Sunday, December 28, 2014

What will your New Year's Resolution be?

What a year!

2014 has come to an end and it is time to start over. Start fresh with a clean slate or what ever cliche you can think of... The bottom line is, it is a new year.

This is the time when many people declare their New Year's Resolutions. And a few weeks later many of those people fall short of said resolutions. I have been guilty of this as much as the next person. So, what can we do about it?

I think if we announce our resolutions publicly, we can be held accountable. So I am offering this suggestion. As I will be publishing this post on Facebook as well as here, I want to ask for help from friends and family to help me keep my resolutions.

Step One:
Come up with some realistic changes you want or need to make in your life. Something you can actually accomplish -with help.

Someone once said "It takes a village to raise a child." -or something close to that. We all need help to reach goals sometimes. What changes do you want of need to make?

Think about your changes for the next few days and be ready for Step Three.

Step Two:
Write your resolutions down and look at them each day, twice a day, and ask yourself, "Can I really do this?" Do this until Midnight on the 31st.  Sometime prior to midnight, ask yourself one more time if you really want this change.

Steps Three:
On January 1st, before noon, post your resolution(s) on Facebook and ask for help in keeping your resolution.

Post something like:
My New Year's Resolution:
I resolve...

I am asking my friends and family to help me keep these resolutions. If you see me falling short of these resolutions, please call me on it so I can stay on track. I need your help.

Step Four:
We can all help each other keep our resolutions with nice, polite, and loving reminders of each others resolutions.

Some ideas on resolutions... that may or may not be mine, are:
quite smoking...
drink less often...
stop drinking...
eat out less...
post only positive comments and share only positive posts on Facebook...
spend more time with family...
spend less time with those who are negative and bring you down...

You get the idea.

Life is too hard to go through it alone and we all need help from time to time -I don't care who you are, positive help from positive people is a great thing. When you see someone you care about doing something against their resolution, call them on it. However, as every coin has two sides, be prepared for people to call you out when you fall away from your resolution.

If you think this is a good idea, share this on your Facebook and wherever you like so maybe we can all make a change for the better. We all need improvement in our lives. Rather than posting negative comments on Facebook, or throwing blame around, or just being a negative person, let's all work together to make a positive change for once.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and positive 2015. 2014 is gone so let's not dwell on the past, instead, let's look forward to the future.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Fianl stages on Book Two

MErry Christmas, everyone... I hope 2014 was what you expected and was a great year for you.
What type of events get you feeling great? Christmas, Birthdays, what???

For me there are a few...

Seeing my wife when she comes home at the end of the day....
Hearing the National Anthem...
Hearing Amazing Grace....
When I am writing a story and my character takes a turn that I was not expecting...
Finishing a project....

And a few more...  There is nothing like making a plan, trying to stick to the plan, and actually finishing a project. Not to mention finishing the project on time, or better yet... EARLY!

Someone once told me to NOT set goals. Instead, make a plan. I have taken his advice, and .... well... I think it works. When something happens to take me "off-plan", it is not as discouraging as it would be if I missed a goal point. I do still keep a schedule in my Calendar of when I should have things done... just in case.

Having a goal, or at the very least some sort of plan, to me is crucial. I keep my deadlines in front of me somehow so I can be reminded of what is coming up so I can get back on track should I become distracted... A squirrel is just outside eating a Pecan.

How do you pronounce Pecan? is it Pee can, pr Pah, khan?

See how easily I get distracted. Now, we are all hungry for some pie, aren't we? Back to the subject at hand.

I really enjoy the feeling of finishing a project, the rush of that final period at the end of the final sentence, of the final chapter.... I am happy to say, my 2nd book is done and at my editor's office in New York.

The title is is still a working title so I can't announce it yet, but the book is scheduled to be released in May of 2015. At the end of my previous book, I had an excerpt, of the 2nd one, and announced the title to be "Plan Right and Pack Light".  This has changed. I will let it go once we finally have a title nailed down to the book cover.

It feels so good to be this close to another finished project. I had to be focused on my writing, my time management, my attitude, and be willing to overcome any roadblock I hit to make sure I finished the book on time, early even.

What do you do to keep you on track with your writing project?

Comment and let me know.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Relaunch of "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack"

 Announcing the relaunch of "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack" into more retailers than before.

I have been published on Amazon for almost a year. I started my journey on, which is owned by Amazon, to publish my book "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack". It was a very easy process; in fact, the hardest part of the process was writing the book itself.

On Createspace, you do all the work, I mean you do EVERYTHING. On Createspace you are not preparing your book for digital, although you can go digital from here.  You will be setting up your work to be a paperback and can make the book available in bookstores across the nation. Because you do the writing, editing, and the cover design, if you write a book that is marred up with comma splices and type-Os, it will be published that way. Make sure you go over your work many times, and even ask others to look it over, to eliminate  any embarrassing mistakes.

Once you have the work in the correct format, meaning the right margins and other criteria set forth by Createspace, you click a button and upload it. If you are interested in self-publishing, give them a try. After you complete the process, you click a button and send it to It is as easy as that -well you know there is a little more to it than that. The bottom line is, that it is all FREE. Once you send your book to Amazon, the paperback as well as the Kindle version is instantly available.

Once you are at Amazon, you can set it up so that your book is all over the world, or you can specify the, what they call, "Territories" and you can be world-wide.

Once you are set up at Amazon, you can also sign up for the KDP program they have which has some benefits to the program. Here are the benefits they have listed directly from their site:


Why Enroll in KDP Select?

  • Earn higher royalties
Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.
  • Maximize your book’s sales potential
Choose between two great promotional tools: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time.

  • Reach a new audience.
Help readers discover your books by making them available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and reach the growing number of Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.


That all sounds great, and it truly is awesome. Keep in mind I am not here to be negative of Amazon's KDP program. As a new author, I benefited from this program in many ways. If you read deeper into their FAQs, you will find this question:


What does it mean to publish exclusively on Kindle?

Answer:   When you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select, you're committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital. See the KDP Select Terms and Conditions for more information.


What that means is that you are unable to publish your book in digital format anywhere else.


Recently I ran across another site where I can publish my book digitally. The site is

On the Smashwords site, you are able to get your book published in the following formats and markets:

*****This is taken from their site directly*****



Apple - If you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, download Apple's free iBookstore app, and then search for your book there.

Barnes & Noble - Visit the B&N Nook store at

Diesel eBook Store -

Kobo - Kobo has various free "apps" you can download for virtually any device, including the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and more.  Or, visit them on the web at

Sony Reader Store -

Baker & Taylor's - 


As you see, your book will be available to more retailers that sell digital books like the I-Store, Barnes and Nobel Nook, Kobo and many more. I had never even heard of Kobo until I saw this listed on Smashwords.

My point to all of this, is that I enrolled in the KDP program on Amazon, and I set the program to renew. My enrollment period, which is three months at a time, will expire today, May 16th of 2014. As of today, my book "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack" will be available on You can get a copy HERE:

I have been proud to be able to be a part of the Amazon world and will stay with Amazon because my book is doing quite well just from the sales I received through However, it is time to branch out and Smashwords is my next step.

After May 16th, 2014, "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack" will be available on and eventually available in the Apple Bookstore, The Nook via Barnes & Noble, Diesel eBook Store, Kobo, Sony Reader Store, Baker & Taylor's, and Aldiko... and many others

My only roadblock to being a available on all these new retailers was my books cover. I have worked with a graphic artist to re-work my book's cover to meet Smashwords guidelines and hope to have the cover finished and ready to upload by the 16th. (update) - The cover is within guidelines and now I am working on the formatting of the book.

So if you know someone who is using one of the devices listed above and not using the Kindle, they will soon be able to get my book as well. Please pass the word along.

-Steven Lowe

Friday, March 28, 2014

Time To Hit the Trail

Spring time is finally here which means the snow is melted or is still melting, warmer-ish weather is on the way and it is time to hit the trail if you are not a deep-snow hiker. We don't get much snow here in Atlanta, but I have seen quite a bit of the Christmas dust up on Springer from time to time. I like backpacking in the cold weather, in fact, I would love to wake up one morning to find an inch or so of snow covering my rain fly while I hang warm and toasty above the ground in my hammock.

The closest we came to this was in March of 2011. we were up on Springer and the wind was fierce. I mean it was whipping around Springer mountain at about twenty miles an hour or so. Usually when we camp, we are all pretty good about setting up our hammocks and other shelter, but during this trip, it took two people to help one guy with the rain fly setup. the wind was just so bad, it was quite difficult to stake down the rain fly.

Once got set up, the temperature dropped fast and later that night a thick fog bank rolled in. Fog is moisture. so when you mix moisture with fifteen degree air, the fog froze to the trees. Here is a YouTube video of the trip. it is not the best video, but you can get an idea of what the weather was like. The fog hit the trees and froze, and more fog, froze, then more fog froze, and we woke to what looked like crystals on the trees and it looked like a winter wonderland.

Once the sun broke, the crystals started to melt and it sounded like rocks hitting the shelter's roof. it was wild.

Anyhow, now that the colder weather is gone, it's to take out the gear and plan more trips for the year. I have had some health issues so I have not been in a while but 2014 looks like it's going to be a great year. So, how do you get ready for the year's trips you have planned?

Here is what I do.


 For me, organization is key. How can I knowwhat I have if I don't know where it is? I try to keep all my gear in the same place so when I get ready to plan a trip, I have all my gear at close reach.

Containers are all together.
Fire-making tools together
Shelters together (bought hammocks and DIY hammocks)
Water Filter and bags

I group all my ger together in my closet except for the items that stay in the pack. I have a few items that stay in the pack, but once a year I drag them out and put them with the rest of my gear so I can see what all I have.


If any gear needs to be cleaned, I clean it and make sure all the gear is in working order. I test the stove to make sure none of the ports have clogged up. I make sure all my knives are sharpened to a nice edge. I air out my hammocks, rain fly, and my sleeping bag. You know, just general maintenance stuff. I always clean my water bottles, bags, and wash my clothes after every trip, and air out my other gear after each trip as well, but this gets me excited about going and puts the fire in my gut to hit the trail.


As a Gram Weenie, I am fanatical about the weight of everything in my pack so I weigh it all, all the time, prior to every trip. That's just me and this is part of my annual routine. as long as I am aware of the gear in my pack as well as the weight of each item, I fell comfortable that I am carrying the lightest pack I can carry.

Organize -again

After I go through the gear, I organize again. the organizing part of my routine is a living organism as I am constantly re-working my gear closet in attempt to reach the perfect order. It my not ever happen, but this allows me to be able to put my hand on every piece of gear I have so I know what I have and where it is.

I'm sure you have your routine that you go through each year, what do you do on a regular basis to get your gear -self -friends ready for the trip?

Comment and share your ideas.

See ya on the trail  -Steve

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Signing This Weekend

Hey, Y'all. I am excited to say that my book signing will be this Saturday at the preppers vault, here in GA, for my book "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack". If you are wanting to lighten your pack just a lil' bit, check out my book. It is is on Amazon for just $0.99.

If you are at all into prepping for some sort of apocalypse, the guys at the Preppers Vault can help you out as well. They have anything you can think of to take care of all your prepping needs.

840 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy Suite 100 Kennesaw, Georgia 30144

If you are in the area, swing by and say hey. You can also stock up on food, water bricks, and solar chargers as well. They have it all. They have backpacks, paracord, knives, amo, and a ton of other stuff as well.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Local Book Store now Stocks “12 Steps To A Lighter Pack"

Local Book Store now Stocks  "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack"

RidgeLine Creations LLC
Steven Lowe

12 Steps To a Lighter Pack     -Shaving three or more pounds from your pack

Local bookstore is now carrying “12 Steps To A Lighter Pack”

Kennesaw, GA –February 9th, 2014  -Local writer and avid outdoorsman, Steven Lowe, announced today, "12 Steps To a Lighter Pack -Shaving three or more pounds from your pack" is now available locally at The Prepper’s Vault.

Backpackers, day-hikers, and preppers alike can benefit from 12 Steps To a Lighter Pack.

While backpackers focus on a lighter pack, while on the trail, and preppers focus on surviving the apocalypse or getting home safely, both groups tend to carry items in a pack. The more items carried means the more weight that is carried. This book offers ideas and specific tips on how to lighten the pack. Whether the pack is designed to be used on a week-long trip backpacking or a pack that is designed to get someone home after having been stranded on the road and using a “72-hour pack”

About Steven

Steven currently lives in Atlanta, Ga and has been camping since he was a young child. Not long after graduating up to backpacking, he spent many years researching tips and techniques on how to lighten the load on his back. Over the years he was able to reduce the weight by fifteen pounds.


Steven Lowe