The Big Reveal
Momma and I have news. We are publishing a book based on my Blog. It will be called Lina Unleashed – a sort of “woof all” about my first two years with her. As you might guess, Momma is behind this project – it is her latest scheme to try make a dollar off me.
And that might be hard to do. You see, Momma has decided against sending my manuscript off to big publishing houses in hopes of having it plucked out of obscurity to become a bestseller and make oodles of money. (“We are going to circumnavigate New York, Lina. No stacks of rejection letters for us. They don’t know talent when they see it anyway.”) No, we are going to make (or lose) money the new-fashioned way – we are going to self-publish. (Translation: the book doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being picked up, so we have no choice but to self-publish.) Just woofin’.
The challenge with making money off self-published books, of course, is that it costs the budding author an arm and a leg (or “a leg and a leg” as I might put it), to bring the book to fruition. In other woofs, you pay the publisher an exorbitant fee and must sell tons of books just to break even. Nevertheless, Momma has deluded herself into believing that this could be our big break and that it is worth pursuing. (“We just have to work extra hard on the marketing, Lina!”) In fact, she already has visions of taking me on Fox News (“The curvy couch, Lina!”) to promote Lina Unleashed, and maybe a chance to espouse some of her crazy right-wing views to the hosts and viewers! I, for one, would prefer the Today Show and Matt Lauer, but Momma says no – too biased. (That from a Fox fan.)
Anyway, I’m afraid the book train has left the station and there’s no turning back. I have submitted the manuscript and we have moved on to the design phase. Momma’s big suggestion/contribution to the design so far: to put tiny pink paw prints at the beginning of every chapter. That’ll make it jump off the shelf, right?
The Photo Shoot
Apparently a big part of book design is creating an attention-grabbing cover. To that end, Momma took me on a photo shoot last Monday to capture that perfect cover photo. I resisted, dreading the thought of posing for a million pictures and all of the accompanying rigamarole. However, Momma insisted, pawntificating that “the photo on the cover is the key to selling books, Lina.”
Momma was very excited about the shoot, “picturing” us running through tall grass and wildflowers with the wind blowing through our hair/fur and sunlight in our faces, looking at each other lovingly. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, Momma had decided she would be part of the shoot. In fact, most of the morning that day was taken up with her selecting just the right outfit.
It turns out that I was right to be dubious about the shoot, by the way. Rather that taking us to that grassy meadow, the photographer had us meet her at a vacant lot in a rather rundown (who knew?) part of Naples. Upon our arrival, the first thing I noticed was all of the broken glass and trash, including a discarded tennis shoe, scattered on the lot. The next thing I noticed was a big red and white “No Trespassing” sign – standing there as plain as day and impossible to miss.
I was apparently the only one who saw it, however, because the photographer and Momma plowed right ahead as if we owned the place. At this point, I was sensing that this was not going to go well as you can tell by the look on my face.
What is that old saying – a picture is worth a thousand woofs? Anyway, after a few preliminary shots of Momma and me, the photographer led us even deeper into the lot, looking for the perfect background. Momma had taken me off leash in anticipation of just the right impromptu photo. Having no choice, I followed along.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man marching toward us. He was carrying a clip board and wearing a shirt with the words “Animal Control Services” emblazoned on his back.
The animal control officer was quite angry. He fairly shouted at the photographer and Momma that we were on private property and trespassing and asked, didn’t we see the sign?! (Uh, yes.) He further informed them that the dog (me!) was also trespassing and was not on a leash and therefore in violation of the law. (I was the innocent party here – the victim – and now it appeared that I was the one in the most trouble.) Would I be paw-cuffed? Hauled away in a paddy wagon? Could I get off with probation? Where was Uncle Chuck, Esquire, when I needed him?
Finally, after apologies and explanations (huh?), the officer ordered us off the property: “Just leave right now and no charges will be filed.” Do you see now why I didn’t want to do the photo shoot?
As we left the scene of the crime, Momma tried to make light of being busted: “Well, Lina, that was your first brush with the law!” as though it was just a fun rite of passage that every dog should get to experience – and that there would be many more to follow. Momma was a little nervous herself, though and hastily loaded me into the car.
After brushing the burrs out of my fur, we motored on to a park to finish the shoot. Which kind of “begs” the question, doesn’t it – why didn’t we go here in the first place?? In the end, we did get some great photos and Momma, the marketing expert, insisted that I include one here (“It’s called a tease, Lina.”)
What can be next – Lina Unleashed, the movie? God help me.
Lina, Indie Writer and Perp