Flyers            Next week, I head off to Reedom Elementary School for a three day limited engagement. I have found that if I go to the school, read Yalu and the Puppy Room while breaking out my inner ham acting, answer the children’s questions about writing and the book industry, then give out bookmarks and the flyers, I will have better sales results. This process worked earlier this year at Lewis Weiner Elementary where I sold sixty-five books and had to endure the fortunate problem of having to stop by the school three days in a row to drop of books for late sale.

I like keeping the flyers simple and specializing them for the specific school I’ll visit. Normally, I like mentioning how I’d make a donation to the school. This time around, I’ll be discounting the book and covering the state sales tax. I haven’t tried purely discounted approach so I will be interesting to see how this sales angle will do.

A HL-3040CN color printer will print the 110 flyers for the 220 student body. This gives me two flyers per printed page. The printer rivals the monster printers one finds at Kido’s and Stables, and short of the six printer cartridges that love drinking ink, I find the cost per printed sheet more economical.



Yalu has gone by many nicknames: the little yipper, cute stuff, princess puppy, kangabunark (part kangaroo, part bunny, part shark), but DiMamma probably gave her a nickname that best personified her: girlie-girl.

Yalu was never a water dog. Water was for…dogs, not her. Chelsea, her processor, loved the water and would spend hours in a plastic kid’s swimming pool. Chelsea’s motto was, have ball will play. Not Yalu. Water and retrieving never appealed to her. She was more into lounging around and displaying a very effeminate behavior in her mannerisms.

The attached picture for today’s blog does her justice. She’s playful, but in a very refined regal sort of way. Granted, she might, might, fetch a ball when someone threw it, but after coming back with this round bouncy object, the human response would be to throw it again. People throw a ball and a Golden Retriever retrieves it. That seemed to be how that how human/dog relationship worked. The second time someone would throw a ball, Yalu would give you a look as though to say, “I just brought that back, why did you throw it again? I’m not your servant, get it yourself. Now pet me, you fool!”


My latest attempt at promotion is through iReach. Why iReach? Well they claim to be able to:

  • Distribute your content to the iReach syndication network of 1,000+ websites including Yahoo!
  • Post to, the newswire industry’s most trafficked website
  • Drive traffic to your website with live site preview and active links
  • Boost your message’s real-time search visibility
  • Make your content findable by search & news engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!)
  • Optimize your message with an image
  • Leverage your message to get links from authoritative websites
  • Measure visibility via PR Newswire’s ReleaseWatch™ reporting
  • Make your worn out tired old knives cut like new…Wait, I added that last one

I figure for $89, less than a tank of gas, but not by much, some extra Internet promotion can’t hurt. It would be nice to have a larger audience because sometimes I think I’m writing to myself.

Got me a gig!

Patience is a virtue—whoever said that probably didn’t have to wait. Add to patience planning, a free book to the school librarian, along a reference from a coworker and good things can happen. I have a gig set up at the Reedom Elementary school library this December 4th, 5th, an 6th where I’ll be reading Yalu and the Puppy Room.

The situation is perfect. I’ll be the only author there with a captive audience. This will be a three day event, the first time I’ve had a three show engagement and there will be be good times had by all. I’ll break out my inner acting ham and do questions and answers until the kids have to head off to the next point of learning.



Yalu and the Stinky Stink

The next book in Yalu series, along with another children’s story and two short stories recently came back from an editor who looked over a mob book I’ve written. The editor is a person named Jami Carpenter and her firm is called Red Pen Girl. Jami’s based out of Bend, Oregon and I meet her a few years ago at the Las Vegas Writing Conference at Sam’s Town. She did a great job with the mob book and I wanted follow up with these two children’s stories and short stories.

Yalu and the Stinky Stink was the main project she edited. In this book, Yalu meets a skunk. The story came out to eight pages and I probably could have saved some money by not having someone edit my work. Still, a fresh set of eyes finds errors I tend to miss.

When the complete version came back, I receive an edited version, a clean copy, and a bill. First off, I pay the bill, and then read the clean copy. Being a writer, I find myself compelled to make changes here and there. I don’t change everything or undo Jami’s work. I just find ways to improve the overall writing or I might not have liked a way she phrased something. Once I complete a read through of the clean copy, I examine the edited copy and see the changes done to my original work and any notes Jami might have added.

Over the years, I have found myself more receptive to critiques because I find myself making the silliest errors that I won’t see draft after draft. People in my writing group have heard me read Yalu and the Stinky Stink and they have offered suggestions to the pages I print out. Those without copies also offer suggestions—some of them good, some I do without.  Overall, the critiques improve my writing and improve writing is the overall goal.

Now all I have to do is get pictures from Tielman, format the book, and print it–if only those steps were that easy.


The Secret of the Life–Petting a Puppy Dog

            Petties, it’s the fuel that makes a puppy dog’s tail wag. Without petties, life is meaningless. Every dog wants petties and only people have the power to make petties happen. When petties occurs, a puppy dog releases Vitamin C—more on the importance of Vitamin C later.

Why do puppy dogs have nightmares? One category of bad dreams is being chased by a fifty foot kitty. Note to readers, don’t tell or show your puppy a ligar, the combination of a tiger and lion—they’re very tall kitties and they don’t meow. Another puppy nightmare would be all people having Tyrannosaurus Rex arms and not being able to reach puppy fur—now that’s nightmare! Meanwhile, back to the most important thing in the universe—petties.

Who is qualified to pet a puppy? That’s a trick question, anyone can pet a puppy.

When can someone pet a puppy? Another trick question because anytime is a good time for petties. Under the table petties during dinner, two in the morning petties, it’s all good. In fact, you can tell someone’s character if they pet your dog. Petting dog equals a good impression.

Where can someone pet a puppy? Wow, three trick questions in a row. Why just about anywhere—just refrain while driving, unless stopped, while visiting the dentist, carrying groceries, or juggling flaming chain saws.

How much petties should you give your dog? That’s simple. Wait for the tail to stop wagging or for something more important to come up like food, sleep, play time or walkies. This is like asking how many potato chips should you eat—one is not enough.

Finally, what do you get when you pet a puppy? This is very important. Besides while a whole lot of tail wagging and puppy kisses might occur, a puppy, when petted releases Vitamin C. Now this isn’t the same Vitamin C you get from citrus products, this version is better. You see, when a puppy gets petted, a whole lot of cute gets released, (cute is the C in Vitamin C) and when you pet a puppy, everyone wins.

Two Events and Two Shifts

I attended two events, a Farmer’s Market at John Vandenberg Elementary School on Friday evening in Henderson and the Vegas Valley Book Fair on Saturday morning. Normally, neither wouldn’t be too difficult, but add in two shifts at my primary casino job and life got interesting.

The John Vandenberg PTA hosted the Farmer’s Market from four to seven on Friday afternoon. I found myself in the cafeteria between a vender who sold jewelry and a face painter. Perhaps I should have learned to paint faces because this lady had quite the line and at $5 per customer, she was busy from the moment the event started to its very end. Her line did provide me the opportunity to pitch Yalu and the Puppy Room and give away bookmarks to those waiting. By the end of the evening, I sold eleven books and raised $57.75 for the school. The PTA rep only expected 15% and a $15 donation.—I provided a little more and will hopefully be coming back to the school to pitch my book directly to the kids.

From there, I went to my other job at a casino on the Strip and worked an overnight ten to six shift.

With my primary job out of the way, selling books is a hobby I’m trying to turn into a full time job, I attended the Vegas Valley Book Fair at the Fifth Street School. This was my third year attending the event and instead of being in the very back with the children’s book authors, I found myself literally out on the street, a closed off portion of the street, but out on the street, in a tent near the stage with other children’s book authors.

Next to me was the Nevada Library Association, a group of people who had visitors creating their own bookmarks with a small press on colored paper. I could handle the bookmark competition. Across from me was Spread the Word, an organization that gives out slightly used books. They did brisk business all day and put a damper on the rest of us trying to sell our books—it’s difficult to compete with people giving out free books.

Overall, I can’t complain. Instead of being in the very back, away from the main flow of people, my fellow authors and I had a chance to be up front. My problem was staying awake. An event last night, an overnight shift at my main job, and then the book fair the following morning wore me out. By one in the afternoon, I was wondering how long I could stay awake because I had another shift at my casino job coming up that evening so I had to leave the book fair two hour early and get some much needed. I sold three books at the Vegas Valley Book Fair and according to my book selling philosophy, three books is a good day.