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Monday, April 16, 2018

Our Trip to Antigua Guatemala

Here are a few quick entries I jotted down in my notebook for some of the days my family and I were out of the states visiting friends and serving in Guatemala. It was an amazing and humbling experience. I'm really thankful it was in my wife's heart to go back there and bring us with her. She lived down there for a few months 15 years ago.


Traveling all day. Up at 2:30Am, writing this at 9:33PM. Our plane is waiting on the tarmac because of bad weather. We're on our way to Guatemala but are still in the US in Houston, TX with a 3 hour flight still ahead of us.

There's a lot more to that story, but to sum it up, we were up for like 26 hours until we finally made it to our friend's house in Antigua Guatemala.

FRIDAY 3/30/18
• Ran 5 miles. Was shooting for 8 miles, because it had been 6 days since I'd run, but when you're used to running in 40 degree dry weather, going in humid 70s is rough, so I turned around at 2.5 miles and ran a minute slower each mile for the whole run! Also, BOOK RELEASE DAY!!! "Haunted House Flipper" was published!!!!!

SATURDAY 3/31/18
• Ran 2 miles

SUNDAY 4/1/18
He is risen indeed. Went to church at IDC in Antigua Guatemala. The worship music was amazing. Phenominal musicians and singer, and they sing in Spanish, then the same verse in English. Our friend translated the sermon and her husband played keyboard. Afterwards we went to a potluck with people from the church at one of the pastor's houses. It was cool to see the close community they have. They even did an Easter egg hunt for the kids. I met a teenager from Germany and we talked a lot. His name is --- -------.

MONDAY 4/2/18
• We hiked up a volcano called Pacaya Volcano.
It was nice to have a horse for the kids to share. Pretty intense incline, down was rough too but it was awesome!
• Roasted marshmellows on the volcano from the hot rocks

TUESDAY 4/3/18
Went into town w/ our friend and walked through the market. I bouth a cool Antigua Guatemala trucker hat. We got Guatemalan dresses and purses for the girls, and bags and wallets for the boys.

We went to a feeding clinic. It was an amazing experience. Very humbling. The kids handed out tortillas and poured juice for children in ragged clothes who won't get much else to eat today. My wife passed out plates of beans and rice and helped translate for our kids. I loaded up trays for the kitchen with plates of rice and beans and delivered them. We ate the same thing before serving the kids. I got teary eyed while carrying the trays. We Americans live in such excess. These kids have next to nothing. It was a very humbling experience.

• Ran 6 miles

FRIDAY 4/6/18
We drove to a lake house. It should have taken us 3 hours or less. It took us 8 hours. We took the long way around and drove all the way down a horrible dirt road almost until it connected back to a main road only to be told it was closed and we had to turn around. It was rough, but on the way we stopped for coffee at a place where the kids played on a see-saw, some playground equipment, and saw animals at a petting zoo. We were going to see some Mayan ruins but accidentally passed them. 

We woke up in the beautiful spacious lake house and had breakfast. Then we drove into town and rented a boat. We took it to the next town which was less touristy. We had lunch and saw how the local women make things from cotton. It’s a really long process of getting threat from cotton, dying it, and then weaving it. It takes over a week just to make a scarf when they work 6 hour days. We bought a lot of stuff from them.


We were there for another week, but those are all the entries I managed to get into my notebook. It was an amazing trip and we plan on going back someday to serve more and hang with our friends again who live down there. In the meantime we need to learn way more Spanish! I'm so glad my wife planned that amazing trip.

Friday, March 23, 2018

My Novel "Haunted House Flipper" is out 3/30!

My debut novel "Haunted House Flipper" is out on Friday 3/30! I'm going to leave it at the special pre-order price of $2.99 for the first 2 weeks it's available.

Buy it wherever quality eBooks are sold. Coming in Paperback to Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon.

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Barnes & Noble:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Man From Snowy River | A Haiku

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I love writing Haikus. They're super short little poems. I love that they force you to constrain your words into so few syllables. It may seem like an oxymoron, but constraints actually make art thrive. It's true. Check out this cool article sometime called Proof That Constraints Can Actually Make You More Creative. I started writing a themed book of Haikus, but I'm also going to start writing some that I'll just share here on my blog. Here's the first of many more to come. If you want more Haikus check out my book in progress called "Explore (108 Haikus)" free to read on Wattpad. Leave me a comment on there and let me know what you think.

So here is my Haiku about a beloved movie I watched over and over again as a child:

The Man From Snowy River

Snowy River Jim
Rode a horse like no other
Down really steep hills

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle | Book Review

This book was weird and full of a ton of scientific info dumping. For me it lacked a story that pulled me in. I enjoyed it a little because I liked the first book and was excited to go on another adventure with the characters, but it was just so bizarre. 

My almost 10-year-old and I have been reading it separately and then talking about it. He told me a lot of this book was hard to understand. Even though I pretty much get what was going on in the story I agree. It was pretty abstruse. Imaginative, but one thing that bothers me is how the characters just kind of do things without the narrator explaining how they do them. The characters can transport themselves to different places and sizes and can communicate with each other telepathically but it's just sort of introduced and then all of a sudden it's a thing.

I was expecting to get to know Meg and Charles Wallace's Dad more but we didn't really get to. Charles Wallace wasn't in this story much either. There's a reason for it, but I would have liked to see more character development with him too.

Maybe I just missed the explanation of how things worked from reading through it too fast but it all seemed kind of like one strange scene to another instead of a cohesive story. I liked the first one, but this one wasn't for me. Kudos to the author for such creative ideas, I just wish the story would have been more compelling and less like a science episode of the Magic School Bus info dump.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

I'm Done Editing My Novel, Now it's with An Editor!

I finished another editing pass on my own using the amazing software called Pro Writing Aid. Now human eyes other than my own are going over it. The Pro Writing Aid software helped me eliminate passive voice in a lot of places and fixed a ton of my missing/extra commas. I think I'm learning how to use commas better from editing with this software. I highly recommend it. You can try it for free, but I bought a license to use it for 3 years because I got sick of only being able to paste parts of my chapters in the free version. Now I have unlimited word count usage with it. I can't wait to use it on my next book! Here's a screen shot below of me using the software on my novel Haunted House Flipper. It's available now for pre-order at all the fine eBook retailers!