Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Load Off My Mind

Well, it is done. Today I completed my tax return. Wow, what a relief! This year was a lot different for me in that I had a different income source than I was used to having. Given the change, I was a little hesitant to complete the tax return on my own. However, I am not one to pay for something that I can do on my own for free - stubborn, I know.

After gathering together all of the documents that I needed to complete my return, I set to work. As I start to fill in the 1040 form in my booklet, out comes a trial Turbo Tax disc. This trial would allow me to complete both my federal and state tax return at no cost. If I liked the product, I could opt to buy it and file my tax returns via e-file or print the documents and mail them in. Well, I figured that I would at least get a good estimate of my tax refund by using the program and then decide if it was worth it to purchase it or turn around and complete the returns manually.

After about an hour, I found that my refund was going to be about $1,000.00 more than I would have gotten had I done it myself. That sold me on Turbo Tax!

Gone was my anxiety over making a mistake on my tax return. Gone was the looming specter of an unfinished project. I had not only completed my tax return but I had e-filed both the state and the federal returns with the option to have the refunds direct-deposited into my checking account. It will be really nice to get that refund sooner than I would otherwise have gotten.

I definitely feel like I can rest a whole lot easier now that the taxes are done - even though I am waiting for the refund.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Realizing Dreams

Have you ever realized a long-held dream for your life? We all dream. We all hope to achieve many things in our lives. For some people, the dream is to perform on a Broadway stage or in a Hollywood movie. Others want to make it big as the next great rock star of our age. Still others want to write the next New York Times Bestseller. For some people, the dream is to simply wake up another day and to be able to get the most out of their life.

Or perhaps, like me, you want all of that and more!

Recently, I was given an opportunity to realize one of my childhood dreams - though not in a way that I ever expected.

When I was a kid, a couple of my friends and I wanted to launch our own radio station. There was even an abandoned building not too far from home that would have been perfect (at least in our high schoolers' minds) to hold our radio station.

Fast forward to one week ago today...

I went live over the internet with my radio show! My show is hosted on Ravenz Radio, an internet radio station. I have no idea if I will ever earn a dime from the show, but it is fun to do it. Plus, I can always send people to my affiliate store so that they can purchase the music that I am playing. Besides, you never know what it might lead to!

"Sleeping without dreaming is peaceful. Living without dreaming is dreary."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Do You Know How to Put on the Full Armor of God?

Several years ago, I conducted a Bible study focusing on Ephesians 6:10-20. This is the passage that describes the armor of God. I have always been fascinated by armor and medieval life, so this passage has always had a strong attraction for me. Most of us in this day and age do not wear armor in the sense that it is talked about in Ephesians. Sure, our soldiers put on a lot of protective gear when going into a war zone, but this is not something the average person is familiar with. As a result, I decided that I would try and learn exactly what it meant to wear God's armor. While I still have a lot to learn, the study that I conducted was quite eye-opening. While doing the study, I quickly began to realize that others could benefit from what I was learning. I decided to convert the study into a play and, eventually, a book though at the time I really didn't know if a publisher would be interested in the project. Well, after writing and producing the play, the book plans fell to the wayside.

Recently, that changed. I was introduced to a self-publishing website - This website allows you to take an idea from concept to finished product without any investment on your part. While it is also true that will provide editing and other optional services for a fee, there is no requirement that you utilize these services to publish your book. Ultimately, the only cost involved is the required purchase of a 'proof' copy of your book to verify formatting and content. Wouldn't you want to own a copy of your own book anyway? even sets up an online storefront for you as part of their service so you can market your completed project(s).

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.