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Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs

Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs
a book for when your dog gardens too, too much!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Garden Looking Good, Not So Dogs

It's Spring, and our garden is flowering and growing nicely. My husband and I had some strawberries pick and eaten within seconds, as we were standing on our back veranda. Delicious! The strawberries are in hanging pots, up higher than the dogs can reach, much higher.

And I looked at our tomato plants which are in a part of our garden the dog's can't get into, unless we let them - the tomatoes are on the verge of turning red, and I'm hoping the warmer weather forecast for the next few days doesn't damage them, but helps with the 'going red' process instead. Time will tell.

Having dogs is lovely, having a garden is lovely, and having a productive garden is a fantastic thing. So a healthy garden is a lovely thing. Unfortunately, the situation with our dogs' health isn't quite so lovely. One of them isn't eating his dinner, another threw up last nights, and the other one, while well enough, is a very old dog with her own issues.

That's the nature of things though, isn't it? It's the cycle of life, born, live, healthy, sick, healed, to dead. Whether it's pets, pests, wild animals, weeds, vegetables, fruit, flowers, people, everything, sickness and health come and go, and at the end is always death. I know I'm getting a bit morbid here, but it's a fact of life, and I can't hide from the truth of it, it's right there in front of me.

I hope the sick dog thing is better again soon, a trip to the vet of Wednesday for the one who's not eating very well is possibly going to happen soon. Another trip to the vet is going to use up more of our money, but that's the role pet owners have to deal with. You look after them as best you can, feeding them, cleaning up after them, loving them, looking after their health.

We've had many dogs in our lives, and we love having them there, they're interesting, funny, and keep us involved with the natural world. Shoosh, don't mention snakes. Because of course, Summer follows Spring, and with summer can come snakes. Our hounds are hounds through and through, and whenever they're outside, they're lookiing for prey ...

I hope snakes stay away from our place this Summer, but if they don't, oh, more vet bills, and the ever present fear of a fatal snake bite ...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Marketing Books & Gardening

Hi People. I'm writing here about two things I sometimes do that I find quite difficult, for a variety of different reasons. The book marketing reasons mostly relate to me being a disorganised person who is unsure of the best way to go about 'selling myself' well enough. I fear irritating others, yeah - as if that's the worst thing in this troubled world ... I am somewhat known, in some books and writing related circles, so I'm not completely hopeless at this though, so I won't lose hope in the chance of getting better at this 'Book Marketing' thing. So this one is a Mental thing.

The Gardening thing, that's related physical reasons. I'll never be as strong or physically able as someone would need to be to keep all of our place tidy and under control. I can do little things, sometimes, but none of the big things. Some things I can't do, others I don't do. I've never started a mower in my life, for instance, and can see no reason why I should start doing it now. I can't cut down big branches, or heft heavy things. My husband is able to do these things, and I support him in this by keeping out of his way.

Both of these things have benefits of course. If I can find a book reader who would like to buy one of my books, I'm more than happy in signing a copy for them and selling them a copy! If someone wanted me to talk to a group of people who may be interested in my books, I am always happy to talk about the stuff I've written, whatever it is. Speaking in public is scary to many people and used to be scary to me too, but fortunately I'm over that now. (So if you need someone to talk, give me a call!)

The benefits of gardening are quite different. A garden gives beautiful things to look at, sniff, and eat. A garden brings birds and other creatures along, and I love watching the birds that visit our garden! I love the strawberries we have growing at the moment, I loved the capsicums we had until hubby pulled up the spent plants, I love the herbs that go into meals or cups of herbal tea. We have lots of garlic growing at the moment, and I love that we're going to keep up with our 'garlic' needs for a good few months (I hope). I love the fact that very soon, our tomato plants will have little cherry tomatoes that are red not green, as they ripen, yum!

The garden is blooming, but most of that is thanks to my husband's work, not mine. He is my carer as well as my husband, and he's doing a superb job of caring for me! He doesn't help with the book marketing side of my life though. He recognises that I'm the one who knows more about that stuff, even if I don't do lots and lots of it. I do have lots of books in my car, ready to sell to others, at any time though ... It would be lovely if it were as simple as just driving somewhere and opening the back of my car to sell books to hordes of desperate book buyers waiting for me ...

Buster the Dog, who is always with me, even if I don't acknowledge his presence at every moment of my life, he would do these things differently, I suspect. Buster is more of an excitable type, more Me, Me, Me! than I am. I'm quieter, more subdued. Of course I'm real and Buster is a figment of my imagination, so life is easy for him ...

So that's it for now, if you'd like to know more about me and my writing, get in touch! Woof!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Written Published and Launched - What's Next?

Books can be like gardens, I think. And writers can be like gardeners. The writer toils away to do their very best, planting their words into some kind of ordered way, pruning anything not needed, taking away weed-words to let the useful and/or beautiful stuff prosper.

A book that has been written well, will bring joy to many, as a well-made garden can bring joy to others. Both books and gardens, if neglected can turn to unwanted rubbish too, though. Many writers, like many gardeners, can begin their task, but due to a variety of reasons, neglect to finish off what they began, and so what could have been lovely, languishes in a far less than lovely condition.

When you do the work though, what lovely gardens and books can come into the world! I'm a writer. I think about things, lots of different things, and I look at the world, think about the world, in a variety of ways and in a variety of forums. Twitter and Facebook have been places where I have placed many words, perhaps wastefully, or perhaps not. Who can tell if and when something a person writes might connect with someone else and inspire more, and one may hope wise, words.

The garden related images here are both from our garden - the rose bush the rose bud grew on has now been pruned and is ready to burst back into action now that Spring is rapidly approaching. The bush with the orange flowers is a Cape something or other bush (I always forget its name). The two bushes were already growing here, as the rose was, when we moved to our home nearly forty years ago. My husband has done much of the work in our garden, and I certainly am thankful for that. He toils outside as I toil inside, with my writing. We both work at what we do, with good results, most of the time.

The book here, '"Dog Buddha's Thoughts", is my most recent one, a funny book, which is the third in the Buster the Dog series, which began with "Dig It - Gardening Tips For Dogs", many years ago, and which gave the name for this blog. We moved out to the country so we could breed dogs, and we did that, and the related dog showing for quite a while. But life changes and things we want to do, and get joy from, can change too. When the fun faded with showing our dogs, it was an easy enough thing to simply give it all away, and retake our weekends for other pursuits.

Life and meaning go together, and to live a life well, you must be able to find meaning in the living of that life, I think. This issue is one I've begun thinking much on in the past days, and perhaps my next book will be an exploration of meaning, and senses. The 'senses' issue certainly follows on from the "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" book. In the book, Buster the Dog has a bit to say about the sense of smell, well quite a bit to say, actually. Who knows, maybe the writing of those words has prompted me new mindful meanderings around various 'senses'.

Until very recently I hadn't consciously thought about the senses that go beyond the obvious basic ones of senses of taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. But there are so many more senses - sense of self, sense of self-esteem, sense of wonder, sense of understanding, sense of humour, and I'm sure many more. As I wrote, I've only just begun thinking about these things, there may be plenty more to come!

Thank you to readers of this blog, and if anyone knows the name of this plant, please tell us! I will send a copy of the second book of this Buster the Dog series of books to the first Australian person who leaves a comment here! This second book is "Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog's Point of View".

I am going to check myself to find the correct answer, and will award this prize to the person with that correct answer.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Third Book in the Buster the Dog series is Launched

The dog in this photo is not Buster the Dog. Buster the Dog is an imaginary dog who lives inside the head of Carolyn Cordon, the person whose blog this is. Carolyn knows the full parentage of Buster the Dog, because he came out her life and out of her imagination. Carolyn also know all about the dog n this photo.

This is Missy, who is a beautiful Pharaoh Hound, and a lovely pet (in almost every way you might imagine). Missy is relatively obedient, and even the bad points about Missy are not too terrible. The reason for this photo on this page is to draw attention. Carolyn has books to sell, Missy is being used, because she is beautiful, and because Missy is also sort of Buster the Dog's half-sister. Confused yet?

If Buster the Dog isn't real, how can he be Missy's brother? it's like this, Buster the Dog is based on puppies that happened that were never supposed to happen. One of Carolyn's Schnauzers (Nena) got far too friendly with the Pharaoh Hound she had (Kharis), when the schnauzer was having her first season, around thirteen years ago. Nature did its things, and yes, Nena had cute little puppies she should never have had ... The illustrator of the Buster the Dogs books is a friend of Carolyn's and she saw those puppies, so knew exactly what such a dog would look like.

 A step has been missed here, hasn't it? The step is that Carolyn gave her friend (Ally Hean), some funny words about gardening, written as if she was a dog. The dog at the time of the words first being written was Carolyn's first Schnauzer and the piece was printed in the Schnauzer club newsletter years before Carolyn and Ally even knew each other. Ally took the  words and used those puppies as the model for her drawing. They both enjoyed the results, so they decided to take this idea further.

More words were written, more illustrations created and so the pair decided to take this idea to a local printer, Grandeur Press and so the book, "Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs" was created! The first print run and all subsequent print runs have been small, and certainly book sales are in the hundreds, rather than thousands. But many people who have read the book have enjoyed it. Carolyn was happy to sign copies of her book, and chat to others about dogs, and gardening, as well as getting some money to cover the costs for bringing the book out into the world!

It seems that one book wasn't enough though, and even though there were no initial thoughts of a 'series' of books for Buster the Dog, Carolyn eventually had another idea for another book by Buster the Dog. She wrote the new book, gave a copy of the text to Ally, and so the process began again. This new book was taken to a different printer, even closer to Carolyn, Bunyip Print & Copy in Gawler. This business had done copies of the first book over the years, when copies ran out. So after this second book "Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog's Point of View", had its first print run, Carolyn had an idea, and realised she had a trilogy on its way. This is how and why the new book, "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" which had its first launch during the recent Adelaide Plains Festival of Words, came into being.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Friend Read my Book and Laughed and Laughed!

If my book was a sad tale and I wanted to evoke sympathy for my struggling hero, that 'Laughed and Laughed' response would have worried me. But "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" is a humorous tale about Buddhism from a naughty, slightly snarky hound named Buster the Dog, and I'm thrilled with the response - Laughter is the best medicine for this author's self-esteem!

So the reader of my book loved it and found it hilarious, that is certainly a good first step! This book isn't 'out there' yet, but it is due to be launched on July 29, at the P/A Hotel in Gawler, during the Adelaide  Plains Festival of Words. This Festival is an important part of my writing life, and an important part of the writing group I'm President of, Adelaide Plains Poets Chapter and Verse.

And this funny book is "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" which I now know as the third book in the Buster the Dog series. When I wrote the book that I now call the first in the Buster the Dog series, the book that this whole blog is named after, "Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs", when I wrote that book, I had no idea of it going as far as it has, I just wanted to have a little bookish fun with my artistic friend, Ally Hean.

The first book has sold well enough that I keep on needing to order some more copies of it, and the second book, "Doggone It! Mindfulness from a Dog's Point of View", has been selling copies every now and then too. I've been happy about the books selling, of course, but I have a funny feeling this third book will out sell the first two, and who knows, may actually make money into four figures, rather than just three figures ... Books are strange things, readers of books can be strange too, and you never know what people might want to read ...

Anyway, I have this set of three books, I'm getting ready to launch that third book, in a fortnight, and it's all fun and games. I just have to get the final editing of the book done, and corrections sent off to the printer, and all will be good. I imagine before next weekend, my car/office will be loaded up with the copies of "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" and my nerves will have begun upsetting my tummy! Nah, I'm not nervous, I've done this heaps of times, what could go wrong?

Hmm, I could get the books and my car could catch fire, I could crash into a bank and my car could be take by the police, I could suffer from amnesia and forget who I am, someone could say all of these Buster the Dog books are totally stupid and I should be ashamed of myself for selling them, cats could finally take over the world and ban books that are nasty to cats. Or cat owners all over the world could lobby and do the same thing on behalf of all cats. Or I could suffer from an acute case of low self-esteem and crawl into a small hole and refuse to come out again ...

I am a writer. I have sold my books. Some people have enjoyed my books. Some people have even found my books inspiring and have been helped by them (not any of the Buster the Books). I am aware of my ability to make others feel better about life, and smile. I am a writer, I will launch this new book and people will smile. Life continues to be good ...

Friday, June 30, 2017

Book launch at Adelaide Plains Festival of Words

I'm thrilled that my next/new book is almost ready to be printed, and it will be ready to be launched during the "2017 Adelaide Plains Festival of Words (Freedom)". I'm excited about this, fun times for dogs and humans!

And what is this new book about? The new book is the third in the 'Buster the Dog' Series - "Dog Buddha's Thoughts". This is what it will say on the back cover (blurb):

“Buddhism is a thing most humans know something about, but have you ever thought about dogs and how Buddhism is to the canine world?
Whether you’ve ever considered these matters or not, this book will surely add greatly to your knowledge on the matter. the Dog certainly knows quite a bit about this, and in “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts”, Buster shares what he knows. This book gives some of the thoughts of the Dog Buddha, and Buster the Dog’s interpretation of each thought.

And Carolyn Cordon, what’s her role here? Carolyn just typed it all up, and put it in this book, for the spiritual betterment of all.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What's This Book About

This is the first draft version of the back cover blurb for "Dog Buddha's Thoughts":

“Buddhism is a thing most humans know something about, but have you ever thought about dogs and how Buddhism is to the canine world?
Whether you’ve ever considered these matters or not, this book will surely add greatly to your knowledge on the matter.
Buster the Dog certainly knows quite a bit about this, and in “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts”, Buster shares what he knows. This book gives some of the thoughts of the Dog Buddha, and Buster the Dog’s interpretation of each thought.

And Carolyn Cordon, what’s her role here? Carolyn just types it all up, and puts it in this book, for the spiritual betterment of all!”

Does that sound interesting, even intriguing? I hope so, and I hope you're so interested and intrigued that you want to get a copy of the book!

And this the image that will go on the front cover of "Dog Buddha's Thoughts". Impressive? I think so! I'm so glad that Ally Hean has done illustrations for me again. She is one clever artist!

Dog Buddha's Thoughts Book Gets Bigger

Well, I've been further editing my next book, fiddling with this and that, and the book just keeps on getting bigger and bigger! I'm seeing the Illustrator (Ally Hean) next week, and hope to have more thoughts and insights about the project arriving with the coffee and possible cake that will be a part of our discussions.

Self-publishing books is an interesting thing to do, I feel, I just wish I was an absolute star at doing it, rather than just an ordinary person doing it ... But hey,. I'm doing something many people will never do in their lives, and next month will be launching my fourth, no fifth self-published book, and I'm proud of myself for that.

Yes, it would be nice if someone else did all of the tricksy marketing things, and book setting up things, and getting it in libraries things. I'm certainly not great at those things. I'm a writer, I write, that's who I am. But I'm a self-published writer too, which means I'm a writer, a publisher, a book marketer and whatever else goes with getting the book 'out there'.

But this book "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" has been lots of fun too, it isn't a drag to get it done. I had so much fun writing the bits of text, thinking up the thoughts, and then thinking up Buster the Dog's responses to those thoughts. Buster and I are a great team, and who knows how much fun we might have with the next book, whatever it ends up being. And who knows, maybe one day a real publisher might want to re-publish the three books Buster the Dog and I have already done?! Haha as if!

This is one of Ally's illustrations. It needs a little editing still, but I love it! There is a great image for the front cover, and I have two more illustrations as well. This book is close to my heart, and I'm glad to be working with my friend Ally again on one of Buster the Dog's books!

This book is (I hope) going to be finished and printed soon, and then launched at the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words. The Festival, is also a project that is close to my heart. That project is organised by  Adelaide Plains Poets Inc, and we're getting more and more excited about this event, our third Festival. We're a small group, but we're doing big things!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Exciting News About the Third Book!

I had a great time yesterday, having coffee, lunch a a chat with my friend who is the illustrator of the 'Buster the Dog' books. I gave Ally (Allyson Hean), a draft copy of the text of "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" and she will do the illustrations needed for the book.

Ally also gave me some great feedback, which is always a good thing when you want what you're doing together to be absolutely fantastic. It means I have more writing to do, but I love writing, so that's not a problem. Talking with Ally yesterday means that I now know what the front cover of my book will  look like, and that's super exciting!

We talked about which breed of dog would be the best choice for the Dog Buddha to be. My ideas before talking with Ally had been leaning toward a kelpie or border collie, but Ally was far wiser than I, she was thinking about Asian dogs, a tibetan spaniel or sharpei. Of course that is the obvious answer to the question - the dog buddha looks like a sharpei!

Anyway, the book is looking like being a nice sized book, with some fun text and great illustrations. I'm getting more and more excited about it all! I have a launch date, I have enough money to pay for getting the book printed I have someone writing a forward for me, and the illustrations will be done in plenty of time too, wonderful!

The book will be launched on 29 July, during the 2017 Adelaide Plains Festival of Words. I hope I can attract lots of people along for the book launch, and that everyone there loves my new book! It's been such a great time thinking about what 'Buster the Dog' thinks about these thoughts of the Dog Buddha, and writing it all down for the book. Coming up with the actual thoughts was fun too. My life has been such a lot of fun, it seems like a great dream that I'm living!

I love writing books, I love selling books! Sharing my thoughts with other people is a fun way to go in life!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dog Buddha's Thoughts Progress Update

I'm pleased to be able to tell everyone that I have some progress on the book to report Yay! I have taken the material from one version of the file, and moved it to the new version of the file. Um yay? Really?

Yes really - getting these two files organised was a huge task, and having them separated was playing with my head, so it was well worth spending the time to copy stuff from on file and paste it in the other file. It may not sound like much, but trust me, it was.

I now have something I can call a first draft in progress, whereas before I just had two files playing at being something, without much actually there that looked like it could become a book ... The first draft version is in the proper order, and while there are still quite a few words to be added, I know exactly where they need to go now.

I may have written that a couple of times, but it's an important thing, knowing what you're doing. If I was still adding "thoughts" randomly as I was before, with no idea of which section these thoughts should be it, that would be a useless thing. Please believe me when I say I'm working well, and this book will be ready in time!

I love book launches, especially when it's my book being launched, and I'm certain "Dog Buddha's  Thoughts" will be finished and printed by the end of July, which is when this book is scheduled to be launched. This special date is during the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words go there for a look at the great program of word related things planned.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Reasons for Lack of Progress ...

I know I'm supposed to be working on the third book in the "Buster the Dog" series of books, that began with "Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs". I also know I want to finish this third book, and launch it at the 'Adelaide Plains Festival of Words 2017 Freedom', which is happening at the end of July this year.

Yes, I know these things, but why on earth was I fluffing around on the internet earlier today, trying to download the papyrus font to my lovely new lap top? And why have I been on Facebook, when I could have been typing new words for this book, a follow-up to the second book, which is titled "Doggone It - Mindfulness from a Dog's Point of View?

Why, oh I know the reason! The obvious and true reason is procrastination. I'm fluffing around doing anything but actually writing new words. I'm online, flitting here there and everywhere I should be. And where I should be is offline, and typing the words for this new book, which I'm actually quite excited about!

I want to see this new book printed, but before that can happen, I have to finish writing it. And given that I predict it will be a book of approximately 20,000 words, and it will be illustrated and will have a foreword, both of these things done by other people, based on the words in the book, I have to have at least a first draft done in plenty of time for those other people to play their part in the process ...

I don't have to find a publisher for this book, because I intend to self-publish again, which takes some pressure, but maybe if there was a publisher and editor putting pressure on me I might find it easier to stay on track with it. Anyway, I've put the word out, and if anyone is interested by giving me a metaphorical kick up the bottom, on this blog, feel free to leave comments on this blog to help me stay on track!

I'm thinking I should post the current word count, here on this blog post, and perhaps add new posts about the increasing word count every few days. What do others think about that idea, and about the problem of  writing and procrastination ... Thank you!
Oh the current word count for "Dog Buddha's Thoughts" is around 2,700. So about a tenth of the way through. I can do this, especially with help for others!