Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It's time to save some whales!

In case you missed it -

 100 orca and beluga whales are being illegally held in a bay near Nakhodka in Russia and are being sold to the Chinese for their booming ocean theme park industry in China. There are already over 60 marine parks in China, according to Alec Luhn of Moscow for The Telegraph (British paper).  The Chinese plan for at least a dozen more ocean parks.

Supposedly Russia is investigating this, but Russia is also believed to be the only country that exports orcas captured in the wild, according to Luhn.

Since the "jail" is quite small, this suggests that many of the captured orcas are babies. For every orca captured, however, at least another is killed in the process. Jailers don't seem to care since an orca can fetch up to $6 million dollars.

This activity flies in the face of the 1982 moratorium against whaling: the only whaling allowed is for scientific purposes (that sounds quite lame) or for those with aboriginal "cultural" needs (another fairly lame sounding excuse taken advantage of by the Japanese who have killed over 1,000,000 whales and dolphins).

"Catching them at this tempo, we risk losing our entire orca population," according to Oganes Targulyan, a Greenpeace Russia research coordinator.

Enough of this inhumane horrible activity. Perhaps if President Trump stood up for orcas like he has for his recent signing of the Save our Seas Act, he might gain a slew of caring supporters. As for me, I will write the president about this, and since I already boycott Chinese products, I'll pass the information along to those who care enough to come up with their own plan to help right this incredible wrong.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Nonfiction leading the sales at Moonlight Mesa Associates

If I needed further proof, which I really didn't, the latest monthly report from Ingram would totally convince me that NONFICTION is the future for Moonlight Mesa Associates.

The top-selling titles distributed by Ingram so far in 2018 are all NONFICTION:
2018 No. 2 Best Seller

1. A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule  -   2018 release

2. Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride                    -   2010 release

3. Some Gave All                                        -  2013 release

4. The Old Folks in the Boat                      -  2018 release

These are the current numbers for distribution by Ingram.

As far as Moonlight Mesa sales go, again nonfiction dominates:

1. A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule

2018 #1 Best-seller
2. Developing the Art of Equine Communication

Overall best seller for 2018 so far:  A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule

Granted there are two months left in the year and statistics might change, but in all honesty, there wasn't a fiction title that was even close to these numbers, although Moonlight Mesa sales for Jere D. James' Jake Silver Adventure Series are very respectable.

This information gives us great determination to continue on the new nonfiction path we're starting to travel here at Moonlight Mesa.

Saving Our Oceans  is our next nonfiction publication due for release in May (hopefully sooner). Also, Lee Anderson (Developing the Art of Equine Communication) will be submitting his new manuscript some time in 2019. It's another equine based book.

We'll make every effort to continue to publish two books a year. That's not many, but good, appealing works are surprisingly difficult to come across that fit our interests. And, many writers nowadays feel that going solo with self-publishing or vanity presses is in their best interests.

As I say, it seems everyone wants to write a book; anyone can publish a book; not many can sell a book. Selling is where the work is. Even we often struggle with maintaining our enthusiasm and momentum.

Check out our books at www.westernswhalesandoceans.com

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Website Now Up - But 80 Whales Dead

Okay, I agree that the headline may seem bizarre. And it is, actually.

First, www.westernswhalesandoceans.com is now officially FINISHED. That only took me a month of blood, sweat, tears, and hair-pulling tantrums. I couldn't do all the things I wanted on this highly touted WordPress, but that's okay. It may be better in the long run.

People who actually look at my websites will notice I have no Order Form page. This is likely a mistake on my part, but my reasoning is sound.  Most people do not order books off individual websites anymore. Amazon has taken over. Barnes and Noble has taken over. Alibris, Powell's Book Store, etc. It's become a rarity when we sell books from our website.

Will I send out books if contacted? Absolutely. In fact I just sent out three copies of A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule  the other day. But these orders only come in a few times a year. We'll see how this goes.

Now to the 80 dead whales:

Last week's news of 80 whales dying on the shores of Scotland and Ireland was almost the last straw for the whale lovers on this staff  and probably for others around the world. According to Live Science's contributor, Tom Metcalfe, an "Unprecedented Number of Dead Whales Have Washed Up in Scotland and Ireland." 80 Cuvier's beaked whales, to be exact. That's a lot of whales! 10 times more than usual, in fact.

Daily the news changes about the fate of the ocean and its inhabitants. The author of the forthcoming Saving Our Oceans said she often feels "paralyzed" because of the rapidity with which mostly negative articles are popping up on news sources.

"There's just so much! I can't keep up, and I almost hate turning on the computer because it's become manic with ocean pollution information, wild life destruction, and plastic waste invading the earth. It feels desperately gloomy most of the time, but I sometimes see a tiny glimmer of hope on the horizon."  Not recently, though, with the report on Cuvier's beaked whales."

No one is yet positive about what caused the carnage, but research has demonstrated that the Cuvier's beaked whales are "...sensitive to the very loud sounds caused by anti-submarine sonar, which is used by warships hunting for enemy submarines and during naval anti-submarine exercises." It's a well-known fact that sound is very disruptive to whales. In the case of the Cuvier's beaked whales, the sounds cause tremendous pain. These are deep water divers and can stay in depths up to 9,500 feet for more than two hours. Because of the depth that they hunt in, the pain from the sonar is believed to have caused them to surface too quickly.

Will Cuvier's beaked whales join the long list of creatures that humans have caused to go extinct? It's already estimated that since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations. 60% in 50 years! 

I'm going to say something here that will sound very stupid and offensive, but seriously, it seems like it's the naval groups that are the enemies: They have used the oceans like a garbage can, killed orcas for target practice, dumped literally tons of toxins and oil into the oceans, have whale strikes - well, you get the picture. Enough is enough.

Boats like mine are QUIET! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

New Website for Moonlight Mesa Associates - sort of - except it's not

What a  most unjoyous experience building a new website on a new platform is. Unjoyous is not a real word - except I just made it one.  Basically, I've pulled most of my hair out by the roots in this ordeal.

I won't bore you with all the horror of it, but I got it done...well 95% finished. I'll get the rest tomorrow. Check out www.westernswhalesandoceans.com. You'll see my mug on every page until my cover man, Vin Libassi, can modify our usual logo. The new webhost provider (WordPress.com) won't allow me to have a different header photo on each page...unless I fork over another $200. No thank  you.

So...that leaves me with the most important news called: Deal of the Day. Except it's for a month.


You can order all 7 books in the Jake Silver Adventure Series for $77. That's $11 a book - which is almost 25% off the original cover price. This deal is good for November 1 to 30. See, it's designed for holiday shoppers! And, get this! FREE SHIPPING (but only to addresses in the continental United States.)

Yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving. So sorry.

Lots of other news to share, but it'll have to wait until next time.

Oh, one last thing: I got my email address back!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

"Saving Our Oceans" warns of the deadly threat to our oceans...and to ourselves

 Saving Our Oceans is a robust accounting primarily of plastic pollution slowly blanketing the oceans (and earth). The author also covers the illegal slaughter of whales and dolphins, the IWC, and most importantly, a chapter on what we individually can do to help stop the cataclysmic catastrophe that is unfolding on this planet.

Few people realize that the ocean provides 70% of the oxygen we breathe. If the ocean ails, we ail. If things continue as they are, experts say there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Almost every necropsy on dead seabirds, fish, whales, and other pinnipeds  reveals plastic, including plastic bags, in their stomachs. Over 1,000,000 seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals die every year from plastic ingestion.

Although the vast, vast majority of the plastic pollution is said to come from Africa, China, and Indonesia, it affects us all. We are facing the extinction of marine life if plastic producers don't step up and take responsibility for their end product by doing something about it.

Saving Our Oceans is informative and infuriating, but ultimately it promises a bit of hope. Look for the release of this book in May, 2019.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Moonlight Mesa website is toast; email down; but sponsors Westerns, Whales and Oceans blog

Our website is toast. Our email is still down. But, on the bright side, a title has been decided for the ocean/plastic pollution book: Saving Our Oceans. That's it. And it's perfect. Between the title and the book cover, it speaks 1000 words. Well, there's a subtitle too. The cover will be posted probably this next week. The title will be entered in Books in Print for a 2019 publication date.

In other news...because of our commitment to OCEANS and PLASTIC POLLUTION, we have branched out and started an organization (or I should say we're starting an organization) entitled Westerns, Whales and Oceans. We even have a domain name for it should we get so far as to have a website. I shudder at having to maintain two websites when I'm not doing well with even one!

Nevertheless, Westerns, Whales and Oceans will have it's own blog, and we hope to keep it updated weekly with the latest news on our "watery" books and on the plastic pollution issue along with many entries about the state of the ocean, the horrible threat facing orcas, and the murderous rate at which some countries are slaughtering whales and dolphins.

Here, of course, we will focus on our westerns! AND, we intend to feature one book in each blog. The book will be on a special until the next blog when another book will be selected.

So get ready...next week we focus on a western! I'm thinking A Way in the Wilderness, by Paula Silici.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Website down! Top Selling Book and Upcoming Projects


Eeeks. Our website is down and may be down a spell. What a mess. It makes me exhausted even thinking about putting another one together. I figure an hour a day will be my max when I finally get around to it. Meanwhile, we are out of reach of email too. Crappy-doodle. This is the last thing I need...the last thing any business needs.


Remarkably, after selling well all summer, A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule was our top selling book in September, and has started the month of October off very strong also. Although extremely pleased, I guess I'm also a bit shocked as we've done no advertising or promotional work for this book to date. I was confident the book would sell, but not confident in numbers like this.

It's just another indication that we need to focus far more on nonfiction, even nonfiction "how-tos" than western fiction, particularly since we've had no word of any upcoming westerns from our favorite western writer, Jere D. James.

Now if we could just get the rowing book, The Old Folks in the Boat, flying off shelves!


In other good news...Saving a Whale is moving along very nicely. The cover has been decided on - but we are still considering the actual title.  Further, at this point we have decided to publish the book as a paper copy in addition to an ebook. That's right! This isn't a positively, absolutely concrete decision, but it's looking firmer. Likely the book would be formatted as an 8 x 5. Some drawings?

So far the book has focused on whales, plastic debris, recycling, the oceans and the IWC (International Whaling Commission). I think it's looking really good. So does my staff.

We're hoping for a spring release - but the last thing we need to do is to rush this book. Every time I've rushed a book I have lived to regret it.


For better or worse, we have officially abandoned our plastic bags and moved to paper bags for our events. I know---we're wasting trees. But at least our bags are made out of recycled paper! Plus, how can I talk to customers about refusing plastic if
I put their purchased books in plastic bags??? I even had stickers made to go on the bags that do some advertising and urge people to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."

Speaking of advertising, I've been asked to speak at the Boyd Ranch's upcoming NTRC equine event about plastic recycling & pollution! Okay, and also the mule ride, but I do plan on mentioning whales in there somewhere too.


That's right. We are officially off Facebook. So is Moonlight Mesa. So is the Boyd Ranch Mule Ride (my pages). It's that horrible, awful, political time of  year. I can't stand reading the hateful blather that gets published. What's equally as bad or worse...I get sucked into reading the comments and find myself responding in a snarky way. I don't like that. No one here wants to do FB except our cover genius, Vin Libassi, but he at least controls himself and is mannerly.  Vin is in Florida, not the office, so since no one here wants to deal with social media...we don't.

Jeez, no FB, no Snapchat, no Twitter and now no website. Hmmm.

I'll let you know when we are operational again...at this rate it may be awhile. Have a great Halloween. I'm taking my 3-year-old grandson trick-or-treating. I'm going as a publisher, which means I'll be wearing old levis, old shirts and boots. But I could go as a mule rider...that would mean I'd be wearing old levis, old shirts and boots.  Big decision.