I was told recently I haven’t been writing much. Which is surprising and true. Previously, I would write about everything. Then I started a blog and I haven’t really written anything. My baby is due in 3 months and I haven’t been recording my progress: the ups and downs, the joys, and the cries. But it’s never too late to start.
So far my favorite thing about being pregnant is feeling the baby move. Not only is it wonderful but it’s the way my son communicates with me. I’ve come to realize that strong kicks represent something he doesn’t like or want and softer kicks are his approval. Some people may think that I am completely crazy but hear me out.
Last week, I was reading out loud to my belly and my little one did a few soft kicks so I know he was enjoying our one on one time (or at least my voice). Then the dog runs over with his toy wanting to play fetch. I stopped reading and started playing fetch with the dog. Unexpectedly, I grabbed my belly as my little munchkin laid several kicks into my side. I abruptly stopped playing with the dog and the painful karate kicks subsided. Needless to say I realized the little one preferred me talking to him instead of playing with the dog. Thankfully the dog didn’t mind. He simply crawled into my lap and took a nap.
Now let’s dive deeper into this kicking communication. I had been having trouble sleeping so a co-worker recommended the app Relax Melodies. The app is amazing because I’m able to select background noises to play as I fall asleep. Since using it I’ve been sleeping through the night minus a few bathroom breaks. Well, I have the sounds I like and another I let the baby select based on his kicks. Let’s just say I prefer my sounds over his – his selection more mimics his father’s style. One night I turned on the app as I fell asleep and I made sure I had my sounds playing. Well, the little munchkin in my womb was not satisfied. He started kicking up a storm of frustrations which means neither of us was going to sleep. To appease the beast inside of me I switched from my sounds to his. In no time, his kicking calmed as he settled down.
What does this mean? I think I’m going to be a push over. I already give my son everything I think he wants. Once he’s born I’m sure I will learn to say, “no”. Until then, if he wants to listen to me to talk or listen to his music then so be it. In either case I cherish these moments and I look forward to his baby kicks.
The mystic arrow’s long silver feather danced in the wind triumphantly as it protruded out of my lover’s back.
My white dress bore the red stains of his last moments. Speechless, immovable, I stared in horror.
The arrow was as I remembered from my 18th birthday, slender, beautiful, and powerful. I could it feel it pulsing with energy as it drained the life from my fiance. Swaying, I fell to the ground.
Pushed out the way. A first-responder hovered over him. She rolled him over and a fountain of blood ran from his lips. I looked away, I refused to see him like this. My love, my life, my future. Gone.
The waves hit the shore in the afternoon sun. Other families nearby look on, oblivious to my pain.
I killed my fiance on our wedding day as spoke the words, “I do.” But the arrow was sent to kill my assassin. Surely, my love had not intended to kill me. The arrow had to be wrong.
I turned back to the sound of sobs and crawled to my love. The first-responder was doing CPR, trying to revive him in between her tears. Her brunette curls dripped with blood and tears as her mouth covered his. How did she get here so fast? We’re on the beach with a small gathering.
I sat by my lover’s head, stroking his hair. As the first-responder gave chest compressions, our eyes locked. She was his lover. I thought he ended it. He said they were over but here she was disguised on our wedding day.
“Now you know,” she said as she tried to restart his heart.
“He’s dead.” I said, fury surpassing pain, “You should stop.”
“Never,” she shouted, “I love him. He promised me the future.”
“He promised me the same thing.”
She screamed and lunged at me.
A flash of silver flew through the air as she pulled a dagger from his breast pocket. He had planned on killing me.
I fell backwards as she landed on me with her full weight. The dagger held firm in her hands. “I will finish what he couldn’t.” With the dagger at my throat and her weight holding me down, I didn’t know what to do.
As she flipped her wrist to slice my throat, her body went limp. I pushed her off. An arrow protruded from her back. She was dead.
A man ran towards me carrying a bow and arrow. “Are you alright?” he asked as he extended his hand to help me off the ground.
“Yes. No. I’m not sure what just happened.”
“My name is Otto, I am here to protect you and to guide you home.”
“Thank you for saving my life but I think I can catch a ride with a friend.” But as I said the words I realized the beach was empty. Everyone was gone. I walked toward the beach house and stopped, I didn’t want to see the body again. I turned back to Otto, his black hair was cut short. He might have been sent by the military there was a base close by. But why a bow and arrow instead of a gun.
“Leeya, this is not our world,” he said closing the space between us. “We don’t belong here and now others will come after you as well.”
“It’s not safe here. Come with me and I’ll explain everything,” Otto said.
“No. I don’t know you and you aren’t making sense.”
“You got lost in between dimensions soon after your 18th birthday,” Otto explained, “We had no way of tracking you until your arrow showed up on our radar. Until now, you’ve been safe because no one knew who you were except Lamar.”
Lamar. My lover. My fiance. My assassin. His body lay near the beach house. I made my way towards him. I had to see him again.
His dirty sandy hair, tasseled in the wind. His pale skin, reddened by the sun, was as I remembered. I longed to touch him. To go back to before he wanted to kill me, was it possible?
Sand flew all around. I reached out to touch his face.
“Leeya!”, Otto shouted as he pulled me away from Lamar.
“What is your problem!” I shouted back. The wind whipped sand all around us in a deafening display creating a bubble.
“You have to stop Leeya!” Otto yelled over the wind. “You’re creating this portal!”
“There’s no such thing as other worlds or portals!” I retaliated. “You’re a freaking psycho and I’m going to the police!”
“Look,” he pointed as Lamar’s body was being engulfed by sand.
“No!” I screamed and reached for him but Otto still held me back. He let go as I elbowed him in the ribs. But the sand obstructed my view, I couldn’t see him anymore. A flash of a long feather. I grabbed for it and everything stopped.
There was nothing. A vast expanse of canvas space.
“This is the void,” Otto said standing beside me. “It’s a space created by your family where they come to think.”
“It’s beautifully empty,” I said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Really,” Otto questioned, “I assumed you came here when you were in your trance.”
“Let’s keep going, Lady Leeya,” Otto said, “You have a lot to relearn and even more to learn.”
“What trance, Otto? What do I have to learn,” I demanded?
“Look at your left arm”.
On my arm was the tattoo of my mystic arrow. It was a complete replica. Slender, beautiful, and powerful. The tip rested on my middle finger, the shaft ran the length of my arm, and the silver feather wrapped around my shoulder and rested on my collarbone.
“Otto how? When? I?”
“Your family originates from the world Arodonya,” Otto explained. “They’re able to create arrows from the tattoo on their arms. On their 18th birthday, they get to create their signature arrow and shoot it using the mystic bow.”
“Like I did.”
“Correct.” Otto agreed, “But you went missing before your training could commence. It begins now. Your family needs you.”
Now you know I’ve written a fiction/fantasy novel. Its pretty awesome and I will have it available to read hopefully soon if I ever get it published. I have been looking for a publisher but as it turns out publishers are expensive and time-consuming. Friends and family try to help – but end up adding to frustrations – when I tell them I’ve found a publisher through self-publishing but its $3000. Then they’re as shocked as I am, and they understand my frustrations.
I’ve been looking for a publisher for my novel for the last year. When I published my poetry books (Poetry of Life: Learning to Grow and Becoming Me: Poems of the Heart and Mind), I did self-publishing. But fiction doesn’t do well with self-publishing, or so I’ve been told, which is why I wanted to go the more traditional route. Yet, majority of the publishing companies I looked at were not forthcoming with their information. I received the best information from the self-publishing companies. If I were to go based solely on customer service and ease of information then I would have to choose self-publishing.
The best website I found was Dog Ear Publishing. Not only do they have an eye-catching website but all the information is accessed from the main page. I can see the 6 different packages they offer and reviews from authors like me. Did I mention they offer 6 different packages! Other companies that I checked out offered 1 or 2 packages. And not to sound bias some did offer 3. With Dog Ear Publishing, each package is better the last. If you’re comparing the packages, the prices, the customer support, and the adorable name (come on, you know you were thinking it); Dog Ear Publishing might be the best choice when shopping for self-publishing. And if you want more information, check out the Compare Publishers list they give you on their website.
The Cost of Self-Publishing
Of course, this seems like a win-win situation. Did I mention prices? Google and Dictionary.com like to tell me self-publishing means you publish independently and at ones own expense. Ones own expense means you pay for everything…the entire process! Your expenses might include the design, the editing, the distribution, the marketing, etc! Of course that also means you have control over everything as well. You can do the above on your own or you can spend more money and outsource these seemingly difficult tasks through friends or through a reputable self-publiser. And that’s were the different packages come into play. If you can afford it, then you can control it. Sadly, it sounds like politics. What about us little folk who don’t have the money, what should we do.
Self-Publishing on a Budget
Do not fear little folk, we have not been forgotten. There are ways to create and publish books on a budget. Check out the Top 10 Best Self-Publishing Companies by Adazing. In fact, I have used 2 of these methods in the past. The upside = you get conveniently publish your book and a great price. The downside = after its published you still have to do all the marketing. I’ve used both Lulu.com and CreateSpace. I liked both of them but for someone who’s not as computer-literate they could be challenging. You have to do everything on the site from front cover design, to making sure the interior fits within the template, to back cover design. And if your book is thick, don’t forget about the spine design. This is all fine and dandy but I want a publisher that is within my budget, helps with my marketing, and allows me to keep majority of my royalties. Is that too much to ask for?
With a self-publishing company, it might be nothing more than a dream.
Traditional publishers are there to take the heat of the financial burden. They work on the design, the editing, the distribution, the marketing, etc all at their own expense. Of course, once your book starts selling then they get some money back. It behooves them to get your book published and marketed for the public’s eye otherwise they don’t get paid. Traditional publishers take away the work that’s involved in self-publishing and let’s you the writer focus on writing. I read somewhere that writing is an art and publishing is a business. Not all writers are equipped to do both which makes traditional publishers ideal.
Check out another blog, The Writing Cooperative, to see what they had to say about self-publishing vs traditional publishing. Personally, I would love to publish with a traditional publisher but how in the world do I get them my book. They hide their information like it’s precious gold, or they put on their website they aren’t accepting any new manuscripts. Now what am I supposed to do. I know I want to publish my book. It’s 240 pages of sweet awesomeness and I know it has a great potential. But I’m not the only one with great ideas. What I am to do other than snail mail/email my manuscript to every traditional publisher that I can find.
Welp, I guess that’s the plan. We shall see how this works out. Check back for an update…
I started writing my novel in my junior or senior year of college. At 1st: I knew the concept, conflict, climax, and end product. But as I kept writing, I realized my story was taking on a mind of its own. I was adding sections and stories to my novel that I hadn’t originally thought about. It’s true what they say about the story writing itself.
Now there were some parts I had to sit down and rethink; some sections that didn’t flow well. Then there was figuring out how to tie all the parts together. But it seemed like the characters wanted me to tell their story.
I admit as time passed the story didn’t come as easy. Which is why its taking me almost 10 years to complete. I had some episodes – months long at time – of writer’s block. Writer’s block is no joke. It happens. The funny thing is I probably would have finished sooner if I stayed out of my head and stopped trying to fit everything into one book. I decided my novel would have to be a trilogy or a series, but we’ll see. As soon as I decided to space the story out I was able to stay on track and get it finished.