Apologies for being absent
I usually like to post something new on my website everyday. Typically in the form of a blog. However, as of late I have been unavailable because I was doing some work on a house that I am preparing to move into.
For four days, I worked to enclose a covered patio for my kitty cats. Once I have moved over I will try to remember to post some pictures for everyone to review. I'm not trained or experienced in this sort of work. I have built some of my own furniture, but I have never taken on something of this scale.
However, four days working on my own and without any prior education, I think I did pretty well. Just needs some paint and a few other finishing touches and it will be a safe playground for my animals to play.
I used 2x4 wood studs to build the frame for the lower four feet of the walls, and then I used wire fencing to secure the remaining area on the upper half. The inner and outer walls are covered with segments of plywood, as well as a metal security door built into the frame.
The house has two back doors to access the house. One goes into the laundry room and the other entry is a pair of french doors. I enclosed the french doors but not the entry to the laundry room. I figure it's best to have an exit that bypasses the patio anyway, aside from the actual door built into the patio as well.
I'm happy to have the job practically finished. My animals will have the comfort of getting the fresh air outside as well as the safety from dogs or other animals intending them harm. Once I am moved completely into the new house, I will resume updating my website on a regular basis.
I hope everyone is doing well, and that you will all be safe.
Weird title for a blog post, but this is because something unusually wonderful happened to me today. I was at the restaurant with my mother waiting for our food. My mother ordered mozzarella sticks with her breakfast, (weird right?).
Anyway, this family was getting ready to leave. A father, his wife, and two little girls right around the ages of two to four. The littlest one comes to the booth that I am sitting at and just looks at me so sweet with a smile. I look back with a smile and I shake her hand gently asking her how she was doing.
The older one of the pair went to my mother and gave her a hug. Then they each helped themselves to a mozzarella stick each, hugged us goodbye, and left with their parents. The parents were there for the whole thing, and they got to see the face I make when my heart melts.
I missed a chance to snap a picture with them, but I was kinda taken by surprise. I've had it happen to me before on occasion when a kid sees me and wants to just meet me and say hello. They give me a hug just because or just treat me so sweet that I want to adopt them right there.
Kids really do melt my heart. Especially when they're sweet and so friendly. However, I do worry because if they get comfortable talking to strangers then they might come across someone who won't be nice to them. I'm relieved the parents have always been there to watch as I interact with their kids so that they know that everything is on the level.
It's a sad reality that kids could always come across someone who doesn't have their best interest at heart. As much as I like being surprised with a love-mugging, whenever I see a parent whose child is too shy to interact with me I do like to reinforce that behavior by saying, "That's good, never talk to strangers."
I want all kids to grow up safe, happy, and healthy.
Expanding the Content on the Site
I haven't been available to post within these last couple of days, and I do apologize for that. I've been very busy tending to some personal business, but beneficial. So here's the rundown on what you have to look forward to in terms of my website.
First off, I will be adding new art to the site. It's still my own work and my skill level isn't very complex. However, it's right around the third grade level of my children's series audience. I'd like to add the characters who have appeared recently in my stories as well as some of the places that I have added. I'm also going to be working on the cover for the collected volume of Trinity.
Continuing on, within the first couple of weeks I will begin posting a few video logs or vlogs. Nothing I intend to do too regularly, maybe just a Q&A or two. Perhaps a few things to announce other upcoming attractions, who knows.
The reason that all these changes are coming is because I am moving to more spacious accommodations. Somewhere that I can optimize my work and organize my projects better. As it stands now, I barely have room to stand at all. Much less to do my project artwork and work on my stories.
I'll post as best as I can. I'm looking forward to providing more content and improving on the quality. More news as it develops.
The chart above is a reflection of the free promotion that I run with each release of my books. These are Kindle eBook downloads. The first story was downloaded thirty times, the second was downloaded eighteen times, and the latest story came in at sixteen. Bringing the total to sixty four downloads of my stories in the span of time from June first to August the fifteenth.
Add in the six copies of the first book that were bought in print, gives me a total of seventy copies of the stories that have been obtained over the past seventy five days or so. A good portion of the sales and downloads took place before I opened this website.
I'm grateful for everyone who has downloaded or bought my books. The adventures of Trinity and her friends are likely to become a timeless treasure in homes around the world. The seventy times my stories have been obtained is also a sum of who around the world has sought out my stories.
If this website has the ability, I will display an itemized list of the areas that the stories were obtained in on their individual Amazon sites. I still manage this entire website on my own, so it may still look a little rudimentary. However, all the content is available for your amusement.
Free Promotion Ended
Well, the free promotion ended for "Trinity and the Sad Child." I'm happy to say that over the five day promotion that the story was downloaded sixteen times. Not a large number, but I think it's considerable. Considering I'm a new author with no advertising budget, I think I'm going pretty well.
Additionally, the genres available on Amazon are extraordinarily detailed. I've tried to make them as broad as possible, but alas it's not. Bullying is a popular category, sadly. Special Needs and Disabilities are not as common to read, sadly as well. And the Death and Grief category is even less common.
I don't like that bullying is such a prevalent problem that it is in demand so much. I also don't like the stigma that surrounded special needs, illnesses, and disabilities. That's why I put the word "sick" in my title for the second story. I know it's probably not "politically correct," but sometimes I worry that being so careful with our language just adds to the stigma and discomfort. Plus, I think the word "sick" adds to the urgency of special needs, illness, and disabilities.
If we don't add some kind of urgency to help the lives of children and people living with these conditions, then do we have less motivation to seek a cure? Do we just dismiss people that live in this way and cast them aside? Do we forget about children who are not yet born who could one day be cured?
I know I'm probably being overly optimistic. However, I don't believe anything is impossible. I believe that if we can't do something now, then someone more clever will come along down the line and do it. Our technology has advanced at unfathomable speeds. Whoever says that something cannot be done, is someone who places limitations on all of our dreams.
Death and grief is a topic that is always difficult to discuss with anyone. In the foreword for "Trinity and the Sad Child" in emphasized that listening is more important than speaking. After a devastating loss, it really is best to let the person who suffered the loss to begin speaking first.
Last night, I attended an event at the Lea County Center for the Arts. "Blackness in Latin America Hispanic Art Exhibition." I got to see some of the most amazing paintings and artwork that I had even seen. Such obvious talent and kind artists.
The highlight of the evening was watching some ladies from a Venezuelan dance troupe come and demonstrate their dances in the style of Caribbean. It brought the house down and I even got to meet the two ladies who performed. Super friendly and were of sincere delight. I hope they will pass through this way again some day and bring along more members of their dance troupe.
As I was writing this post this morning, I received some feedback from a friend who bought the print copy of my first book "Trinity and the Bully." Even if I never heard another word of praise for this story, I will always consider this one a resounding success.
She told me that her daughter had read the book and absolutely loved it. Hasn't put it down since it arrived. It reminded her of how she faced the challenges of bullying in her school. She faced them head on, a lot like Trinity does.
I'm forever going to be proud of Trinity. In my mind, she is a living and breathing little girl who is real in the little world I created for her. Her friends, her parents, the adults are all apart of a close knit community with new faces and names emerging from all over. I hope she sets an example for many others across the world, to learn about different people and try to understand them. To help them when they're in need and come to their aide when they're in trouble.
In my mind, that's sort of what a troublemaker is. Not merely someone who is accident prone or clumsy. And never someone who just likes to stir the pot and cause an unpleasant disruption. To me, a troublemaker is someone who will see an injustice and choose to try to do something about it. Even if, and especially if it doesn't impact them at all. Someone who doesn't stand idly by and let others be treated wrong. A troublemaker can be someone who goes against the status quo and try to make a beneficial change for all.
Such people are frequently mocked. Often times when someone goes against the group mentality they are regarded as the oddball. However, how unusual is it to know that something is wrong and let permit it to go unchallenged?
Today I will speak of things to come. But first to begin with what I know now. My eBook of "Trinity and the Sad Child" has been downloaded fifteen times so far and it is day four of the free promotion. The previous book of "Trinity and the Sick Kids" was downloaded a total of eighteen times during its promotion and the first book "Trinity and the Bully" was downloaded thirty times on its own. In print, "Trinity and the Bully" has been purchased six times.
Each of those stories are going to be released again in a collected edition. Three stories in one book for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, I will be releasing artwork not before seen on the books or online. As well as the blog entries that tell the story of Peter and his time spent at the boarding school that he was sent to from the first book. His story is told from the ten blog entry series I posted, but within the book will be a special exposition of the events that followed the final chapter of that blog. This will be exclusive to the collected volume.
Additionally, I will be adding a new foreword to the collected works as well as a separate foreword for each story. I will tell of the course and impact that each story has taken and what it has meant after its release. Furthermore, there will be additional commentary on the stories at the end. I'll also be including two of the three poems I read at the open mic event from August the sixth. I don't think "Naked for Climate Change" is neither pertinent or appropriate for the collected stories of a children's series. Besides, that poem is available to read under the stories tab on the website.
Once the collected works are released and attainable for the public, I will update the website with the artwork that I included. However, the additional texts or writing will remain only accessible through the collected volume.
The most important part of the collected works and what I have to look forward to the most is the dedication. I love to thank people who have supported me or influenced me in the course of becoming an author. Any success I attain now or ever is partly their doing and I don't deserve any success at all, if any, unless I thank them and keep them in my thoughts and their names on my pages.
I'm not merely grateful for the few things I have, but also for the friends I have made. I'm grateful for everything that they have done whether they knew it or not. I feel like they deserve a special mention because they have been special to me.
I hope to share many more names with you of the people who have given me the inspiration to do what I do. As well as the encouragement to try for excellence. One day, maybe I can do more for them than to mention them by name. Until then, I can make no promises. I can only promise them to try.
World Read, Mentally Fed
I know for most other authors, having their stories read around the world is something kind of commonplace for them. I'm guessing. For me though, it's not a small feat by any means. I love to see the comprehensive reports for my eBook sales and see the different areas that have downloaded them.
I wish more than anything, that I could visit these places and meet the people who have read them to ask if they enjoyed them. What were their thoughts on my little girl Trinity and her friends? Did the stories give them the chills? Excitement? Hope?
It's not merely being read around the world that I love so much as crossing cultural barriers. The norms in our society might be abnormal in another places. However, it gives them a glimpse into another world. The one I created on my pages.
Originally, I published Trinity as a writing credit for the sake of gaining a following so that I could perhaps make my writing as a way of earning a living. And I still have high hopes for that. Also, Trinity and her world was on the threshold of large social changes in the United States. Some of which are going to be reflected in future stories as I go on about my writing.
I've seen a lot of those same issues crop up again in recent years with racial tension and bigotry. I wasn't alive when the first civil rights movement was in swing, but I am alive for what people are calling the second civil rights movement. Our history has been influenced by great figures, one of whom I mentioned was Martin Luther King Jr.
His approach to the social injustices of the time was a strategy called "Civil Disobedience." Basically, in a non-violent way they would disregard a law that was inherently morally wrong. "Passive Resistance" is another technique in which people will not cooperate, peacefully in falling in line with societal expectations.
Today, it seems that the new civil rights movement has lost this precious philosophy of demonstrating that they deserve respect by doing no harm. And that can probably be inferred from the "fast food" culture we have given rise to that expects instant gratification.
I've been rejected by more publishing agents and publishers than I am willing to count. However, I am not discouraged because I believe that one day I will receive acceptance from someone. I have to be patient, and learn to be more patient for the big changes. Additionally, I have to be patient for my books to begin making sales. I use my books to teach valuable lessons to children, but also to parents. We are raising the future of our society and if lessons and teachings of our history haven't been taken seriously the we aren't doom to repeat our mistakes.
In fact, we are doomed to face similar situations without any idea of handling it properly from the history of our fore-bearers. So, if we can't take history seriously anymore then I will bring those lessons into the present with my books. Our revered social pioneers who fought for social equality and justice deserve to be remembered. Their lessons, achievements and mistakes, deserve to be practices. I can't jostle the memory of our society, but maybe I can pass on those lessons to the next generation through the intention of the goodness of spirit that I write my Trinity series.
"I'm going to change the world gradually with ideas, rather than use violence to undermine my message of peace." Erich C. Davis
First Day of the Free Giveaway
I'm excited to say that on the first day of the free giveaway for "Trinity and the Sad Child" the story was downloaded twelve times. That breaks two personal records, one for most first day free downloads and two the most free downloads in a single day.
When not for sale for free, the digital copies of my books cost $2.99 each. Throughout the free promotions, all three total to date have been downloaded sixty two times. And they have been read in countries all over the world. Amazon Denmark, UK, India, Mexico, Japan, and of course the US.
However, there are zero total downloads for my eBooks. Not a single one of them have had cash sales. The books in print have not fared much better. Six total purchases for print copies. Half of those were purchased by my father.
I know it takes awhile to get discovered by the public. So far there has been no paid advertising, other than this website. Everything else has been "organic" or word of mouth on Twitter or Facebook. My online presence has increased dramatically and particularly on Twitter. Just recently passed 1,000 followers on it.
In news today, I received "proof" copies of "Trinity and the Sad Child" today. Proof means that these are copies that need to be checked for formatting issues, if any. And just the basic feel of the book. I ordered five copies, one for me to edit through. One for my mother because she loves them, and three for some friends. I've got several people who are waiting for a signed copy who are friends of mine and I'm going to deliver them as soon as I possibly can.
"Trinity and the Sad Child" the eBook Kindle edition is available now through Thursday for free. I hope you will read it, and enjoy it. And I hope that if you enjoy it, that you will tell other people about the book. I want you to share it with those you love, and especially children. It's geared for them.
Coming later on this year, I will be publishing the collected works of "Trinity the Troublemaker" which will feature original art, the blogs about the bully at St. Clarkes, and the summation of the events after the final chapter of Peters adventures there will only be available in the collected works.
Meanwhile, enjoy my stories. The free one on Amazon while it lasts, the free blog entries about Peter, or buy the books and invite Trinity into your home. I promise you won't regret it.
Free Promotion Live
The free promotion for "Trinity and the Sad Child" is now live. Trinity and her friends try to save the Christmas for one family who has lost a loved one to the war in Korea. This story is dedicated to all of the military families out there who have or will be celebrating their first Christmas without someone special who perished in their service.
The cover has some story related elements. In addition, there is a soldier and a police car. The soldier of course represents all of the people who have given their lives for their country on distant shores and far away places. The police car represents the lives lost by all those who serve in law enforcement.
As I was revising this story and doing the cover, the city of Dallas suffered such a devastating loss of the lives of police officers. The result of one of the bad cops making the wrong choice in another town far away. We became more divided in this country because the actions of a few will blot out the reputation of all.
I believe in good cops, and I also believe in good people. The goodness of people comes out in how we treat one another. The wickedness tends to come out when people are angry or afraid. Does a cop pull their gun too soon because of fear for their own lives? Are they angry because of the stories we hear of police officers minding their own business or going about their jobs to suddenly be attacked without provocation merely because they wear the badge?
Likewise, has the public become so fearful and angry towards those few who use their badge as a way of bullying those they think can't fight back? I can't say these things for sure, these are only the things I wonder about the way our society regards the sanctity of life.
What I have to say next, I don't want it to be misconstrued that I am an ally or an opponent of any protest groups. I've heard it said that when people have addressed the "Black Lives Matter" movement, that many people respond with the phrase "all lives matter." It has been understood by me and the things that I have read that saying "all lives matter" is an offensive phrase because it is dismissive of the history of the plight of people who aren't white in this country. I can totally agree with that because to say that to someone whose ancestors have such a history of abuse and suffering is like mocking a battered spouse for not leaving their abuser sooner.
Not precisely apples and oranges, but I hope the point is made. I'd like to make another point as well if I may. Black Lives Matters is an activist group, individuals may get carried away under their banner but I don't hold the group accountable because no one can predict the actions of a wildcard. However, back to my point about Black Lives Matter being an activist group. If all lives truly mattered, wouldn't that be an activist group too? I've found the Black Lives Matter website, but I still haven't found one for All Lives.
I don't know how many people will read this. However, I want to issue a challenge to people who say that "All Lives Matter." If you're going to say that, then I insist that you prove it. I insist that once you tell someone that "all lives matter" that you begin to find ways from that point forward in giving your statement some meaning. Volunteer for service in a soup kitchen, donate some clothes to a local charity, pledge money to a worthy cause for the benefit of others.
If you say all lives matter, then that should also apply to the black lives matter movement. You are saying that their lives matter too. You aren't competing against them, and I hope they aren't competing against society. Because, all should be working closer to contribute to a fair and just society for each other. "All for one, and one for all" as the Musketeers used to say right?
Am I an activist? Yes. What do I do? I write books. What do I believe in? Unity, the mutual respect of one another and our cooperation to build a better world for each other and future generations. To preserve the life, rights, dignity and honor for everyone. The strength of diversity as our ability to adapt as a species. Justice for all.
Free Promotion Glitch
Good morning friends and readers. Today was supposed to be the kick off day for the free book promotion for my newest story of "Trinity and the Sad Child." Unfortunately, I didn't get up early enough this morning, or stay up late enough last night to initiate the promotion.
Sadly, the book is out but not for free today. However, tomorrow it will be out guaranteed and shall run for five days as a free Kindle download. When I did the free download for my previous two books, the first one was downloaded by thirty people and the second one was downloaded by eighteen people. I'd love to see this one out perform the previous two combined. It's a free book and about forty pages long.
Our story begins with Trinity shoveling driveways in the snow covered town of Westrock. She begins with her own, and then offers to do it for people in the neighborhood. She shovels the drives for whatever money that the customers think is fair or whatever they are willing to spare for her.
As she is about to move on to the house on the corner, she sees a car with an army sergeant within. He gets out of the car and approaches the house that Trinity was about to see if they needed shoveling. She looks to see what's happening but she's interrupted by her friend Colin. He asks her if she would like to make snow angels and snowmen together.
Suddenly, they are both startled by a wailing cry of shock and disbelief from the lady that lives on the corner. Her son comes out to join her, and together they cry and hold each other for comfort. They go inside of their home with the army sergeant.
The kids are left to wonder what this was all about. Colin asked Trinity who lived there. Trinity tells Colin that was Mrs. Song and her son David. Colin asks where Mr. Song is and she tells him that he was drafted to go to Korea, just like their fathers. A sinking feeling in Trinity's heart tells her that the army sergeant carried bad news about the fate of Mr. Song to the doorstep of his family.
This story is devoted for all of our service members in the armed forces, for their families, for our veterans, and for all of those who did not make it home.
New Release Tomorrow
The new story coming out tomorrow is called "Trinity and the Sad Child." This is the third book in my series, but certainly not the last. This story is about losing a loved one to war, in this specific instance it is about the Korean War. So far all my stories have been set in the year 1950. A time when life in the United States was thought to be idyllic.
However, not all was idyllic at all. Maybe it was a better time with more aesthetically pleasing features. Beautiful cars, homes, white picket fences, and sensational music. I still believe we have a lot of those things, and just have to look to find them. Just because generations change doesn't mean those elements haven't endured.
So we still have beautiful cars, homes, white picket fences if people want them, and sensational music. I was privileged recently to enjoy the music of local talent in Hobbs. Additionally, I am acquainted personally with some breakout artists and talent. The next generation who will make their mark even more than they already have.
We still have some of the same enduring problems too. War is with us still. Racism is either making a bigger comeback, or the tension was building up until it finally boiled over. Hatred and fear of the police, resentment of authority figures, unrest and protests.
I'm not being dismissive of these issues. Gradually, I want to address them with my writing. I want to do these topics justice, especially in the writing of my children's stories. As best I can, I'll introduce topics that my audience of children will be able to understand in a tasteful way that can still bring awareness and provoke thoughts in children and parents alike.
I don't like that anyone would experience losing a member of their family to war. However, I want to demonstrate that a community can be supportive without being intrusive. My biggest fear about this story is that I worry that I am not doing justice to the service of the armed forces. Men and women who answer the call to defend our home and come to the aide of others in time of need.
I get to start off today with some wonderful news and I couldn't be happier. To begin with, last night I attended the open mic event at the Lea County Center for the Arts and I was mesmerized by all of the excellent talent. When I opened for the reading of my poetry, I stopped to mention how well I thought of every single performer there. I said, "The way you know how amazing these artists are is when you suddenly realize that your smiling because your cheeks hurt. And you have no idea when you started smiling in the first place. You just discover that they made you smile."
I read three poems in a set that I call "Good Things Come in Threes." I read them in reverse order than what I wrote them as. The reason for this is because I wanted the importance of the message to be the final and lingering thought for the people there.
I read "Trinity the Troublemaker," which is in reference to my title character of my book series. Leading off with my own book title and considering it the lesser of the importance is something I will explain later. I know it makes no sense from a marketing point of view, but bear with me for a moment.
The second poem I read has equal importance to the final one. "Naked for Climate Change," began as a joke on Facebook. I tell people that if the heaviest pollution producing corporations could get a load of me in my birthday suit, then they might frantically invest in clean energy alternatives.
The final poem, is a message about peace. I titled it, "Hatred Has No Home with Me." It was a Facebook post a long time ago and also the title of a term paper that I did in college. I think it's sad that there are so many people or entities that are trying to capitalize on our differences and trying to turn one another against each other. Not merely as Americans, but as a people. I feel that the eventuality of this course of behavior with lead to our own destruction. I've long said that "fighting fire with fire will be the end of us, we'll all go up in a huge conflagration."
This probably makes me sound like a pacifist, and that would be partially true. However, I think there are definitely things worth fighting for. Peace is worth fighting for, but I don't want to see the cost come in a body count. Even though it tends to more often than not. Peace should be a battle fought with diplomacy, where people learn how to live together and reach an agreement. Looking upon each other as neighbors instead of rivals. Helping others to help sustain themselves with resources of their own, or opening commerce in trade.
My most exciting bit of news that I have received today is that my story of "Trinity and the Bully" was endorsed by a charitable organization. Ark of Hope for Children is a part of a global initiative to come to the aide of children who have been victimized in human trafficking, abuse, and bullying. Fifteen percent of the royalties of the sale of this Trinity story has gone to support their mission, and I will continue to give to them as the book sells. The executive director of the charity and president is a man by the name of Blair Corbett. He's a man who actively practices compassion and love to the kids that he serves. I am grateful for the opportunity to support his work and humbled.
I will post a link to the Ark of Hope for Children's website so that you can consider contributing to him directly. Or, you can buy "Trinity and the Bully" and I will make the donation. Either way readers, we are working together for a good cause for the sake of children.
The plan for today
Today, I am pretty much just saying hello to all the wonderful people who have come and visited my website. Not even one day has past since it came live and already over fifty people have come to see it.
Later on today, I will be reading my poetry at the Lea County Center of the Arts. Once I have completed that task, I will publish the poems on this website with a little commentary of my own. I will talk about what inspired each poem and I will also mention how the crowd at the reading tonight reacted.
This is my first public appearance in the capacity as an author. I'm both nervous and excited. I don't usually take the spotlight, but I have taken on the burden because I need to get my brand out there. My biggest fear is that when I am speaking on stage, I might channel a distinctive celebrity inflection or different accents of ethnicity. I might sound Swedish tonight for all I know.
That's just how my stage fright manifests. I've had to do class presentations in the past, and that's how it typically turns out. However, I've also learned alot about stress management and different ways of coping. Maybe I will do well tonight, but regardless I promise it will be amusing at the very least.