Thursday, June 21, 2018


I am not a salesperson.  

I'm a shy, introverted writer.  When my book was published, I had to become an aggressive, in your face, pushy bookseller. 

And, I hated it.  But I did it.  

My goal was to get my books into several local gift shops.  I dressed in nice clothes, applied lipstick and mascara, and put on my boots.   

Real bossome shoes.

Wearing boots gave me a good two more inches in height (I'm only 5' 3") which offered me the opportunity to look people square in the eye rather than having them look down at me.

Most of the time, shop owners listened to my spiel as they flipped through the pages of Maggie.  Some bought a few copies, others turned it down claiming they could not make enough money on the book. 

On one occasion when I was trying to sell my book, the owner chatted with a customer.  She did not acknowledge or welcome me.   

I walked from room to room to pass the time.  

I looked through the clothing, the shoes, and the games, toys and books. 

I checked on the manager again.  Still talking.  

I felt awkward, ready to saddle up and get me and my 2" boots out of Dodge*.  

But on my way to the door, the owner thanked her customer and then greeted me.  

Whoa.  All of the sudden it was show time.  

I approached the counter, looked her in the eye and gave a brief summary of the book, described how it was inspired by a local rescue dog, and explained why it would be a good fit for her customers...all along thinking she's not (literally) buying this.  

But...she wanted several copies!  

I don't always make a sale, but sometimes I'm successful.  I placed some of my books in local shops by:
  •    Calling shops and telling them about my book 
  •    Making an appointment with the manager 
  •    Explaining why the book would be good for customers
  •    Showing up for the meeting with extra copies of my book 
  •    Bringing copies of reviews and a sell sheet
  •    Insisting on selling the books, not consigning them
  •    Bringing Maggie bookmarks 
  •    Striving to be patient and courteous 
  •    Trying to be positive and upbeat  
  •    Taking interest in the manager's business vision    
Every time I load my books in the car to drive to a local business, I get the jitters.  Man, I wish I didn't have to do this book selling thing.   

I don't want to do this book selling thing.


Then I put on my boots.  


I'm working bossome from my head down to my toes.

*The phrase 'get the hell out of Dodge' originated from the television show Gunsmoke, which took place in Dodge City, Kansas.

The Maggie Project is published twice a month

✌ and 

Sunday, June 10, 2018


They're big.  They're beautiful.  And they're bold.

As colorful and impressive as this guy was, I didn't want to get near him.  

He's loud.  REALLY LOUD.  And he means business, or should I say he's looking for business. 

On a visit to Spain with my family, we explored a section of Retiro Park in Madrid where scads of peacocks and peahens live.  We found the birds on steps, in flowers, in bushes, on hilltops.  It was like a peacock paradise.  Magical.

They totally owned the place.  

Bold birds.  

Upon returning to the states, I discovered more peacocks, this time in the news...

"PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia Zoo officials hope to recapture four peacocks that escaped and caused a traffic jam on a major highway.
The officials on Thursday will work with police after the birds took a stroll along Interstate 76 around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. State police arrived and shut down two lanes of traffic on the highway, causing backups for miles.
Police say they managed to get the birds off the highway, but they were unable to capture them. Zoo officials say the peacocks went to roost for the night.
The zoo says the flock roams freely on its grounds, and it is cared for by veterinary staff. The zoo says the birds sometime venture past its gates, but they normally return home on their own."
They didn't.

These stately birds remind me that when it comes to writing, I must be bold—   
to admit my work needs revision, 
to put a manuscript aside when the story is not working, 
to submit manuscript,
to face a possible rejection,  
to edit, edit, edit because the first, second, and third drafts are never good enough, 
to ignore the ambiguous replies that say this work is not a good fit.

I must be bold...
because quitting is not an option.  

If I want to succeed at publishing, I must find my inner-peacock.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I have a confession to make.  

After my book was published, I was disappointed.   

At first, I felt on top of the world.  I couldn't believe my manuscript was going to be a book.  This feeling was an indescribable high after travelling the incredibly difficult road to publication.  But within a months, disappointment sailed in like clouds gathering before a storm. 

I wasn't upset with the way my book turned out.  Disappointment came in the guise of rejection (as if I hadn't had enough rejection before my book was published)  Surprisingly, this rejection came from family members.    
It was shocking for me.  Though I wished otherwise, I found some relatives less supportive than I had expected.  These family members did call or email me.  They did not come to book signings.  They did not buy the book or even read it.  So, I found myself grieving because I felt let down. 

Behind the smile I felt sad and angry.  I wished things could have been better, that my loved ones would understand and care more.  However, the lack of support could be due to complicated dynamics, jealously, or just plain ignorance.

I know, I know, we can't change our people.  We are the ones who must change when we are faced with this kind of rejection.  

Here's what I did to ease the hurt:     
  • Recognized and accepted that this was another form of rejection   
  • Talked about my feelings with others  
  • Released the pain through forgiveness
  • Shielded myself by limiting contact with unsupportive people 
  • Immersed myself in new projects

Though it is incredibly painful and mind-boggling, being rejected by family can be common.  A fellow writer once told me that her mother didn't read her newly published book.  It's comforting (and sad) to know I'm not alone.

After a while, I figured I had to move forward and not dwell upon the negativity because it drained my creative energy.  

thought about the neighbors who inquired about my book.  I remembered the friends who bought my book and the young fans who showed up at the signings.  I tried to concentrate on all of the good things about publishing a book, the wonderful lessons it teaches and the joy it brings to young readers.  When I focused on the positive, the hurt of rejection softened and slowly, the clouds of disappointment drifted away.

My biggest supporters, my husband and daughter♥

The Maggie Project is published twice a month

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Promoting Maggie

I said it before and I'll say it again.  Marketing a children's story book is amazingly difficult, especially for first-time authors. We compete with best-selling authors and celebrities whose well-known names gets people excited about buying their books. Likewise, established children's authors have already built a fan base. Nonfiction authors have it easier, too.  People buy these books because they want or need to learn something.

Newby authors like me will try just about anything to sell a book.  We search the Internet for solutions and try them all.  Some suggestions work, some don't.  A lot of authors, seasoned and newcomers rely on Facebook to spread the word about their books.  With Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, I had very little results.  But I didn't give up.  For me, it seems Pinterest works best.

I created several boards that reflect who I am and what I like.  One of my favorite boards is Inspirational Quotes. For this board, I design my own pins.  Creating pins help drive people to my website. Here's how to do it:

  • Search the Internet for free images or photos.
  • Copy them into a Word doc.
  • Search the Internet for engaging quotes that relate to writing and inspire people.
  • Insert the quotes with fancy fonts onto the photo.
  • Add the title of the book and the personal website. 
  • Upload the pin to a board on Pinterest.

In about two months, I've noticed a lot of impressions and engagements.  People are saving my pins to their boards, which is one of my goals.  Some Pinterest followers click on my website link.  And ultimately, this brings people to my homepage where they can take a look at my book.

Statistics have shown that Pinterest has quadripled pageviews to my website.  However, there have not yet been many sales.  It's like the old adage, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. So...I've been trying to figure out how to entice people to buy my book.  That took re-designing the landing page in warm inviting colors, adding explanations why the book is an important read, giving a list of its awards, and offering gifts that come with a purchase.

Time will tell how successful Pinterest will be.  So far, there's been terrific interest in my pins.  That makes me feel proud.  And the work continues.  The hardest thing is to do is to remember that it takes time and patience to market a book.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

10 Ways to Teach Your Kid to be Unique

As early as kindergarten, our children feel pressured to conform and live up to the expectations of those around them.  The pressure to conform to the status quo is a challenge that follows them into adulthood.   

Every parent wants their kids to be accepted and affirmed socially, but they also want their kids to be unique, to feel free to be who they are.  Being different is a wonderful thing. Teaching your kids to embrace who they are by showing them their qualities are unique is valuable lesson you can give.

The way that your kids perceive themselves will impact them for the rest of their lives. Here are tips to help kids appreciate their uniqueness: 

  • Teach your kids that the things that make them different from everybody else are the things they should be proud of.  
  • Praise their unique talents, their gifts and special abilities.
  • Teach them that different is not wrong. Tell them if everyone is doing it, talking about it, liking it, than it is not necessarily right. 
  • Show your kids that being different is a strength. Tell them about people like Rosa Parks, Charles Darwin, Christopher Columbus, Mozart, Picasso, Indira Gandhi, or even the Beatles.  
  • Read books about being special or unique to your child.
  • Become fans of their passions.
  • Attend their events.
  • Support their hobbies by supplying tools and materials or by signing them up for classes. 
  • Listen to your child and give them time to share.
  • Expose them to a variety of sports, classes, and events to help them discover what they like.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

5 Tips on How to Handle Peer Pressure

Peer pressure doesn’t go away.  Kids often go along with their peers, and it can be normal for parents to take their children's behavior personally.  It may be troubling, but try to remember that kids are trying to establish their own identity.

Whether your child is a popular kid in school or is someone who has a handful of friends, peer pressure can influence and push him or her to do unsafe or unhealthy things. Children need a parent's support to help them make good decisions. 

Here are some helpful tips for parents

Praise your child. Take time to celebrate his or her achievements. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.

Get to know their friends. Invite your children's friends over play dates or for study time. Get to know them. If your children have friends with good values and good self-esteem, they can help your kids avoid risky behavior, navigate new technology, and resist unwanted peer pressure.

Create a special code. Have a plan children can implement in uncomfortable situations.  For example, if they don't feel at ease at a party, children can call or text you with an agreed-upon phrase like, "Dad, I'm feeling sick.  Can you come get me?"

Take the blame. Let your kids know that if they face peer pressure they don't know how to resist, they can refuse by blaming you: "I'll get in trouble if I do that. My mom and dad would ground me." 

Stay informed. Pay attention to what interests kids, the way they dress, and the social media they are using. The more you know, the better you can protect your kids and help them learn to make good decisions.

Make every effort to stay in your child’s life.  Plan family activities that include them.  Talk to them about their friends, interests, music, and accomplishments.  Ask them about the things that bother them.  Let them know you care, but make it clear there are rules they need to follow. 

For the entire article, visit:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

5 Ways to Help Kids Handle Peer Pressure 

Peer pressure is a huge theme in the children's book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  And in the last blog post, we discovered that peer pressure can begin as early as kindergarten. 

Brett Laursen, PhD, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University, defines peer pressure essentially as influence.  He states that peer pressure begins as soon as children start to pay attention to what other children think about them. So, peer influence is seen in the very early grade school years. 

Laursen believes there are things parents can do:  
  • Explain to children that attempts to influence them are everywhere. 
  • Help children understand that our culture is full of influence attempts and peers are just another set of forces that are vying for our attention and are vying to shape our behavior.
  • Ask children how these influences make them feel.
  • Talk about how to resist that influence. 
  • Plan a strategy beforehand.

When the school year begins, students are dealing with classes, classmates, and other extra-curricular activities. Students may face an entirely different set of challenges with peer pressure. Parents may notice a change in how their child dresses or behaves at home.

Parents should have discussions about influences before their children start school.  According to Parent magazine, reading books about peer pressure is a good way to start that conversation.  Books can help young kids recognize peer pressure before it begins.