barker2

Like many of the entrepreneurs who have been featured previously, Daniel Barker simply found a way to turn something he enjoys into a business.  Roughly ten years ago, Mr. Barker began writing short stories about a character created by his uncle.  Daniel enjoys writing about this particular character because of the character’s versatility; he can literally go anywhere.  While his first book – Sergeant Stone, NOPD – took the better part of ten years to write, the second book – Sergeant Stone, Sentinel of the Crescent City – took only twelve months.

barker3

Mr. Barker chose to self-publish both books, an increasingly popular option in recent years.  Using this method, authors can pick and choose from many of the standard services associated with traditional publishing.  According to Publisher’s Weekly, self-published authors now command “significant market share in all genres.”

Becoming a published author requires a tremendous amount of dedication.  Today’s entrepreneur identified his passion, evaluated his skills, and followed his dream.

To learn more about the Sergeant Stone books, please go to SergeantStoneNOPD.com.

Daniel Barker will also be at the Library in Crestview, Florida for a book signing on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 10:00 until noon!

References

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/63455-surprising-self-publishing-statistics.html

*Please be aware that there are affiliate links in this post.  By clicking the link and purchasing the product, the reader is supporting this author’s blogging activities.*

Once upon a time, in the space between kids One and Three, I was a working mother.  I was actually searching for employment when I discovered that our “pleasant surprise” (baby Number One) was on the way, and staying at home was not an option, because our family needed two incomes.

Today, there are many reasons why women work.  Some mothers work because they have to help support their families, some simply enjoy working, and others fall somewhere in between.

These women generally rise with the dawn, waking early to prepare the entire family each day.  Babies must be fed, lunches made, school bags packed – all before putting in an eight- to ten-hour day on the job.

While these ladies diligently perform their work, the thought of their children at school or daycare is never far from their minds.  Like all good moms, they are answering the very personalized call of motherhood.

When the workday is finished, there is dinner to be made, sporting activities to attend, homework to be completed, and little ones to “love on.”  After baths and bedtime routines, there is probably a house to clean as well.

Day after day, millions of working mothers wake up and do all of these things out of love for their families.  Although their approach may be different, the very basic intention of working and stay-at-home mothers is the same: to do the absolute best for their children.

 

Years ago, as a 19-year-old student at one of the top 25 business schools in the United States (at the time), I knew that I did not want to ever be just a mom, and I would never put my fate or my livelihood in the hands of any man.  I have never been accused of being a feminist, but at that age I was pretty close.

Now, thirteen short years later, as a stay-at-home mother to five beautiful babies, I wish that the 19-year-old me would have known that there really is no such thing as just a mom.  In fact, at the ages of 22 and 23, as I had my first two little ones and rushed back to work much sooner than I should have–at four and two weeks post-partum, respectively–I cannot help but think that things would have been a little different if I had known that motherhood was enough.

During my early twenties, as I had baby after baby, I sometimes struggled because I thought that perhaps I was not living up to my full potential.  I was so happy to see friends and classmates reaching career goals–honestly, I was very proud of them–but I did wonder if changing diapers, wiping noses, and rocking babies was to be my only contribution to society.

It took four little boys to finally make me understand the importance of the vocation of motherhood–clearly, I am not so quick on picking up the lessons that are being laid out before me.  Shortly after my sweet Mr. Deere entered the world, it dawned on me that being a mom was not just about changing diapers and keeping little humans alive another day; it was about raising future husbands, wives, and citizens.

Suddenly, my daily life did not seem so unimportant.  While the tasks that make up a large part of my existence are repetitive, I try to remember that there are now five little humans running around here who will one day be adults.  At a minimum, I know The Negotiator will be famous–it is up to me to steer his will towards good and not evil­–so he becomes famous for doing great things.

I did wonder if having a daughter would change my thoughts about motherhood.  Perhaps looking at her and thinking about her future would make me want more for her.  At this point, two years into her short life, my feelings toward motherhood as a vocation have not really changed.  If she aspires to be an astronaut, of course I will be proud of her.  I should also mention, however, that if her dream is to be a wife and mother, I would be no less proud.

Someday, sooner than any of us would like to admit, these little ones will grow up and move on with their lives.  A very wise person once told me that one can almost always have a career, but children are only children for a very short time.

So, my fellow stay-at-home mommies, as you move through your day, changing the laundry, kissing “owies,” and cleaning floors, remember that for now, motherhood is enough.

 

As a little girl, I frequently fell asleep to the sound of the vacuum or the sight of my mom folding clothes at the kitchen table.  Back then, I did not give much thought to the spotless home that greeted me each morning.  It was simply a given.

Years — and many kids — later, I know the secret: My mom was a Ninja.  She would stay up vacuuming, sweeping, folding, and tidying long after the kids were in bed.  She even cleaned our rooms and put clothes away, all while we slept!

Now that I am a mother, I understand the need for late night cleaning.  I have joked many times that my house is clean from 8:00 P.M. until 6:00 A.M.  Sadly, these are generally the hours when there are no other humans around to witness my hard work.

Tonight as I began cleaning, after a short phone call from a dear friend   — another mother of five with whom I generally only communicate by phone around 10:00 P.M. — I began thinking about all of the other Mommy-Ninjas out there.  Based on some quick estimating, there must be thousands of Mommy-Ninjas sweeping, mopping, and folding right along with me, every night!

Maybe some of you fold laundry while you catch up on your favorite non-Disney shows.  Others might turn the non-kid music up, and dance a little while sweeping and mopping the floors.  Perhaps there are some that have their routine carefully planned out, and execute their nighttime cleaning with surgical precision.  Regardless of how we reach our destination, it seems that many of us are on the same road.

Admittedly, I have not quite reached the skill level required to clean children’s rooms and put clothes away while they sleep; I am simply too clumsy for that.  I have hope, though. My own mother was fifteen years into this whole “parent” thing by the time I came along, so in five more years I might just be an “expert” Mommy-Ninja.  This realization leads me to believe that we are all on our own Mommy-Ninja journey.  Maybe, like those little guys in the Lego Ninjago cartoon, it will take time for the full realization of our Mommy-Ninja potential.

As I set off to perform my own Mommy-Ninja duties, I would like to remind all the other Mommy-Ninjas out there that I am thinking about you.  May you fold and clean quickly, and rest easily.