Angus: Our Mighty Underdog

angus 253Grayson, my dear hubby, who is plagued with equilibrium problems, insisted I write about the last time he fell and how Angus, our English Labrador retriever reacted.

I was at the computer, when a loud thud in the kitchen caught my attention. By the time I reached the scene, there hubby and dog lay on the floor, side by side, with Angus avidly licking Grayson’s face. Grayson kept trying to get up, but Angus had him pinned by his hair.

Even before I helped hubby to his feet, he said he was standing at the butcher block, opening a package with his knife, when he slipped, lost his balance, and fell. Before he hit the floor, Angus tried to catch him by leaping forward, so Grayson landed on top of him.

Throughout his life, Grayson has had many dogs, but not one had ever cushioned his fall. So he treated Angus like a hero by rewarding him that day with nearly a week’s worth of food. Hot dogs, sweet rolls, doggy treats.

Angus didn’t eat for three days after that. But in the animal hall-of-fame in Grayson’s heart, Angus holds top honors.

Sometimes a Loss is a Win

Train_to_Nowhere_Cover_for_KindleExample: Several months ago, I entered Train to Nowhere in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards contest. Did I win? No. Nevertheless I received an individual evaluation that was promised to all entrants. Below is an excerpt of the judge’s commentary on my science-fiction novel:

“This was a great book. You created a fascinating world that is unlike any other and then built characters to fit into that world. I thought you did a great job at describing that world so that the reader could get a clear view of what it was like. You meshed setting, plot, and characters together seamlessly, so that one could not exist without the other. These are all the marks of a great author…”

Yay!

So why didn’t Train to Nowhere win at least an honorable mention?

The judge said, “The only suggestion I could make was that the cover seemed very simplistic for such a layered book….While the front cover does depict a train coming, given the depth and complexity of the story, I would have liked to have seen an image/images that reflect that level of complexity too.”

So, can anyone suggest a stunning cover for an author on a limited budget?

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