Run with the wind

Run with the wind

 picture-169

I totally needed to take a break from my addiction of surfing. Not the energetic get wet type but the sit on my bottom looking at other people’s online life. Although Dachshund Luke is more than happy for me to stuff him up my jumper so he can take a nap and more than patient with me while I check my email, facebook, blogs, other peoples blogs, clicking away into the unknown, there comes a time in the day that I need to get up. Not just into the kitchen for another cup of tea, but really get up. 

Again, Luke saves me from this clicking madness and unfolds himself from the warm of my sweater, stretching his long body he gives me that look. Dog owners know it. It is that time for a walk look. I peel myself off and out of my computer chair refreshing my email, one last time and tear myself away from my glowing screen. Luke is right we need to get out of here for a while. 

Once out on the dusty river road I ponder why we do not spend more time outside. It is stunning, wonderful snow capped (yep still snow) mountains poking into blue skies. Paths in all directions, taking you along the river or up into the mountain, miles of tracks surrounded by blooming spring flowers and hardly a human in sight. They beckon but not for today. Luke’s little legs and his desire to sniff every blade of Mule and goat trodden grass makes it hard for him to go on long walks. 

It is windy today so his ears are flapping. He seems to love it when it is windy and likes to run with the wind. Really wish I could let him run free however; he just has no road sense. Even though not many cars pass along these tracks, you do get the occasional car transporting the locals to their plots of vegetables and Luke being so short is nearly unnoticeable among the ruts in the ground. He also has a habit of walking along nicely until he wants to go home. Then he shoots ahead, little legs kicking up dust and suddenly becomes deaf to all his commands.

Have you ever tried to catch up with a running Dachshund?

No, well let me tell you they may have little legs but they can boogie. So much to the amazement of the locals who rarely allow their dogs in the house let alone ever purchase a lead for it, Luke walks along happily and safely attached to his expanding lead.

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Self Publishing Options

Self Publishing Options.

  

Dachshund Luke goes to Spain by Karen Larson

 

Experiences in getting a book printed.

 

 

For me the book idea was easy. I am currently living in a little Spanish village with time to reflect and get to know some of the locals including the group of English ex-pats and their families. It dawned on me how strange it must have been for some of the children to leave behind their friends and all familiar to them.

 

This prompted me to write this little book. It is a true story about Dachshund Luke and his move from Florida to Spain. It follows his experiences as he travels on a plane and arrived in a country that not only smells different but also the humans make different noises. His life changed again when his ‘only pet’ position was challenged, and a small kitten was adopted into the household. Despite his initial misbehaving due to jealousy to his surprise, he learnt to share and made a new friend. 

 

My hope is that this little book will be enjoyed and just possibly help with a child adjusting to new places. 

 

 

Dachshund owners will love Dachshund Luke goes to Spain with over 70 color photos mostly of Dachshund Luke.

 

Interested in reading the first 15 pages? Click heredachshund-luke-goes-to-spain-book-picture

 

The hardest part was how to get the idea into a book.

 

Google searches produced a total head spin of choices and I tried to narrow it down to what would fit my needs. I ended up with three possible options.

 

 

Option 1  Book publishers

 

Follow the traditional path.

 

I could go with the old-fashioned way, send my book to publishers, and hope one of them actually reads it. I entertained this idea for a long time but to be honest was put off due to the amount of photo’s I had included in my story. Without them, it just was not the same. The publishers that I researched only wanted to be sent text and some even wanted to use their own illustrators if they considered it a children’s book. I really did not think a publisher would ‘get’ my idea without the photos and it is a perfect children’s book.

 

I am busy writing a more serious book and desperately wanted to see a finished product to keep my spirits up. The thought of sending my text to publishers and waiting what could account for months for a reply might distract from my current work. I needed a fast fix for my desire to see something with my name boldly and permanently printed on it.

 

There are way too many publishing houses to list and most seem to specialize on certain genres. Just Google away and in seconds you will have more than you need to choose from.

 

 

Option 2  Book Printer

 

Find your own printing company

 

I entertained this idea for a long time and am keeping it in the back of my head for the future. Provided you have had your book edited and ready to print then this is a good way to go. I contacted a few companies by email, but again my photos were causing me a problem due to the cost. Also being a total novice to the whole thing I got confused by the format required. I only had the programs my trusty computer came with so could not fathom a way of putting the photos and text together in the exact format they wanted. This turned out to be PDF files that I now can deal with but at the time it was all a bit WTF to me. I was very scared of sending it in wrong that I backed away. I would also have had to order their minimum run total (which varies in quantity and price). I was not about to fork out a handful of cash to end up with 100 books that I didn’t like due to my own lack of knowledge.

 

 

Option 3  Print on Demand

 

This got me excited.

 

Print on demand is exactly that. Books printed one at a time (all thanks to lovely computers). Again Google search and there seems to be more P.O.D.’s (yep I am getting hip to all the initials out there now) popping up all the time. A lot of them have add-on services that range from editing, ISBN included, to promotion of your book. The costs vary too however most were a little too expensive for what I needed. I again contacted a couple and got over eager responses from their agents trying to up sale. This put me off a little however I persevered until I narrowed it down to three companies that I felt I could with my limited knowledge actually use.

 

http://www.lulu.com

This company appeared online numerous times in the searches. It had many good points including the ISBN issue, promotions and linked with Amazon. However, I still needed a simpler route again due to my photos pushing the cost and learning curve to high. This is one is being considered for a text only but would love to hear from Lulu uses on how their books turned out and final costs involved.

 

www.booksurge.com

A couple of writer friends recommended this company and to be honest I really liked them but again felt hindered by my stack of photos and the cost involved. It is another company that I will give serious consideration to for my next book. I am in the process of researching them further.

 

www.blurb.com

Also is a popular site on the web. I checked it out and loved its ease of use. I downloaded the program, put the pictures where I wanted them (within the restriction of the templates), copy and pasted my text from word. After tweaking around for a while I finally pressed the download button, off my book went, and promptly appeared on their web site. I then had the option of purchasing a book – who would not want too? Also, make the book public so that it appears in their bookstore. The books are printed to order so I do not have to order what I think will sell instead let buyers of my book determine the print quantities.

 

This is how a book looks on the blurb.com site.

 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/638901

 

The downside is that blurb currently does not issue ISBN’s. This is required if you intend to sell in bookstores or on the likes of Amazon.com. I of course could have purchased my own and blurb.com would print it on the back of the book, but I decided on my first book to go the easiest way. Since there is no contract as such with blurb.com and I still own all rights to my book I can (and most likely will) go ahead and purchase 10 ISBN’s and either reprint with blurb.com or choose one of the above options. For now, I will keep it in the blurb.com bookstore. For me this was the quickest, simplest, and easiest way to go with a book with so many photos. I used blurb.com as my test and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Blurb.com finished books have the same professional quality you would expect from a store brought book.

 

Looking for more information on Self Publishing?

I have also written an article on how to sell your self published book – all for free, so before you spend money see how you can promote your book yourself!

http://www.squidoo.com/How-To-Sell-A-Self-Published-Book-For-Free

 

 

http://www.dachshundluke.wordpress.com

Dachshund up a sweatshirt

Frazzled neurons need calming

Surprised that I can still move after my 13 mile hike yesterday, I decided to give myself the luxury of surfing the net without that nagging guilty feeling. You know the one telling us that we should be doing something more constructive with our time. So sipping coffee I float from page to page, blog to blog like a TV addict who’s just got cable.

Not able to stick to one subject I am all over the place, subject jumping with no fixed agenda. My brain is starting to frazzle, neurons jumping and zapping in the wrong places due to a combination of information overload and caffeine. I have so many pages open yet I can’t find the link to the site I wanted to go back to and actually read. I have to let it go, I will never find that site again, so deeply imbedded in my searches, links and clicks it will remain unread by me. Deep breaths, try to calm down and not click anything for a second or two.

Brain still racing I drag my eyes away from my screen of many bright pages and what do I see? Two deep pools of brown eyes at the end of a long but low body staring at me as if I were a god. His little skinny pig like tail starts to wag. Already I can feel the slowing of my spinning brain cogs as I bend down and stroke my little Dachshund Luke. His bum is now in full wag and wiggle mode and he stretches up my old wooden chair with the desire to be picked up. How can I resist? Up he comes to join me in front of the bright screen. He soon starts to dig at the ribbing of my sweat shirt and then disappears under and settles down with a snort. It is his favorite place to be, snuggled under anything warm and cozy. This funny loving little creature is bringing a smile to my lips and a soothing to the brain. The warmth from his body seeps to my skin calming me down. Now I can focus, I go back to searching on-line for all things beautiful, fun and amazing. When I feel the overload creeping on I just have to pet little Luke and know all can be calm in my world.

Soon it will be time for some ball throw, find and fetch and then a walk along the river. Not too far for he only has little legs.

Thanks Luke for reminding me that life should be enjoyed and lived in the moment not lost in links and clicks.

http://www.dachshundluke.wordpress.com

 

I fricking did it!

13 miles up and down mountains, yep I did it today. I am so happy!

Took me 2 ½ hours.

Will blog the experience in the morning since my aging brain is not doing its thing so having great difficulty in the thinking, typing area.

Congratulation’s to all who managed this grueling walks/run and to the guy who ran it in just over a hour.

At this point in my life shouldn’t I know better?

 

The countdown is in hours not days yet still I am as untrained as the day the walk was announced. How can this be? How fast does time go without me noticing?

It is time to get out of my head and into the real world and drag out my tracksuit bottoms for at 10 am tomorrow morning I will be at the start of a 13 mile walk.

I am after all the one that willingly filled in the application form for Cadiar’s first mini marathon but I have to reflect on the question, why? Some things come to mind including wanting to feel part of the community, feeling younger in mind than my real body is, and my big mouth. My chattering can get me in trouble and at the mention of a marathon that is exactly what I did. I told tales of the long distance walking that I enjoyed in England, after that an application and pen was slid along the bar. I failed to mention that these walks took place over 17 years ago with a much younger fit body.

Tonight I will try to put this feat out of my head and get some rest ready for an early start.

So wish me luck as I put my body where my mouth is, hoping I can actually finish what I started and not be the last one in.

Dachshund book

Have you ever left your safe place to explore the unknown?

Welcome to the enchanting world as seen through the eyes of one loveable Dachshund called Luke.
Won’t you join him in this first adventure of a series in which our little friend leaves his home in America and finds himself in Spain.
Along the way, he learns many life lessons in which we can all use a refresher course. If you are a parent, a child, a dog lover or a world traveler this delightful dog will charm you. Packed with pictures this book is sure to bring a smile to your lips and laughter to your heart.

Please feel free to preview the first 15 pages of my book

Dachshund Luke goes to Spain : http://www.blurb.com/books/638901 

dachshund-luke-goes-to-spain-book-picture

I am currently living in a little Spanish village with time to reflect and get to know some of the locals including the group of English ex-pats and their families. It dawned on me how strange it must have been for some of the children to leave behind their friends and all familiar to them. This prompted me to write this little book. It is all about Dachshund Luke and his move from Florida to Spain. My hope is that it will be enjoyed and just possibly help with a child adjusting to new places. 

 Thank you for looking

April Fools Day…..In Cadiar, Spain.

Don’t know why I started with that because now you are going to be expecting something funny or silly. Sorry its way too early in the morning for that. Besides I am not sure what April fools joke I could do in this village. It is often so bazaar on a daily basis. I am still amazed by the massive Mules passing me on the narrow streets, the goats walking behind their owner and the local old guys tilling their land by hand.

 

What I really wanted to talk about is the half marathon this Sunday April 5th. It is Cadiar’s 1st ever half marathon and possibly it’s last since the English couple who arranged it are rumored to be leaving soon. The small English community has talked about this for months and I pondered taking part. I can’t run to save my life but the web site (one of Cadiar’s few) reassures me ‘run it or walk it, you can do it’. I have been spending a lot of time trying to find my creative sides so have only today woken up to the world and realized it is this Sunday. I have decided to attempt to walk the 13 miles of cross country madness. Now for those that know me this is not the much anticipated April fools joke. I am aware that I have not trained for it. Preferring to spend an hour most mornings in the local ‘Bar De Musica’ sipping Café con leche and listening to the serious folks explain their current ‘walk, run’ program. I watched them loose weight, heard their pride of faster uphill times and each day thought I should do that. Well too late now. I am going cold. Not even a warm up.

I had a dream last night that I was standing among a few hundred people in bicycle shorts and snazzy minimalist runners’ tops waiting for the grand start. The gun (gun?) fired and off the long limbed athletic types ran leaving me in my baggy tracksuit bottoms to walk alone for over 13 miles. In my dream it was dark by the time I reached the now empty finish line despite the race starting at 10 am. I have today on April fools day registered to do the walk.

Now time to slip into the ‘Bar De Musica’ for the usual and punish myself whilst listening to the dedicated few.

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