Dinosaurs in the bible and days out on the town

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A lot of my friends and family tend to ask the question of how we like Austin now that we have lived here for a while. Well, it’s fantastic. There seems to be a festival or shop expo every single weekend. This weekend we went to craft sale downtown because we knew that these sewing ladies were going to be there. They are called Fort Lonesome and they do this thing called chain stitching. It was pretty cool and is done with this vintage looking machine. We went to the event because we knew that they were going to be there. I got the bible verse Job 40:15-25 because… well… dinosaurs. That’s why.  Verse 24 makes me think of a triceratops of all the behemoths. Boom!!!

Job 40:15-24 King James Version (KJV)

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

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Holly Jolly Austin Christmas!

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Hello, It’s me Sarah. Believe it or not I am not writing a blog to complain about anything. It is what they call the most wonderful time of the year! I love the cold weather and the genuine joy that surrounds Christmas. No matter what winter holiday you celebrate the feeling in the air is excitement. Thought I would share a bit of what has been done in the Douglas house today! Normally this would have all happened the day after thanksgiving, but as you surely have seen in Pat’s previous posts we were not in town. This Christmas is sure to be very special because we are house broke, which means that though we will have fewer gifts (cough) we will be celebrating in our very first house together! Be sure to hug your family tight and wish me luck as I try to convince Patrick to buy more christmas decorations and (gasp!) hang outdoor christmas lights! Off to target!

Thanksgiving: Pre-Family Dinner Thanks Post

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Well, it is thanksgiving. And I just wanted to post a real quick, pre-food fest post about what I am thankful for. And it all comes down to one thing; family… and Hungry Howies of course. But seriously, I am thankful for my family. Both those I am visiting, and those that I miss. I am thankful for the Kain family in all they do to support us, the Douglas family for helping us chase dreams, the Nunez family for being real, the White family for knowing how to have fun, the Roper family for showing what it means to thrive toward greatness, and all the family friends that have come and gone over the years who have helped to shape my characters toward the better. I both miss and respect you all. I am thankful for my family and wish we could have this type of gathering among all the clans year round.

Now Available – Bible Patches #Jesus

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Well, it’s official… For the Win Inc has finally done some Christian patches. They have just hit the stores today. I have 4 of them currently… but there is no telling how many I will actually end up doing; what with the endless number of epic biblical stories I could draw inspiration from and all that jazz. Right now we have The lamb of revelations, Adam and Eve from genesis, The suffering of Christ prior to being crucified for our sins, and a Jesus Lives patch. I almost went cliché with this one and had it say “Jesus’ Life Matters” since it seems to be a controversial topic lately on the fight against racism. But, I went with my better judgment and didn’t do it. Anyway, go on over to the store and check them out. If you have feedback or patch ideas based on biblical themes, let me know. I am all ears.

Throwing P. A. Douglas into the trash for a fresh start

Well, after a little over 5 years of writing horror based fiction I have accumulated a little over a dozen titles under my belt as author P. A. Douglas. And today, I am announcing that I am throwing that literary name in the trash!

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Before I get into it I thought I would recap my experience as a writer over these last 5 years. I first found my passion for the horror genre as a kid. Later in life I began to enjoy reading as an adult. While working at Wal-Mart of all places overnight to save money for a tour van (that Sarah and I used to tour with), I read a lot of zombie books. And well, after my 5th of 6th book I thought to myself, “I could write this stuff”.

So, I did.

While working I jotted notes and ideas for my first book into a notepad. As a result my very first title became released in 2011 at a whopping 90,000 words. It wasn’t a great piece of fiction, but it was mine! I had done it. I wrote a book. With the fire lit I found that I couldn’t stop. I kept on reading the genre and kept on writing as well. I feel that the pinnacle of my career as a horror writer was when I landed a contract with my all time favorite apocalyptic publisher. I had done it. I was in the big lieges. I had reached the top of my genre as an indie author and it had only taken about 4 years to get there.

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So… why then, after all this effort and success am I crumpling it all up and tossing it in the trash?

Yeah, well… that is a good question I suppose. I think it has to do with an accumulation of many different factors. For starters I am currently knee deep in school taking 16 credit hours per semester. And have been for about two years now. As a result that has been two years of not writing or reading much fiction at all; if any for lack of available time. Secondly, because of several other factors that I will mention in a moment, I am in a mental state of mind lately (the past 4 months or so) where I am evaluating what is actually worth my time. Because, let’s face it. Time is a precious commodity. Everyone knows that. So, the question was raised internally; “what is my time worth”?

What exactly brought this question swirling into my mind over these last few months is the real question. It has been an accumulation of several things, like I said already. For one, being in school has given me the itch of learning. I would rather spend my time learning than being entertained with silly nonsense. With that in mind, I have picked up a few magazine subscriptions to things like Astronomy and National Geographic. Also, over the last year I have still continued to read for pleasure. But rather than reading fiction for mere entertainment I have found myself reading educational content. Astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and history  have found their way into m heart and I can’t seem to get enough of them.

Secondly, this world is a mess. As some of you know, I am a Christian. In the last 4 months or so Sarah and I have been attending Calvary Chapel in South Austin. It is a great place that has accepted us as we are. Oddly enough, we joined this group of believers right as they were jumping into the book of Revelations. Kind of ironic when you think about it considering the state of things in America and how outlandish this election was. With those two factors in mind (the teachings in retrospect to the state of our nation), an internal reflection began to take place where I asked myself that question; “what is truly worth my time”? Now, this isn’t some brain wash type of church either. This is a more of the Spirit within the church and within myself toward repentance. So, what does repentance have to do with your books and dropping them in the can? Well, as a Christian I do have to admit that there is some tacky content within my past writings. Rape, sex, murder, language, and so on. Of course, I realize that all of those things can be found in the Bible. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve just decided that I don’t really want to be affiliated with my work anyone as a Christian. It’s hard to explain. I will say this though; a lot of my work as a fiction writer was done at a time in my faith when I was angry at God. And as a result, the words that flowed across the page were not a reflection of my beliefs. I just feel that our time should be spent educating and being educated. Yes, entertainment is a good thing. With that and the value of time, if and when I start writing again, it will be with those principles in mind.

All I know is, we as a nation spend too much time blinded and numbed by entertainment. We glare at our computers, phones, and televisions, watching the world become worse and worse. All the while pretend in our own minds that posting a positive meme will make a difference. In the end, my body of work as a fiction writer wasn’t part of the solution. It was part of the problem, promoting things I don’t wish to promote.

With that in mind, once I am out of school I do plan to start writing again… under a new name… with a new agenda – to educate, inspire, and encourage, rather than indulge.

We live in a world where World War 3 could very easily be on the horizon regardless of what you believe in. You have to ask yourself, do you want to have spent your life glued to your vices? Or do you want to spend your life thriving for a solution?

And, as a Christian I assume you know what solution I speak of.

wars and rumors of wars: dead people school anxiety #embalming

I am officially half way through my final semester of dead people school. I am both excited and slightly terrified. In roughly 6 weeks I will be at the end of what has been a long and rocky struggle through dead people school. I don’t know about you, but 16 credit hours per semester is just too much. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful to have gone through it so quickly. But, if I had to do it over again I would have taken much less per semester. I am beyond burnt out.

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This week were we live has been rainy and cold. It hasn’t been all that bad considering that it really doesn’t rain here that often. Even still, the rain and cool, cloudy weather has gotten me feeling sluggish. A feeling one does not want to have when they are loaded to the brim with as much school work as I have on top of maintaining a part time job. Before we moved to central Texas I had a part time gig working in my career field. And sadly, since we moved I have had no luck getting my foot in the dead people door. Alas, I decided to give up on that front and just focus on my schooling while working a regular alive people job. It has been going well thus far. I just find it hard to believe that in another month I will be glaring down the throat of my final semester finals (if that makes sense). The reason I am excited is because I am ready to be done and doing work associated to my field of study. The reason I am nervous at the same time, is that the next test after getting my Associated Degree in Applied Science is to pass the exit exam, which qualifies me to take the board exams. That’s right (with an “s”)… there are two exams for the national board which will give me license to work a dead people job in the State of Texas. I hear of wars are rumors of wars. Or better yet, I hear of failure and rumors of failure when it comes to taking them. You want to talk about test anxiety? How about the test to end all tests? The two tests that you have been testing to test since you started taking tests!

Soon… very soon…

Neighbors to the rescue! #Godisgood

Well, yesterday was a very eventful, yet surprisingly cool day. On my way to work my truck decided to not turn over/crank after filling my gas tank. I inevitably had to call in to work and tell them I wasn’t coming in. But before I could do that, I had to walk all the way back up the hill to my house to figure out what number to call in order to actually call in an absence at work.

Once that was done it was time to figure out what the game plan was.

car-trouble.pngI needed to start making some calls to figure out who was going to tow my truck from the gas station to an auto repair shop. But which repair shop? This could make any aggravated person’s head start spinning for sure. But I didn’t let it get to me. Instead, I walk a few houses down to a neighbors house (who happens to be a mechanic), and asked his advice. He obliged to take a look and we made the trek back down the hill toward my truck. With his fancy computer he figured out it was my fuel pump and said he could fix it on the low. But then there was the question of towing up the hill. With that, I went in the other direction to another neighbor’s house who owns a towing company (his tow truck sitting in his drive), and asked for help. He also obliged and did it for free, bringing my truck back up the hill to the mechanic’s house. Other than paying for the pump and giving him a few bucks for his effort we were on our way to getting it fixed.

Rather than drop the tank, which I happened to have just filled at the gas station, we took the bed off instead. With the help of yet another neighbor, we lifted the bed and got to work. And when it came time to put the bed back on the third neighbor gladly stepped in and helped make it happen.

How cool is that? Had I gotten the truck towed to a shop, the tow and the shop fees would have been double, if not triple what it ended up costing me to get my truck back in business. On top of that we got it all done fairly quick considering all the neighbors that stepped up to help.

I am blessed.

My neighborhood has my respect and gratitude.

Three Months into Patch making

So, may patch store is only a few days away from being a total of 3 months old. So far it has been a wildly unexpected ride. For the Win Inc is not only still in its infant stage, but it has grown so quickly. In this short three month period I have already made close to 400 sales… many of which were multiple patch orders. These patches have gone everywhere you can think of. Hong Kong, just about everywhere within the States, Canada, Australia, Africa, and Brazil just to name a few. I am talking everywhere. It is crazy to think that my designs are spreading across the globe like this. It has been a lot of fun. Currently, in a few more weeks I will have 4 new designs, which takes my total to 20 designs. That’s right… in under 4 months I will have made 400 sales, created and printed 20 designs, and covered most of the globe. That is wild if you ask me. The cool thing is when people share photos of their patches with me to show that they enjoy them as much as I do! Honestly, I don’t know what the rest of 2016 has in store for For the Win Inc, but I do know what the next month or two is going to look like. I have decided to take it a little slower for a few reasons. One, with Christmas coming, the store will be getting more traffic, so I wanted to focus on what designs I already have. And two, my finals for this semester along with the board exams to graduate dead people school are coming up at the end of this year. With that in mind a lot of my attention will be on other things besides designing new patches. In the meanwhile, I plan on focusing more on social media promotion for my existing products, as well as maybe updating the listings for better search engine results. Anyway, enough rambling. Patches!!! The first three months has been better than expected.

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