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Thank You.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I so appreciate the yeahyeahyeahs, and I also appreciate the nahnahnah’s. Much as a Leo loves approval, it’s actually kind of nice to know not EVERYONE’S here for the dog! How’s that for positive spin?

Whoops, Leona the lion is getting out of her little cage. Hello, Leona. Do you have something to say to everyone?

I want to reassure you that any book I write is going to have some tasty meat in the sandwich. Just to clarify, I’m not talking about a bunch of photos with cute captions here. I mean, people. You read the blog, right?

All right, Leona. Back! Back!

As a true creative hermit, I’m continually surprised at the extent to which my readers’ and friends’ thoughts are able to influence mine. I floated this book idea to my wise friend W., and his first reaction was that it needed paintings and sketches as well as photographs. Oh. Duh. Hadn’t thought of that. Well, all right. I’ll think about that. And here you are, saying the same thing. So now it looks like I’ll have to get out the pencils and watercolors. A good thing. Always a good thing.

To tell you the truth, thinking about the Chetbook is a little refuge for me when I’m deep into painting illustrations for my current book. As I laboriously create the paintings, I like to muse about how easy it would be, by comparison, to send my editor a compact disc full of photographs to illustrate a future book. So that’s partly where this idea is coming from. And now I see I shouldn’t rule out drawings and paintings. I SHOULD be drawing this dog. I should be drawing my kids, too. There’s another big Duh. You can’t do everything. Sometimes doing anything is a stretch.

Marcia, I am most grateful for your marketing ideas. The time I spend on the Internet has been given largely to blogging or researching, not surfing, and I don’t frequent Boston terrier sites or chatrooms of any kind. I had no idea there is a magazine devoted to the breed, though I shouldn’t be surprised. Smart marketing is key to getting a book into the right hands. I really appreciate your input, which was all new to me. When time comes, I will reach out again to the Boston terrier people and figure out how best to target the True BT Believers.

Anonymous (Leslieyosh), you get it. Thank you. More on your comment later. :-)

MojoMan, I hear you loud and clear about Chet’s story not being finished. God forbid the day it is. This book isn’t something that would come out next year. It would very much be a work in progress. Maybe a several-volume thing.

Chet Baker: The Early Years.

Chet Baker: Prime of Life.

Chet Baker: Dotage.

That was a joke.

As I found when he dropped off the rock cliff, Chet is far from done living his life and giving me thrills, inspiration, comfort, and hilarity in equal measures. I don’t know what happens to Chet in the end. Most of me hopes that nothing ever really happens to him. For every big event, there are a thousand little stories in this dog, and I’m grateful I started telling them when he was just a flop-eared pup. I want to keep telling them while he is here and warm by my side. You forget, day to day, all the little things. And it’s the little things that add up to something larger. All hail electronic archiving.

There will come a time to bring them all together, to sum it all up, and I’ll know when that time comes. I expect him to continue to teach and amaze me, to help me understand how one good dog can take someone from “No! I don’t need one more thing to care for!”

to “I don’t know what I would do without him.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Looks like we've pre-sold a hundred copies.

But onward and forward with the bird memoir. First things first. Thanks for your patience and your understanding. I wish you all a peaceful Christmas.

Well I'm learning

It's peaceful

With a good dog and some trees...

-Joni Mitchell, "Electricity"


Happy Christmas to you and your family Julie.

Love that last photo--Julie's Study in Black and White (not to be confused with Whistler's study by same name).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the folks and critters in the 80 acre woods.

Yay-a post from "Mether" and snaps of Chet Baker in the snow!

I also love the idea of paintings, sketches of Chet Baker, but please say the book will include the photo of Chet Baker running back to Mether after his inaugural visit to "Camp Baker".

Happiest of holiday wishes and a good rest for you, Julie - you are very special and so is your world.

I'm already in tears and the Baker book is only a vision.

Enjoy your time off. Enjoy your pup, your family, your friends, celebrate the lengthening of days, but most of all enjoy life.

"Now I walk in beauty.
Beauty is before me,
Beauty is behind me,
Above and below me." Navajo prayer


Merry Christmas and happy new year to you. have a great holiday.

You make me cry. I don't know why; I just do. I'll miss your blog. Hurry up with the book so you can come back! (I hope you do, anyhow.)

You and your family have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.
From Lynda, a loyal reader.

Posted by Anonymous December 24, 2009 at 6:11 AM

Oh yes, I agree with Angela. That picture of him racing up the driveway, grinning from ear to ear is priceless. And definitely Charlie would need to be in the book as KeepAway is such a wonderful game. I still go back and look at the past post of Charlie and Chet when Charlie took over his beds and his Nylabone and Chet's expressions still make me laugh every time.

Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Julie I am beyond excited for the book already!

I hope you have a wonderful relaxing hiatus from the blogosphere! We will miss you but you deserve it!! I'll leave you with this...

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does." ~Christopher Morley

Be sure that you read the book to Chet when it is all done. I am sure he would adore listening to his adventures from Mether.

I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Lots of Love, Dana

Hey Julie There is a huge market for dog stories right now. Haven't you read any of them? I like Ted Kerasote's books.

Happy Christmas to you and yours! I actually gave my mom a copy of Letters from Eden this morning, and she was elated. I have to say, it was a little wrenching to wrap it up; I was so tempted to read it cover to cover right then and there! Clearly the solution is to buy a copy of my own :) Given that, I have to say now I'd definitely buy the Chetbook (and another copy for mum; I suspect you've got a new devoted fan!) But it sounds that regardless of how well it would sell, it would be a cathartic and beautiful experience for you, and that you've obviously given this pursuit a lot of thought. It's so life-affirming to have an ongoing artistic project into which you can unreservedly plunge. Go for it, of course! (And of course we'd all be thrilled to hear updates whenever you're able to give them!)

I vote for the Chet book too, not only will it be a joy to create, but it will keep Chet alive long beyond his dog years.
And it may prove to be a good marketing tool, to expose your work to a group of people who haven't found your blog. Once they become engaged with your style, they may expand their interest into other areas of your works.

Because I so enjoy your outlook on life in general, Julie, I'd be buying most any book you would be writing. I enjoy your artwork just as much!

You have more than earned a Blogger's break; but I will sorely miss your insights.
Take care,

If a yellow lab can sell a million copies and hit the big screen, surely a gentleman in a tuxedo could do the same. Although I visit your blog primarily for your nature content (and your gardens), I have to admit I polished off Marley & Me in a single weekend last Christmas. I think you would probably have an easier time of selling a dog memoir than a nature memoir. The key, of course, is to make it stand out from all the other people wanting to write memoirs about their beloved pets.

I sympathize with the time and effort required to maintain good blog content on a regular schedule - glad to know you're not deserting the blog altogether, though! You'd be missed.

Hope you and your family had a fabulous and relaxing holiday!

I have to be honest...I did start coming here for the dog. But I keep coming back for the all the rest!

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