Bound

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Straight away she knew who he was and what he was.  The intensity in his stare could not be mistaken.  There was an instantaneous connection as his steel gray eyes pierced her own.  The hairs on the back of her neck responded to the sudden terror that she felt,  and the unexpected sound of her own heartbeat reminded her that one false move and she would likely be dead.  And so the standoff began, with her only defense now miles away.  If she had only realized the trouble she would soon encounter.  But there was no going back as death gripped its icy cold hands around her neck, threatening to steal her very last breath.  And total darkness was the last thing she remembered before the ear piercing screams began.

 


© 2018 Michelle Cook
Photo credit: pixabay.com

The Daily Post Prompt: Deplete

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

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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

Tales of the Dark Side – (Part 2, The Broom Incident)

Continued from:  Tales of the Dark Side – (Part 1, The Broom Incident)

It was actually quite comforting to be back home.  Five months of military training had worn me out, and I was excited to have a few weeks off, before having to report to my first permanent duty station.

As I readied the kitchen to steam the spice broom, I began to daydream about a guy I had recently met during AIT.  He had the bluest eyes of anyone I had ever met, and I loved the way they lit up whenever I caught him smiling at me.

Mom didn’t know it yet, but I had actually gotten a tattoo while I was in AIT, and this guy I liked, (Kyle) had actually forked over the money to pay for my tattoo.  He had even told me that he wanted to marry me and had begun working an extra job, in order to save for our future together.  And yet I was still surprised to see twenty-four long stemmed roses delivered to the house earlier that day.  I wondered… could he really be the one?

After becoming lost in my thoughts of Kyle, I soon realized the pot of water had begun to boil.  Grabbing the spice broom, I carefully held it over the steaming pot of water.  The rich spicy scent of cinnamon soon enveloped the tiny kitchen, and I stood there patiently steaming the broom, entranced by thoughts of Kyle and reveling in the euphoric smell which now engulfed me.

All of a sudden, my day-dreamy eyes caught sight of a wisp of smoke, which seemed to be curling up from underneath the broom.  Then, not even a second later, the entire broom burst into flames.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, and for a split second, I had no idea what to do.  I began to panic, shaking the broom violently, hoping this would somehow put the fire out.

I had just been trained on how to: throw a live grenade, operate a machine gun, set up a land mine, fire a grenade launcher, shoot an M16 rifle, survive in a gas chamber, fight off a person using hand to hand combat, stab someone efficiently with a bayonet, and yet for the life of me, I had no idea in this moment, how to put out the blazing fire which was now right in front of me.

Then suddenly out of nowhere, instinct kicked in and I knew what I had to do.  So without another thought, I held onto the broom as tightly as I could and raced to the back door.  I pushed open the glass sliding door as far as it would go and then threw the broom down onto the concrete patio.  I began stomping out the fire as best I could and then ran quickly back inside to get a bucket of water.

The broom was still smoldering when I returned, and yet the water did the trick.  The broom hissed and steamed at me as I doused it with the entire bucket of water.  Looking down, all that was left, was the tightly woven handle of the broom, the rest of it had completely disintegrated into a pile of ash.

Breathing a huge sigh of relief, I went back into the kitchen, where a thick haze of smoke now lingered near the ceiling.  I knew my parents were sure to kill me when they returned.  My stupidity had almost cost them their entire house, and I felt like a complete idiot.  So much for the courageous soldier, I thought I had become.  It turned out, I was still the same foolish girl I had always been.


The Daily Post prompt – Instinct

New Series… Tales of the Dark Side – (Part 1, Childhood Pranks)

Yes, I was the bratty older sister, and anyone who has known me long enough, realizes just how naughty I can be.  Most of my friends and family members know, that if the opportunity arises for me to pull a good prank, I’m usually up for the challenge.  So let me take you back to my senior year in high school…

I had a brother who was an annoying twerp.  Being he was eleven years younger than me, I loathed his presence most days; and since he was much younger, he sort of put a crimp in my bleached blond style.  Especially on one particular day, I remember it well…

I had just gotten home from shopping with my super cool boyfriend, Eddie Spaghetti.  I know… some nickname, but it’s what his sister called him, so it was a name that stuck.  Anyway, Eddie dropped me off at my door, and I went inside wearing my brand new suede jacket.  I had been saving my money from an after school job for months, and even though the jacket was a size too big, I had bought it anyway.  It was exactly what I felt I needed, to properly fit in at school.

I headed for the kitchen, starved from not eating all day, and saw my brother standing there holding a can of coke.  I sauntered over to him, showing off my new look, and said very casually, “What do you think of my new suede jacket?  It only cost me $300.”  Well, that did it, my brother had just taken a huge swig of soda, and he immediately started choking.

Coke began spurting uncontrollably out of his nose and then shot straight out from his mouth, spraying ruthlessly in my direction.  By the end of his choking fit, (yes, you guessed it) I was completely covered in a thick layer of coke spittle.  Or should I say, my new $300 jacket was covered.  My brother immediately started laughing and pointing his finger at me, and in his taunting young voice, he said, “Ha ha… I ruined your new jacket…”

I stood there in shock, trying to absorb what had just happened, and then I suddenly lost all control.  All I knew in that moment, was that my brother needed to be taken down, strangled, and left for dead.  Well, as I was in the process of choking the living hell out of my angelic little brother, my mother happened to show up.

Having just gotten home, she didn’t seem very happy with what she had walked into.  As expected, I got the full ass chewing, about a million crude words hissed at me, and booted into my room where I was grounded for the rest of the day.  I still wanted to kill my brother, but knew I’d never be able to get away with it.  Then the idea of revenge began to seep into my mind.

 

To be continued… here


The Daily Post prompt – Not Lemonade

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