Going digital

Good day writers and friends,

I don’t know about you, but I am learning as much as I can about digital publishing and book marketing as possible. At 67 years of age, I find it a challenge. Being dyslexic makes the journey even more of a challenge.

Good thing I am stubborn. My mother once told me, “When the angels gave out patience they forgot to give you any.”

I read Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. It it an excellent guidebook on the ins and outs of self-publishing. There was much to absorb in the book. I ended up making copies of pages I want to follow-up on. I also added some new writers to follow on my Twitter account.

The book is about how to self-publish, and why you should.

I highly recommend the book.

Be happy Butterfly Woman friends.

 

 

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Thoughful review of The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book

Book review for The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book was sent from Jeannette Ruby, Florence, SC. The  book is available at http://www.amazon.com

“Thank you so much for sending the coloring books. They are extraordinarily educational and inspirational. I knew they would be special but they command ‘perfection.’ Congratulations on yet another dream, which I realize entailed an enormous amount of time, labor and co-ordination. Your associates are also very talented. My congratulations to all.”

Jeannette is referring to Cindy Dyer, art layout and cover photography; and Mora McCusker, artist and illustrator. Cindy Dyer is a co-owner of Butterfly Woman Publishing. She is owner of Dyer Design, Alexandria, VA, at http://www.cindydyer.wordpress.com

Mora McCusker lives in Gordon, WI where she continues to color her world in art.

Mary Ellen Ryall is also the author of My Name is Butterfly,which sells on Amazon. You can follow her Blog at http://www.insectamonarca.wordpress.com where she writes about the environment

Monarch classic J shape before changing into chrysalis

Monarch classic J shape before changing into chrysalis

and the natural world around her in Wisconsin and central Massachusetts.

To be implemented Wild Butterfly Habitat at Winter Hill Farm, Fitchburg, MA

To be implemented Wild Butterfly Habitat at Winter Hill Farm, Fitchburg, MA

Family festival brings out butterfly enthusiasts

I am all excited because the Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book was published and is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Mary%20Ellen%20Ryall&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

Dan Gunderson gets bird houses ready to paint for children

Dan Gunderson gets bird houses ready to paint for children

This is not a sales pitch but rather a test market to see how kids respond to the book. Happy Tonics exhibited with Fresh Start, at Family Festival in Spooner, WI, on June 2. Dan Gunderson, Fresh Start, made copies of the coloring book pages and children stopped by to color.

Father and child coloring pages from "Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book" copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Father and child coloring pages from “Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book” copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

I got a kick out of seeing a father coloring for his baby, so sweet.

Gideon Fegman coloring a page from "Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book" copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Gideon Fegman, came by to talk and color. He was excited. Gideon told me, “I’m a naturologist.” I was impressed by his intelligence and told him, “You might grow up to be a scientist. He loves everything  ologist. Well, that means it could be anything from entomologist to biologist or beyond. Caption: Gideon Fegman coloring a page from Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Hundreds of families, grandparents, and children came. I even saw a few of my friends, on their walkers, from Terraceview Living Center, a nursing home in Shell Lake. One reminded me to bring over a few butterfly plants for the outdoor garden. They want to have a butterfly garden. What a grand occasion it was for community and the butterflies.

Stacie Theis of Beach Bound Books reviews My Name is Butterfly

Book cover copyright Salt of the Earth Press

Book cover copyright Salt of the Earth Press

My Name is Butterfly by Mary Ellen Ryall is a wonderfully written educational story about the birth and life of a Monarch butterfly. The story is told through the eyes of the Monarch caterpillar who eventually transforms into a Monarch butterfly.

A young girl named Sarah discovers a mother Monarch laying eggs in their garden. Sarah enthusiastically experiences first hand the birth and transformation of the Monarch caterpillar. The butterfly becomes her teacher as she learns how the caterpillar is born, what it eats and how it becomes a butterfly.

The illustrations by Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza vividly depict the Monarch caterpillar’s and Monarch butterfly’s characteristics.

A great book for parents and teacher alike to educate children about the life of Monarch butterflies.

Available at www.amazon.com.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall

Meet Mary Ellen Ryall, Author of My Name is Butterfly

What inspired you to become a children’s author?

I became a children’s author quite accidently, perhaps by serendipity. I have a passion and great love for the natural world in which I live. An Ojibwe elder, Margaret Lynk (Soaring Woman) once told me, “Let nature teach you.” I never forgot that lesson.

I am an environmental educator and executive director of Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) environmental education organization and public charity. Children need to learn from nature. Hopefully they will feel a passion for the natural world throughout their lives. One day, in the not so distant future, children will inherit the Earth from us. Hopefully some will become future stewards of the land. Nature can exist without the human species, but humans cannot survive without nature. Robert Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, addresses this critical fact in his book. He believes children and many adults have nature deficit disorder.

Each of us is given gifts. I was given a great love for nature. I want to share my life’s work and expertise with the younger generation. I want to teach children about the beautiful natural world on this planet, which we call home. 

How did you come up with the idea for your first book, My Name is Butterfly?

Back in 2003, I witnessed a monarch caterpillar in my garden. Each day, I would go to the garden to check on the monarch’s life cycle. I was in the garden when the adult monarch butterfly emerged. I spent the first three hours, of the monarch’s life, taking notes and photographing the experience. I even wrote, “What is this butterfly trying to teach me?” In 2006, I wrote the story of a young girl in her garden who learns about monarch biology from a butterfly. One can read the story behind the book. Frank Zufall, reporter, Spooner Advocate, wrote an article, “This county story begins under a plant,” at www.spooneradvocate.com.

How long did it take to get My Name is Butterfly published?
In the summer of 2008, I hired several youth through a grant from Concentrated Employment Program. It just so happened that I had unwittingly hired a publisher’s granddaughter. I told India Casey that I had written a children’s story about the monarch butterfly. Happy Tonics had implemented a native restored remnant tallgrass prairie, which is a Monarch Butterfly Habitat, on city land in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. India told her grandmother about the story. A few days later Lindy Casey, owner of Salt of the Earth Press, came to the office. She read the story and said, “This is important. I am going to publish it.” It took from 2008 until 2011 to get the book published. The reason it took so long was that the publishing house burned down. The publisher had to resurrect the business from the ashes.

What was your favorite book as a child?
I don’t know the title, and I wish I did. It was a story about an elder, a grandmother- type person. The grandmother had a house that was on the way to school. The grandmother made chocolate candy. The young child, in the book, would stop at the elder’s house on her way home from school. She would open the white picket fence gate. Hollyhock flowers grew along the fence row. The child would walk up to the house. The immaculate white house felt secure and safe to the child. She would visit the grandmother and have a piece of candy before she walked the rest of the way home.

I think it is important to know why a certain children’s book is special to a writer. Children’s books often help youngsters cope with difficult situations. Many children grow up in dysfunctional homes.  In the story, a child needed to feel safe. How wonderful that a child could feel love, in the tidy white house, where a grandmother lived.

What do you hope children will learn from your book?
I hope that children will become curious about nature and want to learn more about butterflies. The book teaches about one pollinator and what the insect needs to survive. Without native host and nectar plants, there would be no butterflies or other pollinating insects, diverse crops, or plant pollination.  Environmental education needs to be taught, in grade school, in the United States. Published author, Eva Apelqvist, originally for Sweden, informed me that Europe taught environmental education starting in the lower grades. No wonder many American youth of today have Native Deficit Disorder.

Children’s authors don’t always get to choose who illustrates their books. Are you happy with how your illustrations turned out? Are the characters as you imagined them?
The characters in the book are based on reality. I chose Tanya and her daughter Cassandra (Cassie) Thompson to model for the story. Cassie attends Northwood School in Minong, Wisconsin. Cassie has been a monarch butterfly advocate since she was a youngster. The publisher requested that I have models act out parts in the story. I photographed the story while Tanya and Cassie acted out the parts. Photographs of a monarch butterfly life cycle, and photographs of the story models were sent to the publisher. Then illustrator and artist, Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza, Las Vegas, Nevada, was commissioned to do the illustrations. Stevie Marie did a fantastic job. At the time she was pregnant with her first child. By the time Stevie Marie finished illustrating the book, her baby daughter was sleeping in her own room. The illustrator told me that the butterfly would always be with her and Olive, her child. The monarch butterfly teaches us about transformation.

Are you currently working on any more books?
Yes. Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book is about ready to be published. I am waiting for the graphic designer’s cover. Cindy Dyer, of Alexandria, Virginia, is the owner of Dyer Design at http://cindydyer.wordpress.com. I chose an artist, Mora McCusker, of Gordon, Wisconsin, to illustrate the book. Mora used my photographs to illustrate the coloring book. The project is a teaching book. Cindy Dyer is responsible for the art, page layout, and cover. We are jointly publishing the book on CreateSpace, a book publishing company, owned by Amazon.

At present, I am writing a Field Guide for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Shell Lake, Wisconsin. The guide will illustrate the symbiotic relationship between pollinators, native host, and nectar plants. Invasive species as host plants cannot support pollinators. The goal of the book is to teach that native plants are necessary for pollinating insects. The finished book will be published by Butterfly Woman Publishing.

Hopefully writers and visitors to your Website at www.beachboundbooks.com will enjoy staying in touch via our Blogs and Social Network Sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. I believe writers and anyone connected to the publishing world will have more success when we work together. It is in working together that we can show our work to the world. Bless each and every one of us. It is all about seeing beyond ourselves.

You can read a sample of  My Name is Butterfly at www.amazon.com.

Find out more about Mary Ellen Ryall and her books at:
www.happtonics.wordpress.com
www.insectamonarca.wordpress.com
www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com

You can also find her on Twitter (@happytonics) and on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Woman-Publishing/186481664768990

Flying to DC from Milwaukee for Book Tour

Dear Butterfly Friends,

I am doing a Book Tour over the next week, starting tomorrow – in and around Washington, DC. My Book, My Name is Butterfly, was published by Salt of the Earth Press in 2011. It took me nearly a year before I had time to start marketing the book. You see, I have been busy as Executive Director of a nonprofit environmetal education organization and public charity. Happy Tonics, has had quite a busy year in 2011. By end of 2012, I retire as CEO of the nonprofit and anticipate that I will have more time for writing and publishing.

It is a honor to be asked to speak at several events and places in So. Maryland.  I am in Milwaukee and in a few hours, I fly to DC. March 31, I will speak at Joy Lane Healing Center at 4 p.m. Dr. Carol Marcy, owns the Healing Center and expansive lands surrounding the center. It was here where the first indication of my butterfly future began to flutter again in 1999. Never did I dream that by following my dream to come to WI that I would become Butterfly Woman. This is my Ojibwa spirit name. I was given this name in a Naming Ceremony. The monarch is a butterfly of transformation. I not only witnessed this life change in the monarch but also within myself. Visit Joy Lane Healing Center at http://www.joylanehealingcenter.net/

April 2, I will be in Prince Frederick and speak to seniors at the Calvert Pines Senior Center at 12:30 p.m. I once lived in Calvert County and am delighted to connect to new and old friends here.  Visit at http://somd.com/Detailed/1734.php

April 7, I will be a guest at a Meet the Author event at Leonardtown, MD. If any of you live near Leonardtown, I invite you to come to The Good Earth Natural Food Company. It is a great pleasure to reconnect with Valerie, store owner, and new and old friends. I will be doing a book signing from 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon.  http://www.goodearthnaturals.com/

Book Reviews for “My Name is Butterfly”

I am happy to report that book reviews are coming in for My Name is Butterfly.

I will start to post them here on this post, the author’s Blog.

“Congratulations on your book.” Erica Hohos, Worcester, MA.

“Good story for a teacher or parent to read to kids. Education.”  Linda G. Lanzisera, staff Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Calvert County, MD; Home: Broomes Island, MD.