The Dog Days: The Back To School Blues

Annie McNease

It’s still hot outside, giving the illusion of summer days, but summer has come and gone and school has begun. My wonderful husband, Kyle, teaches at Florida State University which means he, too, must return to school. As with any first day of school, we tried to make sure he got started out right. We ate a hearty meal of grilled chicken and angel hair pasta with spaghetti sauce and went to bed at a reasonable hour. We did all of these things with good intentions…


“Amount of time it takes for a dog to ‘do its business’ is directly proportional to outside temperature + suitability of owner’s outerwear.” – Betsy Cañas Garmon

Last night, we took Annie out for an evening walk. There were children playing in the large, open field that sits in the center of our complex. Many of them wanted to see Annie and pet her. She was a good dog to them and for that we were thankful. She has always been good with kids, so we didn’t worry. Kyle took her out first while I gathered our keys and the batteries we needed to return to the grocery store. I locked the door and made my way over to where Annie was sniffing around, attempting to “do her business”. Unaware that the new neighbor (who never puts his small-ish black schnauzer-mix dog on a leash) and his dog were behind me, I saw all of the children and warned Kyle to hold Annie tight. At my advice, he wrapped our broken, used-to-be retractable leash around the plastic handle until it was taught enough to pull on Annie’s prong collar a bit.

“Did you say that because of the other dog?” Kyle asked as I finally reached him standing in the field.

“What?” I inquired, confused.

At that, I turned around to see a hyper black dog running at full speed towards us and his owner (the new neighbor) running awkwardly behind holding a Frisbee. Oh no! I thought to myself. Given the current state of Annie’s leash, I panicked. She began to bark excitedly as the neighbor approached her (still running, I might add) without saying a word to either of us.

“Hi Annie!” said the neighbor in a high-pitched tone. “I remember you! You remember me, don’t you?”

He squatted down to her level and put his hands out to pet her. That’s when I noticed her collar. It was broken and only hanging on because it had gotten tangled in the not-so-retractable leash string.

“Kyle,” I said nervously, “her collar.”

He looked and saw the problem and tried to pull Annie back. By this point, the neighbor (whose name I have yet to find out) had gotten her extremely excited. She started jumping and barking a shrill, desperate bark. She wanted to go play with the man and his unleashed dog who were running around throwing and catching the red Frisbee. The children only made matters worse because they immediately swarmed around the new dog on the block, ignoring Annie completely. Annie doesn’t take being ignored very well. Her crazed, desperate barking continued and I overheard one of the children remark, “That dog barks a lot,” to which another responded, “Yeah, that dog is bad.” Infuriated, both Kyle and I tried to contain Annie to no avail. She wouldn’t hold still long enough for Kyle to fix her collar and return it to her neck. After about 5 minutes of struggling with her in the field and becoming a spectacle for the children who had gathered to point and laugh, we dragged our loud-mouthed puppy back to the apartment.

“Rambunctious, rumbustious, delinquent dogs become angelic when sitting.” – Dr. Ian Dunbar

It was embarrassing, needless to say, and she still had not “done her business” yet. After fixing the prong collar, we put her pathetic excuse for a leash back on and took her out once more. I wanted to show the kids that she wasn’t a “bad dog” so I walked her to the field and made her sit several times. Things seemed to be going well until the unleashed pooch approached us. Trying to avoid another mess, I turned her away and quickly walked her out to the grassy knoll that is designated as a “dog area”. She managed to finally “do her business” properly and we promptly left to go to the grocery store.

Hours later, after dinner was cooked and enjoyed, and we had been asleep for some time, I was awakened by a terrible sound. It was something you would expect to hear on a horror movie when a ghost or evil spirit is doing whatever ghosts and evil spirits do. It sounded horrible and I turned to find out the source of the devilish sound. What I saw was Annie, heaving like she was possessed (further confirming that the sound was straight out of a horror film). Kyle had fallen asleep on the couch trying to prepare his lesson plans and was at the door to the room in a split second.

“Baby?” he asked, sounding terrified. “Is that you?”

“What?” I said, still half asleep. Once I figured out what he was saying and had awakened enough to process what was happening around me I said, “Oh, no. It’s Annie.”

I rolled out of the bed as she began to vomit all over the floor in front of me. Kyle grabbed her heaving body and quickly guided her to the bathroom where she proceeded to vomit again. I held her as she continued to dry heave and Kyle went to wipe up the disgusting mess. Once her heaving had subsided, she wagged her tail and begged for food. Kyle and I, on the other hand, were trying to investigate the cause of this sudden upheaval (pun intended). We inspected the vomit that Kyle had cleaned up and found hard pieces of something we couldn’t quite figure out. Then we saw a brown looking piece that, upon closer inspection, was determined to be an almond.

Nuts! I thought. It was an almond, which she must have found on the floor after one of us had eaten a handful of them. Fabulous! It was 3:00am and both of us needed to get some rest. After the evening we had with Annie and the embarrassment, this was simply the icing on the cake.

Annie seemed to be unaffected by the event and curled back up on her bed and fell fast asleep. Once we had managed to clean everything up and calm down, we, too, attempted to rest our wearied eyes.

Annie Sleeping


News and Other Noteworthy Information:

I’ve submitted what I hope to be the last revision to CreateSpace for The Last Navigator and will be ordering another proof as soon as possible. As soon as it is just right, I will get it out there so everyone can buy a physical copy. Yay! Get excited!

Also, The Woman in the Zebra Hat is now available on Kobo and has shipped to Barnes and Noble and Apple. Once it is available in other stores, I will post links. The Last Navigator is being released for purchase in multiple formats on September 2nd, 2013 (Labor Day) so don’t miss out on that. You can pre-order your copy now and it will automatically download on Labor Day.

I have joined the Independent Author Network and my profile is now live so you can go take a peek. It has links to all of my social networking profiles, my website, and links to purchase/download my books. Below is the link to my IAN profile:

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/j-g-mcnease.html

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Until next time…

J. G. McNease

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News and Other Nuggets of Knowledge

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

My first short story, The Woman in the Zebra Hat, is now available to download on Smashwords.com. This was my first experience publishing through Smashwords and I have to say that I’m thoroughly satisfied. Their process is quick and easy if you follow their Style Guide. It took the guess work out of the publishing process and I got multiple formats for free. If you would like to check it out, just click on the book cover below to be directed to the Smashwords website. The story is free to download and it includes a preview of The Last Navigator at the end. It’s the perfect lunchtime read!

The Woman in the Zebra Hat: A Short Story

In other news, I’ve submitted the final version of The Last Navigator to Amazon’s CreateSpace for a proof to be printed. The proof has shipped and I’m waiting (im)patiently to get it in the mail. I can’t wait to hold the physical copy of my first book in my hands. What a thrill! Overall, my experience with CreateSpace has been satisfactory. The process is easy and, best of all, it’s free! The only thing you have to pay for is the proof and personal copies.

Sales of The Last Navigator for August have been pretty abysmal. I know that $2.99 is a stretch for someone to pay to get an ebook by an unknown author. In an attempt to make it a bit easier on the wallet, I’ve decreased the price of The Last Navigator to $0.99 in hopes that my sales will increase and more readers can experience a great story. If you want to download The Last Navigator at this discounted price, click HERE.

On Labor Day (September 2, 2013) I will be releasing The Last Navigator on Smashwords in multiple ebook formats. It’s a Labor Day special and you can pre-order your copy today!

Do you prefer to read your ebooks via your iPad or iPhone on the iBooks app? Or would you rather download a PDF version and read it on your computer? Do you have a Sony Reader or a Palm reading device?

The Last Navigator is available for pre-order in the following formats:

  • EPUB (for reading in Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
  • Kindle (.MOBI file for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
  • PDF (for reading on a PC and other e-reading devices or printing)
  • LRF (for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub)
  • Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Want to pre-order your copy? Click HERE.

One more topic I would like to address is the topic of reviews. I received a great review from Sherrey Meyer (Found Between the Covers) recently but haven’t seen any increase in reviews on Amazon. I hope that those of you who have read The Last Navigator and have liked it will think about writing a review on Amazon. It only takes a couple of seconds to write a quick review and I would truly appreciate it!

I hope to write up a post on my publishing experiences with CreateSpace and Smashwords soon so be on the lookout for that. School is back in full swing and I’m excited about things to come this fall!

Until next time…

J. G. McNease

The Last Navigator Featured on PubSmart Author

The Last Navigator [Kindle Edition]

The Last Navigator is the featured book today on PubSmart Author! After a bit of link difficulty, I finally got everything worked out and am able to share the link with you (get excited!).

Here it is:

http://pubsmartauthor.com/the-last-navigator-by-j-g-mcnease/

It’s a great feeling when your debut novel gets featured on a website! Check it out and stop by Amazon.com to get your copy of The Last Navigator today. Read and enjoy!

“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” ― Hazel Rochman

Until next time…

J. G. McNease

TWO DAY FREEBIE EVENT

Last Navigator Title Image

It has begun! The Fourth of July Freebie event has officially started so go and download your free copy of The Last Navigator and refer a friend for an extra special treat! Don’t know what to do? It’s simple! Follow the steps below to take full advantage of this Fourth of July Freebie event:

  • STEP #2: Select which device you want to send the download to and click “Buy Now for $0.00” to initiate your FREE DOWNLOAD!
  • STEP #3: Open the Kindle app on your electronic device or go to the home page on your Kindle. The Last Navigator should automatically begin to download on your selected device.
  • STEP #4: Call/text/email a friend or tell them face-to-face about the freebie event. Make sure they download the book, too!
  • STEP #5: Fill out the Refer-A-Friend form below and get the exclusive extended preview of Through Ryan’s Eyes sent directly to your email!

Five easy steps to get two amazing products for absolutely FREE! I’m so excited that I have the opportunity to offer The Last Navigator and a preview of Through Ryan’s Eyes for free for two entire days! Yes, that’s 48 hours of free access to my debut novel, The Last Navigator, and a chance to receive an exclusive preview of the companion novel to The Last Navigator – Through Ryan’s Eyes!

Don’t miss out!

Refer-A-Friend Form

Scrivener Manual Part Deux, Among Other Things

I’ve finally put together the second part of the Scrivener Manual for Windows. I will show you how I got Scrivener to work for me when I formatted The Last Navigator for eBook, PDF, and Word. It is an awesome tool for anyone who writes. I can see how it would be useful for many different fields of writing from fiction authors to journalists to academicians and PhD students. There are resources out there to be found and I hope to add to that body of knowledge. Part two of the manual is in Portable Document Format (PDF) and it is completely free. I’ve uploaded it here for you below.

Scrivener Manual for Windows: Part II

Scrivener Manual Part II

In other news, I had the awesome opportunity to write a guest blog post for a Christian fiction blog and it was featured yesterday. In the post I shared some of the things that inspired me to write The Last Navigator as well as some of my struggles while writing it. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to share my testimony and I’m thankful to Gary Howell for letting me be a guest writer on his blog. If you want to read my post, click here.

My goal when I published The Last Navigator was to reach at least one person that I have no relation to or relationship with. I wanted to have at least one sale to at least one person whom I don’t know. I have met this goal and even exceeded it this week alone and I am so grateful for those of you who are getting the word out. I will be featuring The Last Navigator on Amazon for free for two days only on July 3rd and July 4th as a Fourth of July freebie. If you haven’t gotten a copy of it yet and are concerned about the price ($2.99), then this would be the perfect time for you to download the book for free. If you don’t want to wait until July to get your free copy, you can contact me and I will see what I can do. I want everyone to get a chance to experience the story of The Last Navigator so I encourage you to at least download the free sample from Amazon and see what you think.

The Last Navigator by J.G. McNease

We are officially in the 2013 Hurricane Season and Tropical Storm Andrea didn’t waste any time kicking the season off. I hope those of you who were or are in the path of TS Andrea are safe and well. It was certainly a stormy day here in Florida yesterday but the sun does seem to shine brighter after a storm.

As always, I hope you have a delightful Friday and a wonderful weekend. Comments are always welcome and I will respond to comments as soon as possible. If you want to contact me, you can use the form on the Contact page, find me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

Until next time…

J. G. McNease