In Praise of Dogs


Photo credit: Dan Pegram

This handsome critter is my dog, Moses. He’s a Chow-Akita mix, about 80 pounds of ferocious cupcake. I named him Moses because we rescued him by pulling him out of a creek. (Not so much the River Nile, mind you, but close enough.) His little Chow legs make him look rather funny from this angle. Smile

He’s been a very good friend to me, my sons, and both of our cats. Not so much to our now-deceased dogs Boxer and Inky.

He loves to go for car rides, and he loves even more when the car ride ends at one of our city’s greenways. He loves to walk.

When I was well enough to hike, he was my companion in the woods. He would help me climb hills and steep trails I couldn’t quite make on my own.

Two or three times, he has discouraged people from coming into my house – people with bad intentions. Or at least, I think I can assume that from the time of night (the middle of same) and the assault on the front door rather than polite knocking.

Now, as I said, we rescued Moses. I keep up with the local animal control and their adoptable animals. A post on the Facebook page of an organisation that works with them to publicise and promote adoption saddened me. Apparently many of the strays and abandoned dogs know such commands as “sit,” “stay,” “shake hands.” These were someone’s pets. And if no one rescues/adopts them . . . well, you know what their fate will be.

So I’m going to say if you need or want an animal companion, consider checking out the local animal shelter, Humane Society, various rescues. Just know that you’re making a lifetime commitment to care for and love your companion.

As I type this, Moses is lying with his great, shaggy head on my foot. When he came into our house the first time, I could hold him in one hand. Now his head is putting my poor foot to sleep.

Dogs: gotta love ‘em.

Photo credit: Dan Pegram

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face.headache.doubt. by Patrick_Denker at

photo by Patrick Denker at

Self-doubt will kill you as a creative soul. Does that sound like drama-llama overreaching to you? Well, it isn’t. I suspect all writers occasionally lie awake in the dark of night thinking, “I am a fraud. Someone is going to discover how unclever and uncreative and unwriterly I am and boot me out of The Cool Kids Writers Club.”

Don’t believe me? How about Tennessee Williams, one of the finest writers produced in the United States in the last century. “I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.”

Or maybe Stephen King, permanent denizen of the bestselling lists. “Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction can be difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub.
There’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.”

And self-doubt will sap your energy, make you second-guess your every decision and choice, paralyze your very mind.

What to do? Perhaps the best thing is to *drum roll, please* keep writing, you silly beast! Keep.Writing. If what you write today is lousy, well, it’s lousy. I have a file in my computer called “Crap I Don’t Want to Crap Out.” It’s my “boy, this stuff is lousy, but there might be a sentence or a phrase or something worth salvaging in here, so I’ll save it” file. When I can’t write decent stuff, I write anyway and stash it all there.

Give yourself permission to write badly, if you have to. Just write. Write anything. Anything at all. To quote the amazing Maya Angelou, “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks, ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”

If it’s good enough for Ms. Angelou, it’s good enough for me. And you.

Photo credit: Patrick_Denker at

An interview


typewriter by Richard Edwards FreePicturesAZ

Photo by Richard Edwards Free Pictures A to Z

I recently did an interview with the wonderful Tonia Brown. She is one terrific writer. And she can ask some off-the-wall questions. I had a lot of fun with this interview.

Here’s a link to it: A Word With Mary Ann Peden-Coviello — Tonia Brown


Photo credit: Richard Edwards at

The Writing Olympics

The Winter Olympics are over for four more years. The Summer Olympics next take place in 2016, two years from now. Still, I was thinking about the athletes. Not the podium-standing medal-winners. The nearly 2,900 athletes who competed, most of whom had no chance to wear a medal of any colour.

Why do they do it? Train for years, in lonely gyms and rinks, working and struggling even though they must know they have little to no chance of medaling. They employ trainers, teachers, coaches, medical people, costume designers. And they strive.

How does this apply to writers, you ask?

Thousands of books are published every year. Big, traditional publishers. Small presses. Self-publishers. Some will “medal,” bronze, silver, gold. They will win awards, earn money for their writers. Most? Well, most are like the majority of the 2,900 athletes in Sochi a few weeks ago. They might earn a few dollars. They might not earn a nickel. Yet the writers keep on. They write in the early hours of the morning, the late hours of the night. They hire editors and proofreaders. If they’re self-publishers, they hire a book cover designer and a formatter. They market their books.

And most will not make a bestselling list. But we keep striving, keep writing, keep telling those stories that wake us up in the middle of the night.

Why? Mostly, I think, because we have to.

Kai Viola’s New Book — 12 X 12 Guide to Social Media


One of the few things that people talk about, when talking about brand and social media is that it’s a minefield.  People talk about everything from being completely overwhelmed, to not knowing what to do with their profiles.  And so, I wrote 12 tutorials (and a couple of bonus exercises to help people.

Each tutorial contains an introduction, the ‘basics’, the exercise, and then a bit about what your ‘solution’ should be.  They’re not designed to be the be all and end all of each network, but they are designed to support you if you’re struggling, or aren’t sure that you’ve covered everything.

I’ve kept the price low so that you can enjoy the book without feeling like you’ve had to pay a fortune for just a couple of tips too – though I could have priced it higher, I feel $0.99 is the right price for this.

Launching on the 28th February, until it’s available, you can pre-order from my blog page at Warpaint Marketing.


12x12 guide cover samplefinal

12×12 – Your social media Primer

Looking for support for Facebook, Twitter, Triberr?  How about G+?
This book covers everything that you need to know about the very basics of each network.  Exercises to give you a chance to try your learning out, hands on.
Each of the tutorials is designed to be as easy as possible to access.
Originally started a set of articles for a website, the tutorials have evolved into a go to guide to the simple, quick way to build an usable, safe profile online.


Kai Viola (

Kai Viola

Kai is a veteran online marketer.  She started in internet marketing, writing content for others, along with copywritten sales pages, then moved on to the indie writer’s community when KDP hit.  She’s been self-publishing since 2004 (mostly poetry), and has spent the last three years or so in the community, helping others with social media, writing tutorials and articles all over.

When not writing non-fiction, Kai’s planning novels, travelling for work and having a bit of an adventure in her life.  She’s the mother of two parents, owner and parent of two kittens, an artist and a dreamer.


As the book is about social media, you might want to follow Kai to find out some extra tips.  Below are the various places you can follow her – remember too that these count as entries in the giveaway!

Book Blog | Personal Blog |Facebook | Book Facebook |Twitter | G+ | Goodreads | Pinterest | Triberr | Klout 

Buy the Book
(pre-order which will switch to Amazon)


Win all of the books from the range, take part in beta support and get freebies before anyone else or a $25 gift certificate.  Check out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kai is appearing on multiple blogs in the next few days – head on over to The Finishing Fairies for tour central, information and more!

Promotion of 12×12 Launch Tour is brought to you by:


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