Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sir Poops and Hair Ball: Solve a Mystery Today with Julie Flander's Fur-Peep, Clancy

HB: Why are you staring at the computer for? You're ignoring our guest Clancy. You promised to play hide the bone with us.

SPAL: Shhh...I'm watching some nice lady on Mummsy's web cam. But she looks transparent like.

HB: Let me see. ( he glances at the computer screen) Yeah. You can see right through her. Hey Clancy! Come over here. Wanna see something cool?

Clancy: Oh, I know that lady. That's Stella. My mom wrote a book about her. From what I know, she's really sad. (Looks around the room) Hey, I thought we were going to play hide the bone. I know I can beat both of you guys. 

SPAL: But why is she sad?

HB: Yeah. Why is she? Did someone steal her treat?

Clancy: She's sad because she lost someone. Or something, I can't remember. Whatever it was, she's been looking for it for a long time. She's really old. You know one thing my mom told me about her? She used to have a dog named Henry. She must be a nice lady then, don't you think?

HB: Was she playing hide the bone with Henry?

SPAL: Oh dear. It's horrible to lose a bone. Do you think we should help her find it?

Clancy: She probably was playing hide the bone with him, yeah. He was supposed to be a working dog and help her with her sheep, but he was kind of goofy and the sheep didn't pay any attention to him, so she just played with him instead. Stella lived on a farm and had sheep, did I tell you that? Anyway, I think we should help them find the bone. If we find it, I get to eat it.

SPAL: Maybe the sheep took the bone.

HB: Clancy, I get to eat the bone when we find it.

SPAL: No. You two. We should share it with Stella and Henry. It was their bone first.

Clancy: No way. If I find it, I'm eating it. You know, maybe Christopher hid the bone. He was staying at the farm for a while and Stella and Henry really liked him. He had to leave unexpectedly though. Maybe he hid it before he left and never got to tell them.

SPAL: Who is Christopher?

HB: Yeah. Who is he? And why do we have to share the bone? I certainly don't want share if Clansy isn't.

Clancy: Stella took care of Christopher after he was in a shipwreck. They became friends but her husband didn't like Christopher at all.

SPAL: Why not?

HB: Yeah. How come? Did he steal a bone or something? Or Eat his bowl of kibble? Those are good grounds not to like someone.

Clancy: I don't know why. I don't think he stole anything. I think her husband was just kind of a grouch. I don't think he liked Henry either. Isn't it weird there are people who don't like dogs? How could anyone not like us?

HB: shrugs...I don't know. Maybe we should bite the old grouch before he bites us.

SPAL: But it might make Stella sad.

HB: I think it would make her happy. Clancy, let's go bite the old grouch and find the bone.

SPAL: Mummsy wouldn't like that. I'm sure Clancy's Mummsy wouldn't like that either. We need to think 'what would Mummsy do' in a situation like this.

Clancy: Yeah, I'm not supposed to bite anyone, I don't think my mom would like that. Even though I think Stella's husband deserves it. And I think you're right.

HB: I think it probably would make Stella happy! Maybe she'd give us all bones if we bit him. 

SPAL: How does your Mummsy know Stella?

HB: Yeah.

Clancy: She learned about her through a writer named Hannah who lives in Boston. Mom doesn't actually know Stella herself. She just heard about her from Hannah. Hannah saw Stella on the Martha's Vineyard webcam and got to know her that way.
*       SPAL: A writer? That must mean there's a book! Where can we find the book? It would probably be best to read about her story first.
*       HB: No! I say Clancy and me goes over there now. Bite the grouch and find any lost bones.

*       SPAL: Your ideas are always stupid, stupid.
*       HB: And yours are pansy ones, pansy.


Description: Let me ask my mom where to find the book, hang on. (Disappears for a minute.) Okay, I got it. Here are the links where you can find it:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords  ~ Kobo  ~ Ink Smith Store
Now lets look for the bones! I'm hungry.

 The Ghosts of Aquinnah blurb:

A brilliant flash of light transcends through time.

Another freezes a cloaked figure within a frame of salty mist as waves crash against a rocky shore. Her harrowing expression shadows the beacon to a pinprick.

By the next blaze, she is gone. Only the lighthouse remains.

Hannah’s eyes blink in step with each heartbeat. Images of her deceased parents and Martha’s Vineyard explode like firecrackers inside her mind.

She shakes her head.

For weeks this eerie woman dressed in nineteenth century garb has been haunting my webcam, but tonight she stared into my soul.

Why? ...

Who is she? ...

Casting aside months of research on historic lighthouses, Hannah drives to the coast and boards a ferry.

What is the strange connection she has to this mysterious woman suspended in time?

Hannah finds out.

But, it’s not at all what she expects ...

Hannah unravels a century old murder.

The Ghosts of Aquinnah on Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Goodreads

Author Bio:

Julie Flanders is a novelist and freelance writer in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a life-long love affair with the ocean and has spent more summer vacations than she can count on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. When not writing, Julie can be found playing with her pets, reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and watching too much television. The Ghosts of Aquinnah is Julie’s second novel. Her debut novel Polar Night was released in February, 2013 by Ink Smith Publishing.

My Links:

We hope you buy Clancy's Mummsy's book!

Lots of licks!
Sir Poops and Hair Ball  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sir Poops and Hair Ball: Guess What Today Is

SPAL: Good morning, nice people! It's freezing again in Florida. Looks like I'll be trying to keep warm today.
HB: We can't. Today is a special day! 
SPAL: Really?  Can we do this when its warm?
HB: No! We've got a cake to bake.
SPAL: You're going to get into so much trouble. You need to go back to bed.
HB: No. We won't. Daddy-o went to work. And Mummsy went to have the car worked on. They'll be so surprised when they come home.
SPAL: They sure will. They'll put you in the corner.

HB: But I'm making it for Daddy-o. It's his birthday today. He's the star today and I want to make him a nice cake and decorate it all nice and purdy.
SPAL: When he comes home, all he's going to want to know is what stinks. He says it every time Mummsy uses the Big Burn Box in the kitchen.

HB: But he likes cake and he shares.

SPAL: I think you should just give his face a whole bunch of birthday licks and snuggle with him on the sofa. That's what I'm going to when he comes back.

HB: I want to sing Happy Birthday to him, while I balance his lighted cake to him. He's the best Daddy-o ever.

SPAL: I know. He gives us lots
of treats, belly rubs, watches the best television shows, and shares his dinner with us. 

HB: Yeah. He does. Happy Birthday to the most bestest Daddy-o ever.
SPAL: Just don't bake him a cake. He's on a diet anyway.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sir Poops and Hair Ball: Guest Post: Alana Garrigues and Some Story Sprouts

SPAL: Good morning, nice people. Today, we're going to let Alana take over the blog. Yesterday, Mummsy shaved Hair Ball and I. So I'm staying under the bed.

HB: Yeah. Why did she have to shave us. It's 30 some degrees outside again. Okay, Alana it's all yours. I've got a staircase to guard.

 Book for Sale! Book for Sale! Hawking Your Self Published Story

Thank you so much Shelly, Sir Poops, and Hair Ball for hosting Nutschell and me on our around the world Story Sprouts blog tour. We are so honored to be here for a visit! Today, we want to get down to business. How do you SELL your book?
Surely, if you are a writer or a reader, you have heard the stories about self-published authors who posted their stories to Kindle and assorted e-readers and made millions in sales. Or sold the rights to their stories to tv and movie producers for six figures. Or signed big book deals with traditional publishing houses after selling large numbers of books.
Maybe you've looked at their success and figured you're mighty talented - you can do it too! And you can, anyone with talent and an audience can do it. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems even some without talent can do it, taking up precious slices of the book sales pie.
Next, feeling brave and fresh off strong New Year's resolutions, you may have looked into self-publishing. If you did, and you dug deeper than the most basic tutorials, you probably peeked into the ugly underworld of self-publishing, the world that those who sell e-readers don't really want you to see. It's the world of low sales and broken pipe dreams, of people who dumped all their eggs into the self-publishing basket, quit full time jobs, sure to achieve instant financial success and came up short.
And you may have felt discouraged, wanting to walk away from the whole world of writing, between the agents knee deep in queries to go the traditional route and the millions of self-published books uploaded onto e-readers without adequate talent and coddling to help them succeed.
The good news is, with the right support system and the right story, you do have the power to succeed. And with the ease of uploading manuscripts to e-reader sites and no upfront costs to upload to paperback form, it had never been easier to publish and seek out your audience.
The bad news is, you will not become instantly rich. Self-publishing sales will take time. And just uploading your book does not mean anyone will find it and buy it.
So, what can you do to optimize the chance that your book will reach the right audience, the one that is loyal and vociferous in sharing with the world how brilliant you are?
Nutschell and I have learned a few tips and tricks about selling self-published books through our non-profit's recent debut publication - Story Sprouts: Writing Day 2013 Exercises and Anthology by the Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles. With the hope of supporting our members and encouraging them on their journey to publication, we wanted to guide them on a series of writing exercises during a full day workshop, expose them to editing, and then put their words into the hands of readers around the world!
Here's what we recommend, based on research and the things that have helped us succeed!
  • Write the best book you can. Research, write, revise, edit, then revise and edit again. Get some beta readers to look over your manuscript and provide feedback, and hire a copy editor to catch the foibles that your brain skips over as it is so familiar with the story. You will be much more likely to keep selling a book with strong reviews.
  • Give it away! Not to everyone, but give it away to a few good readers to get your book into the hands of those who can help you. Give it to the friends and family who are your strongest supporters, and then identify a few people who will review your book in exchange for a complimentary copy. Plan a couple of raffles. Google indie book reviewers for potential reviewers who read in your genre. Give it away to the coffee shop where you wrote your book, or your cover designer, or that neighbor who always asks how your writing is coming along. Signed copies to your personal fans will cost some money, but if it sits on their coffee table or travels to cafes, it's worth it. Plus it's a nice way to say thanks for the support.
  • Speak in public. Book gigs on panels, offer a writing workshop, give a lecture about writing or the subject of your book. Most cities have continuing education opportunities that are always looking for a teacher, and libraries, book stores and writing groups keep busy with panels.
  • Ask your partners (and friends) to post a link to your book on their website and social media - think formatters, editors, book designers, your critique partners and writing group. And be sure to thank them in your book! They'll love seeing their name in print as a generous person who helped you along your journey. 
  • Go on tour! The blog world is teeming with writers and authors who are willing to help out a new writer and put up a guest post or a book cover reveal to help out a fellow author. Good karma and community rule the blog world. And while you're at it, talk it up on your own blog.
  • Sign up for a booth at a book or author fair. This does cost money, so weigh the cost with the benefit. It's good exposure, but make sure it's in your budget. Many authors I speak to say that they earn exactly the fee back during the event, but hope that the exposure pays itself forward with online sales after the event.
  • Use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Goodreads. Tell people what you're doing! They can't support you and buy your stuff if you don't tell them! Just sprinkle in some cool news or personal insight or support for other creative friends in the middle of your self promo to keep your audience intrigued.
  • Add value to your book. Write a story about a character who loves chocolate? Throw in some good chocolate recipes at the end! Write a story about a photographer or visual artist? Include pics or illustrations. Think your story would make a good book club book? Include book club questions and offer to Skype with your readers. Story Sprouts offers writing tips and exercises in addition to the fantastic poems, flash fiction and short stories by our authors!
  • Be generous. Nutschell, my co-editor and President of CBW-LA, is from the Philippines. As soon as we saw the destruction from last fall's super typhoon, we knew we wanted to find a way to help. We're donating 50% of proceeds from November through January to the relief efforts. It will cut into our profits, for sure, but showing our support for a cause that matters means more than the bottom line. Plus, it gives people an easy way to donate to charity and feel like they're contributing something positive.
  • Go to your local indie bookstores and see if they'll carry your book! See if they'll let you do a book signing or a book reading to connect with potential readers. Indie bookstores often dig a local writer and want to give you a chance.
  • Get some swag, like bookmarks with your book, and don't be stingy about passing it out.
  • Be patient and keep your expectations realistic. Sales of any new product, book, invention takes time. We live in an instant world where tv pilots only get 15 minutes to prove they'll find an audience, but the reality is - success takes time. Building an audience is building a relationship. You want loyal supporters, not fickle fad-chasers.
  • The most important way to boost sales? Keep on writing! The most successful self-published writers generally have more than one book. Whether it's a series or several stand-alone novels, if a reader likes you, they'll look for more books by you. And the more books you offer, the more opportunities to find you and to keep buying more. (Just don't forget about that first tip - make sure each book is the best it can be!)
Now, get out there and write on. And when you are ready to publish, be sure to stop by CBW-LA, The Writing Nut or Writercize and let Nutschell and me know about it. We'd love to be there to cheer you on every step of the way!

·         Paperback: 240 pages
·         Publisher: CBW-LA Publications (October 18, 2013)
·         Edited by: Alana Garrigues, Nutschell Anne Windsor
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 0989878791
·         ISBN-13: 978-0989878791
·         Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
·         Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

·         19 Authors
·         38 Combined Anthology Entries – 2 per Contributing Author
·         6-hour Workshop
·         10 Writing Exercises (included in Story Sprouts)
·         Dozens of Photo, Character and Conflict Prompts (included in Story Sprouts)
·         240 pages

What happens when linguistic lovers and tale tellers workshop together? Inspiration. Wonder. Discovery. Growth. Magic.
Brave and talented, the writers featured in this anthology took on the challenge of dedicating one day to the raw and creative process of writing.
A rare view into the building blocks of composition, Story Sprouts is made up of nearly 40 works of poetry and prose from 19 published and aspiring children's book authors.
This compilation includes all of the anthology writing exercises and prompts, along with tips, techniques and free online writing resources to help writers improve their craft.


Learn more about Story Sprouts at
Join the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles at 

Find Nutschell at:

Find Alana at:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

klahanie: My Human Dad Is Pawplexing.

klahanie: My Human Dad Is Pawplexing. Can you believe Penny received an email accusing her of not writing her own posts. And her Dad has lot going on. Go read and support them.

Lots of Licks!
Sir Poops and Hair Ball

klahanie: My Human Dad Is Pawplexing.

klahanie: My Human Dad Is Pawplexing. Can you believe Penny received an email accusing her of not writing her own posts. And her Dad has lot going on. Go read and support them.

Lots of Licks!
Sir Poops and Hair Ball

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sir Poops and Hair Ball: ISWG: Editing Out the Poop!

SPAL: Hello, nice people. I'm going to hang out in my house today. It's a freezing 36 degrees where I live in Florida.
HB: Yeah. It is. And he's staying in his box because he wrote his own story on the bathroom floor yesterday and then did some of his own editing.
HB: Pansy the poop eater! Anyway, he left just enough of his story behind so Mummsy understood what he did. 
SPAL: Maybe there's a lesson here for everyone to learn. Don't edit so much that no one gets the point of your story. Leave something behind.
HB: What does eating poop and editing have anything to do with each other? Although, Mummsy does say she sometimes writes poopy drafts and scenes.
SPAL: Well, when you're editing your draft just get rid of the poop. Not the good stuff. Just the poop that doesn't make your story flow.
HB: This is starting to sound like constipation to me. Eating some grass should fix that.
SPAL: Anyway, we hope you have a great day editing the poop out if your draft.
And we want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for The Insecure Writer's Group. It's a great place to be encouraged if you're depressed.GO HERE TO CHECK THIS OUT!
Also, before we go, we wanted you to head over to E.J. Wesley's. He's on a book tour with his fifth novella. GO HERE

HB: Mummsy will be around reading others' blogs today off and on.

Lots of Licks!

Monday, January 6, 2014