Holiday greetings

A quick note to wish visitors a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday.



Let’s hear it for Guy Kawasaki

 Reposted from WordPress, from Maria Murnane, a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on PaperIt’s a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at
Writers need all the help we can get with marketing. Here’s Maria’s article.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Guy Kawasaki, a popular speaker and author of 10 books, including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, and EnchantmentThe Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. I told him about this blog and asked if he had any words of wisdom for my readers. With a sly chuckle, yet also speaking seriously, he said the following:

“Don’t be paranoid.”

I asked what he meant, and he said that authors, both traditionally and self-published, are often afraid to try anything unconventional. They think someone is going to come along, tap them on the shoulder, and say, “Hey now, you shouldn’t do that.”

His attitude is, “Why shouldn’t I?”

An example he gave was for his most recent book, Enchantment. When he finished the first draft, he sent out a Google+ message to his hordes of followers and asked for volunteer beta readers willing to provide feedback. Several hundred people replied, and you know what Guy did? He emailed them the entire manuscript.

Yes, he emailed his entire unpublished manuscript to hundreds of strangers. For “security,” all he did was ask them to check a box saying they promised not to forward it to anyone else. A simple promise, nothing more.

What happened? He got a lot of thoughtful feedback that helped him improve his book, and those who provided that feedback became emotionally invested evangelists, eager to see the book succeed. In fact, dozens of them posted positive reviews the very day the book came out.

Guy’s idea worked out pretty well, don’t you think? I may have to try it myself.

To learn more about Guy Kawasaki and his books, you can visit


Rivka Kawano interviews Guy Kawasaki via Webinar

December 14 – Rivka Kawano, Beautiful Books for Children, offered a Webinar with Guy Kawasaki. The interviewer invited the audience to participate with speaker regarding writing an eBook. Guy gave his listeners many innovative ideas for publishing an eBook. His book APE was interviewed by Forbes recently at:

You can listen in on the interview with Guy Kawasaki at

After the program, I went on Amazon and downloaded Kindle on my PC. Then I ordered APE an eBook. Check out to learn about Joe Kawano’s company. Rivka and Joe work in the media field.

Rivka Kawano

Rivka Kawano

Rivka Kawano is a children’s book marketer. I have worked with her over the past year and plan to work with her a lot more in 2013. You can contact her at

Learn about her Website at

Happy publishing butterfly friends where ever you are.

Night at the Fay Club

Fay Club

The Fay Club, Fitchburg MA

The Fay Club, a private club, in Fitchburg, MA, was created in 1902. It is a beautiful Victorian historical home. The Fay Club history can be read at the following link at

I am discovering that early women of Fitchburg, MA, were leaders in their community. Their vision has made it possible for me to walk through doors that normally are not open to the public. “Architect Richard Upjohn (Trinity Church, New York City) designed The Fay Club in 1883. The Fay Club was commissioned as a private residence by George Flagg Fay for himself and his daughter, Lucy.” Years later, his only surviving daughter willed the home to the Park Club which later changed its name to Fay Club and moved to this location to honor the generous donor.

Christmas tree at Fay Club

Christmas tree at Fay Club

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in the once a year event. Copies of my first book, My Name is Butterfly, were sold. Several buyers told me of their own butterfly stories. I was delighted to speak to residents and meet young children. One little girl came over with her grandmother. She pointed to the book and said, “I want that book.” Her grandmother mentioned that she was an avid reader. Later when the child was engaged with her mother, the grandmother returned to buy a book. It did my heart good to see a child pick out the book.

The Fitchburg Farmers Market is an interesting group of entrepreneurs who are farmers and artisans.

Sheila Lumi

Shelia Lumi, Director of Fitchburg Farmers Market.

Sheila Lumi, Director, organizes where the Farmers Market will take place. She is a natural at marketing and a local honey producer. I noticed that Sheila has an eye for beautiful hand crafts. Soft knitted alpaca bags, gloves and socks were a delight to buyers. Sheila’s honey went fast. I am happy I was able to purchase one bag, as a Christmas gift, for my niece Amelia.

She is helping me scatter native seed at a new Wild Butterfly Habitat and Wildlife Sanctuary I am implementing, on my sister’s property, in the Fitchburg Hills, within a protected watershed area.

handcrafted bag

Knitted Bee Bag by Mary Anne Troxler

I think Amelia will get a kick out of the bumblebee that is felted within a sunflower on the bottom of the bag. There is a butterfly in the bag’s design also. The wool is soft and inviting. I think the bag will make a creative water bag. Matter of fact, I am going to put a bottle of water in it before I give it as a present.

Vee Lashua, proprietor, Brookside Family Farm, was instrumental in greeting guests and selling product. She personally knew many of the Farmers Market crafters. Vee also knew many guests. I assisted in promoting the monthly Fitchburg Farmers Market, at the Fitchburg Art Museum, first Thursday of each month, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

My Name is Butterfly

My Name is Butterfly

I am venturing towards assisting the Fitchburg Farmers Market and by being a member; I will have an opportunity to sell my books at the monthly Farmers Market. I am enjoying it already. It didn’t take long for me to flutter towards like minded spirits.

Be well butterfly friends where ever you are.

Into the past

dollhouses 017Feeling bored at my house, I walked down the street and rang my friend’s door bell. After a few minutes, I heard someone coming towards the door. Sarah, my friend, peeked through the lace curtains, before opening the door. I asked, “Sarah, do you want to come out and play?”


dollhouses 015Sarah, with a bored look on her face replied, “No, I don’t want to play outside today.” Then I ventured to ask, “Can we play with your dollhouses instead?” Without saying a word, Sarah with a sigh opened the door. Her house was very special to me. Sarah’s mother was an antique dealer and worked in an antique shop in a local historical hotel gift shop. I was always mindful that young friends had to be careful in Sarah’s house, least a precious antique glass piece be damaged.

The staircase to the second floor had wonderful posh carpeting and where a footstep was never heard. A large window at the landing displayed colorful glass vases that twinkled when the sun played on the glass. I loved that staircase. It felt elegant to a young child who grew up in a chaotic home. My friend on the other hand, found the very idea of a staircase being special quite boring. She disliked living in a museum where art pieces were more precious than the people within.

dollhouses 024Downstairs we would go to the finished basement where two dollhouses resided. Sarah preferred to play with the ranch style house. I, on the other hand, loved to play with the Victorian Dollhouse. There was something comforting in being surrounded by all things old fashioned. Here is another glimpse into the world of old fashioned Victorian dollhouses.

Yesterday Carol and I visited the Historical Society’s Christmas display, in Fitchburg, MA. We walked down Main Street, with our canes, in the falling snow. Neither of us had dollhouses when we were children. We were enthralled with the exhibit. Barbara Norton, a 90-year-old, made many of the Victorian dollhouse textiles. She made clothing, doilies on furniture, drapes on windows and many other handmade textiles in the dollhouses.

Happy holidays! dollhouses 026

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