they were going to be able to still view the queen safely because most of the time, she was not one to put others in danger and only did so when her reign was threatened by others.

Rascone explained that she held control of the Zephermyte Army and that would likely secure her reign until her time comes to pass naturally.

Surprisingly, The Boondock Kids remain just as intrigued to see her. Kelmare explained that he hoped to use his telescope to view one of the queens daily appearance ceremonies at the castle.