All school year long we fight to get Matthew out of bed, and during the summer, guess who is standing at my bedside at 5:30 ready to start his day?
R.J. Balta, Author of Against the Beast is having an event on Facebook on July 20th for the release of his second book, Fire Eyes Awakened!
Anyone who attends will be entered to win 10 free e-books and 3 signed paperback copies!
I'll be posting the link for the event when it is live on the 20th!
I did stupid stuff as a teenager before Youtube made it cool!
Totally ahead of that curve!
Being an author is wonderful in many ways, one way is that the extra income has funded some humanitarian work that I have been able to do with my family. This past year we made our third humanitarian trip to Guatemala, through Family Humanitarian Experience, and it was amazing and very different from previous years. This year we were asked to be the leaders on the trip. As it was a small group of twenty seven, my wife and I were the only official group leaders, although we did get a lot of help from some of the wonderful people on the expedition, and our in country coordinators.
This year we were able to continue work building a school, start making a dam to get clean water to a village, deliver Days for Girls kits to three remote villages, fix school desks for children, and deliver school supplies and teacher training to a school in need.
Through these trips I have learned so many things, I want to share some of them here with you:
1. Education and opportunity: On our first trip we met with a man from Guatemala City. He had an SUV and drove us up to a nearby volcano so we could hike it and roast marsh mallows over an active volcano. It was an amazing trip. On our way back, I asked him what made the difference between having a nice car, and living in poverty. He very quickly responded, "Education and Opportunities." It is often hard to see that distinction in developed countries but the more I have thought about this the more I see wisdom in his words. In most developed countries, each person has access to a public education. The quality of education and the opportunities and obstacles for each person can be vastly different, and often we don't appreciate the education and choices we have. For many of the people I worked with on these trips, being able to 'choose' what they wanted to be when they grew up was a choice with only one option. Those with an education, and training had three or four choices, and they felt lucky.
2. Wealth and happiness are not even in the same equation: Some people say that wealth does not equal happiness, but now I think those two elements are completely separate. Like the color of your shirt and what kind of desert you like. I've seen people with wealth be very happy, and very sad, I've seen people who are very poor be happy and sad. I've seen children have more fun playing with a stick or a rock than american children do with the latest device. Happiness is much more closely connected with expectations than it is to what we have. If we expect everything, nothing will ever satisfy us. If we expect nothing, any little thing can bring us joy.
3. The difference we make: Two years ago I hauled large crates of trees up a steep mountain trail with groups of youth, then we planted the trees for a reforestation project. Three of the five work days I spent planting trees. The wonderful young people I worked with were positive, hard-working and tough. The next year I was told that all the trees we planted died. Every single one. I wanted to make a change in the ecosystem in Guatemala. I wanted to provide wood for their fireplaces, and trees for their forests, but instead what I did didn't change the Guatemalan landscape one bit. But the service we gave changed the youth I worked with and it forever changed my heart. I often think of this when I don't see the results I expect from the work I am doing. Perhaps the difference I make is more for me and my progression and learning than anything else.
When I vote for someone that doesn't mean I have their back no matter what they do, it means I expect more of them. I gave them my support, I put my trust in them, I helped them rise to the position they hold. Now it's their turn to look out for me.
It is a little frustrating to me when people are so hard 'party liners' that they make up excuses for the people who are supposed to be representing them. That's backwards. If you feel the person you voted for is doing a good job, then be proud of them for sure, but if they're not, don't.
You should be really upset if the person you voted for is doing stupid stuff, or ignoring what is best for you! You should be the first to say something you should be demanding better.
As a country I think we need to be a little more honest. It's okay to vote for someone, and actually expect that they do a goo job. It's also okay to admit that someone you voted for made a mistake, and still be happy with your choice to vote for him/her.
It's even okay to hate the entire system, not vote at all and expect politicians to do their job. Their job is to represent all of us, we need to start expecting that from them.
Dadbods: Evidence that the kind women of the world are grading the men on a curve!
I chocked on a carrot the other day, and nearly died. In my life I've never choked on a chocolate doughnut. Which one is better for me? You decide.
In Beauty and The Beast, the young prince is changed into an ugly beast because he has judged someone from their outside appearance. Then a beautiful woman comes to his castle and she needs to learn to not judge him by his outward appearance?
That doesn’t make any sense!
I have a better idea! Someone who had an amazing personality but was nasty ugly should have come to the castle, then he would need to learn to look past the outward appearance and through the process he can help her gain a sense of who she is, and boost her self-esteem. Now that would be much better.
Unfortunately this story would never fly, because who can picture Angela Lansbury singing:
Tales been overdone
True as that may be
Rejected and no friends
Because her body bends
Just a shallow prince
Needs to learn some things
Welcome nasty face
Come into his place
Ugly and the Beast
Little prince is lame!
Her face is a surprise
She is just a four, shut out at the door, now the beast must rise!
Tale that was quite dense
Tune that made no sense
Bitter prince was strange
But now he needs to change
He learned he was wrong!
Uncertain as the storms
Forming in the east
Tale that was quite dense
Tune that made no sense
Ugly and the Beast!
Tale that was one hated
Song that’s been updated
Ugly and the Beast.
Check this out! A great chance to win some cash by buying great books!
If you haven't yet gotten a copy of The Troven, now is the chance to win money by buying it!
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If you hate being the last person picked, thank your lucky stars you are not a towel on laundry day!
Official Author Page for Eric Buffington
Young Adult Author