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Arbor Hills Nature Preserve – Plano, Texas

Most Saturdays I get up around 5:30 AM. I head to my favorite Starbucks arriving about 6:00 AM. I spend the next two hours writing. After I complete my morning writing, I drive to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, Texas. It is located in west Plano where the boarders of the cities of Plano, Carrollton, and The Colony meet.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Entrance

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Entrance

It is located on West parker Road, in Plano, Texas. The photo is of the entrance sign looking toward the east. In the background of the above picture is one of the City of Plano’s fire stations.

Parking Lot

Parking Lot

As you drive into the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve you will find adequate parking. They have sidewalks were you don’t have t walk in the street.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve welcome area

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve welcome area

The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is located on the western border of Plano, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty for walking, jogging, hiking, orienteering, and other outdoor activity. The paved recreational trail is approximately 2.6 miles in length. There are also a natural unpaved trails for pedestrians only  that is approximately 2.6 miles). There is a designated off-cycling trail of 2.8 miles. It also has a natural biofilter for cleaning surface run-off from the parking lot before it reenters the ground water tables as well as an observation tower, playground, restrooms and pavilion. I’m sharing many pictures I took during my walks.

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The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has three distinct areas.

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It is located in the city of Plano.

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Here is a map to help you explore and discover the preserve.

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One of the areas of the preserve is the Upland Forest.

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A second area is Blackland Prairie

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A third area is Riparian Forest (that is forest along the creeks and streams).

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Here are a few pictures of the pavilion area.

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Another pavilion picture.

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A third picture of the pavilion area.

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The cornet in the pavilion area has some designs in them.

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A few from the pavilion

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One last pavilion picture.

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From the pavilion you can see he playground.

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Near the pavilion is the rest room. It is near the parking area as well.

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As you leave the pavilion area you head south.  The concrete walkway has a center yellow stripe. The ask that you keep right except to pass. A large number of people walk the trails and ride their bikes on the trails. The go and come in both directions.

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Many people bring their dogs. The dog must be on a leash and you have to clean up after your four-legged friend.

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Another view of the playground.

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The grass along the trail is well maintained.

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The are signs with instructions along the trail. There are off-road bicycle trails.

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Trash cans and benches are along the trail.

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The scenery is diverse.

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Instruction signs greet you from time to time.

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Here is a trail off the main trail that returns to the pavilion.

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The views are amazing.

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There is lots of Blackland Prairie.

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Signs warn you to beware of critters.

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A view from the main walking trail back up at the pavilion.

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The trails go through many different settings. I tried to take pictures without people on the trail. Some folks get upset if they think you are photographing them.

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As you walk you cross several bridges. There are creeks and streams throughout the preserve.

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I took this picture from the bridge looking north.

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More Blackland Prairie.

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Along the concrete trail are off road trails. The one just ahead is the prairie trail.

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Prairie Trail sign.

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Continuing down the main trail. The scenery can change as you go around a bend on the trail.

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You go down hill and into the Riparian Forest (that is forest along the creeks and streams).

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I gives you a good mix of moving from sun to shade.

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Some of the trees are tall.

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Here is the entrance to the Outer Loop Trail.

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Benches are found along the trail.

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Parts of the trail are on flat ground.

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It crosses the Blackland Prairie.

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Another off road trail is ahead on the right.

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The off-road trails are well marked and worn from use.

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You find cedar trees in the preserve.

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There are different types of trees.

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Another tree.

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The preserve takes erosion control seriously.

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The are large hills to climb with major elevation changes along the walking trail.

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Here is a view of the observation tower.

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Looking down the hill onto the Blackland Prairie.

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Another view of the observation tower. This is taken from the west side of the tower facing east.

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Looking to the northwest. I live about six miles away in that direction.

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This is a large mesquite tree with a bench in its shade. You are still walking uphill at a gentle slope.

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Up the hill we go.

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Interesting vegetation abounds.

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As we near the top of the hill we start into the Upland Forest.

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It is very pretty terrain.

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My photos are in sequence of my 2.6 plus mile walk around the preserve.

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Another trail heading off the concrete trail.

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If you look close you can see cars in a parking lot in the background. This is at Austin Ranch in The Colony, Texas. Austin Ranch borders the preserve. This is at the highest point of elevation.

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The Outer Trail comes close to the concrete trail.

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As you start back down hill you come to the observation tower.

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There is a side trail right before the observation tower.

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This is a view of the last side trail from the observation tower.

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Another view from the tower.

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Still another view from the tower.

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A view from the observation tower back to the main concrete trail.

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Descending from the observation tower.

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Along the concrete trail from time to time I found chalk art.

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Another dirt trail off the main trail.

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Another bridge over a creek.

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A view from a bridge.

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A view from the next bridge.

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Almost back to the pavilion and parking lot.

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Cars and the parking lot at the top of the hill. 2.6 miles in 45 minutes. I enjoy a leisurely walk. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, Texas is an urban gem.

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Do you seethe rabbit? I saw this one when first leaving the parking lot.

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I think we scared each other when I looked to my right and saw this deer not ten feet away.

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If you got off the concrete trails you saw more critters like the turtles.

You can read more about it at: http://www.plano.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Arbor-Hills-Nature-Preserve-20

The photos are taken by: Jimmie A. Kepler

Just For Fun – Pictures of Where I Have Lived

I thought it would be fun to collect pictures of the house I have lived in from birth to my current 60 plus years. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it was fun putting these together. Below is visual proof  of my lack of “roots”, that is my not feeling like I have a hometown. I was a military brat and United States Army Officer from birth until my late 20s. Then I worked as a Southern Baptist Religious Educator until my mid 40s. Military and minister are two vocations that are very nomadic. Moving frequently goes with the job and life. I have lived/be stationed in over 25 locations. I attended 8 schools for 12 grades. The photos are either ones I took, my mother has, or are complements of Google Maps, street view. My memory or mother provided me with the addresses/locations.

BAMC

Brooke Army General Hospital, San Antonio

I was born in 1953 at Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

Randolph AFB

Randolph AFB

My father was in the US Air Force stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. Leaving the hospital, I moved in with my father and mother.

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We lived on Mesquite Street in San Antonio, Texas. It is located just east of downtown. The Alamodome is in the area where the house was built. I have a picture of the vacant lot where the house use to be.

Clinton County Air Force Base in Ohio

In 1954 – 1955, my father was stationed at Clinton County Air Force Base in Ohio.

20 Church Street Bowersville, Ohio

We lived in Bowersville, Ohio. I lived at 20 Church Street.

1946-Ford-Coupe-Harwood-TX

In part of 1955 and then 1956 I lived with my Grandfather in Harwood, Texas. My brother was born while we lived here.  Well, he actually was born in Brooke Army General Hospital, just like me.

Donaldson AFB

My father was in Turkey with the US  Air Force at this time.When dad got back from Turkey he was stationed at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville, South Carolina.

201 Maco Terrace Greenville SC

We moved to 201 Maco Terrace in Greenville, South Carolina. This where I have my first memories.

Scott AFB

While living in Greenville, SC we took a side trip to Scott Air Force Base where my father had extended military training.

Scott AFB Illinois

While at Scott Air Force Base we lived in a military trailer park. We spent a snowy winter of 1956-1957 there before returning to our Greenvile, SC home.

F-3530-SPT-95-000052-XX-0092

In 1958 we moved to Glendale, Arizona as my dad took a new assignment at Luke Air Force Base.

Glendale Az

We lived first in Glendale. I started elementary school at Glendale Elementary School in Glendale, Arizona in 1959. Dwight Eisenhower was the president of the USA.

2420 Navajo Luke AFB

Then in 1960 we moved into the new base housing on Luke AFB where we stayed until 1963.  I attended Luke Air Force Base Elementary School from February 1960 through the fourth grade. I had Mrs. Davis in the second grade and Mrs. Jensen in grades 3 and 4.

803 Jefferson Ave Seguin Texas

Dad headed to South Vietnam and I headed to 803 Jefferson Avenue in Seguin, Texas.803 Jefferson Avenue, Seguin, Texas is where I lived in 1963 – 1964. I was in the 5th grade and living there when President Kennedy was assassinated and when The Beatles came to the USA. The house was white with a green roof back then. It had trees in the yard and hedge around the house back in the day. It had a backyard that was over an acre. I had a great treehouse in the back yard tree as well as a huge garden. My father was stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in South Vietnam. I attend Jefferson Avenue Elementary School. It was located across the street from my house. Mrs. Englebrock was my fifth grade teacher. She taught me to love to read and to write stories.

Biggs AFB

Next I moved to El Paso, Texas in August 1964. My father was transferred to Biggs Air Force Base and B-52s. I don’t have a picture of our house on Raimey Circle. I has been torn down. I am still searching.  I attended Ben Milam School. Mr. Romero was my sixth grade teacher. In the seventh grade I played football and started having different teachers for each class.

Pease Air Force Base Portsmouth

From here I moved to Portsmouth , New Hampshire and Pease Air Force Base.

2024 Larkspur Circle Pease AFB New Hampshire

2024 Larkspur Circle Pease AFB New Hampshire

It was a neat place with lots of snow in the winter. I got to go to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine to the Longfellow and Chamberlain Homes. I went to the Robert Frost farm. I attended science camp at M.I.T. and Harvard University’s Summer Institute for the Gifted studying literature, poetry, and writing in their Humanities program. I lived at 2024 Larkspur Circle on Pease Air Force Base in 1966 – 1967. I attended Portsmouth Junior High School. I was the eighth grade class vice-president. I went to all the historical places in Boston and fell in love with history. I was here until my father retired from the US Air Force. He earned a degree in business from New Hampshire College while we lived there.  From here it was back to Texas.  I finished the last few weeks of the eighth grade in Nixon, Texas at Nixon Junior High School. We stayed with my grandparents until our furniture arrived and we moved into the below house.

1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas

1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas

We lived in the San Antonio suburb of Schertz. I lived at 1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas. I started high school at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas in 1967. I would move to the Dallas area at mid semester. We also owned the house that was two to the left of this one.

1010 Southwood Drive DeSoto, Texas

I lived at 1010 Southwood Drive in DeSoto, Texas until I headed to college and married. My parents still reside there.

201 1/2 Ray Drive Arlington TX

When I was 17 I got my first place. It was a duplex. In 1971 – 1972 I lived at 201 1/2 Ray Drive in Arlington, Texas while attending The University of Texas at Arlington.

Four Oaks Apt Arlington TX

I moved into an apartment with my brother in 1973. It was the Four Oaks Apartments off Pecan Street in Arlington.

283 Hapton Road DeSoto Texas

In December 1974 I married Benita Breeding and we moved into an apartment in DeSoto, Texas on 283 South Hampton Road. We lived upstairs, second unit from the end nearest as you look.

Fort Riley

Fort Riley, Kansas

I spent the summers of 1974 and 1975 at Fort Riley, Kansas thanks to the US Army.

Fort Benning

I graduated from college in 1975 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army. We moved to Columbus, Georgia. That’s where Fort Benning is located. We we there 1975 – 1976.

Holly Hills Apartments Columbus Georgia

We lived the Holly Hills Apartments with lots of second lieutenants in a unit off Oakley Court. I attended the US Army Infantry Officer basic Course, Airborne School, and the Platoon Leader Maintenance Management Course while living there.

Fort Lewis

We moved from there 3000 plus miles to Fort Lewis in Washington State. We were here 1976, 1977, 1978.

Fort Lewis Company Grade Married Officer's Quarters

We lived in two different military quarters while there. Thew first was one bedroom. We got a two bedroom unit after our son Kristopher was born.  While stationed at Fort Lewis I spent more time deployed or on training exercises

Camp Pendleton

I made two trips to Camp Pendleton for training. I was there in 1976 and 1977.

Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

In 1978 I spent some time at Twentynine Palms Marine Base.

Fort Irwin CA

Twice I spent months at Fort Irwin in the middle of nowhere for training. Actually think between Edwards AFB and Death Valley, CA for its location or halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Twice times I suffered on the beaches of Coronado and San Diego. This was in 1976 and 1977.

Mountain Home AFB Idaho

Mountain Home AFB Idaho

In 1977 I was in a joint training exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

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While at Fort Lewis at the sub post of Yakima Firing Center (as it was named in the 1970s) in 1976, 1977, 1978.  Tank gunnery and T.O.W. Missiles had me there.

Jack Frost 76

My unit had assignments like protecting the Alaskan Pipeline. Operation Jack Frost helped soldiers prepare for this mission, learn to preheat toilet paper and work in extreme cold.

OP near Camp Casey South Korea

OP near Camp Casey South Korea

My unit also had a mission to help if the North Koreans came back across the 38th parallel.

REFORGER

My unit also took part in REFORGER – Return of forces to Europe with treks to Italy and Germany in the fall of 1978.

Gordon Ave Fort Worth

From here we moved to Fort Worth Texas where I did my master’s degree. We lived in student housing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on Gordon Avenue. This house had a floor the was not level. Our second son was born while we lived here. We left here and moved to Decatur, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb when I graduated in 1980.

773 Scott Circle Decatur Georgia

We lived at 773 Scott Circle until our landlady moved back in when here husband passed away. Then we moved to a townhouse in Clarkston, Georgia. I served as Minister of Education at Scott Boulevard Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia.

Memorial College Drive Clarkston GA

The townhouses were large and start of the art for their time.This stock photo from Google doesn’t do them justice. They were located off Memorial Drive across from the DeKalb Community College.They were 99% owner occupied townhomes with a very strict and sometimes down right mean homeowners association. I was still Minister of Education at Scott Boulevard Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia while living here.

Old Settlers Road Bogalusa Louisiana

In December 1982 we moved to Bogalusa, Louisiana. We lived in a paper mill town and could smell it. I was Associate Pastor at Superior Avenue Baptist Church.

College Street Jasper, TX

In November 1984 we moved to Jasper, Texas. We lived in this house until 1988 when we bought her first home. Our daughter Sara Joy was born while we lived here. I was Associate Pastor and Day School Principal at First Baptist Church of Jasper, Texas.

606 Pearl Street Jasper Texas

The picture doesn’t do the house justice. The lot and house are larger than they look. The house was the Better Homes and Gardens House of the year in 1959 and was featured in Southern Living Magazine. The people who bought the house after us took out all the azaleas and dogwoods we had and replaced with hedge and non-native trees. The also removed over a dozen seven-five year old  or older trees. They added the black shutters, wrought iron windows and doors and made it like a prison. The multi-level tree house my kids had the backyard were also removed when the trees were cut  down. I was still Associate Pastor and Day School Principal at First Baptist Church of Jasper, Texas. I owned the house until March 1995. We moved from here in 1992 to Buna, Texas.

Vacant Lot

This was on Halley Street in Buna, Texas. We lived in a church owned home. It has been moved. The pastor lived in the house to the right. In the background is the church. I was Associate Pastor and Business  Administrator at First Baptist Church of Buna, Texas.  I lived here 1992 – 1993.

168 Chickadee Drive Denison, Texas

Next I lived at 168 Chickadee in Dension, Texas from May 1993 until January 1996.  Our oldest son graduated high school while we lived here. My father-in-law passed away while we lived here. I was Minister of Education and Senior Adults at Parkside Baptist Church in Denison, Texas.

721 Marvin Hancock Drive Jasper Texas

I lived at 721 Marvin Hancock Drive in Jasper , Texas. We lived in the unit on the bottom left. We lived here for the spring semester of 1996. I was Vendor Management Specialist for East Texas Support Services overseeing the CCMS program for day care centers in 16 counties. I also taught early childhood education.

4916 Watson (2007)

 

I bought our current home at 4616 Watson Drive in The Colony, Texas in July 1996.  I  have worked as a senior training specialist for American Express, Internet coordinator for Hilton Hotels, as a senior support engineer for Equator LLC, and in multiple Information Technology roles for Interstate Batteries while living here. Our youngest two children finished high school, got college degrees, and our daughter married since we moved here.

The Many Hats of The Writer

Hat Rack Stand

Sorry for having so few posts in recent days. I had surgery the end of July. That is my excuse. It is what it is. There is no hidden meaning in the previous sentence. I am a what you see is what you get kind of man.

I return to work this Thursday after nineteen work days and twenty-seven calendar days off work. Yes, I am returning to the day job. It is the day job that pays for my reading and writing habit. It provides my health insurance, my 401K, and the answer to the question of where do you work.

When I answer the work question with, I am a writer I get funny looks from people. Many times they have a follow-up question. It is, where do you work? What do you do?

When I say, I support my writing and reading habit working as a computer solutions support analyst they still don’t get it. More recently I have started referring to myself as an entrepreneurial author.

When I say entrepreneurial author, I want you to think of a hat rack stand. On it, you’ll find more than a dozen hats. Each hat has the name of a different job I find myself doing. They have names like writer, editor, reader, cover designer, formatter, project manager, distributor, marketer, accountant, researcher, salesman, social networker, publicist, legal counsel, problem-solver, and jack-of-all-trades.

In the days ahead, I will look at each of these roles, the resources I use in support of the role, and how I maintain my focus.

Three P’s of Writing Success: Practice, Patience, and Persistence

Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre’s “Three P’s of Writing Success: Practice, Patience, and Persistence”

Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre

Practice

In a nutshell, practice is writing and continuing to write. And when you are done with that continuing to write again. And to edit and to rewrite. And to write. You get the picture. Keep it up. Keep at it. It is a lot of hard work.

Patience

Patience means you are putting work out there into the world. It may not be recognized right away. It sometimes takes years. A lot of times overnight success stories of authors who have received multimillion dollar advances from publishers or hit the best-selling self-published charts didn’t do it overnight. They were at it and kept working at it and were patient. And that’s where persistence comes into play.

Persistence

I have been writing over thirty-years. There are certain cases where I am very much aware that it is only after time, after a lot of hard work and after a lot of blood, sweet and tears that I am actually getting to where I wanted to be as a writer.

Source: Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 001. A podcast for writers.  Episode 001 features an interview with Steve Vernon, author of MARITIME MURDER, SINKING DEEPER, The Tatterdemon Trilogy and the Flash Virus Series with Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre. See: http://kobowritinglife.com/category/kwl-podcast/page/2/

Five Podcasts I Listen To On a Regular Basis

There are many resources available for writers. One resource I love is a podcast. Here are five podcasts that I listen to regularly.

Mur LasffertyI Should Be Writing Podcast

http://murverse.com/podcasts/

Winner of the Podcast Peer Award and the Parsec Award, this is a show about a writer going from wanna-be to pro. Focusing on the emotional roadblocks one finds in a writing career, this show speaks to over 8000 listeners every week.

I have been listening to Mur Lafferty since 2006. She won the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is an award given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years.

The Creative Penn Podcast

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

Podcast Description: Audios will be posted at least every two weeks and will cover Interviews, Inspiration and Information on Writing, Publishing Options and Book Marketing.

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers on the edge, as well as non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.

AuthorMBA Podcast: Conversations About the Business of Books

http://winningedits.com/authormba-podcast/

Podcast Description: AuthorMBA features one-on-one conversations with today’s brightest authors who excel at the business of books. Conversations feature insights into successful business models, revenue streams, publishing strategies, marketing know-how, author platform must-haves, content essentials, career decisions, and more.

Matt Gartland is the Founder of Winning Edits. He is the 
Editor, Writer, Strategist.

The Odyssey Writing Workshops Podcast

http://www.sff.net/odyssey/podcasts.html

These podcasts are excerpts from lectures given by guest writers, editors, and agents at the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Every month or two, we release a new podcast. Each one is ten to fifteen minutes long. You may download a particular podcast, or you may subscribe to the podcasts so you automatically receive them when they are released.

Self-Publishing Podcast

https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/podcasts/

Every week we offer in-the-trenches writing, business, and marketing advice on what’s working for full-time indie authors. Join us and sell more books!

Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and David W. Wright are the hosts.

Photo:

Mur Lafferty headshot CC BY-SA 2.0

My Spiritual Birthday – July 11, 1977

Benita, Jimmie, and Kristopher Kepler 1977

Benita, Jimmie, and Kristopher Kepler 1977

July is the birthday of America. July is also my spiritual birthday.

What’s that? You don’t know about spiritual birthdays? My physical birthday is the day I was born. It was November 25, 1953 at Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. My spiritual birthday is when I was “born again”. It is when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It is when I was “saved”. It was July 11, 1977 at the First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, Washington.

Did you know being good doesn’t get you to heaven. Being “saved” does. Here’s my story of “being saved”.

On July 11, 1977, my life changed. If you look up that date in history, you will find nothing historically significant happened on that Sunday. It was a noteworthy day to me. That day was the watershed event in my life.

July 1977 found me on active duty as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. I was serving as Battalion Maintenance Officer, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Life was good. I had a beautiful, intelligent wife. I had a new son born in January that same year. I had just gotten a commendable rating during an annual general inspection in maintenance. It was the first commendable rating since the division had returned from Vietnam. Named an Outstanding Junior Officer of the Ninth Infantry Division because of the commendable rating, I received an offer of a regular army commission. My career was going great.

I always tried being the best I could be, and doing what was right. I was a detail-oriented perfectionist, high-achieving, and a workaholic. I excelled at most things I did. However, after all of this, I still had an empty, unsatisfied, void, and alone feeling. Beginning in my college years I tried drinking adult beverages, women, materialism, partying, and hanging-out with the right crowd to fill this unexplained need I had. I knew something was missing from my life.

I was also attending church. At my church I noticed a group of men my age that seemed to have what I was missing. I attended a Bible study with them. Here I found that God has given us an important manual for life — the Bible. He has the answers to the problems and emptiness we may face. I found out I was here for a purpose, and not by accident. I learned Jesus loves me, and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin separated me from Him.

I realized I had a sin problem.

The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 But no one is perfect! Not even a perfectionist. We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by simply living a good life. Why?

I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin.

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I learned God gives us a promise.

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

I learned that God made provision for me.

The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus.

I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I might have eternal life in Heaven with You. I willingly repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart and life. Take control of my words, thoughts, and actions. I place all of my trust in You for my salvation. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and this free gift of eternal life. Amen.”

What came next?

Since then my life has not been perfect. It’s been far from it. I have messed up from time to time, sometimes failing miserably in my decisions and choices. However, I have had direction and purpose in my life. I know where I am headed. I have the Bible to give me the principles for daily living. I am never alone. I have had real peace for the last 37 years.

How about you?

Have you ever been “saved”? You can do like I did. Romans 10:9-10, 13 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Can an intelligent person or intellectual/scholar believe in God?  Can an Intelligent Person Believe in Christianity?

The Real Question — The answer to the above question(s) is, “Yes, of course! We cannot deny that many intelligent people do believe in God and Christianity.” So a better question may be, “How can an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” or “Why would an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” Click HERE for more the answer.

About the photo: It was taken in February 1977 in my military quarters at Fort Lewis, Washington. In the photo in Miss Benita, my bride. We have been married since 1974. Also in the picture is our first child, Kristopher. Yes, I look tired. I had just returned home from a fourteen day training exercise. I had not had sleep in over 72 hours at the time the picture was taken. I was very tired. The picture was taken by my late father-in-law William Clarence Breeding, Sr. He and my mother-in-law had came to Washington State to help Miss Benita with our new son Kris.

Yes

Summer in Dallas

Dallas, Texas USA

Howdy, this is Jimmie Kepler. I don’t know where the readers of my blog live, or what their weather is like. I live in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is in the southwestern part of the United States of America. It is summer in Dallas.

Long time residences and native Texans refer to this time of year as “the blast furnace”. Why do we call it that? It is because the weather is usually as hot as if you were near a blast furnace.

Speaking of the word hot, it is not used by the weather person on the television or radio until the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When we are just in the 90 degrees range, they say it will be warm today. My guess is where you live 90 degrees is considered hot. It isn’t that way in Dallas or north Texas.

Most days when I get off work, if the temperature is below 100 degrees I do not turn on my car air conditioner. The exception is when I am just sitting in traffic.

To stay cool in our homes in the summer we run fans and air conditioning. My house is normally cooled to 78 degrees with a fan running to keep the air moving.

My day job considers the warm weather. We are allowed to wear shorts to work twelve months a year. On the warmest days, you will find me in khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It is very casual business dress.

Why not leave me a comment about where you live and the weather you have in July? I would love to hear from you!

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BOOKS BY JIMMIE A. KEPLER
The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners' Helmets with Lights and Other Stories
by Jimmie A. Kepler
Short Story Collection: Available on Amazon

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