When You Have To Walk Away

Some decision aren’t easy to make. Sometimes if you are lucky they do the work for you. Today, I got the first one. It has been brewing for a while, but I was hoping things would level out.

After four months and little progress I stepped down as the Author for The Lizzie Andrews Series. There were a lot of factors that helped to make the decision. That didn’t make it any better, really it just made me mad at myself for waiting so long.

This project started in May or June. In had high hopes for it, but creative differences really do throw a lot of weight into a situation. It was set to be completed by October 1st, but it was changed. It was pushed back to the end if January. Then it was cancelled.

What were the problems? 1. My collaborator ignored all of my ideas. Try writing a 25,000 word book with less than a paragraph of information to work with, and creative license removed. It won’t happen. 2. The ideas would change by the day. What was the plan on Monday, would be changed a lot of times by Monday evening. 3. My opinion didn’t count because I was a man. I know, all the sexism stuff, let’s not start on it. If there was an idea, and there were several, that I didn’t think fit into the scope of the book, I would be told my opinion didn’t matter because I’m not a woman or mother. 4. Refusal to pay.

Now, I am a proud supporter of team work. I went well above my call of duty to make this come to life. I recruited a new illustrator when our original quit. Then I kept our new one from quitting, when our collaborator could never be pleased.

Finally, after countless hold ups and withheld information, I got the chance to write the first chapter. When I submitted it to her, I knew there would be edits. It’s part of the business.

The suggestions came, no problem. Then all of the sudden she was going to send my work to her sister to “See if it was any good” as she put it. This was my breaking point. The sister has never been a part of the project, and apparently she is an author as well.

I saw this as another piece I worked hard on that would be turned over and butchered by someone else. It wouldn’t be the first time in the process that I submitted I piece, like for a promo, and got back something I didn’t even recognize. So I had enough.

I listed my issues with the project, much like above, and told my collaborator that I had to take my name off the project. Our creative goals were too far apart, and the dealings were turning shady. I had to think about the goals of my business as a writer, and Lizzie no longer fit in.

When you get to a point that honesty is in question, it’s a red flag. Keep in mind, I have 4 months and 2 cancelled contracts with not so much as a penny received. Then she asked for all of my outlines and layouts for the book.

As an author, i put in my contracts, that a failure to pay means I keep all the work i put in. I think it’s common sense. I just simply denied her request and moved on.

I can’t take it all as a loss though. The $1,000 would have been nice though. This is not an easy business to be in. I love it, I love the stories and I love my fellow authors. I don’t think I am cut out to collaborate.

If you are, by all means, do it. Just watch your back and stick to your guns. When a job is no longer fun, consider it’s worth. Don’t be afraid to walk away and do what is a good move for you personally.

I am done venting now. Thanks for reading. I will be able to get back to my own writings more now. So, keep an eye out for Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon, and check out Morgan Goes Fishing. Y’all have a good day.

Dan

Advertisements

Simple ghost hunt tools

As you all know I am a bit of a spook enthusiast. I have spent years reading, watching and learning about our mysterious friends. Over the years I have seen a lot of tools used. I use two that have always done well and i have one that I am experimenting with, I won’t recommend it until I know more.

I am of the mentality, if a place is haunted, it’s always haunted. Fancy tools aren’t needed to prove it. So I keep it simple.

My personal favorite is a mini maglight like this.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00938T182/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_vHKRBbD5PEJTJ

This is about as simple as it gets. A good twist top to turn on and you are up and running. All you have to do is loosen the top to the point of needing slight contact to turn the light on.

When you start answering simple yes and no questions, you will get a response in the form of a light being turned on. The first time I had this work for myself, I freaked out a little. I asked the question, “If you are here with me, turn on the light.” It listened. I was not prepared for that for some reason.

Next, I prefer a simple digital voice recorder. Preferably something that can be connected to a computer for easier review. One like this is fine

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079FLFBVL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_ROKRBbPAQ6EGN.

Really, on these, cheap is fine. The more you spend the finer the sound, but if you are just getting started, this is great. I have picked up spurred footsteps, wagon wheel squeaking and knocking on even the cheapest one i could find.

I am experimenting with a laser grid. So far i haven’t had much luck. But you won’t always anyway.

A lot of people use apps or their recorder on their phone. I personally don’t trust them. I don’t know why. If you know a good app to try, let me know and I will for sure check it out. I’m openminded.

If you want to check do a hunt, you really can use the simplest of tools. You will learn what you prefer. Don’t be discouraged if it isn’t high end stuff. It’ll still do the job.

It’s Friday, which means it’s exploration night. Go out and do a lite exploring too. Have some fun, but stay safe.

Stolen Scooby

I haven’t shared a good growing up story in quite some time. I was watching a video on YouTube and remembered this one. Thinking back on it almost 20 years later, and it’s still an odd story.

My cousin Brandon, sister Tonya, one of Brandon’s friends and me decided we were going to a movie in Sturgis Michigan. Not an exciting time, but fun. Brandon had his car, the Scooby mobile full of Scooby Doo stuffed animals.

My personal preference is Rocky and Bullwinkle.

We went into the theaters enjoyed the movie. I can’t remember for the life of me what we saw. When the movie was over, we got to the car to find it had been stripped clean of all his stuffed animals. I believe his CD ‘s were gone too. I can’t remember.

He reported it to the police and we moved on. On the way home, we stopped for gas at a little station in Howe, IN. It was a warm night, the windows were rolled down and we were all talking while he out gas in.

Out of nowhere a car pulled up and the driver shouted, “Hey man, are you missing something?” Then drove away laughing.

After a few minutes of confusion we realized it was the guy who stole the stuff, and the Scooby mobile was easy to spot. It was a 1986 Chevy Nova. Not a sexy car by any means.

We had to take the friend home, about 45 minutes away. Suddenly a car was flying up behind us, then turned on its high beams. It started passing us, slowed down beside us for a second the finished going around. It was weird too.

A little ways up the road a car was coming toward us, just as it got close enough, they turned on it’s high beams and drove by. At this point we were starting to freak out. We didn’t know what was going on.

By the time we reached the friends house we had been passed by what we were convinced was the same car 4 times. Twice from behind, twice from the opposite direction. Each time with the high beams done the same way.

It was one of those nights that makes no sense at all. I don’t remember if he got any of the scooby stuff back, but we did get a fun story to tell.

We were scared. We were confused. We were scoobyless. Really, it was a win for us.

The Little Labradoodle, Puppy Pickup Day Review

Hey everybody. Tonight we have another good book review. I got to read The Little Labradoodle; Puppy Pickup Day, y April Cox. I am really glad I got the opportunity.

doodle.jpg

The artwork for this book is enough to sell the story. I will admit that I have been hoping to read this story for a while. I had accepted the fact I would have to buy this book to read it to my kids. Luckily, I didn’t have to. I will do that later.

Would I have bought it, you bet. The cover stood out to me when I first saw it. Going through just helped to earn it a place on the bookshelf.

Ms. Cox did an amazing job creating a whole world for the dog in this book. The Little Labradoodle had to see his own shortcomings and come to terms with them. She let it do so in a really cute way.

The use of other animals to help The Little Labradoodle through its journey was fantastic. It was a great way to help kids learn other animals, as well as important lessons. Along with this, she used an awesome retracing of footsteps story line to teach as well.

It was a great book, and the illustrator did amazing work. My kids loved this book. They read it before bedtime and immediately wanted to read it again. The rhyme scheme, illustrations, and lessons make this an easy home run.

My only issue was the simple personal preference, I don’t really enjoy a rhyming book. (i hate the repetition of sounds). My kids love them, so we read them. It is not at all a reason not to buy this book. I got a free download for the review, and when we budget it in, I WILL be buying a hard copy.

I love supporting other authors and seeing their dreams grow. Follow the link below to get a copy of The Little Labradoodle today. You can’t go wrong with it.

While you’re at it, grab a copy of Morgan Goes Fishing for $6.99. Get it on my welcome page and save $1.00 off the Amazon price. Everyone have a great day, and thanks for checking out the review. Go show Ms. Cox a little support, she has a whole line of products to choose from.

Dan

 

The Dancing Ghost

I have been doing a little research into local spooks lately to find some places for a ghost hunt. There are a lot of really good resources for just such a thing. Living near a Lakota Reservation, I have taken a lot of extra precautions to not upset the locals. Most of the stories are linked to their traditions, and I don’t want to be disrespectful.

We started a while back with a couple really disappointing trips. I try to include my kids in them since my son has already had countless paranormal experiences. If it gets to intense, I also have a very fair way to get out. “Oh dang, the kids are scared.”

This logic failed me last night. We were out to find the old cemetery with a tale of a dancing ghost. The legend is that there is a tall male spirit that dances into the road.  It is known to make eye contact with the occupants of the car as they pass by, and he is said to have glowing red eyes.

The road is said to be built on an old burial ground. On the right hand side sits 2 smaller cemeteries. The energy in the area itself is interesting. We didn’t see the dancing man, but we did have an interesting experience.

As we drove by, you could feel an eerie feeling. There were the typical lights in the small graveyards, set there by the loved ones of the deceased. Neither of the 2 cemeteries had any noticeable activity.

We drove back to the edge of town and I decided to explain the legend to my wife. If I tell her before we go, she protests. While I was explaining the tale to Abbie, I started feeling compelled to turn around and explore some more.

Just as this feeling started, I experienced what felt like someone scratching my chest.  It was a sharp enough pain I pulled over to see what was wrong. When I turned on the light in the car to check my chest, I didn’t see anything, but the burning grew more intense.

This was an interesting thing for me. I have seen things, heard things, and had them sit on my bed. I have never felt a burning like this before. It was just over my heart and it burned like fire. Like I said, interesting.

I will be looking into more information on what this legend is said to be, and if there are more stories to go along with mine. I will be making a trip back to do a late night investigation soon. Again, this is Sioux land. I have to be respectful, and careful of drunken encounters. That’s a much bigger risk.

If you have any information on what may have done this, please let me know. Like I said, I will be doing a little more digging to see if I can get more information. Since we left i haven’t experienced anymore burning, so that’s good. Anyway, stay tuned for next weeks story. We are going to look for a haunted car that is said to follow you.

Have a great week.

Dan

 

Morgan Goes Fishing

Ladies and gentlemen. Morgan Goes Fishing is being temporarily pulled from Amazon. I have the last 20 copies ready to sell. If you are interested in one I will be happy to hook you up. Find the purchase link below.

I am pulling Morgan for a short time. Maybe a week, as I make a couple small changes. I will be including reviews I have received for it as well as a few minor updates to list my website and a link for a printable version of the included coloring pages. They will be larger copies that can be printed for your use, and they will be offered for free.

Sales have been horrible over the last few months, so I feel these pages will be a great increase in value for my readers. This is a new readers book, and great for your favorite picture book lover.  Get yourself one of the last copies before they are all gone. Each copy will also include 2 free bookmarks for your little ones to color and enjoy. Ya’ll have a great day, and thank you for the support.

 

Morgan Goes Fishing

Morgan Goes Fishing follows young Morgan and her dad as they enjoy their first fishing trip together. Told through the eyes of a 3 year old, Morgan shares a special memory that will last forever. Join Morgan on her special trip, then enjoy the coloring pages in the back to continue your own adventure. This is a great book for any parent and child who want to hang on to these moments in life.

$5.99

Book Review Stress

Hello again everybody.

Tonight is more of a vent session for a part of my blog. I love what I do. I love getting to read new stories and present them to my kids. The excitement in their eyes as I read them a new one is pretty much why I started writing.

So, what is there to vent about? Sometimes I can’t take a book past the initial reading stage with me, and it doesn’t get presented to my kids. It’s the hard part. Sometimes a book will just fall short for my standards, and I don’t feel comfortable writing a review.

At this point I deal with a serious personal conflict. I was asked for a review, not editing. I could post my opinion of the story at that time. I have seen people offer a positive review for a certain fee. To me, that’s crap. If a story is good, but delivery needs work, I can’t write an honest review.

I have to operate fairly. I will be the first to admit that my punctuation needs some serious help. I am eternally grateful for editors. I don’t use them here. Honestly, I hope my wife never reads a single post here. She would kill me.

So how do you handle a book that isn’t ready, but has been released. I struggle with this. I decided that instead of doing a review, I offer a few critiques to the author. Again, I am not an editor. I just try to offer a few tips to bring out a more complete product. I think we should all do that.

I don’t charge for my reviews. For me, it really is about encouraging the authors. It’s not easy having an editors eye and terrible grammar. I can tell you a sentence is wrong, but I can’t come close to telling you how to fix it. Infinite commas I suppose.

I am always looking for more books to go over. My kids range from 3 to 6, so naturally I look for that range. I you have something, please, let me know. I would love to do a review for you. Everyone will get the same treatment. If there is a problem, I will address it with you privately before I just throw up a review for some blog content.

I truly enjoy what I do. There is a world full of amazing talent out there. We get to tap into that. I love that. Shoot, we get to see what may be a big seller before its even in print. That’s why I don’t charge. I have considered a donation thing if someone felt so inclined. I try to always throw in a little bit extra for people I hire for my projects, so a donation is a fair idea.

Anyway, have a great night. I have to meet a school to see about a book reading for their elementary and preschool classes. That’s exciting. Take care, and thank you for letting me vent.

Dan

Ghost Hunt; My Son’s Room

A while back i said I will be starting a ghost exploration weekly posting. I have had no luck getting any good stories. But, this week is different. I didn’t have to leave the house. What I did discover is one simple thing, I need equipment.

Thursday night, my wife and I were sitting up getting things done. I was working on a book and she was writing lesson plans for school. The 3 kids were all asleep in bed, and our dogs were asleep at my feet. The videos we had been watching on Youtube had stopped, so the house was dead quiet. You could hear a pin drop.

In this case, we heard the furniture slide. We looked at each other, both knowing we heard something slide across the floor. Abbie, my wife, went to check on the kids. I went to check the outside of the house. Suddenly, I heard Abbie yell, “Dan, get in here. NOW!”

Crap, she found something. I walked to the Laundry room to find Abbie standing frozen in my son’s bedroom doorway. She simply pointed and said, “It’s the dresser.” I looked over and sure enough, the dresser had been pushed across the floor. It was only a couple inches, but here is why it’s a problem.

The dresser is pushed up tight against the basement door. The basement is empty, with the exception of a couple old pieces of furniture. My son has been terrified of his room since we moved in.

We are a Christian family, so we began praying with him before bedtime. This helped him feel safe and it stopped the nightmares he was having. We were good with this result.

I walked over to the dresser and it was pushed out about two inches from the door. The door opens into my sons room, so the dresser has to be moved to pull the door open. We put an eye hook lock on the door to keep it from opening as well. There is about two inches at the most the door can move with the eye hook latched.

The dresser had been moved out about two inches and at the angle which the door opens. I left it pulled out and pulled out my camera on my phone and downloaded s spirit box just to see if I could make any contact.

After Abbie moved Ricky to my daughter’s room I started asking questions. I asked for a name, Nothing. I asked if they had a problem with us being in the house, Nothing. I asked if they wanted us out of the house, nothing.

I decided to try opening the basement door. When i did this I heard, without a doubt, “HI”. Then i felt a cold draft come up out of the door. It was a cool night and it’s a basement. I wasn’t too surprised. But there is also no airflow down there.

My sons room was 63 degrees and there is no external access to the basement. A cold air is possible, but not overly likely. Pretty interesting stuff.

I told my wife I need to get some equipment to set up for a more detailed evaluation. I want to get a good digital recorder and a spirit box. I’m not 100% sold on the spirit box concept, but I have seen some compelling evidence. I also want to get a small twist top flashlight.

When I get these, I plan to open the basement door up and try to get them to talk to me. Hopefully I can share some of the captures here for a more in depth story for everyone. I am also reaching out to locals to see about good places to go for different hunts.

I will be bringing you more. Stay tuned. If you have any recommendations on equipment and where I can get a good deal, let me know. I work with a very tight budget so I need to plan out when I can buy it.

Have a great week.

Dan

The Little Dinosaur review

Hey everybody. We are back today with another awesome book review. Today we are checking out “The Little Dinosaur” by Samantha Ball.

We will get right to it. The book is awesome. It had a very similar feel to “Are You My Mother.” That was my favorite book growing up.

The story follows the little dinosaur through his day. He gets to explore his land and have some fun. He learns a few important lessons along the way. After getting lost, a friend helps him find his way home.

My kids loved it. We have read it a few times since I downloaded it. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format.

I highly recommend it. It’s a cute story, with even cuter art. You won’t be disappointed. You can check it out at the link below.

I will be getting more reviews going shortly. Keep an eye out for them. Have a great day.

Dan

Steve the Bigfoot Hunter Review

Today we finish out our reviews on the Feisty Cat books By Natasha and David Breen. The last two books have been awesome. I will say though, this was my favorite. I am a bit of a Bigfoot nerd.

There is nothing wrong at all in this book. The story is cleverly written. It sticks with the same style we have seen in their previous works, and it’s Bigfoot. It’s humorous enough for adults, but easy enough to really get a kids attention.

My son laid claim to all 3 of the books the Breens sent. That is a success in my book. I won’t go in to a lot of detail on it because I can’t pick my favorite parts of it. It’s easily my favorite from this brother/sister team.

DO yourselves a favor, go on Amazon and find their books. Any of the three I reviewed here, or any of the others. I cannot recommend them enough. They deserve to be read. The family deserves the encouragement. If nothing else, Do it for Bigfoot. He’s a good guy, just misunderstood.

Dan