Sunday, January 21, 2018

Time Travel is real.... Toys are proof. Kevin James Breaux and his JOE Tank.

Hi all,

Since my mother died, my dad has been shipping all my childhood toys across country to me to sell. It's been a really amazing process, but at times the nostalgia is overwhelming...and other times...well you experience time travel. Or Fate. Or...I don't know.

Let me start at beginning.

My dad started sending toys. But he did not see the value in their weapons or accessories. I did not know this at first. So, I was selling things that were not complete. I finally convinced him to look for weapons. I found out they were at the bottom of boxes, or on the garage floor where my toys were stored. He did not bother with them. So after a month of selling things, I started getting parts for the things I already sold. Some of the toys would have been complete when I sold them and fetched a much higher price. So, I started holding things back and waiting for future shipments from my dad. Yep, it worked. I started getting pieces from things he shipped weeks and months ago. NOW, I was selling complete items.

FYI - I sent most of the guns and accessories to the people who I sold the matching items too. Unless the piece was big, I shipped it to them at my cost. So, I, at least, helped out a few collectors. And made some new friends. :)

Here are some examples of the toys that had been in my parents garage since the mid 1980s. JUST NOW unearthed and sold. Or...OKAY...I kept a few....

Kept this guy.

And this is just a small sampling. Trust me. I had a ton of Fisher Price Adventure People, STOMPERS, and Match Box cars...

Oh... I sold this amazing looking MOTO Knock off for over $300!!!

He was ALMOST too cool to sell.
Anyway... It has kept me busy and it has been fun. At times...I just have to stop and take it all in. These are toys I have not touched in over 30 years. Some of them look familiar and some are SO familiar it is like I never stopped thinking about them. I picked them up and they felt natural to be back in my hands. It's crazy!

But here is where my mind was blown. I tell people, as a writer, you need to reward yourself when you finish a book. I was taught this. It works. Well back a few years ago, maybe 4-5, when I finished THE LIFEBLOOD OF ILL-FATED WOMEN, I wanted to reward myself with something I could put in my office, on my shelf. Something I would see and always be reminded of all the hard work and that my efforts paid off.

So, I went on ebay and bought an old GI JOE toy I once owned (and sold back in the mid 1990s). I got this:

GI JOE Mauler Tank.
I got it from a guy who buys pieces and puts them back together. It was 99% complete when I got it. Just missing the big antenna. But that antenna costs like $40-50 on ebay. It's rare. I made a ebay search for Mauler Antenna years ago and saved it. I have checked it from time to time, but never saw the use in spending that much money.


Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My dad says he is sending me a box full of parts. Mostly junk, he says. When I get the box there is a bag, with my mom's handwriting on it. "Assorted Parts" I opened that Ziploc bag and found some GI JOE parts...and in there... an antenna. I picked it up and looked at it a minute. I had a weird moment where I just knew... I just knew... So, I ran across my house and right to the Mauler and popped that antenna in. It fit like it always belonged there. Now the tank is 100% complete.

I nearly cried.

Somehow, my mom found the missing antenna off my original childhood tank... probably lost off it back in the late 1980s, when I stopped playing with my JOES. She packed it away, instead of throwing it out.

Then, in the mid 1990s when I sold my tank, I sold it without the antenna. I had no idea. I probably didn't even care or notice. And I did not know she had parts stored elsewhere.

Then now, 2018. I am reunited with my tank's original antenna and it is on my tank which I bought as a reward to myself and to remind myself that hard work pays off. Well now it reminds me of my mom too, and how much she cared.

Like I said. Fate? Time Travel? Who knows. It feels like fate to me.

So yeah. I wanted to share my story.

Write Makes Might!


Kevin James Breaux

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 in Review. One word: "Yuck...."

Hi all,

Well, like most of you, my 2017 sucked. Or kinda sucked. I don't want to compare. Some people had VERY bad moments/events/tragedies this year. The weather saw to a lot of disasters, some of which were in my area of the PAC NW. So again, my year stunk.... but was not THAT bad. I guess...

See, last Feb., I found out my my was terminally ill. And that went on until Oct. (10-11 months) when she finally passed. It was very stressful for all. I don't like when people or animals suffer, and I feel like my mom was suffering for a while. So her passing was hard, but in some ways a blessing. I really don't know how to put it. It is still fresh. I have not really fully processed it yet.

During this time, most of 2017, I could not write as much as I normally do. I am a fast and furious writer... with daily word counts that make the pros jealous. But not this year. This year saw me taking time off and not being very creative.

I painted a lot. To get my mind off things. That was good and it's true, art therapy works. But I would have liked to written much-much more.

That being said, since middle Oct. I have been writing more. I was ghost writing for a company for two months, having fun with it, but then that fell apart...don't get me started with how the industry continuously lets me down. Let's just say this. I nailed my projects, and the books I wrote and helped write are doing great online....

Sigh. Anyway.

What about all my other projects?

Three Burning Red Runaway Brides - book three in the Water Kingdom Series is 1/3 written. Late 2018 release. Cover art is done and ready.

The sequel to The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women is just started, but mentally plotted out. Hopes for an early 2019 release.

My Young Davy Crockett MG/YA book is done and I should be pitching it to publishers again...soon. This is a fun read. I think its a no-brainer for a small press publisher. If it does not find one soon I might self pub. Not sure.

The Soul Born Saga - Soul Born was re-edited this year and submitted to a highly interested small press publisher. I hope she picks it up. I think Soul Born needs to be back at a good small press.

And I might be in the middle of another Ghost Writing project. Maybe. It's a secret. :)

What are my plans for 2018?

Well, I hope to get back on my schedule of writing 4-5 days a week. And I hope to start getting my already published books more exposure. I need more readers and more reviewers.  So if you know any, send them my way.

I will finish the Water Kingdom Series which will tie up one story. But will open the door to the Fire Kingdom Series.

I plan to nearly finish the LBIFW sequel too. And maybe re-edit Blood Divided in the Soul Born Saga.

I will continue to be doing little painting projects and custom painting Castle Grayskulls for fun.

In my opinion, 2017 made it hard to see the future.  It muddied everything up. It's hard to think years in advance now. Even hard to think months in advance. I guess I take things more day to day now. But I have hopes people will start being nice to each other again. Get off social media and go outside and enjoy nature. Maybe even sit outside in the fresh air and read a book.

Write Makes Might!

Kevin James Breaux