Hometown: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Professional background: All things mass communication with a global perspective: newspaper journalist, congressional press secretary, private foundation director, business/life coach, marketing and publishing. I’ve interviewed more than 15,000 subjects during my journalism career.
Education: BS Journalism; MS Mass Communication
Married to: Dana Hoggard Watkins. Three children, Adam, Emma, Sophie.
10 words that describe me: believer, journalist, adventurer, missionary, Southern, High D, rule-breaker, loyal, transparent, and OCD.
Pet Peeves: bad listeners, passive-aggressive behavior, chronic complainers.
Why I blog: I love writing, have lots of ideas and opinions, and the written word is how I best express myself. Why would I not blog?
One of the crazier things I’ve done in life, but glad we did it, is building this home away from home in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador. We spend time there writing, learning, and doing our best to live out the Gospel and show the love of Christ to others. My experience living in Latin America is one of the five things that’s most radically changed my life.
In 2013, Dana and I were on an episode of House Hunters International. The episode is called “Livin la Vida Local in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador.” You can catch it on Netflix.
Some “Don’ts” I’ve Learned: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t freak out. Don’t burn bridges, except every once in a while when you need to, then really burn them down.
Favorite writers: A.W. Tozer, Pat Conroy, Lewis Grizzard, Larry McMurtry, Kyle Idleman, David Platt, Donald Miller, Brene Brown, Ernest Hemingway.
Fear of: Heights and failure.
Favorite Bible Verses: “And God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light.'” – Genesis 1:3; “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of you by the right hand, and says to you, ‘Do not fear. I will help you.'” -Isaiah 41:13; “He must increase; but I must decrease.” – John 3:30
Three things you’d be surprised to know about me:
- I grew up as a huge fan of professional wrestling. Wrestling where they used chains, threw chairs and Texas Tornado Death Matches. At 48, I had my photo made with Jerry “The King” Lawler, and it’s one of my prized possessions.
- I’m an introvert who plays the role of extrovert only when it’s necessary.
- I aspire to own a food truck one day soon.
Favorite quote from my favorite writer: “You don’t learn how to write in a writing program. You learn how by leading an interesting life. Open yourself up to all experience. Let life pour through you the way light pours through leaves.” – Pat Conroy
I’m not that good at: what I’d call meaningless chit-chat.
Most people who don’t know me would call me: Guarded, hard to get to know and distant.
People who know me best would say: He’d do anything in the world for you.
Hobbies: yard work, reading, writing/blogging, art collecting.
DONE: In October 2015, I spent 7-weeks walking 500 miles across Spain on the ancient pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. The experience thrilled me. I’m seriously considering a thru-hike attempt of the Appalachian Trail in 2017 – all 2,183 miles.
ALSO DONE: As a result of the experience above, I’ve completed my first book, #PilgrimStrong.
MY TRAIL NAME: High Roller.
A defining moment in my life: When a career pastor refused to baptize my father in the hospital because he could not be fully immerse.
My life philosophy summed up in three words: Let it Rain.
CONTACT ME at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 870-926-4055 (US).