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“And just like that, her freedom was gone, as reality whooshed back in.”  ~M


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What inspires you?

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What inspires you?

This is the thought running through my mind today as it’s been nearly a month now since I’ve had any inspiration to do much of anything. It’s as if a light switch has been turned off inside my brain and I almost feel as if all of my emotions have left me. I think it’s very difficult for a writer to write anything when they feel emotionless. Especially as a poet, we live for emotions and all the wonderful words that spill out of hearts and minds. I think I’ve shut off a lot of my emotions because it somehow seems easier that way. I’ve also found myself pulling away from people more often. There are a few who I still let in, but for the most part, I don’t really share what’s going on in my life. As I get older, there seems to be so much more drama, and I suppose I’ve been feeling the need to sort of rid myself from all of that. I call it self-preservation, and I know it’s simply necessary at times.

I don’t feel in any way like I am suffering from depression, even though it may look that way to outsiders. I’m actually feeling very content right now, just to be alone and to reevaluate my life. I’ve been homeschooling my girls for 12 years, and even though I love the time I have with them, I still miss my career in Biotechnology more than ever. It’s hard being a mom sometimes. I’m pulled in so many different directions. I’m often not sure which path to take, but I always try to put my girls first in every long-term decision that I make. And yet now that they’re getting older, and my two oldest daughters are married and starting lives of their own, I’m finally taking the time to consider what I want for a change.

I really want to work outside the home again. I honestly miss my 60 hour work weeks because I truly did love my job, and I’d like to find another job that I can enjoy just as much. I’ve recently enrolled back in school, and at 46, I think I’m one of the oldest students in my class. But it matters not, I’m determined to start a second career even at my age. This time around I’m pursuing a degree in digital media and web design. I’ve been saying for years that I wanted to get into web design but didn’t think I could afford the cost of school. After checking into it though, I found out that I qualified for government grants, and I also applied for a scholarship. And between the two, I haven’t had to pay a dime. So now I sit here wondering why I waited so long to take the plunge and I’m practically kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

The good thing is, I’m doing it now, and I’ve got to stop looking back and just keep moving forward. I feel as if time is running out in some respects. It’s almost like there’s this invisible force pushing me along, telling me to hurry up before it’s too late. Sometimes it helps me to get away and quiet myself for a few days, and so I’m currently sitting all alone in a lovely cottage in the woods. It’s absolutely beautiful here, and I’m finding that this is probably the first inspiring day I’ve had in a very long time. The sun is shining through my window, and I’m so thankful to have this time to reflect and hopefully turn the light switch to inspiration back on. I’ve got three more days here to figure out how to do just that and determination is starting to settle in. It’s blessings like these that keep me going. I hope all of you are having a very blessed week as well and I’d like to know, what inspires you? ~M xo


Photo credit:  pixabay.com

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

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

April Writing Prompts

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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!

March Writing Prompt Participants

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We had another great month of writing, but like some of you, I sort of fizzled out towards the end of it.  I have written another month of prompts for all of you, and if you enjoy sci-fi, those will probably be of interest to you.  They’ll be posting tomorrow at 8:00 CST, so be sure to look for those.  This month was amazing!  So many of you stayed the course.  So I’d like to mention those of you who were regular participants throughout the month.  All of you are such wonderful writers!  Thanks for writing alongside me, it’s been so much fun.  😉

Night Owl Poetry

Cosistories 

Afterwards 

This N That With Me

What if we all cared

The Bag Lady

Playing with words

And here’s the links to all of the amazing poems and stories that were created this month.  Well done everyone!

  1. Fizzy whizzys’

Night Owl Poetry – https://dorindaduclos.com/2018/03/01/fizzy-whizzys-poetry-marchwriting/

Cosistories – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/110729020/posts/10006

Walt’s Writings – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/127080456/posts/2790

Afterwards – https://afterwards.blog/2018/03/02/fizzy-whizzys-march-prompts-1-31/

This N That With Me – https://cthisnthat.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/fizzy/

What if We all Cared? – https://whatifweallcared.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/when-we-believe-without-thinking/

The Bag Lady – https://rugby843.blog/2018/03/31/putting-my-feet-in-the-dirt-1/

Continue reading “March Writing Prompt Participants”

March Writing Prompts

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Well here we are again, and I think you’re all gonna like this month.  I thought we’d go with a very whimsical theme this time around.  So, if you’re like me, and love to be silly and unpredictable, then I think these prompts will be just what you need.  I’m reposting the writing instructions below, for those of you who have never done this before.  I think you’ll find that this is a really fun way to incorporate writing prompts into your everyday life.  Enjoy!

 

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.  Happy writing everyone!  ~M xo

 

1. Fizzy whizzys’
2. Galloping gadzooks
3. Purple nurples
4. Fidgety Fiona
5. Creaky cranks
6. Hobbity bobbity
7. Silly assumptions
8. Punch-drunk
9. A tisket for a tasket
10. Powdered blue
11. Billowy breezes
12. Jelly jars
13. Pouty and plump
14. Bootle beetles
15. Stitches of glitches
16. Guzzling Gary
17. Mounds of mush
18. Pink poodles
19. Antsy pantsy
20. Ruby red
21. Fiddlesticks
22. Sniffles and snuffles
23. Nonsensical hodgepodge
24. Dribbles of delight
25. A twinge of fate
26. Mission to Mars
27. Hanky panky
28. Spelunking
29. Moaning Myrtle
30. Hurry scurry
31. Jamba juice


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February Writing Prompt Participants

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Congratulations to all who participated this month!  I think this was our biggest turn out yet.  If I counted right, there were 155 poems and stories written this month, and that doesn’t include any of mine.  So… well done all of you!  Our top three participants were; Night Owl Poetry, Ramblings of a Writer, and Cosistories.  And if you haven’t visited their blogs yet, please do.  They have some great stories and poems that you won’t want to miss!  😉

 

  1. Phantasmagorical

Walt’s Writings – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/127080456/posts/2644

Ramblings of a Writer – https://ramblingsofawriter2016.com/2018/02/02/february-writing-prompt-phantasmagorical-day-1-28/

Night Owl Poetry – https://dorindaduclos.com/2018/02/01/nightmares-keep-us-dreaming-poetry-februarywriting/

Afterwards – https://afterwards.blog/2018/02/05/phantasmagorical-in-the-dark-1/

This N That With Me – https://cthisnthat.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/phantasmagorical/

Cosistories – https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/phantasmagorical-you/

Continue reading “February Writing Prompt Participants”

January Writing Prompt Participants

I want to thank everyone who participated this month.  I ended up with 5 pages of entry links, so I’d say it was another great turn out.  Dorinda Duclos is still in the lead, along with Sarah C. and I’m excited to be able to share the new prompts with all of you tomorrow.  ❤

  1. Shimmers of chartreuse

A soldier’s walk – https://asoldierswalk.com/2018/01/02/moonlight-excursions/

Annie Scribes – https://wordswithannie.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/chartreuse-dream/

Night Owl Poetry – https://dorindaduclos.com/2018/01/02/shimmers-of-chartreuse-poetry-januarywriting/

Afterwards – https://afterwards.blog/2018/01/02/shades-of-chartreuse-room-101/

Smell the Coffee – https://smellthecoffeeweb.blog/2018/01/03/shimmers-of-chartreuse/

Sweet Aroma – https://onetahayes.com/2018/01/03/a-chosen-child/

THIS N THAT WITH ME – https://cthisnthat.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/shimmers-of-chartreuse/

Walt’s Writings – https://waltswritingsonlife.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/a-month-of-january-prompts-in-one-day/

Continue reading “January Writing Prompt Participants”