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Karen Loucks Rinedollar » charity

There is a lot of grumbling that today is a difficult time to be a writer yet was it ever easy? The publishing world is definitely in an evolutionary period and it’s never been a better or easier  time for an author to get their word out. No longer does a writer have to be a slave to the whims of what a publisher deems to be good writing. If a story is good, it will sell. If it starts off as independently published and makes a big enough splash, it will attract the attention of a publisher. Yet, is that really the direction an author wants to take these days?

I have been told repeatedly that traditional publishing in not the way to go anymore. Sure, if you are lucky enough to land a plane successfully in the Hudson, win an Olympic gold medal or run any flavor of presidential campaign- publishers may line up at your front door waving money like stock traders and their Wall Street trading sheets. However, as the yet to be discovered writer, even if a publisher does pick up your work, it will probably be years before your story makes it to book form. Will there even still be book stores by the time the finished published copy is available to the public? The image of your precious story being properly placed at eye level in a store is almost as likely as being signed to play in the NFL.

The treasured “Advance” is rumored to be shrinking proportionally to the national debt rising, and is just a loan on future earnings. More and more, writers are expected to do their own marketing and public relations and with a publishing contract, they may sign their rights away or may feel as if they are selling their souls. Without the right agent, they may have waived their rights for cover designs and even book titles.

In one sense, it would be great to have a big company taking care of all the little details. It’s like the days of the mighty record companies. The best bands aren’t necessarily the ones that were being played on the radio- those were the ones who were lucky to have someone paying off the record execs for air time. Such is similar with the “Best Seller” lists. Got money (yours or publisher’s)? You too can get on that list even if the book is of little talent. There are enough lemming readers who base their entire reading selections from those Best Sellers lists.

It seems that the “Go Green” and “Buy Local” attitudes that are starting to catch with consumers, have yet to evolve to supporting local writers. There are amazing stories in our midst whatever large or small community we live in. Just because a book doesn’t contain a label from a publishing company doesn’t mean that it’s not worth your time. If the subject is something that you find interesting, take the leap and jump off the lemming train. Support a local writer! It keeps money in your community and may be helping that writer evolve to evenen greater heights.

I can honestly say that one of my proudest moments was while extricating the first copy of my book Working for Peanuts: The Project Linus Story out of its Createspace packaging. The thrill of seeing it in print and actually holding it for the first time has to be similar to that of cradling one’s precious baby. It didn’t leave my side for the first 24 hours. I was overjoyed to share it with my friends and family. Like raising a child, writing a book, takes a village. There were so many who helped make it all possible and were every bit as as excited as if I had just returned with a cutie from the labor ward- possibly more!  It would still be years, if ever,  that I would be able to experience that magical moment if I’d gone through a traditional publisher.

Until that big call comes from a reputable publishing company, I’m more than happy to put my time, talent, money and name on the line to let the world know about my unique adventure and empowering others to make a positive difference in this world. My baby, Project Linus, has been featured on the likes of Oprah, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams & People Magazine.  Publicizing a great story will be anything but a walk in the park but I’m not afraid of a little hard work.  It’s said-” It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” For now, I’m happy to have my story published in my time and in my way. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in that.

Did Harry Potter Wave his Magic Wand over Harvestfest?


Preparing for our Project Linus Harvestfest has been nothing short of magical. When Courtney Bitner suggested that her employer, Modern Woodmen of America, team up with Project Linus to assist with a fundraiser, I didn’t fathom how things would come together. The organization has provided all of our printed materials and will be matching up to $2500!

Originally we were planning on a 5k walk around Bingham Lake in the Pinery. It is a favorite habitat for beautiful Blue Herons and close to most in Parker. After meeting with Wes Crispin of the Coffee Cabin, plans evolved to a whole new level. Tents, bands, a signed jersey by Champ Bailey and other apparel by fellow Broncos Lonie Paxton and Mitch Unrein, blanket making, book signing, a bbq…. As I write (it’s 4 am!), award winning BBQist Randy Duran is tending to his smoker with the slabs of meat for today’s event.

Abracadabra, people started coming out of the woodwork to help! It’s as if a spell was cast and people couldn’t say no. As Tonya Gray is heading the silent auction efforts, I’m sure there will be more names to add to the list who I will definitely give well deserved credit to. Here’s the start:


Adores Amore Wedding Officiants

All in the Details’ Bobbie O.

Apron Divas

Arbonne’s Claudette St. Pierre

Bronco’s Store


Elements Therapeutic Massage

Four Seasons Hotel Denver

Gannon Grooming K-9 Salon & Market

Heather Mark’s (artist)

Home Depot

Jeanene Childers (realtor)

Margaret & John Hanssler

Mary Kay’s Diana Riley

Nick & Jim’s BBQ

Omega Martial Arts

PACE Center (Parker Arts Culture & Events)

Parker Laser and Anti-Aging Clinic

Party Lite’s Kimberly Hansen & Janice Leger

Pat the Birdman

Red Robin

Roundhouse Spirits


Sams Club

Servicestar Development Company



To The Rescue

Town of Parker

TQ Photography

Vines Wine Bar & Tapas

Web Designs Your Way

Wisp Hair Salon

Your Web Chick’s Chrissy Morin

The Weather Gods have answered our prayers as it is supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees.

We have dozens of volunteers scheduled to lend a hand from students to seniors. The band Road Wood will be sharing their music with the crowds. I definitely couldn’t have done this without four very special people – Courtney Bitner, Tonya Gray, Rudy Duran and Wes Crispin.

Time to pretend I’ve been given a sleeping potion and try to get a few more hours of shuteye before the real day begins. If you get the chance, please come by and join us- today, Saturday October 22, from 1-4pm at the Coffee Cabin in Parker, Colorado. Wizard costumes welcome!