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Archive for August, 2009

Books: Too Many in the Marketplace?

I noticed this topic about the number of books that publishers put out each month a few weeks ago at Dear Author and thought it was an interesting one.

Are there too many releases each month?

From a reader’s point of view I think the answer has to be no. Having a choice is a good thing. I mean lots of books to choose from must be a reader’s idea of heaven. The number of books a reader can purchase is limited only by their budget.

For an author an increased number of releases is a bad thing. It means more competition and likely lower royalties, especially if you’re a new or midlist author.

For a bookseller, one who isn’t online, more releases probably brings problems with space, both in warehouses and on bookshelves. This might mean that newer authors miss out on shelf space. It might mean that books are on the shelves for a shorter time before they’re returned to the publisher.

For the publisher it could be good or bad. An online publisher doesn’t have storage or returns to think about so overall their income could increase. A traditional publisher probably needs to schedule carefully so they’re not faced with low orders or a high number of returns.

So what say you? Are you happy with a large number of releases or would you like the releases limited to a certain number per month?

A Parade of Hats

Thursday Thirteen

I’ve been having a problem with sticky-uppy hair recently. Actually it’s more that I forget to comb it. I climbed into my car yesterday to drive to my local town for a coffee and to do some writing. Luckily I happened to glance in the mirror. I’d washed my hair and totally forgotten to comb it. Not one of my best days!

So to celebrate bad hair days here’s a list of Thirteen Types of Hats

1. Beanie – a close-fitting cap usually made out of a wool-type fabric.
2. Boater – a straw hat.
3. Cossack – a tall fur hat worn by Russian men.
4. Sombrero – a Mexico hat of either straw or felt with a high crown and broad brim.
5. Top Hat – a tall hat with a narrow brim and a shiny finish.
6. Turban – a length of fabric wrapped around the head.
7. Fez – a red hat with a black tassel worn by Turkish men.
8. Stetson – a cowboy hat.
9. Beret – a flat hat usually made of wool.
10. Davy Crockett – a coonskin cap with a dangling tail.
11. Deerstalker – the hat made famous by Sherlock Holmes.
12. Pillbox – a small brimless hat popular during the 1920s. Worn on top or side of head.
13. Baseball cat – closefitting hat with a large brim in the front. My favored hair flattener.

Do you wear hats? What is your favorite type of hat?

The Pursuit of Happiness

I’m blogging at Access Romance today and talking about happiness again. A person can never have too much happiness! I’m also giving away a print book to one of the commenters, so I hope you’ll come and say hello.

Here’s the link.

Meantime, I’m off to the edit cave. Wish me luck. :grin:

Standing to Attention.

Camera Critters

Last year Mr. Munro and I visited Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World for a sleepover. Along with fish and turtles they also have penguins, and we were lucky enough to have a behind the scenes tour. It was molting time hence the scruffy appearance of some of the penguins.

Penguins, Kelly Tarltons, NZ

For more Camera Critters follow this link.

Happiness is….

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Small Things That Make Me Happy

1. A pretty cupcake.

2. Browsing the romance section at my favorite bookstore.

3. A cup of strong latte.

4. A kiss from my husband.

5. Getting a smile and a hello from people I meet while out walking and cycling.

6. A sunny day with a cloudless blue sky.

7. The scent of fresh lavendar.

8. Watching all the cars stop to let a duck and her ducklings cross the road.

9. Watching the new lambs play together.

10. The scent of fresh bread at the Farmers’ Market.

11. Receiving a package and opening it to find my author copies of Tea For Two (see cover on the sidebar) They are SO pretty.

12. Counting down the days to my holiday. It’s less than three weeks before I jet off to Singapore and Thailand.

13. Having a glass of wine in the company of friends.

What things make you happy?

On That Farm There Were Some Hens

Mr. Munro and I both agree. On that alpaca farm, we’ll have some hens.

Hen and Chicks, istock

There’s nothing better or more satisfying than eating the fresh eggs you’ve collected. Of course, I know from experience that some hens take issue with egg stealing and they fight back. Hen pecks aren’t much fun. They hurt!

I also know (from experience) that if it’s meal time you don’t muck around with dispersing those vegetable scraps or hen pellets. Get in and get out. It’s no fun being mobbed by a flock of hungry birds.

At egg eating time, make sure you crack that egg into a cup first because there’s always the chance, especially if the kids have collected the eggs, that the egg might be a bit old. It’s no fun having to start measuring the baking ingredients again because the egg was off.

But there are good times as well. Picture that fresh breakfast egg and the way it tastes. It’s fun watching the chicks peck their way from eggs and seeing the hens with chickens pecking for grubs in the paddock. Ah, yes. Fun times on that farm.

Do you have any experiences to share? Do you like eating eggs?

Blog Participation Winner: July

Congratulations to Annetta S who is the winner of my blog participation contest for July. I’ve emailed you about your prize.

Thanks to everyone for visiting me during July. Keep up your visits and you might just win the blog participation prize for August!

I Wanna Be An Alpaca Farmer

A few years ago, during a trip to the Gold Coast in Australia, we went on a tour of the Hinterland. Part of the tour was a visit to an alpaca farm. I fell in love with the alpacas then and told my husband I wanted one.

Alpaca, Clevedon, NZ

Alpacas are the smaller cousins of llamas and camels and are natives of the Andes region. These days they are found in many different parts of the world including Australia and New Zealand and are prized for their fleece. Garments made out of alpaca fleece are soft and beautiful. Quite expensive too.

Alpaca Herd, Hamilton

Alpacas are herd animals and are happiest with others of their kind. They are quiet and intelligent, fairly easy animals to handle and disease resistant. They are known to spit, which apparently isn’t very pleasant, and this is their only method of defense.

Alpaca, NZ

So, the first thing I’m going to do, should I ever get a windfall, is buy a few hectares of land and stock it with some cute alpacas. Yeah, I’d really like to be an alpaca farmer.

Red Alert!

Picture this…

Sunday morning. Early.

Mr. Munro is out of bed, and he’s in…insert big groan here…clean-up mode.

First it’s the in-basket with all our bills and invoices etc.

“Do you want this? Why are we keeping this?” I had to rescue several items before they went into the trash.

I let out a sigh of relief when he finished. Mistake big time. He was in the groove and moved onto the pantry then the fridge. By that time I was cowering in the lounge and trying to concentrate on something else. Mr. Munro makes me very nervous when he gets in his cleaning moods. Thankfully, the mood passed by the afternoon and he decided he’d cook a curry for dinner. I didn’t have any arguments with that because he’s a great cook.

Camera Critters

Pig Sculptures, Sedona

When we visited Sedona in USA during our last trip, they had these cute pig sculptures along the street. They were all different colors and the artists had used different techniques. I couldn’t resist a photo.

Visit other Camera Critters here.

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