Extraordinary…

bombeck_columnist

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me.”  ~Erma Bombeck

 

Sigh….. If only there were more Erma Bombecks in this world.  She was an extraordinary woman and I miss her.  ~M


Photo credit:  https://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/ddn_archive/2012/03/22/erma-bombeck/

 

Advertisements

If you’re interested in publishing a book, this one’s for you!

laptop-3087585_960_720

Hello, fellow bloggers and writers of all kinds,

I am addressing this post to all of you because I do believe the following information will prove to be quite useful to the majority of you.  I am a self-published author and published my first book through CreateSpace and KDP this year.

I began my writing journey just three years ago with a blog I created here on WordPress.  Before I started blogging, I began keeping a daily journal of my writings, and after awhile I decided to start sharing what I had written.  Those original journal entries were a great start, and I ended up really enjoying my first year of blogging.

Several months into blogging though, I found out that WP offered some writing classes, which can still be found at; The WordPress Daily Post.  After taking the introductory course in poetry, I started to feel like that was what I enjoyed writing the most, and so I began my journey as a poet, which is what I mostly write nowadays.  And if you like poetry, you can visit my other blog (Her Writing Haven) to read some of my more recent poems.

During that first year of blogging, I also ended up participating in National Novel Writing Month, (Aka, NaNoWriMo) and turned my journal entries into a historical fiction novel, called Revelations of the Past.  Shortly after finishing my book, I was offered a job with Channillo and began publishing a book of serialized fiction chapters, which can be found at; Channillo.com.

Since then, I’ve dabbled a bit in short-story writing, inspirational quotes, and travel blogging.  However, because I’d fallen in love with the idea of poetry, and because it came the easiest to me, I began writing poetry more than any other genre.  And because of my passion for it, I was able to publish my first book of poetry this year, called; Beneath the Canopy.

I began the process of creating my book, by compiling my poems into a software program called Scrivener, which was just the sort of program I needed for formatting my book.  After a lot of research, I decided that CreateSpace would be my choice for self-publishing.  I could have gone with IngramSpark instead, but the following link explains why I decided to go with CreateSpace first. IngramSpark vs CreateSpace.  However, I do plan to use IngramSpark in the very near future because it will allow me to sell my book to a much wider audience.  So I’d highly recommend checking it out. 

The first thing you need to know about publishing is that there are about a million different ways to go about executing the process, which is why I’m throwing in my two cents here and giving all of you an example of the path I took to get to this point.  I am happy with the results thus far, and so it’s a path I would recommend to anyone who asks me. 

There are however some things about publishing that nobody bothered to tell me before I started.  These are just some small things that I’ve learned on my own, but could have made the process a bit less daunting, had I known all of this beforehand.  So these are the kinds of things I wanted to pass on to all of you. 

First of all, when I decided to begin the process of publishing a book, I had no idea where to get an example of how to set up the format for one.  The good news is, that if you create an account with CreateSpace, you can then go in and download an already prepared MS Word template, which you can then use to format your book.  So I’d advise anybody who is thinking about publishing, to go in and download that template, before you do anything else.

Secondly, you need to know the difference between PCN’s and ISBN’s, and where you can get both of those.  Every book needs an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).  This number distinguishes your book from every other book in the world, and is required for publishing purposes.  (And on a side note, you will need a new ISBN for any new revised copy of your book, and for all of the different formats of your book as well.)  A PCN on the other hand, is a Preassigned Control Number, which allows the Library of Congress to assign control numbers in advance of publication, so that your book can be added to library collections throughout the world.  The PCN is optional, but without it, your book cannot be made available to libraries for purchase.  Here is the link to apply for a PCN.  As far as the ISBN goes, I recommend you read this article, before you decide what to do about purchasing one.   CreateSpace will give you a free ISBN number if you choose, but there are reasons you may want to buy your own.  I chose to buy my ISBN from Bowker, and if you go this route, I’d advise you to buy a complete lot of them if you plan to publish more than one book.  It’ll save you a ton of money in the long run.

I haven’t tried to find a traditional publisher for any of my books, and I have 11 more in the works.  I wanted to go through the process to see what it was like to publish a book, and I didn’t want to be waiting months or years to find a publisher to accept my work.  I suppose I’ve always been more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, and I’d heard nightmares of people who’d gone through publishing companies and just weren’t happy with the outcome.  If you decide to go with a traditional publisher, here is a link to a book that may help you find one, Authors Publishing Guide 2018.

And last but not least, before you can publish your book, you’ll need a book cover.  I think the easiest place to get one these days, is over at Fiverr.  This is where I bought my book cover for Revelations of the Past, and it only cost me $15.  However, that was just for a very basic design.  For my book, Beneath the Canopy, I purchased my book cover through, End2endbooks.  They ended up doing a pretty good job for about $165, and they are currently offering a discount if you go here.

And so there you go… I hope this will be a great resource for any of you who are contemplating the idea of publishing a book in the near future.  Please feel free to share this post with anyone else that you think would benefit from it.  Also, I am an affiliate for Scrivener, so if you decide to purchase the program, and want the in-depth classes they offer with it as well, please check out my page concerning all of this, here.

I hope this will be a good starting point for all of you, and if you have any questions, I am always here.  Feel free to contact me anytime, by clicking on my contact page listed in the above header.

Happy writing! ~M xo

April Writing Prompts

pencil-1486278_960_720 (2)

This month I’ve been reading and watching mostly Sci-Fi, and so I decided to take the inspiration from all of that and use it towards this months prompts.  Also, my youngest two daughters had a hand in helping me with these, and so I must give credit to Brianna and Autumn Cook for their clever ideas.  Brianna is my punner and Autumn is my comedian.  Hope you enjoy the prompts they’ve helped me create for all of you.   ~M

  1. The explosive egg hunt
  2. Chewing chewbacco
  3. The stars stood on standby
  4. Spacing out in shadows doubt
  5. Jumping Jupiter can’t get stupider
  6. Time blossomed then shriveled
  7. It went off with a bang and a hiss
  8. Filaments of frustration
  9. Covered in constellations
  10. Hieroglyphic hineys
  11. Meet ya later by the flux capacitator
  12. Nano nano
  13. Galactic garble blasters
  14. Platinum plutonium
  15. A measurement of improbability
  16. Space jam on toast
  17. Orbiting Orangutans
  18. Spasmodic juice
  19. Jet lagged and jilted
  20. Catastrophic calamities
  21. Fluently flippant
  22. This… is Ceti Alpha Five
  23. “Do. Or do not. There is no try. ~Yoda”
  24. Friends don’t lie
  25. The doorway to impossibility
  26. Ozone siphoning and other atmospheric disruptions
  27. Pilfering pandemonium
  28. Sucking skeevers
  29. Gnarly narfs
  30. Nuka-Cola asphyxiola
  31. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

Also, for those of you who may never have tried this challenge before, here is what I suggest you try…

To begin, settle into your favorite place in the house with a hot drink to warm your waking bones.  Once you’ve warmed up a bit; grab your journal, a trusty pen, and a timer.  Then, set your timer for ten minutes and begin writing about one of the prompts listed below.  Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, neatness, or anything like that; just write!  Write about anything and everything that comes to your mind, and don’t stop until the ten minutes are up.

I often find myself writing short stories or poems during those ten minutes, but you can write about anything you like.  And don’t be alarmed if what you’ve written doesn’t quite make sense.  The whole idea behind doing this exercise is to get your mind ready and working so that you can begin your day.  Just think of it as exercise for your brain, and once you’ve done your ten minutes of writing, you’ll feel more prepared to tackle the rest of your day.  Good luck and happy writing!

#MidnightMadness – 10/31/2017

IMG_9219

Well, I wasn’t going to do another Midnight Madness tonight, but I began to think twice after reading to my daughter from her Bedtime Bible.

Normally this book isn’t too bad, aside from the very glossed over parts about what truly happened in certain stories.  I suppose they figure it’s a children’s book, so they have to keep it somewhat discreet.

However, after reading it tonight, I have finally come to realize just how ill advised this book really is.  And I began to wonder if this is the reason why so many Christians are often left confused on how they should treat other people.

Here’s one of the bits of advice given for today, on “How to Treat Friends…

“If your friend is sad, do not try to cheer him up, that will only make him feel worse.”

Do not try to cheer him up???  What?  I nearly took the book and threw it against the wall!  Thank goodness she wasn’t reading this piece of garbage by herself, and I’m fairly sure we can find a much better book to read next time.  Thankfully we have a whole set of Dr. Seuss!

IMG_9218

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Life goes on…

coffee-1117933_960_720

Good morning everyone!  Come in and sit down and I’ll make you a cup of your very favorite hot or cold drink.  I have a variety of options, so take your pick.  I’m drinking a steamy mug of hot chocolate, which is filled to the brim with whipped cream.  And yes, I’m being naughty and not following my paleo diet to perfection at the moment, but once and awhile we all need a little flexibility in our lives, and after a month like this… well, let’s just say hot chocolate has been sort of a saving grace for me.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my life has been completely turned upside down these days and I hardly even know where to begin.  I suppose I’ll start off by saying that I feel completely blessed and thankful that my two oldest daughters have both survived this month.  One had her home threatened by a huge fire out in California, and my other daughter who lives in Florida was in the middle of hurricane Irma.   Both are fine now, and that’s such a huge relief!

Here at home, there has been turmoil as well.  The first week of school was a bit rough, after finding out that hubby is deploying overseas and also that our 4 yr. old dog Pippa has bone cancer.  I’m trying my best to make Pippa as comfortable as possible, but the vet said her days are certainly numbered.  She may only live a few more months which is really sad to me.  Hubby felt so bad when he found out and misses us so much, that he made a surprise visit home over this past week.  It was nice to see him, but at the same time, it was so hard to say goodbye, especially knowing that it may be another year before I see him again.

Here’s some good news though, I had been dealing with depression at the beginning of this year and I’m feeling so much better.  I was also having some physical ailments that caused me to lose 22 lbs.  However, I am happy to say, that all of those issues seem to have been resolved.  It was determined that I was having some terrible side effects from one of the meds I was on and once I stopped taking that, I began to feel like myself again.

I am presently working on several poetry books and figure over this next year that I should be able to knock a few of them out while hubby is away.  That is of course if I don’t end up with any more hiccups.  All I can do is continue to try.  It’s been very hard to stay motivated and inspired.  I had a friend whom I wrote about here.  This friend was the one person in my life, who really inspired my early days of writing.  And even though he finally contacted me and ended up explaining why he no longer wanted to be friends, it has still been very difficult to continue on without him.

In fact, as some of you know, I started my new blog just a month ago and ended up taking all of my poems off of this one.  I needed a fresh start, as many of the poems I had written on this blog reminded me of my friend.  I knew I needed to finally let him go from my heart and mind, and came very close to deleting my blog altogether.  But I decided I couldn’t quit, and so instead I started over.  I also knew that eventually, I wanted to take my old poems off of my blog anyway, due to the fact that I do plan to publish them in the near future.   So ultimately, it forced me to do something prematurely that I knew I would eventually have to do anyway.

I know I haven’t been around as much lately as far as reading blogs goes, and I apologize to many of you who I haven’t visited on a regular basis like I used to.  But life has just taken its toll on me lately and I just haven’t had as much time for reading.  It’s hard to keep life in perfect balance and I know it’s foolish to even try.  I just hope that you all know how much I really do care about you.  When I say I love you guys, I really do mean it.  All of you here on WordPress have become like family to me.  It’s hard to explain it, but when you’re so isolated because you live in a place with hardly any family or friends around, your internet buddies become everything to you.  If you’ve written a coffee share this weekend, please leave me a link so that I can catch up with you.  Hope your week is filled with love and happiness!  ~M

502

Words come straight from the heart…

books

There’s no better compliment for a writer, than when somebody reads their work.  I honestly don’t even mind if somebody doesn’t particularly like what I’ve written.  Just the fact that they’ve read it and have taken the time to tell me they have; that’s the best feeling in the world.  The words a writer writes, come straight from their heart.  So the reader is literally holding a piece of that person’s heart while reading such a person’s words.  It doesn’t get much more intimate than that.  ~M


Originally posted: May 15, 2016

Photo found at:  sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com

#MidnightMadness – 4/2/2017

old-books-436498_960_720

Do you have a favorite book?  If so, tell me what it is and why it’s your favorite.

One of my favorite books is, God’s Smuggler by, Brother Andrew.  I love this book because it shows how anyone, even the least likely person, can be used by God to do amazing and extraordinary things.   Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me.  😉


Photo credit: pixabay.com

What the He-double-hockey-sticks is going on here?

My daughter’s love books as much as I do, and so to suggest getting rid of any books in the house is strictly forbidden. Well, somehow I forgot this simple rule this morning. I have been trying to declutter our house and the girls have so many books, that some of them are even piled on the floor in their bedroom. So I was merely suggesting to my third born (15), that instead of getting another bookshelf (we have 8 in our house already) that perhaps we might instead, just go through some of the books and get rid of a few.

Well, within about two seconds of uttering those forbidden words, my forth born (8), comes running down the hallway towards the bedroom.  With a complete look of bewilderment upon her face, she stood there in the doorway looking at me and then to her sister.  Then with hands on her hips, she said, “What’s going on here?!?” I’m sure if she’d been older, the word “Hell” would have been included in that question.

Anyway, after seeing the confused looks upon both of their faces, I decided to say nothing more and dropped the subject altogether. I suppose another bookshelf is in order. Sigh… 🙄


The Daily Post prompt – Simple

Calling All Book Nerds

Photo credit:  www.carbonated.tv
Photo credit: http://www.carbonated.tv

Anyone interested in doing Larps – Live Action Role Play?  Here’s a link to one that is going on in Poland.  This would be the ultimate experience for a true Harry Potter fan, even though the event is not affiliated with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing, or Warner Bros.  This looks like it could be more fun than going to Universal Studios.  For more information and to sign up for updates, go here.