If you missed seeing me at any of the events and author signings during the last three weeks, don’t fret. You can still get my books from Amazon, from my website and from the Candy Cane Inn in Anaheim.
Every book I have written is available in paperback format from www.penguinate.com. That’s the website where this blog post has been published. Simply order and pay for the book, and it will be shipped to you in a timely fashion.
If you feel better about using Amazon, you can get many of my books in paperback. Amazon is also the only place to get copies in eBook format via Kindle. (If you want paperback versions of “There Are No Penguins in Alaska” or “Disneyland Is Creativity,” you’ll need to order them from Penguinate.com.)
For people who are going to or near Disneyland, the Candy Cane Inn is a great place to pick up “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” in paperback. (It’s even better if you’re staying there.) The Candy Cane Inn is located on the same side of Harbor Blvd as Disneyland, and it carries a small collection of Disneyland books written by former employees and fans, including my own book and “Cleaning the Kingdom.”
In December, we are signed up to be at Salem Holiday Market from December 13 to 15. There might even be a new book by then.
On Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm, Shad Engkilterra will be signing copies of his books in front of Second Chance Books on Main Street in Independence from 10 am to 2 pm. Shad has written nine books for all ages; come by and check out the books that are right for you.
For children of all ages, “There Are No Penguins in Alaska” offers the opportunity to color while learning about the animals that people find in Alaska. The humor at the end will keep you smiling.
For those from 8 to 11 and for fans of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, the Adventures on the Amur series is two great adventure stories that take place in Far East Russia. Explore a little history and enjoy Steve and Irina’s adventures as they search for the Lost Treasure of Nikolai Nikolaevich or learn firsthand about the Curse of the Golden Kopeck.
For those in high school or older, “The Pirate Union” finds out what would happen if bureaucracy regulated pirate activities. This comedy with a 1990’s sensibility promises magic, puns, and fun as the crew of the Jolly Rogue tries to find out what the nefarious P.U. is up to.
Want to know what it was like growing up poor in the 1980s? “My Life in the Projects” is the mostly true story of how I survived living in government housing as a child.
For nonfiction fans, “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “the Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” offer looks at Disneyland and the Haunted Mansion with an eye toward creativity principles. Take a tour of the Happiest place on Earth and let Walt’s dream bring you greater joy and inspiration through greater creativity, or go through the Haunted Mansion as your Ghost Host leads you on a tour of the beloved attraction while materializing habits to become more creative.
If you need a bathroom reader or are looking for activities to improve your creativity and life, “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories” and “Penguinate! The Disney Company” are the books for you. These collections of short stories and essays provide suggestions for activities to do after each section. Penguinating is the power of positive creativity.
If you know you want a hard copy of the coloring book “There Are No Penguins in Alaska,” now’s the time to preorder it. Because we will be printing them in Russia, we will be unable to replenish our supplies between events. While we would love to sell out of them at Lilac City Comicon 2019 on June 1 and 2, we would hate for anyone to miss out on the coloring book just because they were later on our journey.
So, if you’re going to be at City Cakes and Café for my author signing on June 5, or you’re going to find us at Ogden UnCon on June 7 to 9, or you’re coming to Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con June 14 to 16, preordering ensures that we will have a copy with your name on it ready for you to pick up. More importantly, you can order them at the convention price of $5 and not have to worry about shipping and handling. Just click on the link to the event you’re going to.
If you aren’t going to make it to any of the events listed, but you can meet with us while we’re in Salem or during our journey, you can still get the $5 price. You just have to be able to pick the coloring book up. Otherwise, they are $8 plus shipping.
If you have no idea how to order, or you know you are going
to get one but you don’t want to officially order, leave a note in the comment
or contact us through our Facebook page. We’ll set one aside and contact you
about payment and delivery.
Of course, preordering anything else you might want is also
a good idea. Penguins take more than a day to make, so if we sell out of them,
they’ll be gone. Other books we may be able to replenish, but there’s no
guarantee. The best way to get what you want is to preorder! You can also order
items directly from Amazon or on Amazon Kindle, but they will not be eligible
for any discounts.
Remember, members of our Patreon Penguinator team get $1 off for every $10 they spend at our table during an event. If you know you’re going to buy something from us, you might want to join our Patreon and get your discount as well as more information on creativity and stuffed penguins.
As the manager for a larger organization in Alaska, I would
sometimes get a strange call. For my team, I didn’t have problems if someone
needed a day off or had to come in late as long as it wasn’t a habit. My
employees never took advantage of this, probably because they were part-time
and needed the money. They were also a good group. When I got this call,
however, I did a double take.
“Um, hello, Shad.” I could tell who it was though he identified
himself anyway. “Yeah, I’m going to be late coming into work. There’s a moose
in my driveway.”
What could I say? Having a moose or bear in the driveway was a good reason not to come into work. Moose are unpredictable, and no one wants to antagonize a bear. So, I said the only thing I could, “Okay, well, when the moose is gone, come on in. I’ll leave an evening shift spot open for you.”
“Great. Thanks.” He couldn’t tell me when the moose would
leave. I knew he needed his hours. This seemed like a good compromise. More importantly,
no one was put in any danger in order to get to work.
It wasn’t the first time I had heard someone use a wildlife
excuse. In fact, when I was an employee at a different organization, I had
faced off with a moose in my yard and decided to call into work instead of hope
the moose didn’t kick me or my car. I was new to Alaska, so when I talked to my
boss, he told me it was better to stay at home rather than risk agitating the
moose. I should stay home until the moose was gone. That was one of the best
things about Alaska. People tried to take care of each other.
When I first moved to Alaska, it was summer, and summers in
Alaska are glorious – absolutely beautiful. However, I was warned. Winter is
coming. If you want to survive Alaska and remain a resident for longer than a
season or two, you need to find an activity that you can do during the winter
months. This meant not only having the right clothing to go outside, but having
the right clothing that would be good for staying outside for prolonged
periods. The other important piece of information I was given about living in
Alaska is that it usually isn’t the first mistake that kills you; it’s the
mistakes that follow through poor decision making.
There are a lot of winter activities that people can engage
in: skiing, cross country skiing, skijoring, snowshoeing, ice skating, and
more. Trekking through the winter wonderland that Alaska becomes is amazing in its
own right, as long as you can stay warm. Fortunately, I had a friend who introduced
me to geocaching.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt. Geocachers hide ammo cans or Tupperware, mark the coordinates and publish those at geocaching.com. Other cachers seek those boxes. They sign the log book, trade items, and enjoy the wonderful outdoors.
My friend and I had one rule about winter geocaching. If the
temperature was lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit, we stayed at home. Living in
Anchorage the weather was relatively temperate, so those 10-degree days were
fewer and farther between than some places inland.
One Saturday, early in winter, the temperature pushed up to 10 degrees, and we got our gear together. We chose our destination, got our warm clothes on and headed out to the car. I wore plastic pants to keep melting snow from making my pants wet. They had buttons so that I could reach into my pants pockets if I had to.
We went into the park hiked around and came to a stream. It wasn’t
completely frozen over. There was ice on top, but the stream moved beneath. We
could walk to the bridge, but it was far away and I was cold. More importantly,
the arrow pointed right across the stream. I convinced my friend that we could
cross using the branch that hung below the water. It would just be a short jump.
He made it. I didn’t.
I fell through the ice. The stream ran into my plastic pants
and into my shoes. I had wool on, so I thought I should be okay. My friend knew
better. With the cache just feet away, I thought we should go get it. He said
no. We were going to go get a pizza and go home. It wouldn’t look good for a
director of health and safety (my job title at the time) to get hypothermia or
frostbite because he was too dumb not to make the second mistake.
He was right. Getting wet wasn’t really an immediate issue.
Staying out there would’ve created a bigger problem. So, we went back home. I
took a warm shower and changed into dry clothes and then we ate pizza. Geocaching
was one of two activities that I engaged in to make it through the winter.
Subscribe to this blog and don’t miss when I post about the next one.
I stepped out of my apartment door on the ground level and
my breath misted as I bent down to pick up the Sunday paper. I stood up and
about ten feet away from me was a moose. “Good morning, Mr. Moose,” I said and
backed slowly into the apartment closing the door.
A lot of people are under the misconception that bears are
the most dangerous animal in Alaska. The thing is bears are predictable. You
can predict what a bear is going to do based on the circumstances. If you’re
running, the bear will chase you; it’s predatory instinct. If a black bear
attacks, it’s intending to eat you. If a grizzly attacks, it’s most likely
protecting something, usually cubs, sometimes food or territory. Bears mostly
avoid people, so as long as you don’t surprise them, you can keep yourself safe
– for the most part.
Moose, on the other hand, are unpredictable. Moose are huge,
so they don’t perceive threats the same way we would. In fact, it often seems
that moose are unaware of people. Tourists will pet them on the nose, and
nothing will happen. These tourists are stupid. A moose may not perceive a
threat when a person approaches. It may not perceive a threat when the person
reaches his or her hand out to touch the moose. It may not even perceive a
threat when the person touches it. When the person turns his or her back, the
moose could perceive a threat and attack. A moose can kick a wolf dead. So,
while they look like big, dumb cows, they are the most dangerous animal in
Protecting yourself from moose means just staying away from
them. Even if they just get startled and trample you, they can cause serious
injuries. Moose are wild animals and not meant to be petted. Admire their
magnificence from afar, but if you see a couple of moose on a trail turn around
and go back the way you came. Moose are docile until the moment they are not,
and no one can say when that moment is.
You want a super exclusive version of “There Are No Penguins In Alaska”? Order in the next eight hours from my website, and I will send you a signed and numbered, limited edition printed proof. The number will be limited to however many people can get their order in within the next eight hours on Jan 17, 2019. That’s when I put my order in to the printer.
I already have 10 set aside. These coloring books feature
all of the animals and drawings from Transcend Studio along with my words. There
are black bears, grizzly bears and polar bears… But there are no penguins in Alaska.
There are lots of animals, but there are no penguins in Alaska.
Before the Official Release
With 24 inside pages to color on A3 paper so that the book is roughly 8.5 by 11. There’s no better time to get this coloring book before its official release date. Once you have it, you can review at my website or on Amazon where it’s awaiting its release an eBook. Put your order in now because it expires soon.
There is a lot of misinformation about Alaska that Alaskans
hear from tourists and see in movies and TV. Some people think the money is
different. Some people think everyone lives in an igloo. Some people think that
there’s gold lying on the beaches waiting to be picked up. And some people ask
where they can see the penguins in Alaska. There are no penguins in Alaska.
When I left Alaska in 2012 and traveled through the Lower 48, I got asked a lot of questions about my time in Alaska. Does it really stay light for 24 hours a day in summer? How cold does it get really? What do you do for fun in the winter? What’s the best part of living in Alaska? Why did you leave? Did you see any penguins while you were there? I would answer each of the questions as well as I could. For the last question, I would point out that Polar Bears would eat the penguins and that there are no penguins in Alaska.
In order to publish “There Are No Penguins in Alaska” as a coloring book at a reasonable price ($2 per book my cost to retail at $4), I need to order 750 or more copies. That’s $1500 for anyone playing along. I could get fewer copies, but the price goes up pretty drastically, capping out at $5 a copy for 50 copies. That’s only (Haha! Only!) $250 but then I would have to charge $10 per book to make any money. Who’s going to buy a coloring book for $10? Maybe you, since you’re reading this, but not most people. Most people won’t even spend that on a regular kid’s book or any eBook.
Other writers or artists, at this point, would probably launch a Kickstarter, or maybe they would’ve launched it sooner. I, on the other hand, realize that I will publish this book in one form or another, and a Kickstarter would take away from my opportunity to write more books before I start touring the inland states in June where I will sell my books at Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, City Cakes and Cafe in Salt Lake City, Ogden UnCon in Ogden and Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con in Las Vegas, as well as any other bookstores, coffee shops or venues on the way that will have me.
In lieu of running a Kickstarter, which would definitely
kill one or both of the books I plan on finishing before June, I am offering a
presale. The price for the preorder is set at $8 in case I have to settle for
the higher printing costs and to account for shipping and handling, which is
more expensive than people would believe. If I can get 80 preorders of the hard
copy and/or the Kindle version of the book, I will find the other money I need
to print the rest of them. Even if only two people preorder, I am still going
to print them, just not in the massive quantity of 750 or for the cheaper
This is a challenge. I haven’t sold 80 of any single book, so this preorder, if it works, would make “There Are No Penguins in Alaska” my most popular book. If you’ve read this far, thank you for your interest and support. Please share this page to your social media network, tag me and add “#penguinate.”
I went running in Juneau on a particularly stressful day,
got to the end of the trail and headed back to the car. As I ran around the
corner, I saw a black bear’s butt. The wind was blowing at me, and the black
bear didn’t see me. I backed up slowly and quietly until I couldn’t see the
bear anymore. Then I realized I had to go through the bear to get to my car,
and my lunch break was ending.
Look, in Alaska, if you’re faced with an animal, bear or moose, you can be late to work, and no one bats an eyelid. “There was a moose in your yard? Huh. Well, glad you waited and are here now.” Even so, I don’t like to be late, but I was stuck as to what I should do. Then, I decided to sing. That way the bear knew I was there. “Look for the Bear Necessities” was the first song I came up with. There was another bear song, and then I decided to check the path. Whether it was the quality of my singing or just the fact that I was making noise, there was no bear, but I kept singing as I ran to the car.
When I got to the main trail, I saw another runner and
warned him of the bear in the area. He said “Thanks” and started shouting “Hey
Bear” as he ran past. I always thought that was a joke played on chechakos (newbies;
greenhorns) when they came to Alaska.
Every year in Alaska, inevitably, there is a report about a
runner who was attacked by a bear. Usually the attack takes place in or near Anchorage,
and the runner is an experienced Alaska. The actions that a person should take
depend on the type of bear. A black bear that attacks is probably going to eat
you, so you need to fight back. A grizzly bear that attacks is usually just
trying to eliminate you as a threat; these attacks generally take place when a
cub is nearby. Cover up your neck and head while lying with your face to the
It sounds easy enough. Yet, one experienced runner, who ran
between a Grizzly mother and her cub and was knocked down by the bear, got up
to run away. The bear knocked him down again. He got up a third time, and he got
knocked down again. He told the news reporter he knew what he was supposed to
do, lie down and play dead, but it was just too hard to do it with all those
teeth in his face.
The problem with running in the Last Frontier is that three-fold:
runners tend not to be aware of their surroundings intentionally, running is a
silent activity, and running triggers the predatory instinct in bears – if it’s
running it must be food, and when the bears are out, they are looking for
As a runner (or a person in general), you should always be
aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are. Bears may not exist in
every state, but there are threats that are worse. Using earbuds to listen to
music while running (I’ve been guilty of this) is a great motivator, and a
great way to miss something you should have seen. It’s nice to have a beat to
step to, but it isn’t safe, especially if it cuts out the other sounds you
should be listening for, like the movement of underbrush or a footfall behind
Most runners like to run in silence, especially if they are
working out and they are breathing heavily. However, your workout shouldn’t cause
you to breathe so heavily that you can’t hold a conversation. In Alaska,
shouting “Hey Bear!” as you run is a great way to deter an attack. Bears
usually avoid people. By letting them know where you are, the bears will go
around you, and you’ll never even know they’re there.
Running is a good stress reliever and can take off the
weight quickly. Just be sure to be safe when you’re on the trail and always
consult a doctor before starting any exercise regime.