Life is a lot like sailing an old-fashioned ship.
Happy Holidays! I hope you’ve been having a joyful and restful holiday season, or at least as restful as the holidays can get! 🙂Continue reading
Species: Dilophosaurus wetherilli (dih-lohf-oh-saw-rus weh-the-rill-eye)
What it means: Two-crested lizard
Where I live: Arizona in the U.S.A.- The Kayenta formation
When to find me: The Early Jurassic period, about 196 million years ago.
My favorite food: Meat! I’m a carnivore.
My neighborhood: The Kayenta formation used to be a tropical floodplain, a bit like African savannah today- but no grass or flowers. Ferns cover the open plains, dotted with islands of spiky cycad groves. Rivers crisscross the land with lush tree ferns, ginkgo trees, and conifers. Every year during the wet season the plains turn into a flooded marsh, but the hottest months bring no rain, and the rivers shrink until the plains are almost as dry as the great desert that lies to the north.
A few of my neighbors: Sarahsaurus (an early sauropod) and Scelidosaurus (armored dinosaur) are some tough neighbors. We don’t talk much. But if I’m lucky, little Scutellosaurus (small armored dinosaur) might join me for lunch. Coelophysis (smaller meat-eater) scurry around everywhere and are happy to take a few leftovers, or join me on a quick chase after frogs, turtles, or a crocodile cousin or two. They like to stay close to the rivers. A long-tailed pterosaur patrols the skies for insects like beetles, dragonflies, an ancient cousin of the moth, and something called a snakefly.
The tips of her clawed toes softly scratched stone as she walked. Her head tilted this way and that, like a lizard, large eyes wide as she stared at the straight, dead trees and clean, flat ground. Shiny loops and ledges stuck out from smooth, white walls. Stone? She sniffed the air. Stinging, acidic, not natural, but underneath it was the scent of warm earth.
Shff. Click. Shff. Click. Shffff…Click.
Small claws on padded, three-toed feet scratched softly on tile as she crept through the sunlit passage. She paused. Not sure if she should brave the open space in front of her, and she cocked her small, triangular head first one way, then another. Her tiny nostrils flared wide as she sniffed the air, and she clicked the narrow, beaked end of her snout with a satisfied chirp.
It was close.
Skittles is happy to see you! She wonders if you would please, pretty please, give her a treat. Can you resist those puppy-dog eyes?
She may be about the size of a golden retriever, but believe it or not, Skittles here is the great-great-great-great-grandmother of Stegosaurus!
It’s hard to imagine how long a time span the Jurassic period covers, but we can get a few hints when we see that a little critter like this had enough time to change and diversify into animals like the spike-tailed Stegosaurus, or the armored, club-tailed Ankylosaurus.
The Jurassic period started at the end of the Triassic period (big extinction event there, to separate the two), and lasted 56.3 million years until the beginning of the Cretaceous.
56.3 million years. Think about that. Humans have been around for about 2 million. Between us and the latest dinosaurs like T-rex? About 65 million years.
So that means Dinosaurs had their “golden age” in the Jurassic for almost as long as the nearest T-rex is to us. Pretty mindboggling.
And that’s not even thinking about the Triassic and Cretaceous periods yet…
Dinosaurs have been around for a looong time (especially if you count birds living today!).
Skittles is just happy to have a few moments to cuddle. 🙂 Completely oblivious to how long dinosaurs have been around. Or that she’s related to Steggy. 😛
One more down, three more to go!
I was doing a little research on Createspace, and I discovered a few things…
Createspace is a company that allows you to sell a print book on Amazon. It’s not the only one out there, but it’s my best (and cheapest) option at the moment, so that’s the one I’m going with.
I was double checking what sizes I can print the book in and, alas, 10×10 inches is not available. 😦
10×10 is a fairly common size for children’s picture books, so I guess I assumed it was a “standard” size, but there’s always trouble when you assume. It’s not what I would like, but I’ll be printing this book in a “standard” 8.25×8.25 inches instead. On the plus side, this means it’ll be available at a cheaper price for you. 🙂
A quick interesting tidbit on the money side of things. (because Createspace has a little calculator to estimate royalties)
The average paperback picture book that is 8.25×8.25 inches sells for about $5.
If I sell my book for that price, I lose money with every book (about $3 in fact).
The average hardback picture book in the same size sells for about $10.
If I sell my book for $10, then I earn about $4
If I sell my book for $9.50, then I earn just over $3.
Naturally, you understand if I don’t want to lose money for every book I sell. I love what I’m doing, and it’s fun, but it’s also a way to help pay bills. 😛
So for now, while I’m still new at this and figuring things out, I’ll stick with Createspace and print an 8.25×8.25 paperback book (Createspace doesn’t really print hardbacks). I’ll sell it for $9.50, and earn about $3 per book.
$3 doesn’t sound like much, but this is a book we’re talking about. The key to earning money with books is to have a lot of them. The average number of books 6 figure authors have in their back-list is about 30, so I’ve got a long way to go!
I’m in this author business for the long haul. $3 or $10 here and there adds up after a while, especially if I try my very best to go out and meet my audience so that you know I exist. It’s not enough to have a bunch of books. You have to put yourself out there and let others know you exist too. 🙂
Later on, once the series has a gained more of an audience, I can host a kickstarter event to fund the printing of the full size, beautiful hardback books. That’ll be awesome. 😀
Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate you spending a little time with me. 🙂
And for my fellow Americans, I hope you had a great (and safe!) 4th of July yesterday!
This critter is furry, loves to swim, and has a flat, sorta scaly paddle tail…Is she even in the right time period?! 😉