Critter of the Month: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.

Skittles_profileupdate2

 

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.

Continue reading

Critter of the Month: Plesiosaurus

Meet Nessie.  This curious undersea critter is always looking for an opportunity to nab a treat.  You’ll never see her coming!  Her favorite game is hide-&-seek. 🙂

Nessie_update

Alluminum and plastic hinges creaked as Pete shifted in the canvas lounge chair, his long, sinuous legs stretched out in front of him and crossed at the ankles. His skin was warm in the sun, and the late morning rays looked red under his closed eyelids. A cool, salty breeze whispered through the swaying rustle of palm leaves. He sighed, his handlebar mustache curled in a smile under the broad-brimmed straw hat that shielded his face from the sun’s strongest rays.

Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.

skittles_update

 

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.

Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.

skittles_update

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. 😛

 

Making progress…

dummy chart7.jpg

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!

 

Coming Next Week…

This critter is furry, loves to swim, and has a flat, sorta scaly paddle tail…Is she even in the right time period?! 😉

Share your guess in the comments! She’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

Critter of the Week: Castorocauda

Meet Cassie.  All she wants in life is to get her feet wet, and perhaps a fish or two.  Yes, she would really like fish.  Do you have some?

Cassie_update

Pretty please with cherries on top?

Can’t fool her, she knows I brought some of those little dried fishy treats.  Look at that face, she might even snuggle for some.

But please don’t Cassie.  Down girl.  Thank you.  I don’t really want to smell like river mud at the moment.

Have a treat!

I’m sure you must be wondering what she is…

She is a small mammal from the middle of the Jurassic China, just a bit smaller than a modern platypus.  She has a lot in common with platypus, such as a love for water, strong digging paws, a thick fur pelt, and probably even laid eggs like a platypus (though there’s no way to know for sure).

But she’s not actually related to platypus, beavers, or any modern mammal.  She is from an extinct group of mammals called docodonta.

You can find out more about Cassie and her family here.

 

Making progress… Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.

skittles_update

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. 😛

Making progress… Continue reading

Critter of the Week?

Oh no! I opened the back pasture gate to let Picasso up the hill this morning, and Pete and I just can’t find him anywhere.  A bit odd that he didn’t come for his treat.  I hope Skittles doesn’t mind.  I did see Picasso playing tag with her once…

 

I’m sorry about that.  You never know with critters…they can have the most predictable habits, but sometimes things turn out differently.  He probably found a lizard or something in the brush and ran after it.

Picasso is a Dilophosaurus, a leopard-sized predator of Jurassic Arizona.  He’s quite good at catching small, slippery snacks, so it might take Pete a while to find him in the brush.

While we wait, here is a Youtube clip that squashes a lot of misconceptions about Dilophosaurus.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

All American Dinos

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the hotdogs, fireworks, family time, and the all around patriotic spirit of the day. 🙂

I really love my country, and everything the founding fathers worked so hard to cultivate in the early years.  So here we have some American dinosaurs to help us celebrate.

From left to right…

That’s all for now!  Thank you for dropping by, and I hope your day is fun and safe. 🙂