Thursday, September 29, 2011

The more I learn and think I know, the more I realize I have no clue as to what I'm doing!

We have changed things up a bit! We have decided to write a children's book after all! Well, actually two children's books...wweeellll...maybe three...

We are still going to finish our work on the short story, but right now we are focused on the first children's book!

We will still be using the same model for the books - our handsome and lovable Canada goose - Pretty One!!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


A cup of humor with your tea

What's blue and white and READ all over?

My new blog!

OK, fine, it's a few peeps short of being read all over...but's it's only because

Yes, you may start throwing the tomatoes this way now - but then my blog will be
blue and white and RED all over!

Now that you've had your laugh - go drink your tea!

It's my blog so I can say what I want - and that's what I felt like saying.  Good day.  :-)

Stay tuned....peep show coming soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pretty One

This book is dedicated to Pretty One.

I had no idea when I moved into my new home that I would develop a new and special friendship with Pretty One.

I was given a rare and unique opportunity when Pretty One allowed me to spend time with him and his family.
A friendship and trusting bond was built with this beautiful and special Canada goose as he included me in his daily life and shared his family with me. There were times when he stood there looking at me that I was keenly aware of the level of trust that existed between us.

I will never forget his elegant appearance as he stood next to me. Many times I wanted to reach out and stroke his neck, but I did not.

I’m grateful for this experience and I will treasure it always. It has been educational, fascinating, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and even funny.

Martie Gaudette

Clearing the mind a bit

Wow, tonight's workout felt great! Yesterday's made me feel like a pile of crap. Today's was much better! It helped to clear the mind. I seem to have all kinds of great ideas but when I actually sit down to write them, they somehow slip away into some remote section of my mind that scrambles them up with other great ideas. Now if only I could figure out how to organize that mess!

I have been having fun making new friends on Book Blogs and Facebook today and I'm looking forward to doing the same tomorrow. I'm still having a tough time figuring out how to get some cool widgets/gadgets on my blog page. Several people have helped, but I'm just not getting it yet!


Monday, September 19, 2011

We have an illustrator!

After much searching we chose an illustrator for our book! She has been great to work with so far. She works from our low quality photos and much improvising!

Her work is beautiful, very detailed and really brings the story alive! I love every one of her illustrations thus far and can't wait to see them all when they are placed in our book!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Create Space

In order to stay within our budget and still put together a decent book, I have ended up learning much of the publishing process and doing it myself. This actually makes me the publisher! Create space will be used as the printer and distributor for our book. I, never in a million years, would have expected to get to this point!

We are almost ready to publish our book!

I want to thank my Aunt Martie for writing this awesome story and being so cool to work with, and patient!
I want to thank my daughter, Jess, for her assistance with designing style.
I want to thank my cousin Felicia for all her efforts with photoshop to make the photos that my aunt took better quality.
I want to thank all friends and family that have given suggestions along the way. Every little piece of information has been helpful!

Self publishing

So I decided to go the self publishing route! After some research and changing my mind a bunch of times, I settled on Amazon's Create Space. In my opinion, they are not the easiest to work with, but they do offer a lot of assistance in the form of tutorials and classes, as well as a community where you can ask questions and share ideas with other writers.

I started with the idea that I would have a small budget for this project and once this amount is determined, I will need to make it work without going over the budget. As I chose from the publishing packages and options, I would make a decision only to change my mind again when I learned of something else that we just had to have! This would bring us over our budget again.

To keep this project within the budget, I will need to learn how to do much of the work myself. This was not the easy way, but it has been quite a learning experience and I feel pretty good after I learn something new - you know that feeling you get when you can look back and remember how you knew nothing or very little of a subject, maybe a new class you are starting, or a do-it-yourself project, you knew there was a lot of learning and work ahead, but you could see the imagined end result. Now you have accomplished something new! There are a bunch of these little learning challenges along the way, but each one brings you closer to the final goal!

I have mostly been on the asking questions side but I am looking forward to getting to the point when people can ask  me questions and I can offer my assistance. It has been fun learning about others that have chosen to self publish their work for their own personal reasons. Some of these people actually chose this route, even after previously having a typical publishing contract. With either route, the author really does not make much of a profit at all, but at least with self-publishing the author has more control over the details of their work and is able to keep a bit more of the profits.

At this time, we are finalizing the details of the story and the details and design of the book.

By the way, the "I" and the "we" that I refer to are not my multiple personalities (although I am almost certain that I have those.) I am talking of myself and my aunt ( the person who actually wrote the story.)  Sometimes we work together and sometimes I do my own thing and then check in with her after. This has not been an organized effort but I am making it work...We are making it happen!

My new dumping ground

I think I like having a little place to empty some thoughts -

My brain can only hold so much, so from time to time if I leave some of my mess here, I can move on with a clearer head! The common sense starts to fall apart and I forget simple things - it's not early dementia! - it's all of  my awesome ideas scrambled together! I could be a genius if only my brain would cooperate!

It's because my brain can't focus on just one awesome thing at a time - I wake up every morning with new ideas and instead of choosing one to focus on - they all get scrambled together and none of them get anywhere.

Any suggestions?

I need a few bells and whistles to brighten up my blog!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Follow your dreams

You can do just about anything that you set your mind to. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up or reminder after a set-back I think about a little book that my parents gave to me when I graduated high school. It had several pages of motivating words. It was called "Follow your dreams" or "Never give up on your dreams." I gave my daughter something similar when she graduated high school.

So that is what I have to say today - Follow your dreams and never give up on them.

There will always be set-backs but you can overcome them and keep moving forward. The more set-backs that you have will just make the final goal that much greater once you have achieved it!

Sometimes you just need to take a step back to re-evaluate things in order to move forward in the right direction again.

Once I set my mind to something, I make it a challenge to make it happen, figure it out, and make it happen. Learn what has to be learned and get help in the areas that someone else is just much better in.

What is YOUR dream? How can you make it happen? What would the first step be? How about taking just that very first step?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Follow my babbling blog and book page for stories that will make you laugh, sometimes make me cry (LOL), and be notified when our book is finally released!

OK, I need to give us a little more credit! Although my aunt is a new author, she has been journaling almost daily for many years now, and although I am not a published author, I have dabbled some in writing and actually have a few ideas for some future projects!

I was given this story about 2 years ago now and started researching how to get a book published. I joined writing clubs, talked with friends, made new friends, read books, blogs, and articles on how to prepare a manuscript to send to publishers and/or agents - because of course this story would be published by one of the big publishing companies and we would be fighting off the paparazzi!!...and of course trying to find ways to manage all of the money!!

Well after much research and learning that even best-selling, well-known authors have a hard time getting a book published, I realized that this was not going to be the fun and easy project I had imagined! Even just the "simple" task of preparing the story as a "manuscript" to be submitted was a huge project itself. I did some editing of the story, sent it back and forth a few times to my aunt, asked a few family members to read it, and edited some more. I learned that there were many, many publishing companies but most have very specific submission requirements. That's IF they will even accept unsolicited manuscripts from unknown authors. Realizing there would be extensive research to find specific publishers or agents to submit to, whether we would go with a publisher or an agent, and how hard it all would be for someone with no prior experience to have our story even looked at, never mind published - I kind of put it all on the back burner, maybe secretly hoping that someone else would take over the project. The whole thing seemed so impossible and so I set my focuses elsewhere and the story got set on a shelf to collect dust.

Sadly, although I thought we had a nice story, I didn't think there was anything else we could do at this point. I still poked around here and there and tried to get different ideas. I eventually did submit the work to a couple of agents and got no response. I was hoping for at least some kind of feedback, but I really wasn't expecting it. I have heard stories of well-known authors submitting their work and getting no response. Of course there was the hope that someone would read it and be so excited that Disney or Random House would contact us right away for movie rights!, but in the real world that just doesn't happen. So, again, at least we had tried but I did not want to spend years sending the story over and over to different publishers and agents. Each publisher or agent usually requested a different format or submission requirements.

I had started learning about the self-publishing option, but that costs money and if we have a good story, why should we have to pay to get it published? We would have to do all the work ourselves and we wanted to just get the book out there!

Back to the shelf...


My aunt, Martie Gaudette, wrote a beautifully touching story about her daily walks and visits to Stuart Pond in Sterling, MA, where she made a connection with a Canada goose and followed his life.

My aunt asked me to help her find a way to get her story published. I totally loved the story and thought this would be a simple and fun project. Now, until recently, I had never enjoyed my English or Writing classes and only enjoyed the occasional book. I took on this project with no idea how much would be involved. This has been a long and educational journey.

Follow me as I blog some of the many challenges that I have and will continue to face as a non-experienced writer learning how to get another non-experienced writer published.