I recently took a trip with my daughters and my best friend to a resort in the Texas Hill Country.
That was us at the airport, all excited and looking forward to some relaxing girl time!
But, what I was not prepared for was to be totally cut off from the outside world. NO cell service and EXTREMELY limited internet. There was one bench situated by the office that if you sat on it, you could pick up spotty internet service. Wow!
I didn’t realize how dependent I’d become on staying connected. I have to admit I freaked out a little. I had an online board meeting I’d miss with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, and I had blogs to keep up with and emails to answer, not to even mention Facebook and Twitter.
But, what could I do? We had paid our money and we were there in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Isolated, cut off and yet pampered. It took an entire day for me to finally get over the panic and let go. After all, what could I do?
So, by the second day, I was resigned to the situation and began to relax. Of course the massage and facials helped. 🙂
For me, it was a HUGE lesson in letting go and being in the moment. It is something I don’t do well, so THANK YOU, Escondida Resort for the lesson. The time spent with my beautiful girls and my friend was time I’ll never get back again.
This stop is being brought to you from Plano, Texas
What I’m giving away on this stop:
One (1) $5.00 Amazon Gift Card
One (1) $10.00 iTunes Gift Card
Two (2) Copies of Discovery – Poetry and Art eBook
Number of winners for this stop – Four (4)
For a Chance to win, please leave a comment on this post.
And, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it on Social Media.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to bring to you the Poetry and Art book, Discovery, in eBook format!
First and foremost, I want to thank Jan Hawke for her hard work formatting the artwork and poems to convert to eBook. She did a phenomenal job. The clickable links in the Table of Contents take you directly to a specific poem or piece of artwork.
This book is unique first of all because it was compiled by Rick Sikes during the fifteen years he was incarcerated in Leavenworth Prison. Secondly, the artwork that accompanies the poetry is what he called pen-and-ink drawings, which I have learned is technically called Pointillism – Artwork made up of millions of tiny dots.
A few bitter years into his imprisonment, Rick Sikes reached a pivotal turning point.
He made the decision to be, think, and act only in a positive manner. This poetry and art project was partially his means of doing just that.
What you’ll find between the covers of this book are expressions of raw emotion…Poems of deep sadness and loss, humorous musings, political wisdom, life observations and tender love from Rick, while Jan lends her own deeply personal poems at the end of the book to round it out.
This partial excerpt from the poem entitled “Discovery” is the first expression of that pivotal point in Rick’s life where he determined he was going to crawl up from the bottom and become a worthwhile human.
Through life’s wilderness I wandered aimlessly seeking my way
Seldom looking up to see the light of day
Stumbling blindly, ‘til so weary, I could go no more
In total exhaustion I fell to the earthen floor
My eyes focused upon a wounded but lovely thing
Seemingly an angel felled with a broken wing
Said I, “Stranger, what will be your name?”
A voice spoke softly, “Yours, for our names are the same…”
Comes the Dawn by Jan Sikes
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
You learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security
Eventually, you understand that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
Then you start to accept your defeats
Head up and eyes open wide
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
And learn to build your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
Futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight
After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns you if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you can endure
That you really are strong
You truly do have worth
And you learn and learn
With each goodbye – you learn
I hope you’ll take a peek at the Trailer for Discovery. Click HERE!
I hope I’ve piqued your interest and that you’ll check out this new eBook version of Discovery!
Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post. Good luck on winning my giveaways! I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!
‘Til Death Do Us Part is the fourth and final book in my series of true stories about a Texas musician who was a pioneer in the outlaw music movement long before it had a name.
Blurb: Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times then he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family…which he did.
Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin. His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer will power and the love he has for Darlina.
When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.
This is a story of inspiration, endurance and most of all undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them.
Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?
I am SO proud of this award. When I decided to publish this book, people told me, “Poetry doesn’t sell.” But, I didn’t publish it to sell thousands of copies (although, of course I’d be thrilled about that). I published it because it is such an incredibly beautiful expression of a man’s heart and soul not only through words, but through art. And, I believe there are others struggling who can find encouragement and hope within the pages of this book.
When Rick Sikes found himself inside the walls of Leavenworth prison, with a long sentence ahead, he had some decisions to make. It took several years, but he finally made up his mind to think and act positive in a negative situation. He became determined to accomplish something worthwhile even though imprisoned. And, this book is just one of the things he completed. The artwork is what he called Pen and Ink drawings, but the technical description is Pointillism. Thousands of tiny dots made with a simple ink pen are what make up the art.
I am thrilled it when inspirations come out of the blue. I have a feeling I will get lots of them living in my new place. But, I digress.
The thought I had was this, “Do what you love. Love what you do.”
“How?” you ask.
We all have to do things in life to put food on our tables that we aren’t particularly fond of, such as going to a thankless job. Maybe your boss is a jerk. Or perhaps your daily commute is grueling. There could be a myriad of negatives about the things we must do to survive.
But…instead of focusing on the negatives, what if we sought out the positives and focused on them instead. So, your boss is a jerk, but the receptionist that greets you each morning is always full of sunshine and smiling. And, yes, the daily commute is grueling, but what about that cool audio book you managed to read in a week just sitting in traffic? Or how about that awesome new song that came on the radio and made you turn up the volume?
Sometimes, it’s the little things. Maybe there aren’t any big positives to what you do that you can grasp, but as a wise man once said, “Littles make bigs.” By finding ways to love what we do, we free ourselves to do things we truly love. Writers find more time to write. Songwriters find time to compose new melodies. Families spend more time playing and less time arguing. It’s the proverbial domino effect.
By focusing on the aspects of life that we do love and less on the parts we don’t, the world instantly becomes a better place in which to live.