Traded my Harley for Horses. . .



. . . and I haven’t looked back (the horse didn’t come with a mirror).


If you were to have asked me five years ago if I could become an award winning author I would have thought about it for two seconds and replied “could happen, you never know” however if you were to have asked if I ever saw myself trading my Harley for a Horse I would respond by asking you if you had momentarily lost your mind.


Now, not surprisingly, here I am in a state of being between Harleys and I am still working with a large black 4-year-old Tennessee Walker named Dracula, for those that don’t know, the Tennessee Walking horse is like the touring class of equine breeds with a natural free flowing gait and, I am learning, a great deal of stubborn pride as well. The gait is incredible to watch, the stubborn pride is teaching me to look in the mirror.


I have learned a great deal in this lifetime, I have watched and listened, I have seen and understood, but I have yet to grasp the concept of change, it is something we are faced with almost every day of our lives, in society, in politics, in the weather and in plans made or goals desired, change is something we live with but have difficulty creating. Often we find ourselves desperately needing a change in our lives in order to grow or move forward, yet we are hesitant or reluctant to create changes because they may mean choosing a different path, a path we are not familiar with which in itself is directly related to the universal law of cause and effect.


So, all laws aside, I find myself now settled on a different path, in a different place, yet I am still writing with the same inspirational energy and still breathing, believing and being the BawB I have grown comfortable with, so is the change I experienced just a mind set or has my definition of a compatible reality altered just enough for me to allow and accept the flow of positive energy wherever I am standing in the moment?


Bob Dylan said it best in 1963 “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind” and I find myself listening to the wind more these days, as long as it is at my back be it Horse or Harley I am at peace.


Update on BawB’s Raven Feathers Series 2, my awesome editor Rachel Small has been locked in a small dark room for the last 6 months working feverishly on the next 5 volumes… Okay, I am embellishing a little, she is most often working in a sun lit room filled with light and creative energy working at a relaxed pace sorting through a huge amount of poetic inspiration and is, from what I am told, enjoying every minute of it.  🙂  Thank you Rachel, for doing what you do.


The moment you feel a change is needed that will help you just to grow

Is the very moment the wind will push you and a smile will start to show.




The Mysteries of life. . .

. . .are not what they used to be.

While I was growing up I was filled with wonder and amazement, I was in awe of the ways of Mother Nature, what she could do with such precision and consistency. Then came the man made marvels, spaceflight, sliced bread, portable tape recorders and color TV. The mysteries of life were of a somewhat different nature; who made the sphinx and the pyramids and Stonehenge?

Now, however the mysteries of life include- where is the cloud? And why doesn’t my battery percentage show in my lock screen? Have I too become reprogrammed by the advancements of the electronic world, has nature taken a step back from the constant bombardment of newer, better, faster things, has the glisten of dew on a spider web in the morning sun been replaced by the bling on a new cell phone case?

Fortunately for me, no, I am still in the flow of nature’s energy, I can “forget” my cell phone at home and not panic and a walk on a path surrounded by trees beats a video game any day. This of course becomes evident every morning when I share my smiles with the universe, yes I know it’s taking advantage of social networking, but I believe one foot in tomorrow and one foot in today keeps me grounded in the moment. I have learned from my yesterdays and I cherish the lessons, but I don’t dwell there, I adapt.

As an Author and a writer I have to, the days of clacking out a book on an Underwood, submitting it to a publisher and hoping someone sees it are long since gone, today you type it out, get it edited, designed, printed and publish it, then market the heck out of it using every available resource, and more. Which brings to mind a new mystery for me, if a book is self published and is distributed through bookstores as Print On Demand, how does it get noticed if it’s not on the shelf?

I am still in awe of life’s mysteries, the fact that there are more of them these days definitely keeps ones mind active, and I suppose if we allow ourselves room to grow we will develop a new perception of what might be. The writer in me however will continue to feel the excitement in holding a hard cover book in my hands, especially a hard cover book that I have published, no mystery there.

There is no mystery behind what a smile can do

It can always improve the first impression of you.




Because they cross the bridge. . .

. . . doesn’t mean they leave your heart.

I lost a brother recently, not one of blood but one of soul, we grew up across the street from each other in the 60’s when bonds were cast in stone and the closeness shared then was something that could never be severed. We stayed close for 40 years, inseparable at times, and then we each found a path to follow that separated us physically but never mentally. I thought about him often and wondered how he was doing, I would send him a smile in the wind and I was always comfortable knowing he got it, and he would send one right back.

Now I sit with a heavy heart, knowing his smiles will still come to me, but it’s different. I write every day about being positive, finding balance and happiness, how to look in the mirror and appreciate what you have and who you are, but I fall under the realm of perfectly normal when I can no longer look forward to physically seeing someone, I am sad, not in a negative way but in a selfish way. He is walking this part of his journey on his own and I will listen for the sound of his footsteps and his laughter… the sounds will never come.

The positive light that surrounds and shines through this negative cloud in my sky is that I am going to have a lot of friends waiting for me when I cross, and they better have my bike shined up when I get there 🙂 Vaya Con Dios my Brother.

On the book/brighter side of things, Vol V is in final edit stages and headed for design soon, I am thrilled with the flow on this one, Rachel has been awesome as usual and I am looking forward with a new excitement to see the box set of all five volumes together. My designer Fiona has mentioned she has not yet worked with a slipcover so she is thrilled to have the chance to put one together for me. The decisions I am making at this stage are purely my own, I plan on having some extra slip covers made for those who have followed me and purchased all the volumes separately, I just think it would be nice for them to have one as well, the box sets will be on the shelves for Christmas.

It’s funny but as I spoke above about feeling sad in a selfish way, I also feel sad in a positive way that this series of smiles is coming to a close, the last volume, it has been so remarkable these last two years, I can’t believe I got five volumes done. And now what? You ask, well I am putting together a coffee table book, then a children’s book, then if the world wants more word hugs and smiles to share I will continue with Vol VI through X of BawB’s Raven Feathers… my dream is not over yet, in fact it has only just begun.

Keep it real, whatever “it” is, don’t ever let go of your dreams

believe in you and being true, to life however it seems.




BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol I

BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol II

BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol III

Ask the questions. . .


. . . to find the answers.


So here I am again, proud, happy, and still grateful for my accomplishments so far but feeling uneasy because I haven’t done enough. When I agreed with myself to take this challenge on and create a book (or two), I knew absolutely nothing about it. Today, I still don’t feel like a writer. Sure, I write every day, but the title is still not fitting. Or I suppose it fits, but it’s itchy.

I am of a stubborn DNA strand. My Dad was old-school Hungarian—very proud, very determined, and very willing to take on a challenge—and of course back in his day, there was no Google, so he learned by experience. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” but occasionally it rolls a little. I am stubborn enough to get through this on my own, but I am also smart enough to know I need help. Whom do I ask? Whom can I trust? And HOW do I ask for help when I don’t even know the questions I need to ask?

The answers to these questions came to me one at a time over a long period of trial and error. First, I need to ask the people who have helped me get to where I am how to move forward. Second, I should trust the people who believe and trust in me to point me in the right direction. And third, I will learn that every question is the right question for me because I want to learn.

Life is full of situations, often with no real right or wrong solutions. Chances are good there will always be a lesson to learn, but we all learn different things different ways. The day will come when you finish your first book and you want to learn what to do next, the questions may get harder to ask. When you find yourself standing in the middle of a vast selection of publishers, promoters, marketers, publicists, and people who may or may not know what they’re doing, how do you choose ONE? How do you know the one you choose is the right one? These choices create some questions and possibly some research.

Sometimes you just have to trust how you feel and how others feel. Has the person you’re considering ever failed? Has he/she shared the lessons of his/her failures? Are you confident that he/she will help you move forward? Everything that has ever been or ever will be started with a first. The first man on the moon had no one to ask what it was like or what to expect.  But you can be sure everyone who followed went to him for answers, and researched just how to take that first step.

I have stepped up again. I am learning very quickly that in the world of books there is always a path to follow—whether the path leads somewhere is up to you. Trust yourself, ask the questions, believe in yourself, and feel comfortable knowing you are not the first person to get to where you are going. And if you fail at something in the process, you will certainly not be the first. Learn from your failures and share the lessons, then write another book. The words are in you.


Success will come after several tries, and maybe a fail or two,

But every time you try again, it will make a stronger you.



For every beginning. . .


. . . there is an end.

With the recent passing of a very special soul in my world, I was left wondering about life and the things we consider important at any given time. I thought about  the things we choose to spend our time on. I thought about how we all begin our life stories the same way, and how many of us are oblivious to the end of them until they are upon us.

I choose to spend time writing about life —inspirational quotations and poems that come from my heart. Every day I share something different through a form of social media. I have no thoughts of a beginning or an end; my writing involves that which occurs in between. I looked today for something inspiring to share about life ending but could find only the following words, which are etched into my soul:  “For every beginning there is an ending, and for every story there must be a front and back cover—one to open and one to close.”

I realized while chatting with a friend that our lives are so busy, so involved with choices and options, so centered around success and failure that we (as humans) only take the time to think about the end of a life story when the story is completed, when the author of a lifetime has written his or her last words. That is the reality of an ending. We then usually take a moment to consider our own mortality—only a moment, however, and then we resume our hectic lives with the memories of a book that has closed its covers.

My life story began over half a century ago. I have not yet written a beginning, nor have I thought about an ending. I will, however, continue to write about life; I will inspire as best I can; I will share my thoughts about how important and precious life is; and I will share the sadness of those consumed with the inevitable ending of us all. But we must remember that we will never be gone, nor forgotten. Each life becomes a book that is placed on a shelf in the minds of those who had a part in it. Each life is a book that never grows old, and one that can be read over and over again.

One step, one day, one page at a time, we try to live by being free;

The stories of life that we have shared will soon become our legacy.



Walk from today into yesterday. . .

. . . and see what tomorrow could bring.

I had the pleasure recently of reminiscing with a wonderful old friend. I use “old” to refer to the friendship’s length of time, not my friend’s age. We met nearly forty years ago at the Alberta College of Art and Design, one of my first places of employment that didn’t involve a gas pump. Even back then I was somewhat introverted I guess. I kept pretty much to myself and was thrilled to land a job as a night-shift caretaker, with my very own broom and everything.

It proved to be more than a job; it was the start of a very long and wonderful adventure. I had the pleasure of meeting a group of people that had no boundaries, no walls, and no boxes—that had only smiles and ideas and spectacular insight into design and art. These people stood apart from society, and they were happy being themselves. They welcomed me, a blue-collar worker pushing a broom. I was accepted into a world with which I was sort of familiar on a personal level; I dabbled a bit in art, but my poems and charcoal pictures lay hidden under my bed.

My adventure continues today. I am still being accepted into other worlds, those of writers, readers, psychics, and shaman, old and young, learned and learning, those taught and those teaching. My adventure will never end as I am having so much fun just being me, but it’s not all about being me. It’s also about being able to remember the people in my life who had such a positive effect on me—people that I remember with a smile, people who smile when they see my name on a book because they were there to plant the seed of believing.

I believe in me, I believe in what I have done and in what I am going to do, I believe that all of my friends have helped me become the man I am, and I believe the friends I have yet to meet will help me stay the way I am. I cherish the memories of yesterday, the smiles, the words, the hugs, the hellos, and the goodbyes. I appreciate the lessons I have learned—yes, even the hard ones, as they were the most important and have been chiseled in granite (they are there to stay) in my memory. Can I look back today and be proud of who I am? Why yes, yes I can! Am I successful? Well, I ask, by whose definition? I have my health, my friends, and my desire to continue to learn, to write, and to share, so yes to that question. I am as successful as I could have ever imagined.

A smile in the wind WIJND to all my friends who helped to pave the way

To where I now stand, being proud to be me, and the man I am today.




Who you really are inside. . .


. . . is who the world wants to see.


Every now and then, if we are lucky, epiphany moments will happen. Mine happened during an online chat with my marketing guru Beth, from Author Connections. Before getting in touch with Beth, I had been pleased with how my book was doing out there in my very small world (I had distributed to local new age/spiritual stores in Calgary only) but I knew I could do better with help. My help came in the form of this very talented professional. In order to fine tune my marketing plan though, she first needed to know more about me.


And so I introduced her to a version of me that I thought would be appropriate for promoting my little book. However, Beth is not only the best in her field when it comes to marketing, she is also a very intuitive people person, and she was soon curious about the BoB that remained hidden behind my carefully built wall.


She sent me a message telling me, in her own fashion, that she was aware of the BoB I wasn’t letting out due to my cautious approach to the writing world.


“If reality is scary, it is worth the price of a little fear,” she wrote.


I wondered now how much she knew about me, could she know I was hiding things about me.


“If you were buttoned up and drove a Ford Focus and kept pens in your shirt pocket, I might not have given it much thought, but it’s the blend of tough guy and poetry author that gives you depth and makes you interesting. “


Is my wall crumbling? I thought. Did my alter ego make his way to the front of my life? 


“I knew the hood was in there somewhere. The bike and ink, not one mention of a father despite frequent mentions of mom, years roaming and drifting—a man gets up to no good sooner or later. Otherwise how could it be fun?”


As I continued to read Beth’s email, I started to realize she had me pegged. Yes I was a bit of a rebel, I shot some pool during school, rode because I wanted to, and did some things that taught me lessons, the hard lessons, that make a difference in a lifetime. My Dad tried his best to show me a path of responsibility and how to conform to society’s needs, and because of his strength and old-school beliefs, I believe I became stronger in the belief of myself and what I wanted out of life.


“Chances are the sweet boy was in there all along, even through the angry young years, but not fully tapped until you were old enough and man enough to let him out, to make him the star. THAT is the story. You encourage people to be who they are because you are finally who you are.”


This insight into BoB was perfectly stated by an amazing person who lives in New York. We haven’t met yet—she was only using her skills as a people person to get to know me, and she did very well at that.


When I talked about the email conversation I had with Beth to my friend Jordy, with whom I share and fix all the world’s problems over a coffee on Saturday mornings, he said, “Bob, the people you know know you well, the people you will meet will only know the person you let them see, and the people you haven’t met yet want to know more about you.”


I can now share with you this wonderful life experience: don’t ever be afraid of who you are. Believe in you. Your past is behind you—learn from it. Your future waits. Make changes, take chances, choose to be who you want to be, then live in today with a smile and share your self with whomever should ask, as these people only ask to learn more about you. You can’t hide yourself from you.


Take a step into tomorrow’s adventure with both eyes open wide.

Down the road you’ll appreciate the you who lives inside.






What you believe. . .


. . . is fine with you.


What do you believe? Do you find it hard some days to believe in anything? I sit down once a week and share with you my thoughts to inspire you to think about life, your life, and to believe in who you are. I know that believing in yourself is not always easy, in a world where some beliefs are often shaped and molded by rituals and stories.


When I sat down to write last week, all I could think of was Easter and what it means. I try so very hard each week to share my perspectives on things but not force anyone to think a certain way. I accept and am happy with the fact that some of you may have different opinions. So I am choosing to stay neutral and say nothing about Easter, to avoid controversy.


I can ask, however, are we losing the meanings of things over time? Holidays, traditions, celebrations? Will children generations from now know what we celebrated and why, or will the future hold an entirely different past to celebrate? What do you believe? And more importantly, why? As I wrote this I started to wonder more about life and what it means, it is easy for me to believe in myself, but can you say the same?


When you look in the mirror each day, do you believe in you? Do you trust your instincts, your skills, and your abilities? Do you believe that if you truly want something to happen, it will? This is the energy that should be nurtured and shared, attached to your biggest smile.


Believing should be more than a motion we go through to satisfy a momentary idea, it should come from the heart and the soul, it should, whatever we choose to believe in, give us strength, and it should help to guide us down what ever path we choose to walk.


We need to simply believe, in whatever we choose, but in my opinion, to believe in anything else, you need to believe in yourself first. You have a light in your soul that shines brightly. You have an essence, you have energy. You are unique in the universe, so find strength in this. Do something no one else has done, or admire that which others do, but at the end of every day, believe in life, believe in you.


A stone to some is just a stone, it does nothing that they can see

But I choose to enjoy the ripples it makes when tossed into water by me.





Can you hear the wind sing. . .


. . . the new song of spring?


Does the thought of spring do anything for you? Can you feel a change occurring within you? It’s really quite amazing I think, the fact that humans have evolved into such a dominant, thinking species. We have excelled in the last few decades at miniaturizing and improving our electronic devices; our communication equipment can now tell us in less than a heartbeat what the weather is going to be next week. Yet, we are still so much like our animal friends that we feel and react to the coming of spring.


I start my spring on March 1. I always have. It’s around this date that I can “feel” the changes in the sun—it seems warmer, stays out longer, and refreshes the day with more vigor. The wind goes through changes as well; it dances differently, it carries warmth with a song of change and starts to whistle tunes of enjoyment. Coats on our neighborhood four-footed outdoor denizens start to change, birds flutter about looking for somewhere to nest, and motorcycles start to appear on the streets.


Cars and bikes display a winter’s worth of changes, modifications, and polishing the very first day the streets are officially dry. We watch the news for the updated weather forecast and will alter our go/no-go temperatures by five degrees if it means getting out there for that first ride. Of course there are the winter folk who feel spring in the air as well. They entertain sad thoughts of the need to once again store the machines that brought them smiles, and they reflect on all the fun they had over the course of the winter months.


Spring changes us emotionally as well. I swear that most of us go into a rest mode during the winter. We still exist, we work, we live, we share our smiles, but during the first few weeks of spring, we, like the flowers and the trees, start to bud. Color comes back to our cheeks, we walk with a bounce in our step, and even the morning rush is less stressful because we feel a calm inside us.


I am finding it easier to sit in the office with my morning coffee and write my thoughts and share my daily inspiration on Facebook. It almost feels to me as if the day has become more welcoming. Even my dog, Levi, has a smile. He’s started shedding his winter coat and takes a little longer every morning to do his outside run.


Best of all, soon I will be out there on the streets with my freshly polished and modified motorcycle feeling the wind in my face and the freedom in my soul.


Feel the spring wind as it covers the ground.

It shares with you the warmth it’s found.




Stress by any other name. . .


. . . is still avoidable.

I am a calm person by nature. There isn’t much that gets me riled up, at least in my day-to-day life. Don’t get me wrong, I could go off on a tangent with the best of them, but I choose to see the simplicity in things. While in my shop this week working on the bikes, getting them ready for spring and making some modifications, I found myself getting quite frustrated rewiring the controls on the Sportster. It should have been easy enough, I’ve rewired bikes before, but this machine did everything in its power to raise my stress levels.

I know what you’re thinking: machines don’t have power. But they do. We give them names, we look after them, we wash and feed them, we groom them, and we adorn them to make them look more appealing. Yes, machines have power over us, and as some of you will attest to, they have personalities. I swear I could hear laughter coming from this motorcycle as I manipulated a paperclip into a tiny little hole to release a lock that held a connector pin in place. But I maintained my composure, talked to the connector  in a calm, rational tone :), I worked through the building stress levels by breathing and keeping it simple,  the tiny lock reluctantly released its hold. All calm was restored in the shop.

This same mind over matter syndrome took place again in my office for three days in a row. Normally, every morning I wake up, let my little dog out, put the coffee on, and then sit down to do some writing—my morning brain workout so to speak. Well, for those three days, likely due to the time I was spending with the bikes, I had nothing. Not a word came to mind. I sat for about an hour each morning and drifted in and out of peaceful calm looking for, well, words.  There were none, and yes, I got frustrated, stressed out in fact, because I am a writer. Writers write, and I had nothing.

I took a moment to breathe, to find my calm and to realize that being stressed about not writing was making not being able to write even worse. After only a few moments of realizing I was not moving forward, I stepped back, took a breath and relaxed, I simply thought about not thinking for a moment, and the words began to flow. All calm was restored in the office .

It is so easy to let go of calm. We give in to our instinctive fears, we worry, we compete, and we pressure ourselves to meet unreachable goals and deadlines. We forget to breathe. Let me remind you today to find a place to store your calm— somewhere in your mind that is easily accessible, somewhere you can go to breathe. Go there often, and enjoy being you. Always.

Smile . . . Breathe . . . Believe.