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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Would you read my book? It took me years to write....

Will you take a look?
("Paperback Writer"  Lennon/McCartney)

I'm a terrible salesman.  I have no confidence when forced to self promote. 

We went to the "Dogfest" - and sold a few books.  I was apologetic each time.  "Are you sure?"  Having someone read your work, even if it is a children's book, is like giving them a piece of you.  Here it is, here is my heart, now you can examine it, rip it apart and stomp all over it, as you wish.   It's painful and frightening.  I guess I just can't stand the thought of rejection.

When writing - going through the so-called "creative process" -  your own emotions and self worth take a beating.  You alternate between feeling that what you do is okay, to sometimes better than okay, to complete, worthless crap.  The pendulum swings high and low.  And it continues even when the work is done. 

I get these emails from Kindle and Goodreads about what to do to market your book.  I've done all the things they recommend.  He's on Facebook, he's on Twitter, I'm on Goodreads, Harry has his own blog. ( The only thing I haven't done is a video because I don't know how but I intend to learn.  I had to practically pull teeth to get the guy from our little community's "newspaper" to interview me.  He says "someone will call."  I bet they don't.  My bet is I will have to call again, be the squeaky wheel, the royal pain in the rear, a role I find horribly uncomfortable. 

My husband noticed that I didn't have bags to put the books in.  So I looked up "bags" on the internet and found out that you have to buy huge quantities, huge, like thousands of them.  Sorry, Harry Spotter will have to go bagless.  Maybe the local Hallmark store has some little bags I can use.....

We have another dog event to attend in October.  Another opportunity to bare my soul and suffer the humiliation of people walking by, smiling, "Oh, Harry Spotter!  I love it!"  and not stopping.  Kids whose faces light up but their parents won't come near.  Free bookmark!  Signed copies!   Ugh.

There were some people at the previous dog event who already had the book.  They were very enthusiastic.  I missed my chance to ask them to write a review on Amazon.  That is one thing others can do to help Harry become a household name.  If you're happy and you know it, write a review

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter" would be a wonderful gift for a kid in the 4th, 5th, 6th grade, anyone eight years old and up.  It's fun because it is told from Harry's point of view along with a narrator.   If kids read it out loud (or parents) they have to have a dog voice.  Teachers could use it and encourage kids to take different roles.

I suppose I will have to screw up the courage to ask business owners if I can have a meet and sell event.  They'll say "no."  But I have to do it anyway.  This is so against my nature. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

You gotta have friends....

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter" has a facebook page.  He already has hundreds of "likes!"  Yikes!  That is a wonderful thing.  What would be really wonderful would be for all those people to buy the book, so that "Almost Home Dog Rescue of New Jersey" can have a decent donation and help more dogs be rescued, fostered and find forever homes! 

It's a fun summertime book that a parent can read to a child or a child, depending on reading level, can enjoy reading alone.  Older kids, tweens and young teens can learn about rescue dogs and gain some understanding as to why people rescue and adopt rather than purchase a "designer" dog.

Please help Harry to help others like himself.

(The "Ask the Author" app has been added to Goodreads, along with Harry's book.  Please feel free to visit)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh, isn't this amazing, it's my favorite part...

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter" is available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Follow Harry from his days as a lost stray to his rescue, foster and adoption to his forever family!

Told from his point of view (with the help of a  narrator) this book is perfect for older children, tweens and young teens.  Animal lovers of all ages should enjoy it, and it is a great book to read to younger children!  The book includes original illustrations. 

Twenty percent of all profits will be donated to "Almost Home Dog Rescue of New Jersey."

Harry also has his  own blog -  His adventures continue there !


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's a new day, it's a new life.....

It is done.  With the excellent assistance of my daughter and her artistic ability, a second book is finally done.  I am practically blind from having to submit the text and illustrations to specifications.  And that was the easy part.  

The really hard part was the cover.  I mean, really.  Really.  The instructions say "cover."  What is a cover?  It's the front, right?  Nowhere do they state, until you have already submitted something that is totally wrong, that the "cover" includes a spine and a back.  The "cover" is both front and back, all one big piece and must be submitted as such.  That means the back goes on the left and the front goes on the right and for me that was not an automatic, built in, instinctive reflex reaction.  The specifications for back and front are precise.  And my word program doesn't exactly match whatever program the "guide" uses because the tools I had to use were also not readily evident so, in my ignorance, it took me hours to finally (and accidentally) hit upon the key to filling blue rectangles with images.  I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares about blue rectangles. 

But now I am quite happy with the result.   Here it is - aimed at preteens and young teens, but hopefully anyone can enjoy it - whether reading to a smaller child or just for fun yourself.  It is not released yet but will be very soon.    Here is the cover:

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter"

The real life adventures of a rescued dog from his days as a lost stray through his foster care and finally to his forever family!  It will be available through Amazon and Kindle. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tossin' and Turnin'

Turnin' and tossin'
Tossin' and turnin' all night.

("Tossin' and Turnin'," Adams/Rene 1961)

You know how you fall into bed convinced that  you are going to slide off to dreamland very soon because you are tired and the bed feels so good?  And then you don't.  You are lying on your left side and your left hip begins a rhythmic *yipes*.  But you are too tired to move in spite of the pain and still hold out hope that sleep will come.  *yipes*  Then you realize that your left arm has gone to sleep instead of your brain.  And your left leg is going numb, too.  *yipes*  Ah, screw it.

So you roll over onto your right side.  There.  No more pain, feeling restored to left arm.  *yipes* Now your right hip starts to complain.  Alright, roll onto your back, then.  Ouch!  When the vertebrae slide bone on bone in your lower back you almost decide to get up.  But now you have settled down and the acute pain is gone.  But your left elbow hurts.  And your neck is uncomfortable.  And you don't know what to do with your feet.  They can't go straight up, the bed covers are too heavy.  They have to lie sideways, but then one or the other goes numb.  And besides, now your lower back hurts again in a long, slow ache. You should get up.  But you don't want to wake your husband.  You should get up.  Try the stomach.  That works for a while, until your knees hurt. *yipes*

So you roll onto your left side, which is exactly where you began. *yipes*  Now how in the world did three hours go by?  Now it's past midnight and even if you did get up to take something, you will feel drugged in the morning and that's no good. You know better.  You've been through this before.  You know your limit is midnight.  You should have taken something, idiot.

Then you try a sort of semi on your side, not really flat on your back contortion.  That lasts all of five minutes. 

It's hopeless.  You stare at the shadows the tree outside casts on the window blinds.  You hear the dog softly woofing in his sleep, having sweet puppy dreams.  Your husband turns over and all the cold air gets sucked up under the covers  making your back freeze. 

Now there is faint light in the sky.  Morning is coming.  You are grateful you don't have to drag yourself into the city into that job you hated anymore, grateful you don't have to be  near tears, feeling like a zombie that has been beaten up all night.  Sleep.  At last.

Two hours later it's time to walk the dog.  Your body feels like lead has been pumped into its' veins.  Everything hurts.  You know when you put your feet on the floor your back will scream.  Agh.  Ow.  Out you go, doggie does his duty.  Then he has his breakfast and you both head back to bed.

This time sleep comes.  The next time you wake up it is  nearly noon.  Another wasted day.  Living with arthritis is no picnic.  Remember, remember, remember, your limit is midnight.  The time for better living through chemistry. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Somethings coming up......

Coming later this year.......very excited......totally different.........


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Here comes the sun....

Little darling, it's been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here...
Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun.
And I say, it's alright.

("Here Comes the Sun"  G. Harrison, 1969)

Three months into the move.  I'm beginning to see the light now.  Although royally sick of winter, we have had a rogue day here and there where it warmed up and held that promise of spring.  Plus, the light is changing and staying out later, which always lifts a bad mood. 

Our stressed plants that spent a night in a dark  moving van when the outside temperature was merely 17 degrees are recuperated now.  Two geraniums are blooming!   Everyone else has new growth, new leaves, new sprouts. 

Most of the painting is done -  once the last wall in the living room is finished, we move on to the "sinus infection" green bedroom.  Actually, the real name of the color is "Pickle."  Well, a pickle by any other name is still a dreadful wall color.  The last frontier will be the sun room. 

The long lost pictures of my long lost family have been printed and placed in frames.  It's so odd.  It's odd to have no memory of a day that clearly was because there I am in a photo.  How can I not remember something that was supposed to be remembered? (We were all, by the looks of it, in an old American western town reproduction of some sort.) I feel as though I am looking at a stranger yet at the same time it comforts me to see these pictures of my past. Back when I felt safe.

I force myself to go to the fitness room.  I have to force myself to face the miserable weather, and, quite frankly, there have been times it has been too dangerous to venture out because of icy conditions.  But I have to force myself, also, because it is not the same as my former gym and I miss it so much.  This is a very different environment.  There is no music unless I bring my own.  There are two televisions which I find annoying, especially if they are on a faux news channel.  And there is the fact that I barely know anyone.  That is changing, as it inevitably will, with time and repetition.  I've had conversations with several ladies, mostly about decorating and health.  I keep repeating my mantra in my head - "I am here to save my life."

But what I am having difficulty with is my own mortality.  Here, I am one of the young ones.  We've seen an ambulance or two arrive at nearby homes.  I blast my ears with rock and roll and notice that very few people have iPods, pads or even ebook readers.  Yet here I am, one of them.  One of the old people.  How much time do I have left?  What purpose do I have?  What purpose does anyone have? I try not to let my mind take me the way of depression.  I fear my husband is somewhat depressed, in denial and angry.  We both sleep a lot.  On the other hand, maybe we need to.  Years and years of getting up in the middle of the night (4:30 am) only to drag ourselves home by seven in the evening took a toll.  It's hard to reinvent oneself.  It takes conviction and stamina.  It helps to not be sleep deprived.

I am learning my way around the area and I have established myself with two new doctors.   My genetic marker was negative, luckily.  What I keep trying to do is get into a new routine, but that has been sidetracked by all the painting and the 'just getting used to being here."

My new project is coming along.  We now have to worry and hope that my daughter finds gainful employment and a place to live.  Meanwhile, I am thrilled with her illustrations and I know I have to put my own nose to the grindstone and do more actual work. 

We were able to explore the enormous public park that is nearby and bring the dog to the "dog park" so he could run off leash.  He had a wonderful time and the other dogs were all well behaved.  Today it is miserably cold again, but at least the sun is out.  And I MUST go out and get to the fitness room.