Saturday, May 25, 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Julie at Rogue MissionI was thrilled since I have never been nominated for anything in the past. Thank you very much for the award Julie! 

The Rules for the Award are as Follows:
  1. Add the Versatile Blogger Award badge to a post.
  2. Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in you post.
  3. Share seven things about yourself.
  4. Pass the award to 15 other bloggers. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.


I knew my wife was special from the moment we met. We spent every day together after our first date and I asked her to marry me about a month and a half after we met. Of course nay sayers cautioned against the union, “do you really know her?” they said, or “you know it won’t last.” We were married about eight months after our first date and twenty-six years later, she’s still the love of my life and best friend, and I believe we have passed the test of time.

We found out my wife was pregnant four months before I left for a year-long tour in South Korea. My only son was born in October that year and I met him three months later when I came home on my mid-tour leave. He was a beautiful baby then, and is a handsome and caring man now. He amazes me every day and I have a great time just hanging out with him.

At the tail end of the summer in 1989, Iraq invaded Kuwait. I was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, at the time as a member of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I was a gunner on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and I was very proficient at my job. I knew that if the United States became involved in this conflict, my unit would definitely deploy, as it did. I think the defining moment for me during the conflict was preparing to cross the Iraqi border from Saudi Arabia because of the paralyzing fear of the unknown clashing with the desire to do my job because it was what I had trained for four years at the time. I haven’t experienced another internal paradox like this one in my life since.

Strong student was not a term used to describe me during my high school years. A better description might have been absent. However, shortly after the turn of the millennium, I realized that military retirement was inching closer and I needed some type of higher education to be competitive in the civilian workplace. I started my bachelor’s degree in 2002 and found that I actually enjoyed school. I drank in the knowledge and loved it so much that I started my master’s degree 37 days after finishing the coursework for my undergraduate degree. I graduated with my MBA in 2007 and am now happy to be done with school.

I lived the Army life for 23 years, starting as a Private and working my way through the enlisted ranks until I reached First Sergeant, which was my goal. During that time, I gave my life to the Army spending countless hours away from home in support of national defense. I enjoyed the camaraderie as I shared laughter and tears with my fellow Soldiers but in 2008, it was time to hang up the pistol belt. At times, I miss that cohesiveness that is unique to the military. But I am older now and the military is more suited to the young not to mention that I get to go home at the end of each work day.

After retiring from the military, I took a job as a recruiter for the university I attended for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I worked for that institution for a couple of years until I was approached by another university to do a similar job at a significantly higher salary. At the end of 2011, the group I was working for at the new university was determined to be cost prohibitive and I was laid off. For the first time since I was a teenager, I had to do some soul-searching to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. During my Army years, that was the career I wanted and I established and achieved the goals set within that organization. I had not thought much past the Army and college recruiting was just something I was able to do, but it was not necessarily an aspiration. I had always known I enjoyed writing and I thought it was something I wanted to do someday. After the layoff, I decided someday had arrived and it was time to get serious about writing. Had I not been laid off, I may have never discovered my true passion.

I wrote a couple of short stories to see if writing was really what I wanted to do. I enjoyed crafting those stories and received positive feedback so I thought it was time to start a novel. On December 8th, 2011, I began writing the outline for Cooking Athanasia. Throughout the entire process, I never tired of the story and looked forward to developing my characters who eventually seemed to take on a life of their own. I wrote the last sentence of the book on April 5th, 2013. At present, I am editing the story and have started work on Echoes of Enchantment, the second book in the Athanasia trilogy. Now I can’t imagine a life where I don’t write. 

My Nominees:
  1. Art in the Life – Darcy Kline
  2. Stormcalling – Christopher Storm
  3. Thinking Aloud – Jaspreet Taunque
  4. Butterfly on a Broomstick – Linzé Brandon
  5. Gemini Rising Series – Gemini
  6. T-Rytes – Tineeka De Silva
  7. Neurotic Novelists of the World Unite! - Robert Evert
  8. Janie Fox Oil Portraits – Janie Fox
  9. Suteko's Blog – Lisa Williamson
  10. Still working on list

Thanks for reading!



  1. Thank you for my nomination Kevin :)

  2. Thank you for the Versatile Blogger nomination, Kevin. I really enjoyed learning more about you by reading your seven important life events!

    1. Thanks Janie! You have no idea how hard that was for me to write...

  3. Congratulations on the award! (from a fellow blogger and g+ connection who knows how nice it is, since one of my blogs was awarded the Liebster award last month!)