Well, in reality, it’s really only exciting for me, the other family members aren’t terribly interested in my writing life. That’s OK, we all have our own things we’re interested in, with only a few crossovers where we all get excited about things (lawn bowls that one … and the season is over for the year.)

Anyway, my writing friends who know about it are excited, or those that aren’t will be, once they hear about it … Anyway, the exciting thing is that “Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View”, the second book in the Buster series of books, is with the printer, and should be well and truly ready for the Gawler Festival of Words, when it will be launched! Yay, hooray!

This second book is different from the first one, on subject. The first book, “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs”, is obviously about gardening, and “Doggone It” is about Mindfulness as a dog may see it. The text is written by Buster again (with help from me) and the illustrations are again done by my friend Allyson Hean. I’m very happy with the way she has shown Buster to us again, she really seems to understand him.

I have a new person following this blog, and in view of that I am happy to let people know that no cats were harmed in the writing of this book! None were actually harmed in the writing of “Dig It!” either, but the implication was there … I have four dogs, and I know a kitty cat wouldn’t last long if the youngest three of them got hold of it. They’re sight hounds, and if that can catch, they will eat it, or try to anyway.

The other dog is a schnauzer, quite old, a bit deaf and can’t see very well. A cat would probably be quite safe with her, she might in fact be in danger from a feisty cat. I know that all breeds of dog can learn to live with cats, but it’s not an easy thing to do, unless you’re dealing with youngsters.

Anyway, that’s my news – the book I worked on for some time, at my favourite cafe – Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery in Gawler, is finally approaching its glory time, the time people flock to that very same cafe to buy themselves a copy, perhaps a copy of the first book too (as a special launch day deal). I will be there to sign the book/s and all will be happy. I love cafes, and books and festivals with words as the most important thing!

 

I know much has been written about who should teach other people, and there are aphorisms such as ‘Those who can, Do and those who can’t, Teach’. I’ve never believed in this well known thing, and this is why:

People who know how to do things and are able to teach their skills to others are the best people to teach that thing. I have tremendous respect for teachers, and not much respect for those who disparage them. There is no line in the sand, saying who is better, the one who who does something and teaches it to others, the one who teaches the thing without the practical knowledge, or the one who is simply good at doing a thing but doesn’t teach their skills to others.

Teaching is a specialised role, and a good teacher who is passionate about that role is a wonderful thing, and if they have enough back up material they can be fantastic at getting the details out about how to do something. To say one way is the best way, goes against the idea that different people do things differently, and there is more than one way to do something, there are many ways.

They also say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This one has also been overturned. There are many old dogs out there who have learned new tricks, as here:as here:

It may take more time to teach that old dog a new trick, but with time and patience, it can certainly been done.

This is just one of my thoughts, I wonder how others feel about it.

The gardens are looking lovely, lots of sprinkler action happening on the back lawn, and lovely mild days, perfect for lying around on the soft, soft grass! There’s probably something in the book coming out soon about that feeling, I’ll look it up in the book:

Yes, there it is – acceptance. The lawn is there, there is no need to do anything more than simply lie down, perhaps on side, or on back. Once on your back you may feel like rolling over and over like a puppy. Do it. Whether others are watching or not, just feel the blades of grass through your hair, be with the grass, lie still, gaze into the sky briefly, watch the birds fly past.

The next principle in the book deals with Letting Go. The lying on the grass looks at that too, the way you simply acknowledge the presence of those birds, accepting they are they, but being content to let them go. You are in a different space, you are lying on the grass. Another time will be the right time for chasing the birds. Now is not that time.

When a dog learns this letting go, and acceptance, the dog will live a happier and better life, a mindful life. The dog will be a happy dog …

When the book “Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View” is out, you can get a copy and find other mindful principles to think further on. It will be another Happy Time!

 

Today was a good day. I did useful things, and enjoyed doing it. One of the useful things I did was to work on my next book. This is a second book in a series concerning a dog named Buster, and his take on life. The first book was titled ‘Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs’ and was. as you’d expect, about the canine take on the whole gardening thing.

The second book, which will probably be launched around the middle of this year (2016), is about Mindfulness as a dog sees it, and is titled ‘Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View’. I’m hoping this book is popular, as Dig It seems to be. I have copies of three of my books for sale at my favourite cafe, in Gawler, Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery, and Dig It is the one that sells the best.

pawprint

Sales are actually going  so well there is only one copy of the book left. I’m going to have to look into doing another print run of Dig It in time for the launch of Doggone It! I’m not an expert in selling books, but it makes sense to me that if you’re selling another book in a series, it’s sensible to have the first book available for those who haven’t got the first one.

Both of these books are illustrated, using the same illustrator – Allyson Hean. The first book had more pictures, and the second book is more ‘learned’ so the fewer pictures in it are in keeping with the text.

These books are both self-published. Allyson put together the first book, which was produced using Publisher. She did a wonderful book, but has now gone on to other things. That meant it was my job to put together this second book, using Publisher, which I have fortunately gained some knowledge in, since ‘Dig It!’ came out quite a few years ago.

The supposed writer of these books is a Pharaoh Hound Schnauzer cross dog named Buster. Buster isn’t a real dog, he’s a make-believe figment of my imagination. I’ve had fun imagining my way into Buster’s life, thinking about how he would look at the relevant things these two books are about  – gardening, and living a mindful life …

There’s no telling what the next book might be about … Something a dog may think about, something I know a little about. I’m thinking it may be a cook book of some kind. Buster loves food, after all, he’s a dog!

 

 

 

I saw a wedge tailed eagle earlier today. I had to think about the sighting for a bit before I could definitely say, yes it definitely was a wedge tail. The heavy dark strong look of it, so much heavier and more impressive than any other Australian bird of prey, definitely a wedge tailed eagle.

It wasn’t here, at home but even so, to see one flying across a road I drive on often was exciting. I was on my way to Salisbury from home, travelling along Port Wakefield road, and heading south, the bird was flying across the road, headed east, and approx. fifty metres above the traffic. Major roads are good places for carrion birds in some ways, but not in others.

I didn’t see any dead creatures on this journey, but I wasn’t looking, and I’ve certainly seen quite a few dead things along that road, over the years. It’s a sad fact that fast cars and animals don’t go together well, and the animals are usually the ones that end up dead.

The other day I was driving from my place to Gawler and saw a bearded dragon on the road. The slowed down as much as I could, the creature crouched down a little, and I think that one lived, this time. I wish they’d stay off the road, but who knows, the lizard may have been feasting on something smaller that had lost the battle with the cars.

Getting back to the wedge tailed eagle, from earlier today, if you’ve never seen one of these magnificent creatures, this is Wedge-tailed Eagle 06what they look like. Their wing span is over 2 metres, and the adult is usually quite dark overall. They are feathered almost all of the way down to their toes, and are a very strong and solid looking bird in flight, as they leisurely circle around high above, on the thermals over slow and hot summer’s days.

 

 

 

 

(image from http://rwsboa2011.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/saw-pair-of-wedge-tailed-eagles-today.html – A great site for seeing images of birds in the wild.)

I’ll never forget the day I saw one of these birds on my way home from Balaklava – it was on the ground next to the side of the road, and it appeared enormous. I suspect it had either killed or found something dead, and was settling in for a meal. I was on my way home, and thinking about a meal myself! This was quite a few years ago, and I can’t remember what I’d been doing. The sighting of the wedgie was the more exciting thing, for me.

My most recent poetry collection, that is coming out around the middle of the year has many poems about dead creatures and roads, and dogs that like to kill creatures and other creature-related matters. I was going to call this collection ‘Critters’, but my publisher didn’t like the name, so it’s now called ‘Delicious Tension’ which comes from the first poem. It’s certainly a more dignified title, but I still have a soft spot for all of the critters that make up the collection, and that make up for my life interest in Nature, and all of the animals, birds, insects and so on who share this world with us.

 

 

 

At the moment, I am waiting for my illustrator/friend to get back to me about her progress with creating fantastic illustrations for a book I wish to (self)publish. The book is a follow up to a book I and my illustrator (Allyson Hean) created some time ago, back in 2007, when my son was about 13. Ally and I became friends back when our sons were in Primary School, and we spent many happy hours chatting about all manner of things when our boys were at school.

So that book was called “Dig it! Gardening Tips for Dogs”, and the text and illustrations are based on a made-up dog called Buster. Buster is a cross between a Pharaoh Hound and a Standard Schnauzer. I have shown and bred both of these breeds, and we had one of those embarrassing accidents when two of our dogs got together one time when the most certainly shouldn’t have…

Anyway, Ally saw those ‘accident’ puppies and drew some great pictures, based on how she imagined such a dog would look when it grew up. Buster is a dog with lots of character, and I have grown to love him and his rough and tumble no bull-sh*t attitude. So this dog and Ally and I created a book, and self published it, our first attempt at such a thing. We had fun with the first 100 copies we had printed, then Ally moved on to other things, as did I, me staying involved in books and writing, Ally concentrating on her other love, that of sheep and fleeces.

I printed another 100 copies of the book, and sold them a little more slowly, but still a sale here and there … Those copies are gone now. I did another print run of the book, thinking about what might come next for Buster.I have some other books now, also more or less self-published, and I am moving out into the public eye a little more. I have a
Writer-in-Residence gig at a lovely place I love in Gawler, the Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery and copies of Buster’s book are on display at the cafe, and it’s time to take Buster on a different track.

I enjoyed writing “Dig it!” and Ally enjoyed doing the illustrations. Given this is probably my best selling book, I did what any sensible self-publisher would do, I decided to write a follow-up book. This sequel has a title and I have more or less finished the text of it. I handed the words on to Ally recently, and she began working on the illustrations. Unfortunately, or fortunately for her, Allyson has a paid job, so she was on leave (between jobs) when I handed over my words, and she is now back working again.

I don’t know when Ally will be finished, so I don’t know when the new book will come out. It has a title, it has text, there are some illustrations, it’s actually quite close to being all done. The title of this new book is “Doggone it! Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View”. I’m more or less happy with it, but I was thinking earlier today about ways to add more to the book, and had a brilliant idea, I would put a quiz at the back of the book, genius!

So this book, “Doggone it!” should be out in plenty of time for your brother’s birthday, your best friend’s birthday and/or for Christmas, I’ll put the word up on this website when it’s done, and copies will be available at the Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery.

 

I spoke with the illustrator of ‘Dig It!’ via Messenger, and she has been working on the illustrations for ‘Doggone It!’, the follow on book from Buster and me, hooray pictures are happening. I was starting to wonder if this was really going to happen, and yes, it most definitely is!

That means the money I’ve been saving up now has a purpose, and it means I’m going to have some lovely illustrations to gaze at in wonder. Allyson Hean, my illustrator, who worked with me to create ‘Dig It!’ knows me, and she knows dogs, and she interprets my words beautifully well, as evidenced by the lovely illustrations she did that made the picture part of ‘Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs’ wonderful.

I’m excited about seeing what Ally has done with Buster and my words this time! I also have some ideas about things to do with promotion of the book, using the illustrations, and possibly something to do with ways to further share Allyson Hean’s great work with others … I don’t know a lot about these things, but I’m keen to work on that, and learn a lot more.

Prints, bookmarks, are my initial ideas, and who knows what else may occur to me. ‘Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View’ is a fun and fine little book as it stands at the moment (or it will be once I finish off the text), but with illustrations it will become a must have book for everyone who wonders at the inner thoughts of their faithful canine friend!

Keep an eye on this website, there will definitely be more book news later on this month!

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