Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Debate - Is Pug A Children's Book?

Pug At The Beach. A small dog teaches us all how to live an abundant and authentic life.

A common perception of Pug At The Beach is that it's a children's book. It is not. Well, sort of. It's a book written for an adult audience but one that kids happen to enjoy as well. Everybody loves Pug and he is indeed a book for all ages, but children will need guidance in grasping the deeper concepts of the Pug philosophy as well as some of the language. And I've found that kids are eager to step into that role.

Yes, I have young readers as part of my audience, some as young as 6 years old, but they are reading Pug with their parents. In that respect Pug is a wonderful tool - opening up communication and discussion between parent and child on values and life philosophies. Once guided, kids can then look to Pug as a role model of sorts, and in difficult situations can ask themselves, What would Pug do? Adults do this too, combining their existing beliefs with Pug's creating a deeper dimension which serves to heal heart and mind.

I always say that Pug At The Beach is a book written for "big kids, like us"  (that is, adults) but kids like him too because they know a good thing when they see one. 

Benjamin Gline, was 13 years old when he read Pug. His mom, of a friend of mine, sent along this from Ben himself:

"I liked the life lessons Pug gave, because most of them were about embracing the simple things in life and how to have a good time."

The fact that Pug's reach extends beyond my targeted, adult audience is a testament to his power as a modern day icon for self-discovery through play.

Take a look at these pages from the Pug website and then decide for yourself - is Pug a children's book? (a free preview of the 2nd Pug book)

And lastly, just for fun, my other blog which chronicles life lessons learned while walking the beach everyday:


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why Andre Kazanas Should Have Waited Before He Shot Himself

Havana, Cuba
"It was down a cobble stoned, palm lined street in Old Havana that Andre Kazanas last walked before his untimely and self inflicted death at the age of thirty-two.

He was a painter from childhood, at first making crude stick figures which seemed somehow more refined than those of the other children his age and then later, as he grew into adolescence and even later still, inevitably, manhood, he painted daily. Over the years he experimented not just with the various mediums or their applications, but with subject matter as well. The brushes were love in his hands, they felt like the comfort of warm milk and the erotic hold they had on his heart gave him no choice but to concede to the passion that, in all, consumed very nearly his entire life.

Under advisement from the inner voices that had haunted him for longer than he could, or would have cared to remember, Andre Kazanas had tended to his lingering unpaid bills with money squirreled away from the occasional painting sold on a nearby street corner to tourists from England or Morocco, or from a belt worn tighter and even on occasion from a bit of much denied thievery; the details of which would debase an otherwise worthy sense of pride and integrity should the particulars be made public. The entire matter, done over the span of three weeks, just twenty one short days, was handled with the ease and relief of an early afternoon summer swim in the warm emerald green waters of the Cuban Gulf Stream. And after the echoing sound of gunfire had subsided, no one was more shocked at his death than Andre Kazanas himself.

He had chased the dream woman for ten years before the unbearable pain completely and utterly consumed him. Left at the mercy of his muse, he was not to understand the meaning of his pain, his passion and indeed the meaning of his life until just after pulling the trigger of the small caliber pistol he had aimed with precision to his temple. It was there in the millisecond between the hammer slamming down and the hot metal piercing his flesh that it all became perfectly clear. An entire life and further reaching still, the entire universe and its meaning had come into focus with crystal clarity. But, by then it was too late.

The muse that had haunted him, indeed tortured him right over the brink, was the very identity of his existence. He never once considered the option of lying still long enough to absorb the ache that permeated his soul to process it into his being, his persona. He misunderstood this muse of his. Misinterpreted it as a forbearer of evil; purveyor of insanity. He was not aware that he was being offered a gift; one that under different circumstances would have found him envious of it’s bearer and begging for a turn at the brass ring of this merry go-round carnival ride of life - a life he had just seconds before ended.

The muse was a gift of the highest order but not having the necessary music in his heart - a music of the spheres - he was not able to see it as a good and hallowed thing. Tortured by the cacophonous confusion of an orchestra playing loudly, wildly and without a conductor, he chose to silence the band.

It was not until his landlord unlocked the door of Andre Kazanas’ cramped studio apartment high above the din of Parisian like streets that the world “discovered” him. His muses, their grip fastened tightly, commanded him to paint the angels he saw in his mind’s eye and when he ran out of canvas and could afford no more, he painted the walls. A celestine prophecy. Man’s eternal search for an earthly representation of the heavens was answered. Beyond the Bible, beyond Michelangelo, Andre Kazanas had been given a gift from a Divine Spirit and when the gift was fully appreciated in the way of physical completion Andre Kazanas..." 

~from the short story, "The Passage of Andre Kazanas" 

What happened to Andre Kazanas and how does his story teach us about how our lives impact others? Find out buy visiting my Amazon Author Page. Click on the Navigating By The Stars book and in 30 seconds you'll find out. ~ Amazon Author Page

We travel through our lives without much thought about how our actions, both positive or negative, influence the lives of others. The Passage Of Andre Kazanas is a moving testament to this power.

I'm always amazed when people tell me about a particular story or poem or Pug Adventure I'd written years ago changed their lives. Whether it's the man who started each day reading my poem "Morgan Dreams" to keep him motivated to chase his own tropical dream, or the paralyzed woman who read my essay on Salsa dancing before her daily physical therapy sessions because she was determined (and succeeded) to walk again after brain surgery, each story we share changes the lives of people near and far.

So, when you're getting a little melancholy about your life and how it doesn't seem to add up or seem to make any difference, remember that it really does. And if Andre Kazanas had waited a little longer before ending his life he may have realized that. ~ Navigating By The Stars
The Passage of Andre Kazanas ~ A Cuban painter, tortured by his muse, realizes too late the healing powers his paintings have teaching us that what we do has an impact on others, more than we may realize.

Navigating By The Stars, Five Very Short Stories From The Islands. While very short, shorter than traditional short stories, the five distinct and thought provoking stories in this collection will intrigue the reader to ask of themselves,
“What would I do?”

Photo credit:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pug's Psychology Of The Second Interest, Or Why You Won't Get $1,200 Of Free Stuff When You Buy One Of My Books

Books by Jackson Dunes. 

A while back I wanted to buy a particular book online but it came with $1,200 of "free" downloads. Included in the sales pitch was a long list of secondary products along with a description of those products. But something just didn't feel right about this deal. It felt contrived. Later I found out about the philosophy behind the deal.

It's called the "psychology of the second interest" and it's a way to get you to buy something by offering you a bunch of free stuff. To increase sales, companies add incentives, the free stuff, to lure you in. People believe they're getting so much more for their dollar and are lured into buying a product.

My feeling is that none of us needs $1,200 of free downloads and quite frankly I personally don't want nor do I need $1,200 in freebie downloads clogging up my hard drive. To me that just diminishes the value of the original product. It's like saying, "my $20 widget has so little value, I'm going to trick you into thinking it does by giving you all this other stuff too."

So here's the thing. When you buy a Pug At The Beach book you won't get any free products, no free downloads that you may never open. That's a "gimme" mentality. I believe in keeping it simple, one book at a time. What you WILL get is peace of mind. Well, you'll have to actually work on that part yourself, but you'll get a fun, thought provoking tool (the book) to guide you into reclaiming your own power. Because even if you don't THINK you gave up your inherent power, if you're unsettled in any way, you did indeed give it up.

Now, there's nothing wrong with losing our power as long as we get it back and become aware of the process involved in losing and regaining it. It's all about becoming aware. It's through this awareness that we can truly learn how to make our lives more enriched and begin to chase our dreams.

Here's another thing. There are lots of good books out there to help us learn awareness and how to invite it into our lives and I suggest you look at them all and even buy them all. But when you do make sure you include Pug At The Beach book in there as well. Because while you make not get $1,200 in free stuff, the money you spend will be worth so much more than $1,200.

Take a look at what readers have said about Pug At The Beach:

Jackson Dunes
Top Dog
Pug At The Beach
Delray Beach, Florida
Making my dreams come true one book at a time.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

How Pug Was Created ~ The Introduction From The Book "More Adventures From The Beach"

This is the introduction from the second book in the Pug At The Beach book series,
More Adventures From The Beach.
Availability and purchasing info follows the introduction.


Long ago in a faraway land,
on a remote island at the end of a string of islands,
surrounded by warm, clear, turquoise green waters,
where pirates and carpenters with PhD’s live,
(each having reputedly escaped from a former life),
in a quaint little house on Petronia Street,
a small dog was born.

Through the imagination of a princess,
and a few quick strokes of a pen,
along with a pronouncement of his name,
~ “I think I’ll call him PUG!”~
a new life was created and a sage was born.

With the snout of a shark and a dorsal fin for an ear,
his collections of really nice surfing shorts was a natural accompaniment
to his striking and individualist manner.
And his Lama-like wisdom jived nicely with his Buffett style flair for play.

In the beginning he would lead her
into unknown worlds
where the paths to enlightenment
were rife with bramble bushes and one eyed giants.
Later, once she found her sea legs, it was she who led him
through the ABC’s of business books and spiritual leaders,
straight into the hands of you, dear reader.

In this book,
the second in the series of Pug books,
you will find magical worlds of
high flying hopes and dreams come true.
You will come to understand that
silk purses can be made from sow’s ears
and that the reality of windows and doors both open and close,
and close and open, usually when you least expect it
and certainly when you feel not at all prepared.
You will be encouraged to follow your dreams,
asked to consider the notion that you are good at more than just one thing,
and that perhaps your true calling lies just around the corner
just out of range of normal sight.

On a sandy white beach path lined with sea grapes,
where the scent of frangipani fills the air,
shaded from a little latitude sun,
sitting under a palm tree reading a book,
you’ll find your own escape.

At first, read Pug’s recipe for peace of mind and dreams come true.
Then, honor your individual needs by creating your own recipe
because that’s what Pug At The Beach is really about;
giving you hope and inspiration through the playful adventures
of a small island dog philosopher named Pug.

And always remember to…
Make it a beach day whatever that looks like for you.

Jackson Dunes
Delray Beach, Florida

More Adventures From The Beach is available at:
Barnes & Noble:
Four Adventures from the new book: