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24526. Great Walk

Here's a fun little sketch of man with a great walk. :)


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24527. Worn


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24528. Getting Ready to Self-Publish?

tsps-where-authors-get-help1

The above slide points out two things I think are extremely important to the success of your self-published book. IMO, cutting corners on the cover design and copy editing can make a big difference in how many copies you sell.

The report found that getting help, paid or unpaid, with editing, copy editing and proofreading provided a 13 per cent bump in earnings. Those who added cover design to that list saw a 34 per cent increase over the average. Interestingly, ebook formatting help added only an extra 1 per cent.

It was estimated that about 68 per cent of authors who’d spent money on their book would recoup that cost within 12 months. For the rest, no amount of lipstick could improve the story. So make sure your foundation is good and go through all the steps you would to get a solid, interesting story.

Writers with agents earn three times more than those without. Romance writers earn 120 per cent of the average, but science fiction, fantasy and literary writers do much worse earning 38 per cent, 32 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Those who had already had books put out by traditional publishers earned 2.5 times more than authors who’d been rejected by traditional publishers or who had skipped the traditional route all together.

The Taleist survey found that most self-publishers are “old hands” with 40 per cent having been writing for more than ten years, and 60 per cent for more than five years. Only one in ten were newbies, writing for less than a year.

Getting positive books reviews is important. In book stores like Amazon, getting reviews is key to getting your book recognised by the site’s recommendation algorithm. The survey found that those authors who submitted to book review blogs has slightly higher than average reviews and revenue. But those authors who submitted their book to popular reviewers on Amazon received 25 per cent more reviews than average and 32 per cent more revenue.

What respondents did to seek reviews actively:

ts4-2_seekingreviews

The authors who did best, however, did everything except pay for reviews: They gave away review copies, submitted to book review blogs and the mainstream press, sought popular reviewers on Amazon and asked their readers through email lists etc.

The results of the recent self publishing survey by Taleist.com shows Authors who submitted to popular reviewers on Amazon received 25% more reviews than average and earned 32% more revenue for their latest release.  But there can be potential risks, so spend the time to do your research. Getting a review for your fantasy book with a top Amazon reviewer who doesn’t like fantasy is not going to help your book.

Here is the link to the top Amazon reviewers: http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers.

Did you know you do not need a Kindle to read an ebook from Amazon. Under its promise of “buy once, read anywhere”, Amazon provides free apps to read Kindle books on computers, smartphones, and tablets. Even if you have a Nook, you can use the Amazon App to read their books and everyday they have four Kindle book deals. These apps can be downloaded from Amazon here.

Here is the link to purchase Not a Gold Rush – The Taleist Self-Publishing Survey [Kindle Edition]

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, marketing, need to know, Process, Self-publishing, Tips Tagged: Importance of cover Design, Romance Writers earn more money, self- Publishing Statistics, Taleist Self-Publishing Survey

5 Comments on Getting Ready to Self-Publish?, last added: 6/27/2013
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24529. Alternative Plots (Part 1)

Up to this point in my Organic Architecture Series, I’ve been discussing the goal-oriented plot (arch plot) and the limitations of this plot-type. Arch plot functions in such a way that the connective tissue is a desire that moves the plot through its progression.

But are there plots where the cause-and-effect tissue isn’t defined by goals? Or plots that don’t have heroes? Or plots where the main character isn’t active?

YES!

In the next two posts, I’m going to introduce you to the following alternative plots:

  • Mini-plot,
  • Daisy chain plot,
  • Cautionary tale plot
  • Ensemble plot
  • Along for the ride plot
  • Symbolic juxtaposition plot
  • Repeated event plot
  • Repeated action plot

This list is by no means complete and I’m constantly on the lookout for more!

I’ve defined an alternative plot  as one that doesn’t have a hero (as termed by the hero’s journey), one that lacks a specific goal, or one that does not use traditional cause-and-effect as its connective tissue. Let’s look at how a few of these plots are different than the hero’s journey arch plot.

Tender MerciesMINI PLOT (Also known as: Emotional Plot)

Mini plot is a minimalist approach to arch plot in which the writer reduces the elements of classical design. Often these stories are internal and appear to be plot-less, and/or have passive protagonists. However, the cause-and-effect links are often derived from points of emotional growth rather than high-stakes action. Some might argue that this is a “watered down” version of arch plot, because you can still see the same patterns of arch plot arising in mini-plot, but on a smaller more emotional level.

  • Film Examples: Tender Mercies, Five Easy Pieces, Wild Strawberries.

red_violin_ver2DAISY CHAIN PLOT

In the daisy chain plot there is no central protagonist with a goal. Instead multiple characters or situations are introduced through the cause-and-effect connective tissue of a physical object that is passed from one character to the next.

  • Film Examples: The Red Violin, Twenty Bucks.
  • Book Examples: Lethal Passage (Larson).
  • Modified Daisy Chain Plots with a Protagonist: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Angleberger), Thirteen Reasons Why (Asher).

inexcusableCAUTIONARY TALE PLOT

In the cautionary tale plot there isn’t a hero and it is often the antithesis of comforting growth. In both Chris Lynch’s Inexcusable and Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun, the main character’s commit horrible acts of violence.  In this plot, the reader becomes the protagonist who must evaluate the main character, and it is often the reader who ends up changing as a result.

  • Book Examples: Inexcusable (Lynch), Jumped (Williams-Garcia), Give a Boy a Gun (Strasser).

keeshaslENSEMBLE PLOT (Also known as: Polyphonic Plot)

This plot has multiple protagonists in a single location which is “characterized by the interaction of several voices, consciousnesses, or world views, none of which unifies or is superior to the others” (Berg). There can be goals in this plot type, but more often it is a character-driven story in the form of a portrait of a city, group of friends, or community.

  • Film Examples: The Big Chill, Nashville, Beautiful Girls.
  • Book Examples: Keesha’s House (Frost), Give a Boy a Gun (Strasser), Bronx Masquerade (Grimes), Doing It (Burgess).

Are you starting to see some of the new and exciting options available? Stay tuned. In part 2, I’ll cover: along for the ride plot, symbolic juxtaposition plot, repeated event plot, and repeated action plot.


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24530. miles of styles...

 I did this exercise to see how changing the line and style might work on a drawing. The blue toned drawing at the bottom is an older piece. The color version is new. An illustrator has to keep up with the times... yet both styles have their merit, I think.

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24531. “Washington Post” names Nick Weidenfeld The “Next Jeffrey Katzenberg”

Identifying the next Jeffrey Katzenberg or George Lucas isn’t something easily done, but a columnist at the Washington Post has figured out who it is: Nick Weidenfeld.

Weidenfeld, the former Adult Swim development executive whose recent move to Fox has the industry buzzing with anticipation, was the recipient of a glowing profile in last Sunday’s Post, in which his grand plans for the animation industry were revealed.

Post columnist Thomas Heath details Weidenfeld’s career path, starting with his humble beginnings in Washington D.C. where he was raised by an estate lawyer and Betty Ford’s former press secretary—the latter being the daughter of a presidential confidant and ambassador to Italy. Educated at Georgetown Day School and then Columbia University, the Post recounts Weidenfeld’s hardscrabble upbringing where he bounced from an internship at the Pentagon to writing about hip hop and rap, and then clawed his way to a writing gig at Esquire. It was at the last job, while researching a piece about Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, that he ‘bonded’ with CN exec Mike Lazzo over a mutual love of William Faulkner, which was the obvious qualification for a career in animation.

“You wake up one day and you are head of development at the number one ad-supported network on cable TV,” Weidenfeld told the Washington Post. “The nice thing about my story is about the connections I made, but not family connections. I broke into this business myself through friends.”

Weidenfeld attributes his inspirational trajectory from scion to media mogul to his ability to “be open.” When pressed for an explanation, he clarifies, “It’s just being open… to be open to know what you are good at, and know what value you bring to something, you find a way to fit it into whatever job it is. I’m good at making connections or putting an organization or putting pieces together. I’m a good global thinker.”

This unequivocal business acumen was refined by reading the biography of Steve Jobs, the history of Pixar, and Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. “These guys had these ideas and figured out that the old systems don’t work anymore,” Weidenfeld said. “The first thing I said to Fox is I don’t want to just make shows. I want to build a business for you that takes advantage of the best parts of animation.”

Using only the choicest parts of animation, Weidenfeld is ready to reinvent how cartoons are made. He is putting all phases of production for Fox’s upcoming animation block, ADHD (Animation Domination High-Def), from development to animation, under a single roof at his new 120-person Los Angeles studio, generously provided by Fox. From there he intends to usurp the young male demographic from YouTube and Saturday Night Live by producing loads of animated content and writing off the costs. He told the Post that when he presented this foolproof business plan to Fox, they said, “Okay, here you go.”

“It sounds like a parallel universe to me,” writes Heath, “but he’s the one who is becoming the next Jeffrey Katzenberg or George Lucas, not me.”

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24532. #598: black, brown sicklebills

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24533. Ellie's sprinkles....


Many illustrations are not generated from what has happened in an artist's life, but what they wished had happened...



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24534. GOOFBALLS 5!

that makes 5 so far, in this series. i feel like i packed lunches for these 4 all year and made organic doggie treats for sparky.  "-) here's some interior sneak peeks. i think it hits the stores this fall. just in time for halloween! working on book 6 for the summer. :-) ALL IMAGES ©COPYRIGHT 2013, EGMONT BOOKS, USA/UK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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24535. Artist of the Day: Philip Dimitriadis

Today’s Cartoon Brew Artist of the Day post is sponsored by the CG Master Academy. Sign up TODAY for Philip Dimitriadis’s class Environment Sketching.

Philip Dimitriadis

Philip Dimitriadis works as a conceptual 2D and 3D artist for animation productions.

Philip Dimitriadis

For the “Arabia project” that Philip was working on at Mike Young Productions in 2007, he was assigned to create a fictional hieroglyphic alphabet for use in the background environments which can be viewed here.

Philip Dimitriadis

Above is a foliage study and robot design that Philip modeled in Maya.

Philip Dimitriadis

More work in both 2D and 3D is available for viewing on his blog.

Philip Dimitriadis

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24536. How to Put a Children’s Illustrator Portfolio Together by Illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal


Today I wanted to share a wonderful link that I am sure will be really helpful to all illustrators out there.

The very talented and lovely Juana Martinez-Neal did a post on how to put a kids' portfolio together. She covers different brands of portfolios, what art to include, even how the sequence of the illustrations should go! It's just wonderful.

I confess I don't have a physical portfolio at the moment. Everything I have is online. The only time I had to make one was for a SCBWI winter conference several years ago. But I plan on putting together a really nice one at some point and when that time comes, I will definitely be following Juana's advice. :o)




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24537.

I am NOT crazy , just made like that

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24538. Alternative Plots (Part 1)

Up to this point in my Organic Architecture Series, I’ve been discussing the goal-oriented plot (arch plot) and the limitations of this plot-type. Arch plot functions in such a way that the connective tissue is a desire that moves the plot through its progression.

But are there plots where the cause-and-effect tissue isn’t defined by goals? Or plots that don’t have heroes? Or plots where the main character isn’t active?

YES!

In the next two posts, I’m going to introduce you to the following alternative plots:

  • Mini-plot,
  • Daisy chain plot,
  • Cautionary tale plot
  • Ensemble plot
  • Along for the ride plot
  • Symbolic juxtaposition plot
  • Repeated event plot
  • Repeated action plot

This list is by no means complete and I’m constantly on the lookout for more!

I’ve defined an alternative plot  as one that doesn’t have a hero (as termed by the hero’s journey), one that lacks a specific goal, or one that does not use traditional cause-and-effect as its connective tissue. Let’s look at how a few of these plots are different than the hero’s journey arch plot.

Tender MerciesMINI PLOT (Also known as: Emotional Plot)

Mini plot is a minimalist approach to arch plot in which the writer reduces the elements of classical design. Often these stories are internal and appear to be plot-less, and/or have passive protagonists. However, the cause-and-effect links are often derived from points of emotional growth rather than high-stakes action. Some might argue that this is a “watered down” version of arch plot, because you can still see the same patterns of arch plot arising in mini-plot, but on a smaller more emotional level.

  • Film Examples: Tender Mercies, Five Easy Pieces, Wild Strawberries.

red_violin_ver2DAISY CHAIN PLOT

In the daisy chain plot there is no central protagonist with a goal. Instead multiple characters or situations are introduced through the cause-and-effect connective tissue of a physical object that is passed from one character to the next.

  • Film Examples: The Red Violin, Twenty Bucks.
  • Book Examples: Lethal Passage (Larson).
  • Modified Daisy Chain Plots with a Protagonist: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Angleberger), Thirteen Reasons Why (Asher).

inexcusableCAUTIONARY TALE PLOT

In the cautionary tale plot there isn’t a hero and it is often the antithesis of comforting growth. In both Chris Lynch’s Inexcusable and Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun, the main character’s commit horrible acts of violence.  In this plot, the reader becomes the protagonist who must evaluate the main character, and it is often the reader who ends up changing as a result.

  • Book Examples: Inexcusable (Lynch), Jumped (Williams-Garcia), Give a Boy a Gun (Strasser).

keeshaslENSEMBLE PLOT (Also known as: Polyphonic Plot)

This plot has multiple protagonists in a single location which is “characterized by the interaction of several voices, consciousnesses, or world views, none of which unifies or is superior to the others” (Berg). There can be goals in this plot type, but more often it is a character-driven story in the form of a portrait of a city, group of friends, or community.

  • Film Examples: The Big Chill, Nashville, Beautiful Girls.
  • Book Examples: Keesha’s House (Frost), Give a Boy a Gun (Strasser), Bronx Masquerade (Grimes), Doing It (Burgess).

Are you starting to see some of the new and exciting options available? Stay tuned. In part 2, I’ll cover: along for the ride plot, symbolic juxtaposition plot, repeated event plot, and repeated action plot.


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24539.

malinoisurf

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24540.

dinner at bluewater´s

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24541.

new wisdom tree

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24542. Cricket

Here is a small piece of a much larger one I am working on - can't share too much else about it.



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24543. Illustration Friday: Worn


1 Comments on Illustration Friday: Worn, last added: 6/29/2013
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24544. Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu

Reblogged from UC San Diego Extension:

Click to visit the original post

"Sure, it's simple, writing for kids...just as simple as bringing them up." - Ursula K. LeGuin

We recently had a chat with children's book illustrator and instructor Joy Chu about her taste in children's literature and for some advice on entering the field. Joy is teaching our first online children's book illustration course in Winter 2013 (the class opens for enrollment in October)!

Read more… 532 more words

*  NOTE: The above is from an interview that was featured in UCSD Extension's Blog last fall, just before I began teaching the on-line version of my class, "Illustrating Books for Children"/Winter 2013 Quarter. — JC

2 Comments on Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu, last added: 6/19/2013
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24545. Anger and Twitter

Anger is a good, healthy thing. It let’s you know when things are not right in your world.

Yesterday I had a pissy attack. I don’t usually care much for Twitter but it proved to be an excellent way to discharge my anger and frustration. I figured although I have over 400 followers, most of which are folks who don’t give a hoot what I do and who I am, that I was safe and could dump on my feed comfortably. It did seem to help.

Today I have some clarity. Do you ever notice that if you have one of those days, usually there’s a theme lesson that is happening. I was super angry at Verizon. This isn’t the first time my needs were ignored and I found myself with a huge overage bill that I did try to rectify but since I had upgraded online the new plan was in effect “incorrectly” so I had an extra $70.00 tacked on my bill. Not cool. I have a real problem with corporations that have different rules that don’t make much sense and don’t hear the individual. They did not earn my money nor they deserve that amount.

I was also very upset when I heard news of a situation with a former friend that was another “everyone is all happy and smiling but underneath is massive dysfunction that I can see but they won’t even talk about.” It’s the old Oleander experience I have lived with in the past. Everything is just fine, just drink the Coolaid. My usual response with both these situations is to want to scream and educate and show everyone, Hey! There’s a problem here. I want to warn people so they aren’t hurt! And I’ve lived in too many situations where I felt like I was in the middle of one of those horror movies where you are the only one seeing the evil alien behind the mask who is trying to take over Earth for destruction and no one believes you, because the alien looks just fine.

With the second situation, unfortunately, it’s not my problem. If someone’s lesson is to deal with an unhealthy individual, I can’t interfere. Unfortunately, in time, they will find that out–the mask will fall off. With Verizon, I could continue to try to convince them that there is an issue and jump up and down or I can…find a new phone company.

I often wrote about my problem with finding a good veterinarian and that situation finally shifted. I found a very kind one that will listen and is reasonable after kissing many toads that didn’t hear me or were very shaming. I guess when I look back at that situation when I was in it, I felt stuck in that endless cycle of discomfort until I got super pissy and realized I deserved to have what I needed and wanted. I didn’t have to play that dance anymore.

If my phone company doesn’t hear me I can look for one that will and that fits my needs. I don’t want to pay for a Share Everything Plan to save money when it’s just one phone!

And that toxic friend–obviously, I was in the middle of the lesson thinking I didn’t deserve more, and at the first signs of creepy behavior and red flags I should have ran the other way. Far away. Maybe that’s what I’m really upset about now. And that means no arguing, no trying to show or point out the alien in the mask, no trying to fix, or worse, heal them.

I still am fighting the urge to put up billboards for folks to stay away from certain organizations. So I finally learned that important lesson in that playing field. And some folks are still there–in school, so I need to have compassion, and not take away their schoolyard.


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24546. radishes

are some of my favorite things in the garden. They grow like magic and taste completely different from the store bought kind, better of course. 


Lot's of things going on here, at the pool, at the garden, at home and in the sketchbook. The Art Festival was rescheduled for this weekend, and Art Camp is coming up. I'll be teaching two sessions, and that's always high energy and a lot of fun.

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24547. light + tunnel

I’ve been so lucky to have been kept incredibly busy over the last 7 months. Between illustrating a number of books for publishers that I’ve always wanted to work with, and   doing book store appearances and accompanying food drives for local food pantries, and attending book shows and DIY book and comic shows like MOCCA and TCAF— I haven’t really had time for much else. Happily, because we homeschool, our kids were able to go with us to all of our events, either selling their own books at shows, or just getting to know a new city. And I won’t complain- I swear, we had a blast. The last book store we visited was the way way cool Librarie Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal, and we had an awesome turn out. Here are some pics from the event.

But now we put our suitcases away and  things will get quiet. We’ll get reacquainted with friends, chickens and weed the already unruly garden.  And soon start working on some new books, inspired by all the beautiful work we’ve seen, people we’ve met and places we’ve seen!tunnel


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24548. Cricket

Here is a small piece of a much larger one I am working on - can't share too much else about it.



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24549. Worn and Busted - Dead Potamus

Had a drawing challenge this week so thought I would share. I love doing this Hanna Barbara Zombies, so nothing like a worn and rugged airship with a raised from the dead Peter Potamus!

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24550. What do I feed a vegan?

veganWhen I’m not printing t-shirts or wasting time online comparing Michael Jackson pre and post-surgery photos, I’m usually eating. I can eat a lot. And I do eat a lot.

I also travel quite a bit and find myself in situations where there’s catered food, or a group dinner at a fancy steakhouse. Because I’m vegan, organizers get the tangy zip of a challenge when finding stuff for me to eat. Which most of the time they do very well.

I’m not shy about sharing my dietary choices. I also don’t whine or complain if things aren’t exactly right all the time. That would leave them with the impression that vegans are fussy douchebags. Which I’m sure some are, just as other people pick their noses in glass elevators when they think they’re alone (Telegram to Man Across the Lobby: STOP IT). And some vegans have an obsession with celebrity plastic surgery. I’m digressing. My point is, we all have something in our nose.

Wait. No. My point is that when we eat differently than most of the population, we have a duty to educate. And event organizers have a duty to learn.

So if you’re a meat eater and you’ve been given the challenge of feeding one of those… vegans, I’ve crafted a short list of helpful hints for you.

Think of me as your vegan ambassador.

How to Feed a Vegan

Vegans are like vegetarians in that they don’t eat beef, chicken, fish, or squirrel. They do not eat anything that comes from an animal. That’s right. To be on the safe side, that means you should leave out:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • fabric softener (kidding)
  • honey
  • cheese
  • goat cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • cottage cheese (no tabloid swimsuit photos, either)
  • any kind of food that ends in “cheese”

There are cheese substitutes out there. Don’t try to track them down and replace it. Just let it go and don’t worry. No cheese.

I’ll  just make a Salad

No. Look, I know that after the list above you’re probably thinking that the only thing left is iceberg lettuce. That may be the only thing left in your fridge, but come on now. You’re better than that. Here’s a short list of things you can feed a vegan that you can probably get at any grocery store:

  • pasta with marinara
  • pasta with pesto
  • veggie burgers
  • veggie dogs
  • pizza (no cheese!)
  • black bean burritos
  • refried bean burritos (no lard)
  • nachos
  • bean dip
  • chili (no meat)
  • risotto
  • stir fry
  • soup
  • salad

Okay, I tricked you with that last one. Yeah, salad is good. It’s just that you don’t want your vegan guests to be munching lettuce while everyone else chows down on something hearty. You don’t have to think like a vegan, you just have to think like somebody who is hungry… and doesn’t eat squirrel cheese.

The Secret Vegan Cookbook

There’s no secret tome locked away in Atlantis that describes the perfect vegan meals, but there are plenty of recipe books and web sites out there these days. It’s 2013. Use your magic Google machine and search “vegan recipes.” See what magic awaits you.

Choosing a Restaurant

Most good restaurants these days offer vegan options on their menu, or at least something that can be made vegan. A great favor you can do for vegans is to tip them off about the place beforehand. I like to look at menus online and prepare for what I might order in advance. Sometimes I’ll even call ahead and ask if they can make one of their dishes vegan. Again, good restaurants are happy to do this. I’ve even eaten at full-on steakhouses where a polite request has scored me some fantastic vegan meals.

This way, when everyone sits down there’s no uncomfortable moment of panic because the menu is chock full of beef entrées. Which leads us to…

Under the Radar

My last little nugget is about etiquette. Suppose you had a weak bladder. You go to a dinner party and in front of everyone your host loudly announces, “Now, I seated you closest to the potty so if you have an emergency you just get up and go! Oh, and there’s a fresh towel on your chair.”

Vegans aren’t like the incontinent. But remember that most everyone just wants to hang out and fit in at social gatherings. So consider not complaining to the room that you had to go through hell and high water to feed them. Most people won’t notice, and conversations can be about scintillating topics like celebrity plastic surgery instead of dietary choices.

That’s all I have for now. What questions do you have about feeding vegans? Or Michael Jackson’s nose? Hit me up, I’m here to help.

 

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