July 30, 2012

Giveaway | The Adventures of Rathdrum Willie

Rathdrum Willie is a fictitious character who lives on a mountain near the town of Rathdrum, Idaho. Willie is commonly known as a mischievous hermit who enjoys inventing and building unique contraptions. He can be quite helpful at times, but on a bad day will turn into a total grouch!

Official Website

My brother Alexander had his first children's book The Adventures of Rathdrum Willie and His Motor Car published recently!  I'm so proud of my little bro that I could bust.  Do you have any idea how awesome it is to check a book out of the library and modestly (cough cough) inform the librarian that your brother wrote it?!  Completely mental!  I think he's a genius...but don't tell him I said that. *grin*  Anyway...

For the benefit of my readers, I asked him a few questions about his book...

Q: What inspired you to write a children's book?
A: There were several reasons. First of all, God has really blessed my life.  Believe it or not, I really dislike reading and I used to dislike writing, too. Though she is not an author, my mom was the one who had a passion for creative writing and she wanted to pass that on to me. She entered me in several essay contests and prompted me to write articles for our homeschool yearbook (which she started). Over the years, I began to really like writing, especially song writing.
 I had wanted to write a book for a while, but didn't have the drive to finish writing one. Then in 2009, I got some of my friends together and directed a hour and seven minute film called "Rathdrum Willie". At the same time I was (and still am) in a Bluegrass band, so the film gave me plenty of ideas to write a song about Willie. During that time, I thought it would be fun to try and start a comic strip about Willie, then I had the idea to turn the song I wrote into a children's picture book.

Q: Why a hermit?
A: I have always found hermits on the unique and comical side. Even the word "hermit" sounds kind of funny.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
A: I wrote the song in about a week, sometime during 2010. When I realized that the song would make a great kids book, I made it longer by adding a few more verses during the year 2011. I probably spent about two or three weeks altogether writing it.

Q: Are you planning to continue Rathdrum Willie as a series?
A: Yes. I already have the next two books ready to be published.

Q: Tell me a bit about how your book was published...
A: For a while, I thought about self publishing my book, but I really wanted to have the support and marketing resources of a mainstream publisher backing me, so I began to look on-line and send my story to several different publishers.  

Q: Why did you select Tate Publishing?
A: When searching for a publisher, one of the most important things to evaluate is their marketing power. In other words, who can get your book to the most people in the shortest amount of time? The people who actually try to get your book into the book stores and publicize it through news papers, radio and TV stations are called publicists. They are very important. But...they can also be extremely expensive. Good publicist can cost around $50 an hour or $1,000 a month! Yeah, I know - OUCH! Tate publishing will publish your book for free if you have your own publicist. If you don't, you can pay for a package deal and use one of their in-house publicists. I knew I wanted a publicist, and Tate appeared to have the best deal. For a one time fee, they assigned me a publicist who will work with me for as long as I want to promote my book (I am currently working with my publicist to try and get my book on a kids story time TV show). Tate publishing was also founded by a Christian family and they have restrictions as to what kind of content they will publish.  From my perspective, that's a big plus! In short, it wasn't free, but they appeared to be best suited for what I was looking for.

Q: Do you have any advice for those who are interested in having a book published?
A: Lots of people that I talk to appear to feel "not qualified" to be a writer. Think about this for a while... Everyone was a child at one point in time, just like every person who is now an author, wasn't always an author. If you feel like your life isn't interesting enough to write about, become a fiction writer and write about something else. I guarantee that your life will become interesting!  

If you have already begun to write a book, FINISH IT AND START SENDING IT OUT TO PUBLISHERS!!! Even if you only have half of your book completed, many publishers will review a half manuscript. The sooner you get your book published, the sooner you can sell it and start working on your next one!

If you've written a book, but don't know of anyone who can illustrate it, find a publisher who does in-house illustrating. There are a lot of them who do it.

Once you have your book published, it's important to find your "nich market". This is the place where the most likely people to buy your book will be shopping or congregating. Does your book have something to do with animals? Go to your local humane society and try to get their support.

Use as much free advertising as possible. Putting book commercials on YouTube can generate a great following.

The last bit of advice is to not get discouraged or give up. This relates to both finding a publisher and promoting your book. No matter what publisher you go with, it is always hard for an unknown author to gain publicity. There will be times when it feels like your book is going nowhere, but that's when you have to get creative...dangerously creative! Don't be afraid to ask people to do things to promote your book and don't listen to the people who try to shoot your ideas down.

For example, last year my Bluegrass band was performing at a national fiddle competition. While there, I spied a channel 2 news truck. Feeling slightly on the adventurous side, I walked over, introduced myself and asked if they could give the band an interview. Five minutes later, we were all set up to appear on the 11:00 news that nigh!

In closing, you won't always win, but nothing is impossible. After being an author, musician and an inventor, the best way I can describe marketing any kind of product is putting on a football helmet and running into a crowd.   Go for it!


Alex is offering my readers the chance to win a signed copy of his book The Adventures of Rathdrum Willie and His Motor Car!  And don't let "children's book" fool you - this is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and both kids and adults enjoy it.  Besides, it would make an awesome gift. :)

To enter...
Mandatory entry - tell me what your favorite book was as a child.
{please leave contact info - blog address, email, etc. - in your comment so I can contact you if you win!}

For extra entries...
1) Visit Rathdrum Willie's YouTube channel and subscribe.
2) Like the official Rathdrum Willie TV commercial on YouTube.
3) Share about this giveaway on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or other social networking site.
4) Follow this blog

{leave a separate comment for each entry}

Giveaway ends August 14th.

Alex also made this short claymation film featuring Willie - it's pretty much awesome.


Happy Trails!

July 28, 2012

On the Farm | Cherry Picking

Cherry picking day for me began quietly in the orchard at 9:00 AM
I sat in the cool, fresh, early morning air with my Bible open in my lap.

Psalms - such an amazing book.

This year wasn't a very good year for cherries.  There were a lot on the trees, but all of the rain we got caused at least half of them to spoil and mold.  But we still had fun..and I'm still very thankful for all of the rain!

Lovely Michelle...

One of our three Matthews...

Three of the guys in our circle of friends are named Matthew - Matthew C., Matthew A., and Matthew H., respectively.
They've all been given nicknames by our group to help distinguish one from the other in conversations.
Even so, there's always some confusion.  I'm afraid if your name is Matthew, you can't be our friend - we just can't take any more! *grin*


Notice Bonnie looking at him adoringly?  
She just loves him...unfortunately she usually expresses her love by slobbering on his guitar or banjo when he's practicing.  He doesn't like that very much.  I can't say I blame him. ;)

You might recognize these cuties from Kellie's blog - two of her sisters, Tilda and Clara.

And the third cutie in the picture is Michelle and Matthew's family's new lab puppy, Cassie...

She and Bonnie had a grand time together.

Bonnie kept 'stealing' Cassie's squeaky duck toy, but they finally resolved their differences and took a nap together...

After we were done picking cherries, we went to the pond and Cassie got in some retrieving practice.

Bonnie loves wading in the pond, but she doesn't swim.  Boxers aren't exactly built for it.

Cassie is going to be one amazing hunting dog!


Happy Trails y'all!

July 26, 2012

I ♥ Thursday | no. 5

This week I'm lovin'...

Country Peach Passion tea...with a bit of honey...*bliss*
And it's good hot or iced.   Love it!

I'm also loving...

I've always loved Converse All-Stars, even before I discovered Doctor Who and met the FABULOUS 10th Doctor.  Kellie can back me up on that;)

They're just so fun.  I love wearing them with denim skirts.  Unfortunately, my pair are getting a bit ragged and are unfit for wearing other than around the property.
I guess I need a new pair, huh? ;)

I LOVE this 10th Doctor inspired outfit...

Especially the skirt - LOVE the skirt.  And the Doctor. ;)

And so much for not mentioning Doctor Who in this post.  I was making a feeble attempt to curb my obsession...eh, why even try? :)
A friend and I were talking on chat last night and he suggested (jokingly) that I take something for my Doctor Who obsession.  I replied, "I already have...the Doctor recommends time travel."

Happy trails, y'all!

all images via my Pinterest
excepting the tea - that was from Google images

July 25, 2012

New in the Shop | Summer Sale!

10% off on all bow belts from Wool & What-not!!

Use coupon code: SUMMER1

Offer good until August 8th.

Wallpaper Wednesday | I am SHERlocked

Greetings and a very happy Wednesday to you all!
I'm still working on the next volume of the My Doctor series, so I will share those next week.   

Today on Wallpaper Wednesday, I'm excited to share with you a few wallpapers which Ashley and Gabrielle requested...


Okay, so this next one...well, I LOVE it.

- all pictures link to their full size images and are also available on the For You page -

I'll probably create a few wallpapers featuring John Watson and a few other characters at some point, but I thought this should do it for now.  Too much Sherlock Holmes/Benedict Cumberbatch isn't possible. *grin*

Happy Trails, y'all!

July 20, 2012


Sometimes, I get wild, insane impulses to clean.  Like yesterday.  A routine vacuuming and dusting in our daylight basement.  And then...it hit.  That one spot that's been collecting junk for several years now.  It's gotta go.  Within minutes the entire basement looks like a disaster area.  And then, looking at the huge mess I've created...the cleaning impulse fizzles and dies a violent death. 
Can you relate?

I've been listening to the Doctor Who soundtracks on YouTube.  Thank goodness they're on there, or I would have spent money I shouldn't have and bought them;)
Here's my playlist, have listen...

I had to start a new Doctor Who pinboard - my first one has over 600 pins and takes too long for my computer to load. *grin*

Cherry pickin' tomorrow!  I love having friends over to pick cherries.  Sadly, my dear Kellie is still out of town and won't be there. :'(

Speaking of Kellie, if you haven't already you should check out the awesome ModCloth giveaway going on at Accordion to Kellie!

We finally got some more hay.  Thank you, Daddy!!  It's amazing how much my stress level has gone down just knowing I have hay in the barn.  Plus the horse pasture was running low and the horses were starting to look a bit thin, which isn't good.  Now they've got plenty of green, leafy, grass hay to eat.  We always buy hay from the same place, and their hay looks soooooo good and smells soooooo good, I could almost eat it myself.  There's never any mold, dust, or rocks in it either!  I love this hay. :D

My bro and I went swimming in our pond the other day.  The water was the perfect temperature - warm-ish on the surface and cold further down.  There's nothing like swimming in a pond or lake.  It's the best.  We caught several different turtles, of which there are many in our pond.

It's raining today, so I've taken this opportunity to catch up on laundry, drink tea, devour English muffins with butter, create Sherlock desktop wallpapers (coming sometime soon!), clean (a bit), and watch Get Smart (the original 60's TV series).  Life is good.

I hope you all had a wonderful day, too!
Happy Trails, y'all!

July 18, 2012

Wallpaper Wednesday | My Doctor... {vol. 1}

Okay...Wallpaper Wednesday...again.
Is it just me, or does it feel like Wednesday comes around terribly quickly?  Seriously, it feels like it was just yesterday.  No other day of the week does that to me.  Maybe it's the way I have to conciously say wed-nes-day when spelling it.  Maybe because it's the middle of the week.  Maybe because I have to have glorious new wallpapers ready to share with my adoring fans.  *grin*  Or maybe it's a wee bit of all three.  I don't know.  Wow - I think deep thoughts, don't I?  While I'm thinking deep thoughts...does anyone else hate that Blogger works best with Google Chrome?  Because I'm kind of starting to hate Chrome.  It's driving me nuts.  Especially because it doesn't seem quite as compatible with Pinterest.  Or maybe that's just my computer.  Could be.  I think my computer has a secret mission to take over the world...or at least the internet...which is basically taking over the world.  It's in league with Net Nanny.  I'm sure of it.  And I've been watching waaaaayyyy to much Doctor Who, haven't I?
Ahem.  Moving on...

In this wallpaper series, as I said before, I'm focusing on David Tennant as the Doctor (was that a 'squeee' I heard from Alexandra?).  All of those special, quirky, heart breaking, hilarious, brilliant moments that make him our Doctor.  So, without further ado, My Doctor...

{obviously Ten's not the only one with a sonic screwdriver, but boy, can he use it!}

I didn't think it could get any better than the 3D glasses, but I was wrong...

- all pictures link to their full sized images and are also available on the For You page -
I found the Gallifreyan font here.

And now it's your turn!
What are your favorite Ten moments?
I'll create and share as many My Doctor wallpapers as I can next week:)

A few that I'm hoping to make would be...
My Doctor...runs...a lot.
My Doctor...can play a pipe organ. (from The Lazarus Experiment)
My Doctor...says Allons-y!

Have a marvelous Wednesday, everyone!!

These two wallpapers somehow didn't make it into last weeks post...