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Here is my entry for the Sunday Post challenge: Vehicle. Both photos were taken in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

image by reflectionsinapuddle

image by reflectionsinapuddle

Sunday Post challenge brought to you by Jakesprinter

My entry for the WordPress weekly photo challenge: Unfocused.

image by reflectionsinapuddle

Surely my previous post about my dog gave you a pretty good idea of Meeshka’s outstanding intelligence (by doggy standards of course.) Today I got another proof that not only is he smart, but can also appreciate art. Well, maybe.

About seven years ago, when I experimented with acrylic paints, I painted a portrait of the Buddha seated in a lotus position, meditating. The painting is nothing to brag about, but I keep it, hoping that some day I’ll be able to turn it into something more spectacular — that is, when I master traditional painting media.

Last week my husband dug out the Buddha painting, along with several of my landscapes and floral themes, and put it in the basement, positioning it so it can be easily viewed by anyone entering the room. My husband also told me that when Meeshka saw the painting the first time, he barked at it, likely alerting him that there was a stranger in the house. My husband thought I should take it as a compliment.

Today, when I was doing laundry, Meeshka followed me downstairs, as he usually does, to make sure all is well in that part of the house. While I was loading the washer, Meeshka kept barking in the room where the paintings are. At first I thought he was barking at the cat, but when I came out of the laundry room, I realized it was actually the Buddha’s portrait that stirred my doggy up. I asked him to shut up, which he did. Then he turned his gaze back to the Buddha painting and stared at it for a good couple of minutes, until he heard me get closer. Then he turned his head toward me with an embarrassed look, as if I caught him stealing socks or underwear from a laundry hamper. This curious occurrence made me wonder, what does my dog see in this painting? By the way, my other dog, Maya, has no interest whatsoever in any of my art pieces. 🙂

image by reflectionsinapuddle

Humans are curious creatures. It beats me how they walk on two legs without falling on their noses. And because they have no luxurious fur coats like us dogs, they have to wear extra skins to keep them warm. Every night, Mama and Papa shed their extra skins and put them in a big brown basket. On a laundry day, Mama takes it down the stairs into a small and narrow room crowded with two big white boxes. Although they look like a big white box in the kitchen where Mama hides all the food, upon a close sniff-around, I concluded that they harbored nothing edible. The boxes are pretty boring and sleep most of the time, just like Mimi the cat, but on a laundry day, they wake up and start shaking and grumbling and growling like hungry beasts. But if you think I am afraid of them, you are wrong. I am no stupid dog and I can put two and two together. These angry boxes sound like cars. When I was a puppy, I thought cars were big animals that growl, roar, and pass nasty smelling farts. It turned out you could get inside a car and have a nice ride to a dog park. So, I reckon these white boxes in the basement are cars for the extra skins, so they can go for a nice ride. Imagine hanging in a dark closet and then sleeping in a laundry basket all day long. Everyone needs a break once in a while, even those extra skins, pathetic though they are.

———–

This was part of my weekly assignment for the GWW fiction writing course, the Point of View topic. I am not posting the first part where I was to observe a personal area in my home or office and write a few paragraphs describing my activity in my area from a third-person point of view. I struggled with this part of the assignment, and it came out boring and listless.

The second part was to put someone completely opposite from me (gender, age, education, culture, etc.) in that room of mine, and write from that character’s point of view in the first-person.  So I wrote the above piece from my dog’s POV. He is a complete opposite of me: a male, young enough to be my baby, home-schooled with no manners to speak of. The only deviation from my assignment is that he is not a person per se. 🙂

I’ve got lots of shots in my archive that start with an R. Learn more about Frizztext A-Z Archive Challenge.

Red Panda, Calgary Zoo, image by reflectionsinapuddle

Rainbow, Niagara Falls, image by reflectionsinapuddle

Ruins, Coba, image by reflectionsinapuddle

Roof covered with snow, (Rogers Pass, I think) image by reflectionsinapuddle

My entry for the WordPress weekly photo challenge: Together

image by reflectionsinapuddle

image by reflectionsinapuddle

I read this post by TBM To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish, and it got me thinking. As a mother of an aspiring writer and an aspiring writer myself, I will likely have to deal with this agonizing question in one form or another — sooner or later. Through my recent forays into creative writing I got a glimpse of what it’s like to be on the writer’s side of things. And though I am still light years away from any finished product that would require all that effort, I can still share my opinion of self-publishing as a reader.  And plenty of that I’ve got. I mean opinion, of course. And it’s not in favour of self-publishing. But let me tell you about my experience with self-published, or indie, books first.

Truth be told, I am not an adventurous reader — I prefer to stick to authors whose books I’ve already read. But it would be logical to assume that if that were really the case, I would have been stuck with Cinderella or Pinocchio stories for the rest of my life. So, whether I consider myself adventurous or not, I do discover new authors every once in a while, mostly by `hanging out` with book review blogs, through my local public library, the amazons, Kobo online store, and just browsing bookstore shelves and buying books with pretty covers.

My first indie book was In Her Name: Empire by Michael Hicks. And this time it found me for a change. It was free too. It happened in my early Twitter days, when I had 0 followers or something close to a 0. As soon as I announced to the world that I am a `bookworm,` with an eReader device, my following began to grow slowly, but steadily, consisting mostly of indie authors. Michael Hicks just happened to be among my first followers, an affable fellow, who enticed me with an offer of a free fantasy book. I had no idea it was self-published, nor did I care about the fact. I just downloaded it to my Kobo and ended up liking it so much, that I bought two more of his books. Those two turned out a little less exciting and I never finished them.

After that I tried reading several more indie authors only to discover that their books were ridden with typos and bad grammar. Needless to say, I lost my interest in them pretty quickly. There was another author whose books I was seeking out because I was intrigued by the hype on Twitter. But, guess what, the elusive writer didn’t seem to care whether his books could be easily downloaded. I just couldn’t find his books in the format compatible with my device ANYWHERE. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. But really why should I?

So, for now I stay away from indie books, and it’s not because I don’t believe there are good or even great indie authors out there. I just don’t have the time to separate the wheat from the chaff; I’d rather have publishers do that for me.

But despite my not-so-positive experiences, I believe there is bright future for self-publishing. Maybe it’s already here, if only just for a handful indie writers who either have a great self-promotion strategy or an amazing product. Not so long ago I told my son to try and self-publish his book on Smashwords, and even offered to do the editing and the cover art. (now I kind of question the wisdom of this offer :-))

If you are an indie author who dreams of being published, self- or otherwise, I wish you good luck – because you are going to need it.