An interview with Yertle, Former King of all Sala-ma-Sond 

YTT_largeFollowing the dethroning of King Yertle, the residents of the pond returned to their idyllic life, unaware of how much things would change once their new king, Mack, was coronated.  It seems that while King Mack’s aspirations were not as lofty as those of the previous ruler, he nevertheless had plans for the pond-dom that would soon lead to ruin.

In an attempt to make sense of the events that followed the regime change, I contacted Yertle the Turtle, former King of all Sala-ma-Sond, who agreed to set the record straight.

Me: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Your Highness.

Former King Yertle: *winces* Please, just ‘Yertle’ is fine.  I am a private citizen now earning an honest living providing much-needed mud products to my fellow turtles.

Me: Of course, thank you, Yertle.  It’s just that this is my first interview with royalty and I’m a bit nervous.

Yertle: Understandable.  I was quite the imposing figure in my day, but again, I’m merely another turtle in the pond now.  Not that there are many left after the mess Mack made of things.

Me: Yes, about that… What happened?

Yertle: Honestly, it all transpired so quickly, I’m still a bit fuzzy.  One moment I was King of all Sala-ma-Sond, exalted higher than any turtle has ever been, adored and respected by my subjects and wielding power rivaled only by the Great A’Tuin, and then, suddenly, I was nothing, coated in the most amazing restorative mud–available online at–and Mack was perched on my throne, belching like a cretin.  It was frankly the most disgusting display I had ever seen.

Me: That must have been hard for you.  Did you anticipate what would happen next?

Yertle: Of course I did! I caught a glimpse of the creature as the moon rose over my head.  I’m still slightly peeved about that, I must say. The nerve! In any case, I saw the huge shape approaching but there was nothing I could do.  Mack wouldn’t allow my beautiful throne to be rebuilt and there was no other way to verify what I had seen.

Me: How did the pond-dom react to your news and specifically, what did King Mack do to prepare?

Yertle: Nothing.  *sniffs*  They didn’t believe me. They actually thought that all I cared about was power. As if I hadn’t given my entire existence to serving my pond-dom as king for the majority of my life.

Me: Did King Mack make any preparations at all?

Yertle: *laughs* Of course not.  The only talent the usurper had was belching the alphabet and writing his name in the snow with his own urine. *pauses* That last bit is kind of impressive for a turtle, but still, he’s nothing but a fool.

Me: Wait… I thought that King Mack–

Yertle: *interrupts* Please stop calling him that.  He is no more King than I am a parrot. Sure, he sits on my throne and wears a cat-tail circlet that his mother made for him, but he’s no King.  

Me: Uh, okay, so didn’t… didn’t Mack’s greed destroy the pond?

Yertle: Greed?  That simpleton doesn’t have a greedy spot on his shell.  Oh, and speaking of shell spots, Yertle’s Miracle Mud–patent-pending–fades imperfections and restores your shell to its original youthful appearance.  Only $59.99 for a year supply!

Me: So, how did the pond come to ruin?  What happened?

Yertle:  What happened? Why, nothing.  Except that a kaiju arose from the depths and destroyed the entirety of Sala-ma-Sond while Mack lit his own farts on fire.

Me: …

Yertle: Oh, don’t look so surprised.  Kaiju are nothing new to Sala-ma-Sond.  They normally leave us in peace–we are, after all, only turtles–but this time was different.  It seems that the creature was in a foul mood because all of Mack’s idiotic admirers had begun imitating his disgusting displays of flatulence. The stench alone drove the creature to seek out our pond-dom specifically and destroy it. Only the restorative powers of my therapeutic aromatherapy calming mud were able to sway the creature from annihilating us in our entirety.  It seems kaiju don’t have access to the internet for shopping. You could say that I saved us.

Me: You saved the pond?

Yertle: Well, admittedly not the whole pond.  I mean, it did take me some time to discern what would be the best product to help the kaiju get a good night’s sleep for a change.  The poor thing had only gotten a few centuries and was frightfully grumpy.

Me:  Well that’s… that’s a story we hadn’t yet heard.  Do you have any designs on reclaiming the throne?

Yertle: *laughs* No, I’m done with all that.  I have found a modicum of joy in mud and plan to climb to heights never before seen as a purveyor of these quality products. Be sure to visit for our complete listing.

Me: Thank you for speaking with me and I’ll be sure to check out your website.

Yertle: I have a sample of the restorative mud used to calm the kaiju.  Would you care to try it?

Me: Oh, yes!  Thank you.

This has been Tawn Krakowski reporting to you from Sala-ma-Sond.  Thank you for reading.

A Limited Treatise on Why I Hate My Cat Right Now

How can I hate all that cuteness?  Easy.

It’s 5 AM.

Can’t my cat read time?  Should I get her a wristwatch?  I don’t know.  I’m too tired to puzzle it out this early.

I am not a morning person.  I have never been a morning person.  I hate morning people.  Waking up before noon is a sign of mental illness.  If I did not have a family that forces me to keep a schedule that matches theirs, I would become fully nocturnal and sleep the days away.

My cat, however, is a morning person.

I tried to ignore the incessant caterwauling coming from the twenty pounds of annoying stuffed into five pounds of fur-covered noise.  I really tried.  But alas, the cat knows that the threat of her singing the song of her people to my daughter is usually enough to get me up.  One small irritating creature at a time, thank you very much.

I suppose I should be grateful that she doesn’t keep me up all night zooming around the house like a tiny F-16 with unlimited fuel following the orders of overzealous generals with ADHD.  I should be grateful.  But I’m not.  I’m too damn tired.

To stop the noise, I trudged like a rotting reanimated corpse down the stairs and slid open the glass door to free the beast.  Did she appreciate this?  No.  She only cares about herself, the narcissistic furball.

As I sit here barely conscious, I recognize that this is the best time to let the cat roam in our postage stamp of a backyard.  The heat of the day hasn’t yet fallen over the backyard like an electric blanket set to char-broil, the paver stones are not yet baked to a temperature approaching that of lava, and the birds–the adorable little hummingbirds not the obnoxious mourning doves–are whizzing happily around the patio, high on the sugar water from my feeder.

But that fact does not make rolling out of bed at the butt-crack of dawn any easier.  I wonder if cats can learn how to make coffee?

Dani Hoots’ Review of The Pirate Princess by Tawn Krakowski

What a lovely review of my book, The Pirate Princess! It means a lot to me coming from a fellow author. Thank you, Dani!

A Bibliophile's Reverie

The Pirate Princess by Tawn Krakowski

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Published by, LLC
Review by Dani Hoots

As the ninth daughter in the ninth generation of the Puffinstuff line, Princess Penny is a very special little girl. With a destiny to save her family that only an elaborate scheme of fake pirates and adventure can possibly achieve, Penny might discover more than just pirate treasure along the way.

*Back cover taken from Amazon

In this Middle Grade fantasy by Tawn Krakowski, we are taken on adventure as Penny, a princess of Puffinstuff, is destined to complete a prophecy from years before. Now this twelve year old must sail the high seas and find whatever the map that was given to her guides her to. But little does she know is that there is something wicked waiting for her.


Penny is a strong young girl that is a great female…

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PWN 2016


In an effort to revitalize my blog, I’ve decided to offer a wider variety of content.  I promise to be true to TotallyTawn in that I will not feature articles that I don’t find interesting or that don’t align with my values (sorry bullies and kitten kickers- you’ll have no voice here), but I hope to provide a platform that encourages personal growth, fun, and a spirit of cooperation and love.

I wish all of you an amazing 2016 and look forward to spreading some positive vibes all over the place.


Y is for Yuletide

I think it’s time to re-gift this little gem. Happy Holidays!

Tawn Krakowski

I totally get the Grinch.  The poor old guy lives all alone up in his cave with only a mangy dog for company while the residents of Whoville go on about the business of living their selfish little lives and completely ignoring the Grinch.  And then, every year, they make it a point to celebrate Christmas as boisterously and obtrusively as possible, thereby forcing their belief system on the Grinch, who probably just wants to be left in peace to gaze at the stars with his own quiet dreams of cheerful solitude.

And then, when he finally couldn’t take it anymore, I’m sure the Whos were ready for him.  He probably couldn’t leave his cave without triggering Whoville’s Early Warning Defense System and relegating his whole carefully thought out plan to the crapper.  As he was sledding down the hill in his bright red Santa Claus disguise, the Whos were…

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4th of July Dragon’s Call Giveaway!

Books and dragons. The perfect combo. Enter to win!

A.D. Trosper

The 4th of July marks the birthday for my nation (well kind of, but its the official day anyway). So as way of saying Happy Birthday, United States I’m doing a giveaway of Dragon’s Call.

What’s in the giveaway? 

Two complete, signed, paperback sets of Dragon’s Call books. (U.S. residents only)

Two free audio copies of the first book, Embers at Galdrilene (open to everyone)

Two free full sets of the e-books.  (open to everyone)

Full sets include: a copy each of the prequel A New Beginning, and the novels Embers at Galdrilene, Tears of War, and Ashes and Spirits.


How do you enter?

Well, I’m going to do this a bit differently this time. I don’t really want to do Rafflecopter so instead, there are only one thing you need to do to enter.

1. Comment on this post telling me either why you love dragon stories or (if…

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Quit Procrastinating!


I have attempted NaNoWriMo in the past.  I thought it might be a great way to get myself in the habit of writing every day.  Alas, I fell behind in the first few days and gave up completely not long after that, just like every April A to Z Blogging Challenge I’ve tried.

But I did learn a few things in these attempts.  First of all, everyone has their own method of writing.  Some people are plotters, using post-it notes, storyboards, outlines, etc., to create.  Others are pantsers, allowing the story work itself out as they write by letting the characters lead the way.  There are also writers who have their own combination of these processes.

Along those same lines, I’ve heard that writing every day is the only way to be a “real writer.”  I disagree.  I don’t write every day, yet I have two–soon to be three–published books.  Am I not considered a real writer?  However, when I’m not physically writing, I am working out how my stories progress in my head.  That’s my process.  I also edit as I write, which makes it near impossible for me to keep up with the daily word count required to successfully complete NaNoWriMo.

For some, NaNoWriMo is exactly the shot in the arm needed to get your first draft complete.  Others, like myself, need to write one little piece at a time, which is why I adore writing for BigWorldNetwork.  There is no wrong way to do it.  Only your way, whatever works for you to get the job done.

So, in the spirit of encouraging anyone who may or may not be participating in NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share some of the images I use as my laptop’s screen saver to inspire me.  Happy writing, my friends!

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Berenice-Marlohe-bond-girl-1 halle-berry-bond images

Get my eBook FREE through 5/22/2014!

Get my eBook FREE through 5/22/2014!

“Darkling Drake” is currently ranked #15 in FREE Fantasy!!

Book Description:

Toni Drake is a loner with a knack for blending in and being nearly invisible to others even when standing right next to them. She turned this natural ability to her advantage by becoming a professional thief, but those talents, and her recent dreams, might be a sign that there is more to Toni than she ever thought possible.

The World is Round Right? We’ll Get There.

During the holiday season, it seems we all end up having to do some extra traveling, either to visit friends and family or to take advantage of the days off from school or work for a bit of fun.  And just like life, there are many paths from which to choose that will take you to your destination.

Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that my husband will always avoid the direct route.  The direct route takes us through local streets, riddled with traffic signals.  In order to avoid the lights, he will – nine times out of ten – choose the highway.  In my opinion, the benefit of no red lights is cancelled out by the extra travel time required to get to the highway in the first place.  So, why not take the direct route?  It’s not like we were in a huge hurry to get there. No prizes for the fastest travel time.  No competition.

Now, I understand travel time competition.  I was a freight dog, after all.  As several of us would leave for the same destination at once, we invariably jockeyed for departure position and called the airport in sight fifty miles out hoping to get visual clearance to land ahead of our rivals.  We taunted each other on a company frequency, and generally did whatever it took to be first.  But what did it really earn us?  Well, besides a ton of fun and bragging rights?  We ended up at the same place at roughly the same time.  It would have happened anyway no matter if played along or not.  So, why not enjoy the ride?  In our own way, that’s what each of us is doing: making the trip interesting.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Hop in. I’m driving.

My own journey as a writer has not been a direct route by any stretch of the imagination.  And it certainly has not been a cruise on the freeway. More like a Sunday drive through the countryside with the top down, sun warming my windblown hair, and my only goal to discover what lay around the next bend.  Along those same lines, I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me, and I’m excited to be able to share it with you here.

Thank you for reading, and please hang around for more.  As they say: the world is round, right?  We’ll get there.  So, let’s go for a ride!

Happy 50th Birthday, Mr. President!

A blast from this day two years ago. Happy 52nd birthday, Mr. President!

Tawn Krakowski

As you pause to reflect on your life’s journey at this most auspicious of milestones,  please remember those of us who helped you get where you are today.  I understand that sometimes we have to take detours and make fuel stops in order to reach our destination, but I, for one, would like you to be sure to return to your original flight plan for our nation.  Don’t give up on us.

Happy birthday!

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