Why Are They Called “Maps?”

Isn’t it obvious? They’re maps.


Mural Closeup

It’s been a bit since I’ve checked in. I hope all is well with you!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on quite a few projects, big and small. I’m happy to announce a massive project, parts of Scandinavia, including Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The project is in the hands of some friends, experts, to do an edit. I’m having to sit on my hands while I wait.

But I don’t have to be so still before I post this beautiful piece. I’ve been busy bringing some of my other maps to a new scale, by converting them into murals. They are printed on an adhesive fabric, the kind I’ve used for museum installations. They have become quite popular, in fact! I have a wall I’ve been waiting for the right design. I might just pick the mural I’m featuring in the following link:

Here’s the link!

Sometimes, when inspired, I fire through designs in a feverish marathon. I wanted to impress a friend with a rustic Montana map.

Rustic Montana

I’m working on a new map, with intensity. I won’t tell until it’s done! I find it hard to take time away! Work is, well, not work!



BoundaryWatersSm39x27I’ll not be shy!  I want folks to see my work, and would frankly like you to have some in you home!


Prizes can be seen here.

I will be hosting this event for another three days.  All the maps I produce now are made from scratch using public domain data, converted and laid out to create clean and readable information in an aesthetic setting. My mission is to foster interest in printed maps for people of all ages by building beautifully designed and geographically accurate designs.  They are educational!  Frankly, I’ve got a huge backlog of map ideas.  I wish there was more time in the week!

Free Map Posters!

Accurate world map combined with a cool blue stare.

Accurate world map combined with a cool blue stare.

As promised, I will be holding my map giveaway, this week!

I’ve decided to kick off the event at the publishing of an interview by a widely read blogger, Thirdeyemom!


Thirdeyemom? This is the blogger name for Nicole Melancon, traveller, writer, parent and humanitarian. She has agreed to interview me for her new blog series. Please, feel free to check it out, as well as her other work, as she studies the world as an explorer, and assists with projects and concepts to improve our planet.

Here is the contest link: http://bit.ly/1fsX3Be

Hatching GummiBears from Little Eggs

Number 4 of the series… it takes a little longer to digitize than I anticipated.

Pursuing the perfect title… This one is getting close.  But how to tie it into my subject of the day?  Oh, I’ve got it!  It’s the perfect segue to one of my next books, “The Good Ship and Crew of the Mrs. Nuisance.”  If you are into impossible struggles and absurd situations, this is the story for you!  There are no Gummi’s, that was just a publicity stunt.  You may look forward to similar concepts, though.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.  I hear a lot of people quote, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  It’s maybe not as accurate as it could be.  Let’s try, “If life gives you lemons, then have lemons…” or “If life gives you lemons, fuss really loud, someone will help you…” 😉 This is sarcasm… I have good thoughts, too.  Maybe there is no such thing as “Lemons.”  Then again, there is room for an awakening tart… something.  To me, it’s a sense that is not completely undesirable.  There’s a bit of nutrition there, too, don’cha-know!  The point is that there is a medicinal value to sour.

Short post, today.  Home.  Coffee.

I got a response from my charity contact.  I’m going to try a collaboration with this organization… mutual benefits, I’m thinking.  Hunting and gathering.  Seeking opportunity!

Tomorrow, Friday November 30th, I will be offering my new book Critical Repair for free!!!  This is a one day promotion… So for that one day only, click here and download your copy!!!

Critical Repair: The Adventures of Tat the Bat and Nolan
Cover Art by Doug Crews-Nelson

I’ll leave you with:


Thank you for reading my stuff!



I skipped #2 thinking, “Let’s wait with that.”

This style of title is called, “There is no connection to anything, and doesn’t really make sense.”  It is attractive, none the less!

Today I’m writing from the local Starbucks.  It’s about a quarter of the distance of my regular coffee spot.  Did I wimp out?  Ha, well, sure, with a footnote.  I just have so much on my plate, I would rather get to work!  On the upside, Starbucks is upstairs in the local Target and I took the stairs instead of the escalator… not to mention walking here in the first place… I guess I did mention it! 😉

I’m in my favorite spot, here, overlooking University Avenue, toward downtown Madison, the massive University Hospital campus dominating the skyline.  Whatta bunch of sunshine we have today!  So nice.  I’ve thought about parking outside the Target parking ramp.  They have sensors that activate automatic brakes on all of their shopping carts, to keep people from taking them too far away.  When people try to roll them past the boundaries Target has designed, the carts stop fast in their tracks.  It’s interesting watching how hard people try to force those carts further, shouldering them over the crosswalk like those blocking dummies they use for football practices.  I digress…

The obligatory plug for my new book!  Presenting Critical Repair, the first installment of “The Adventures of Tat the Bat and Nolan” series.  It’s an affordable four bucks, win – win.

I have submitted research to my friend that is helping me design my very exciting product, that will take the the world by storm and propel me into the world of financial giants!  Done with my marketing piece for my art map poster project.  Although, I’m waiting on the charity.  I want permission to use their logo on my product.  The plan is to donate 10% of my profits to them… Global Impact’s Disaster Relief Fund…  We’ll see.  I may need to forgo that part, in the beginning, until I get a track record with them.  Thems is the active projects.  Hallrighty.

I had a new thought, today.  Over the years, I’ve been involved with organizing and running a guitar club for youth.  This year, I took on a student, elementary aged… just strumming, mind you.  So I was thinking, “I’ve had adults ask me if I had a group that would include adults for guitar.  Hey, why don’t I just do that!  Strumming lessons for adults!  Genius.”  I’m not saying that I’m a genius, just my idea!

So, today I’m going to set up my system and see if I get any bites.  I’m probably looking at twelve bucks a session, with no less than four people per group and up to six.  That seems manageable.  The class would run for six weeks.  If there is interest, I could have more than one class a week!  The goals are pretty straight forward, technique and confidence building.  That’s all we need in life, right?

I’ll leave you with Hengh.

Thanks for taking the time to read!


Have I ever told you?

First in the “Cloud Man” series… more to come?

… and so it goes…

I remember that I had created a comic series that was popular with locals, several years ago.  I’m starting to digitize them!  The beauty of Cloud Man is that, in the end, he’s vapor.  It doesn’t keep him from doing some pretty remarkable things.  So I guess, he is vapor, usually.  I have been thinking of compiling all my Cloud Man stories and publishing them, too!

So, as usual, I’ll give a plug for my new book Critical Repair, which is available online and soon as print!  I say this to keep things in perspective.  I really want to share my stories.  That’s why I’m here!  I think, given the option, or perhaps any sign whatsoever, I would write full time!  I need to know it will support me.  Plain and simple!

Alright, as nerdy as I am, I’ve calculated that if I sold a little less than 4,000 of my ebooks per year, it would cover my expenses.  In that case, I’m 3,992 copies to go, to reach my goal!  If you all can help me reach this goal, I’ll give you a BIG virtual smile! 🙂

Today, I’m in the apartment, specifically the dining area at the table.  There is a mural from a snapshot my wife and I took on a backpacking trip to Colorado, several years ago, a framed portrait of a wild lake in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Minnesota, a few snapshots and paintings, some plants, lamps, furniture and the like… all pretty standard living room fare, I’m guessing.  It’s been a nice place to work, this morning, with a dazzle of sunshine sparking up the room.

Although my original plan was to walk to the coffee shop this morning, my plans altered.  Too much work!  I have been progressing on my map poster sell sheet.  It seems as though the toughest projects are those I do for myself.  My wife gives me good and objective advice, though.  It will be in good shape, by the end of the day!  I’m still waiting to hear from Global Impact to know if I can put their logo on my products that I plan on donating a portion of sales profit… Always waiting.

There is some research I need to accomplish, for a product development project, I’m working on with a friend.  This will, hopefully, be a cash flow project!  That is much needed, now, but probably won’t be up and running until mid-winter.  I’m guessing, I’ll probably start seeing some good response for my book, by then, too!

I have been in touch with a niece, who is an illustrator, to collaborate on a novel with extensive graphics… not to be mistaken for a graphic novel, which in my mind is more like a comic book, but I may be wrong about that.  Yes, I have several chapters done and would like to start seeing images.  This will also serve to accelerate the work, for me.  I approached this one differently, by outlining the story.  In the past, I write as I go, having to return and rearrange it as fits.  This time, if adjustments are needed, it may be easier.  Plus, I can focus more on the tale, knowing the direction of the plot.

In the mean time, I’ve learned to never window shop.  It seems as soon as I start putting together a wish list, the projects fall apart!  Am I superstitious?  Well, of course!

I’ll leave you with:


Thank you for taking time to stop by!


New Book, Action/Philosophy, and Low Fruit

So.  I think for now, the descriptive string of words for my titles are doing well, for me.  This time, it’s two words per set, which give it a sort of meter.  I think they’re disjointed enough to be attractive…

Just a quick rant:  As I get older, I never expected I would be getting physical issues by doing, basically, nothing at all.

“How’s it going, Doug?”

“Alright… I’ve got this neck injury, though… aakkhh!” rubbing neck.

“Really, what happened?!”

“Oh, just sitting at my computer…”

So that’s part of the reason I’m at the library, today.  It’s about a mile from home.  I get a little exercise, but also get into the public a bit.  Usually, it’s a stop for coffee at EVP, the local coffee shop on Midvale Boulevard, then the library.  I got a late start, so went straight to work.  After Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to be a bit kinder to my body, this includes moderation of coffee habits.

So, I’ve got one of my favorite spots near the window, overlooking the intersection at Tokay Boulevard, enjoying being inside and not running errands or commuting on this cold November late morning.  The room is well shared by four other people.  Somewhere in the building a kid is vocalizing some nondescript sounds as the circulation system churns out soft white noise…  There, now you are sitting with me!

I thought I would talk for a minute about my new book, Critical Repair: The Adventures of Tat the Bat and Nolan.  For those who would like the skinny on some of the nuances of the story, here are some brief clues!  The story is set as action/adventure and maybe science fiction/fantasy, but has some strong and deeper concepts, that I hope stand out.  The characters, especially Tat, Nolan and Abner are steeped in philosophies that rule their lives.

For those who appreciate guidelines, these guys really have it down.  Observational neutrality and seeking questions are the foundation of daily life.  There are moments when they sense alteration in their perceptions, which poke at their beliefs.  As I move into the second book of the series, you will see their stability unravel, even further.  But for this time, we can see a very viable driving philosophy, where our characters can firmly plant their security.  Oh yes, and look for Laine to play a very active role in the next novel!

And now the Fruit!  So, a lot of people look down at self promotion, when it comes to goods and services.  I’m coming to find that it is just a fact of life.  I feel bad for people if they are annoyed by my sales and advertising mode.  Gotta make a living, eh?  So I would suggest, please don’t take it personally.  I try to deal with it in a professional way, which means, “You win some, you lose some.”

I like this blog!  To me it’s part of the low fruit, and as a hunter/gatherer I will seek what I deem as ripe and delicious, slice it and share with my family and those in need.  There is plenty for everyone, I’m telling you.  But, ahh, I preach.  Again, sorry…

More fruit:  In a few minutes, I’ll be opening a sell sheet file I’ve started in Adobe Illustrator, for a map product I’ve been developing over the months.  It was today that I decided to donate 10% of profits to Global Impact’s Disaster Relief Fund.  This sounds good to me!  Ten percent won’t hurt, really, as long as I’m still able to eat, I figure.

I’ve got a database with some company details on potential distribution venues.  Problem is I can’t print samples right now.  I might start a Kickstarter campaign to try and generate some funds… maybe.  I’ve tried twice with different projects.  I just can’t seem to get the support I need…

Ah well, “You win some, you lose some.”

Thanks for reading!


Six Copies Sold, How to become fluid, and Starving Artist

Just an update for those who have “Liked” my new publication.  I have sold six copies in two days… Jump on board, before they are all gone!  😉

Alright.  So I’m writing a bit more, at the beginning of my blog, than I will down the line.  Time will tell…  To stay flexible with my projects, will maintain overall efficiency.  I want to be able to easily transition from process to process.  So, as I am working, I stay on task until I reach a decent breaking point, then on to the next thing.

I would like to define my search for business opportunities as “Hunting and Gathering.”  I’m guessing “Cultivation” occurs when one has a defined market or client(s).  I’ll get there.  In the mean time, I’ll don my face paint and sniff the ground for clues to success.

So on the front end, I’m sending out promotions and general information.  This is kind of passive, but necessary to narrow down the territories being pursued.  I have developed databases, showing detailed company and contact information for potential venues to sell my map posters.  I don’t have samples, mainly because I can’t afford them.  I tried to fund poster sample runs on Kickstarter, but got only a quarter of the way to funding my goal.  So I’ll have to shoot from the hip, if a vendor wants to see a hard copy of my products.  I have production and logistics set and ready for action.  The biggest and most important part of the process is sales.  That’s where I am, now.  I’ve never thought myself a salesman, but have heard that I’m not too bad… Really, it’s the missing piece to my puzzle.  I need to wipe out the stereotypes from my mind and just become genuine.  I’ve known salespeople who are like this.  I know it’s possible.  “Fake it ’till you make it!”

I think it’s the best thing to visualize your success.  The key to making your goals is efficient activity.  Those goals don’t magically happen.  Efficiency is a necessary partner with activity.  How many times have I been too busy to address an important issue, while tied up in busy work?  Efficiency helps to maintain healthy life.

While I progress through my daily and monthly projects, I depend on some of my work to pan out.  I doubt that I am a literary genius, but am not horrible, either.  I love writing, that I know!  I hope I can get some readership going for my books.  I would be content focusing more of my time on writing.  Until, I see the signs, I’ll just have to juggle projects.  It’s a tough market, especially with all of the writers out there in our well connected world.
All the best,


It’s Alive!!!

Well, it’s live, anyway… 🙂  My first book is on it second day as an “eproduct.”  So I was studying the Kindle site for more clues on promotion for my work when I came across a service that Amazon offers called Createspace.  It looks like a very user/author friendly way of offering on demand printing of a book!!!  This is HUGE!  I know many people who don’t read digital books who would be able to purchase my product through Createspace.

So, is it time to narrow my focus?  At this point, I’m going to say that I’m approaching it.  But why?  I don’t think it’s out of the question to keep juggling.

I’ll explain:  I have been spending some months designing decorative map posters for retail.  Having recently compiled a list of possible distributors, I am poised to email sell sheets with the hopes of generating interest in printed maps for home and office.  I have also been meeting with a guy to generate ideas for product development.  I believe we are on a good tangent and close to beginning design on something of interest for the general public.  Oh, and I’ve been doing some contract work doing graphic design.

All in all, my next focus is to get “Critical Repair” ready for paperback.  I’ll be getting a printed proof over the next week or so.  I’m excited!

As far as my next book, I’ve started “The Good Ship and Crew of the Mrs. Nuisance.”  In fact, I’m on chapter four.  But I’m on the fence on whether to finish that one right away or get a jump start on the next of the “Adventures of Tat the Bat and Nolan” series.  It might work to straddle them both.  We’ll see what happens.

Thanks for stopping!