Hollis Flea Market

Hollis Flee Market

On Sunday April 129th, I am going to have a booth at the Hollis Flea Market. I haven’t done an event in a while and this will be my first one in New Hampshire. It will be outdoors so hopefully the snow will be melted, the wind won’t be too bad, and it will be warm spring day. There have not been too many warm spring days in New Hampshire for 2015.

Right now, there is still snow on the ground, not as much as last week or the week before, just enough to still cover the ground. The weather is warming up and it is amazing how quickly the snow can disappear in New Hampshire when spring applies itself.

Matt, one of the people who run the flea market, says the April 19th event at Silver Lake in Hollis will be the first one of the year. He told me people are tired of being cooped up indoors so attendance should be good.

This will be the first of many flea markets I plan to attend with my book Yalu and the Puppy Room. They take place all over New England. Setting up for the one in Hollis will only cost $25 for the day. As far as pricing goes, that’s not bad when compared to the $300 plus I have paid for booths at previous events that have gone bust.

I plan on reading my story explaining what it is like to be a self published writer. Since Yalu the puppy dog is no longer available for events, I will have with me her nephew, Wesley, who is also a Golden Retriever. There should be good times had by all.

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Pastry Puffs

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Once upon a time, there was a princess puppy who adored a product called Pastry Puffs. What are Pastry Puffs? They are without a doubt the greatest pastry item to ever come out of St. Louis, MO from a company called Taste n’ Tell. One type of Pastry Puffs has an apple-raspberry and cream filling.

When offered one of the yummy Pastry Puffs, Yalu swallowed it whole without the benefit of chewing. Her tummy did the digesting. If she forgot what the Pastry Puffs tasted like, she would lick the wrapper it came in until there was no smell left to sniff.

As she matured, Yalu preferred Pastry Puffs to conventional doggie treats. When offered the choice of a Pastry Puffs or a few Snausages, the Pastry Puffs proved the better choice—she could always get someone to give her a few Snausages later. The same could not be said for Pastry Puffs.

Since Yalu’s a princess, no one gave her the difficult choice of having to choose between a Pastry Puffs or a Frost Paws. Talk about a doggie dilemma.

Pastry Puffs were not perfect. For starters, the portions were too small and she was only offered one. The next problem was that they were on the top shelf of the pantry. How could people put something so yummy on the top shelf where a princess puppy could not reach them?

When she wanted a Pastry Puffs, Yalu would sit in front of the pantry door looking, staring at the closed door. The next problem was focusing her puppy mind control to get a people person to do her bidding. Most dogs would give up, but not Yalu. She was a determined pup who used her superior mind control powers for good, her good. Once she consumed a Pastry Puffs and licked the smell off the wrapper, all was wonderful in her world.

Buzz, or How Ellen Degeneres Can Make Your Day

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When I visit schools and complete reading Yalu and the Puppy Room, I like informing students what it is like to be an author with a traditional publishing company.

In my example, I have four students stand up and tell them they are authors, in this case, my March authors. One has the next Harry Potter book. Because I am a book publisher promoting her book, she will be a guest on all the major TV shows. She will be on the Ellen Degeneres Show and her book will be at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

I tell the next student that he has a book that is better than Dr. Seuss. He will be a guest on all the major TV shows. He will be on Ellen and his book will be at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

The next student has a children’s book better than anything Margaret Wise (Goodnight Moon) Brown ever wrote. She will be a guest on all the major TV shows. She will be on Ellen, and will be at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

The fourth student has a fantasy book better than Lord of the Rings. He will be a guest on all the major TV shows. He will be on Ellen and his book will be at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

I ask four new students to stand. They are my April authors. One has the next Harry Potter book. Another has a book better than Dr. Seuss. The third has a children’s book better than Margaret Wise Brown. The fourth has a great fantasy book that is better than Lord of the Rings.

Like the March authors, these April writers will be on all the major TV shows. They will be on Ellen. Their book will be at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

I stand up four other students and tell them they are my May authors. I mention Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, Margaret Wise Brown, and Lord of the Rings. That’s when I stop and ask the four March authors if they think anything is wrong. Most answer no. They’re published authors who have been on TV shows.

Their books might not be selling well and might not be on the New York Times bestseller list or gasp, Ellen. I instruct them to sit down and ask if anything is wrong with them taking a seat. They do not believe anything is wrong—they’re published authors. Some even make to Ellen’s show. That’s when I tell them something is terribly wrong. Their books are no longer getting promoted. They are not making sales. Ellen has not called back.

New books are lucky to have a six month lifespan. If new releases do not become blockbuster bestsellers, bookstore employees across the country will either rip off the front cover of the paperback or return the hardcover  for a refund. Publishers destroy returned books or sell them as remainders. Book stores that remove the returned covers throw away the books.

If one of the new authors has a book that goes to the top of the bestseller list, those sales pay for all the other authors whose books failed. Bookstores only have so much space to hold books. There are new books coming out all the time.

It has become the job of the author to market their products. Even if I followed the traditional route of finding a literary agent and a traditional publisher, I would still have to promote my book. Literary agents and book publishers expect authors to already have a marketing plan and buzz in place before even considering an unknown or even a known writer. Welcome to the wonderful world of publishing.

Frosty Paws

Frosty Paws, Peanut Butter

One of the greatest puppy treats ever invented has got to be a Purina product called Frosty Paws. What are Frosty Paws? Since you have read this far, I will let you in on a super duper secret. Frosty Paws is ice cream for puppy dogs. Alright, it’s not really ice cream, but one cup is guaranteed to make a bad dog good for at least a few minutes and a good dog even more behaved.

For the greater part of her life, Yalu adored her Frosty Paws. She knew what the container looked like. Upon seeing it, she would immediately stop what she was doing and come to a patient sitting position before the person holding her treat. There was no tail wagging only an intense stare as if that Frosty Paws cup was the last one in the whole wide world.

Receiving her treat, Yalu would scamper off to a private place. Once there, she would sit and begin a reverent series of licks. How many licks does it take to get to the bottom of a Frosty Paws? The same question has been asked of the Tootsie Roll lollipop and like the Tootsie Roll, the world will never know.

There was a time where if I was a little quicker with the camera, I could have had a wonderful picture. She has just completed a Frosty Paws and lifted her head up with the cup stuck to her snout. Yalu looked like a bird with a white beak. I was never able to recreate that moment. The big lesson taken for me moment was to always be compared with a camera.

On the health front, Frosty Paws contains proteins, minerals, and vitamins that can be read on the box for those interested in reading the ingredients listed on the side of a box. This most wonderful treat can be found in most grocery stores in the ice cream section. One would think Petco and PetSmart would have this wonderful product. After searching both websites, I came up with goose eggs in that department.

The most difficult decision concerning Frosty Paws was if Yalu would receive the original or peanut butter. Both worked in her world. She loved her Frosty Paws year around. How nice it was having a treat capable of bringing so much joy to my cute brown dog. I knew she adored her Frosty Paws because after finishing one, she would approach, press her head against my chest and let out a happy puppy huff.