Deer Hunting?

That morning was cold.  It was so cold it woke me from a sound, dreamless sleep.  The fire in the stove had burned down to ash and was close to being out.  I needed to put more wood on the fire.

Ashes in the Fire

It was four A.M. and time to get up anyway.  Dawn was less than two hours away and it was the opening of firearms deer season.  Not that it mattered much.  The day before, freezing rain had covered the landscape.

Freezing Rain Missouri

Between the cold and the layer of ice, the deer were not going to forage.

OuthouseI filled the stove with wood and lit the cook stove to make coffee.  By the time I washed the sleep from my eyes, brushed my teeth and made a very quick trip to the outhouse, I settled in a chair with a steaming cup of coffee.

Hoping to get a weather report, I switched on the radio.  Because of the high hills, all the radio received was static for the most part.

On my trip outside, the sky was full of stars.  At least the morning might be clear.

The Wolf's Moon 2012

The coffee cup needed to be refilled.  Heat from the stove flooded the room causing my eyes to want to close.

For that moment, I wanted to totally disregard the very reason for the trip.

Shaking my eyes open, it was time to don my hunter orange, get my rifle and go sit at my favorite spot by the fire pit (some thirty yards from the cabin).

Patrick Jones in Camo

Leaving the warmth of the cabin, to walk up the side of the hill, I wondered just how many other people were feeling as stupid at that time of the morning.

For a person to leave a warm and comfortable abode, to sit in the cold hoping to just see a deer did not take high intellect.

By the time I reached my perch, the sun was slowly rising over the tops of the oak trees that surrounded the hollow below.

The warming rays of golden light soon flooded over the land causing the ice covered boughs to mist.

Maid of the Mist LegendAt first, it was a wonderfully beautiful sight; one that, as in a child’s fairy tale, the Maiden of the Mist with long flowing red hair and the bluest of eyes walked looking for her long-dead warrior lover.


As the sun moved a little higher in the sky, it made the limbs of the trees sparkle, then came the sounds of a gently rain falling as the ice melted from the highest branches.

If this was not enough to fill the soul, from across the valley off one of the tallest trees flew a magnificent white hawk (Northern Harrier).  It slowly circled, looking for a morning meal.  After another pass, then did I see the black tips of it’s wings.


I watched an aerial display presented that no man’s flying machine could match.

It landed on a tree branch less than fifty feet away, and looked directly into my eyes, almost studying me.

The bird gave no indication of fear, yet in a low voice I said, “You’re safe.”

Again it took to the air but rather for my benefit.  It stayed airborne for a short time before coming to rest on the same branch.

We both heard the crunch of something walking on frozen leaves.  It was a huge ten-point buck.  He stopped walking and sniffed the air, and saw me.  His body was tense but he made no move.  He stood ready for flight, knowing he could never outrun a bullet.  The loss of muscle on his left rear leg told me he had his one chance.

The bird turned his head in my direction.  His piercing brown eyes questioned my intent.

I smiled and softly said, “He lives today.”

With a shriek that woke the valley and hills he took to the sky flying above the mist out of sight.

The deer rambled across the valley floor into the woods.

I walked back to the cabin for another cup of coffee.

Since that day I have never seen the bird again.  The deer I still see from time to time.  He never runs away but rather stops, looks and then walks into the woods.

We’re pals of sorts.

Copyright (C) 2015 Patrick Jones

All Rights Reserved




#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work (Final) Part FIVE

Part Five of the Authors Marketing Yourselves by Susan Toy featured by Chris The Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Cartoon from

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 5

Another area of promotion you should consider developing – and only do this if you are comfortable with it – is speaking engagements. Speaking engagements are something your publisher will not arrange for you, unless they are approached directly by a group inviting you to speak. Make sure you are either allowed to sell books or that a bookseller has been asked to look after sales wherever you appear.

Here’s another important statistic I gleaned from reading Get Known Before the Book Deal: Authors who speak at events sell three times as many books. (This book is listed in the bibliography at the end of this post.)

You can give a straight reading from your book, but my preference is to hear an author talk about how…

View original post 1,150 more words

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part FOUR

Part Four of the Authors Marketing Yourself Series by Susan Toy featured by Chris The Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Cartoon from

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 4

Okay, now you’ve completed the further editing, the proofs have been approved, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the printer to produce and ship your book. So, what’s been happening at the publishing house all this time? The main thing they’ve been up to is preparing for, and holding, sales conferences for their sales reps. A catalogue page for your book should have been completed and posted online. Be sure to link to this page on your own blogsite, and direct anyone to it who asks about your book. The reps have been told about you, and they have discussed how they can best sell your book to booksellers, libraries, wholesalers and specialty markets. Some of them may have even read the manuscript. If at all…

View original post 1,773 more words

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part THREE

Part Three of the Author Marketing Yourselff series by Susan Toy featured by Chris The Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Cartoon from

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 3

Once the contract is signed, and while the manuscript is being worked on by the editor, is the best time for you to ramp up your web presence. While you wait for the edited copy to be returned to you – and this could take several months – is when you should work on further developing your blog and Facebook presence. This may be a good time, as well, if you haven’t done so already, to create a website (and your publisher may help you with this as they will want you to link to their site), and prepare yourself for the time in the very near future when you can actually call yourself “a published author.”

It’s not too early to announce that you have signed a…

View original post 1,424 more words

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part TWO

Part Two of the #Author #Marketing Yourself and Your Work by Susan Toy featured by Chris The Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Cartoon from

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 2

The best time to begin building your readership is while you’re still writing the manuscript. The very first thing you need to do is create a web presence of some kind or another. This can be as simple as building a blogsite (always free) and writing posts for it on a regular basis. Encourage your friends to subscribe to this, and ask them to ask their friends to do the same. Then write something meaningful, as often as you can, even if it’s only once a week. You should never have to ask, “But what should I write?” You’re a writer; you’ll think of something! Write regularly, keep it positive and upbeat, and post, or repost, articles that will create a discussion in your comments. When people comment…

View original post 1,453 more words

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE

An excellent five part series from Susan Toy featured on Chris The Story Reading Ape’s blog.

This series will be reblogged here for the next five days. Thanks for visiting!



Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Cartoon from

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 1

Before I begin, please watch this video:


I’ve named these two characters Wannabe Author (WA) and Real Author(RA).

How many of you have ever said any of the things Wannabe Author says in this video? Come on, be honest. Okay, then, how many of you have heard other writers say any of these things? And, like Real Author, haven’t you just wanted to put them and everyone else out of their misery by ignoring whatever they say? Obviously, Wannabe Author is the least promotable kind of author. First of all, Wannabe is never likely to be published, so will be of little worry to the publishing industry anyway. WA is not listening to an experienced author, knows nothing about the publishing business, and thinks the path to…

View original post 914 more words

Chris The Story Reading Ape: The Man, The Ape, The Legend…


Chris The Story Reading Ape…Whaaaat?

When I first encountered Chris Graham, the man behind “The Story Reading Ape” I inquired as to what in the world was a story reading ape and how did he come up with that name?  He politely referred me to his about tsra page to explain the circumstances of his unique designation in the Blogosphere.  After all, everyone has to develop  their own brand…right?

On one of my next encounters with Chris, he introduced me to his favorite “characters” who back up his really mean emails reminding authors to send him their stories so that he can feature them on his blog.  At this point, I really became curious as to what this cyber person was all about!  As you can imagine, I in fact raised an eyebrow when he sent me this!!


As I continued to read on, I learned that Chris Graham (no -e- after Graham) is a multifaceted individual, the likes of which I have never before encountered in the real world!  His character boasts a reputation throughout the blogging realm of a dedication to the author and their success in the world of publishing!  There is no fee, just the satisfaction that he gets from helping fellow author/bloggers/people just… because!

Chris also featured me, Patrick Jones, author of “The Wolf’s Moon” just a few weeks ago.  I am now on the “infamous” Hall of Fame as well.  This I am truly proud to be a part of.   It was one of the most difficult “interviews” that I ever had because the assignment was to write about myself in the first person.  I really had to look introspectively in order to decide what to write about!  I finally decided to write about the book signing from my point of view as the author.  It was a day I will never forget and will live on forever!  I hope that you enjoy the story!

Please make sure to add Chris The Story Reading Ape in your author platform to promote yourself!  You will find his #Author Submission Guidelines at the top of his blog.  Good luck!!