Jones Island Tiny Deer? Fairies? Really?

Yikes! It’s been over a year since the last post. How time gets away when you turn your head.

Well, to say the least, we’ve been busy. Yes, in 2019 we made a few trips in the trailer, went to some fun spots. Did our usual Mother’s Day trip to Deception Pass, and all that. And we have plans for 2020, and it’s likely that some of that will make its way into a post.

But this post celebrates a new “chapter” (pardon the pun, or don’t) in the Muddscape. I’m already a published author, even if it’s just a short E-Book, on Amazon. But I had the opportunity to finally get a children’s book into print early this year, with the help of my 4 year old granddaughter, Samara.

She’s quite the artist. Given enough paper and ink, she will eventually cover the face of the earth. She got a ream of copy paper for Christmas, and went through more than ½ of it that very day. While she loves to draw almost anything, she is particularly fond of drawing fairies, princesses, and queens. It’s a 4-year-old thing, I’m sure, but she tends to just grab pen and paper and become a high-speed “fairy mill”, with one drawing barely floating to the ground while she starts another one.

A Storm of Fairies, Princesses and Queens

I wondered what it would be like for her to have some direction, or focus, for an art project. So I suggested “Sam, if I write a short story, would you draw the pictures for it?” I knew just the story, one I have told countless times. I tell it when we are on vacation in the San Juan Islands, and make our annual day trip to Jones Island, a small island that is also a Washington State Park. Jones Island is home to a herd of tiny deer, the only ones I’ve ever seen.

When we all boat over to the island for a picnic, we have a short walk through a forest to get to the beach. Of course, the young ones all want to know the story of how the deer came to be tiny, and over the years my story of the magic fairies in the trees enchanting them has become one of their favorites. It doesn’t take long on our walk for the kiddos to start seeing them, sparkling and shiny, flitting through the trees and ferns.

I wrote all this down, stapled together like a book, and gave it to her. Her mom, Rachel, offered a little assistance with some deer drawings, and Sam took off like Bob Ross. In about 2 hours, she had the whole story illustrated. It was beautiful! I thought, “This would look great as a hard bound book, and a great gift for Sam!” and that got me started. I quickly found there are dozens of self-publishing websites that will print a single copy of a book for you. In that process, I also found that I had forgotten I already had a publisher, Kindle Direct Press, which could do the same thing for me. One thing led to another, and before long, Sam was a published Illustrator. At 4 years old, this is not only quite an accomplishment, it’s a very good demonstration of the true Superpower of our great country: the ability for a 4 year old to become an entrepreneur by utilizing a talent and effort to accomplish a purpose. I’m inspired!

So inspired that I now have 3 publishers. One,, will produce hard-cover or paperback in a large format, and also list the book on Amazon. Kindle Direct Press, a division of Amazon, will only produce paperbacks, and in a smaller format. The third,, will produce the book in both hard cover and paperback, for distribution to retailers, bookstores, and libraries at wholesale costs in case lots of 134 books each. Next month, their Children’s Book Catalog will be issued that has our book, and I’m very interested to see if we get any traction on that. For now, it looks like Amazon is the outlet for the paperback, and Bookemon/Amazon for the hardcover (which is pretty darn expensive at $32 for single print orders!).

Grandma Wendy got into the act too, becoming our Marketing and Press Agent. She came up with this cool promotional idea, and is on the cusp of deploying it. We have a local toy store that is her first target.

Who knows? Maybe there is a Jones Island book signing in our future!

And, as always, h e e e e r ‘ s Tippy!

About W&W Mudd

Re-retired again, Wendy and Warren publish as they adventure into the far reaches of their New World.
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