Writing Prompt 4/9

writing prompt

I was the new kid in school. My parents moved around a lot, and it always freaked me out when I had to go to class the next day.

“No one will even notice sweetie,” my mom would ALWAYS say. “Just wear your contact.”

That was the only thing that made me feel normal, my one brown contact. It made my eyes the same color, because they weren’t. When people noticed, I felt like a freak. They would stare… always stare. Kids would point at me, asking their parents what was wrong. I would get some compliments, sure, but complete Heterchromia is somewhat rare. Guys would flirt with me, saying how “unique” I look.

But I don’t want to be “unique”. I just want to be normal. The FIRST thing everyone sees is my eyes. People know me for just that, not my name. Hell, most people probably don’t know that my full name is Emberle Emilia Evancough. EEE… that’s pretty unique. Why can’t people know me for something like THAT?

That isn’t my parent’s last name. They adopted me and let me keep my old last name. They liked the EEE thing, I guess.

Anyway, I bought the brown contact for that reason. I started to wear it, and people stopped staring, pointing, and bothering me about it. My bright blue eye is now covered. It itches like crazy when my allergies come in during Spring, but I don’t care.

Of course I start this new school when my eye is particularly itchy. The flowers were all in bloom, shooting their pollen into my eyes like tiny bullets. Tiny. Itchy. Bullets. Well, that’s what it felt like. And yes, I begged my mom not to let me start that day, but she told me to “Get over it Emberle. You’re in High School for God’s sake.”

“I just want to fit in,” I told her. “I don’t want to stick out. What if my contact falls out and gets scratched. Then I can’t put it back in?”

“Then you keep your eyes closed all day,” my dad joked. But it wasn’t funny. I was being serious. WHY DON’T THEY LISTEN TO ME?

When I walked through those doors to a sea of people, backpack strapped across my shoulder, I wanted to die. Literally die. My eye started itching, so I reached for my eye drops. NO! I forgot them at home. I turned to where my mother had dropped me off, but her car was already gone. I couldn’t chase after her. Crap. 

“Don’t itch it,” I whispered. But I knew it wouldn’t last. I am such an idiot. I just ran to my first class, pushing through the crowds. If I sat in the back of the room, I could put my head down on the desk where no one could see.

The first part of the day was successful. I managed to make it through Period 1, 2, & 3 without incident. Lunch, however, was a little different. The Seniors & Juniors already took most of the spots in the Cafeteria that would allow me to be alone. Even the secluded picnic tables outside were taken by them. The Underclassmen were stuck in the crappier tables, all bunched together like sardines.

I grabbed my tray of food and squished between a boy and a girl. This table, at least, looked like it was filled with Nerds. They were talking about the Dungeons & Dragons game they were playing over the weekend. When they saw me, they asked my name.

“Emberle,” I answered with a half-smile. “Nice to meet you all.” But it wasn’t nice. I was focusing on my stupid eye. The windows in the Cafeteria were open, so the pollen was floating inside. You couldn’t see it, but I could feel it. My body was screaming “EMBERLE! WHY DO YOU TORTURE US WITH THIS FOREIGN OBJECT!? WE MUST MAKE YOU SCRATCH!”

But if my contact fell out… then everyone would see. And the rest of the day would suck. And I would want to die. I begged my body to stop, but it just made it worse. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I scratched. And, of f****** course, my contact fell out ON THE FLOOR. I tried not to look up, but one of the guys at the table noticed.

“Is everything alright?” he asked.

“Fine,” I said. It looked like I was winking at him. God, I look so stupid. “I just lost my contact.”

“Oh no! Can you see okay or do you need help?”

I guess my brain wasn’t processing things correctly. It was probably the pollen. Looking up at them, I realized my mistake. The whole entire table gasped in unison. If my eyes weren’t such dramatically different colors, they may have not been so shocked.

“Your eyes…” one started to speak.

I was tearing up at this point. “I know. They look silly. I was born like this. And now, everyone can see. They look… they look…”

The boy from across the table pulled out something in his eye and looked at me. “They look just like mine. Only the opposite eye.”

My eyes widened. I had to squint to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But he was right. His blue eye was on his left. Mine, right. His brown eye was on the right. Mine, left. Something felt weird when I looked at him, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“Eli,” said the girl sitting next to him. “Emberle looks a lot like you! Like scarily. Could she be your…?”

I felt like I was in a dream. He tilted his head and asked, “Are you adopted, per chance?”

I answered him with another question. “What is your last name?”

“Evancough,” he said. “Eli Emmett Evancough. My parents wanted to keep my old last name because of the-“

“The EEE,” I don’t think I had ever smiled so big in my life. Holy shit. I found my long-lost twin. My heart was racing. He was a mirror image of me, literally. Even the eyes. His hair was the same color. In fact, he looked like me in a masculine-form.

“This is the COOLEST lunch period EVER,” one of the guys laughed. The table instantly started asking me questions.

From then on, my parents never moved again. And I never put in that brown contact again.

 

Sorry for this post being late!  I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

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Writing Prompt 3/31

writing prompt

It was a rainy day when they came and took over. Nothing we could have done could have prepared us for this, because we… well SOME of us were so blind. The government, they made us hate each other. While we fought and argued, they planned. Some of us acted like petulant children and fought against equality for some ignorant reason.

But that doesn’t matter now.

Nothing matters anymore. Like a tsunami, it hit the entire country. But we were the fools. People were expecting them to come with guns, but they didn’t. They came with words and forced us to question everything, even our very existence. Who is our enemy? It could be the person with me, right next to me in bed. Anything to divert attention to what was about to happen.

Today, things are different. Those of us who did not fight back were housed in special compounds. They are guarded day and night by the ones who came from space. Since the government sold us to protect themselves, the other beings gave them power to run free and torture those who did fight back.

But in reality, those other beings own even the government.

Their next step was to enslave the entire world. They started with the country that was the most ignorant to the outside world. The one that no one would help because they really didn’t like us. Treaties that they had signed meant nothing if the enemy came from another galaxy.

Honestly, I can’t believe that no one thought of this before me.

Befriend them, I offered. The young ones, the young adults. They were more impressionable than the adults. I believed that, perhaps, they would help us in some why. What I didn’t plan on was a mutual feeling of attraction to one.

It was one who tended to our bunk. As far as I know, they have no sex or gender that humans could ever understand, but they looked humanoid. This one in particular, had a more male figure and his English name was Luther. He told us that we could not comprehend his people’s voice or language, but they used special devices to be able to talk to us.

Unlike many of the others, Luther was kind. We were given three meals a day, and sometimes, he even sneaked us some treats. A few times, he shared his own people’s delicacies.

Somehow, I could tell that he was saddened at how his people treated us. When everyone had fallen asleep for the night, I stayed up and watched him. Even though we were born in completely different universes, our emotions looked the same. He walked down the walkway separating our beds and tears, real tears, were streaming down his face. As he walked past me, he noticed I was awake and quickly wiped his eyes.

“What are you doing awake?” he said sternly. “You are supposed to be sleeping.”

My heart was racing. Would he turn on me for disobeying rules? “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help to notice that you were sad. Is everything alright?”

“Why would a servant care about their master?” he asked, somewhat intrigued.

“Because,” I said. “Everyone deserves to be happy… no matter where they come from or what position they’re in.”

From then on, Luther would ask me to stay up at night to talk. We grew closer. He asked me questions about my life before and asked what I would do if I were free. I asked him what his planet was like and why his people came here. Over time, he started asking me questions about revolting.

“What?” I repeated. “A revolt? Your people would destroy us.”

“Not if you have my help?”

I was shocked. He seemed so sure of himself. Was this a trap? All this time, was he tricking me? Had I disclosed secret information about humans that his people did not know?

“I just want to be a part of life on Earth,” he seemed to read my mind. “I don’t want to rule it. I want to be a part of life, your life.”

“What are you asking me?” I leaned forward.

“Human Megan,” he said. “I love you. I want you and your people to be free. Let’s do this.”

And just then, Luther held out his hand and a flower formed in it. It was no flower that I have ever seen on Earth. At first, I thought he was giving it to me as a symbol of his affection, but he shook his head.

“This flower is the last of its kind,” he explained. “It is the only thing that can end this enslavement. Our single weakness as a people lies in this flower.”

***

“And that,” I said to my grandchildren. Luther was standing at the door, smiling at their children’s children. It had been almost 60 years since that fateful day. “That was how your grandfather and I got our freedom.”

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Quick Update on Book 2

Thank EVERYONE who Follows my Blog! I am already working hard on Book 2 of my novel, named Preservation. I am already in Chapter 5 of the First Draft.

And yes, I am having to tell myself repeatedly that it’s going to be crap, because I desire perfection. But, writing is a process.

My apologies for not updating as often as I would like. I have a 3 month old daughter, I’m working on Book 2, and there have been many holidays, Saturdays worked, etc. etc.

Stay tuned for a Writing Prompt this week! I’ll do my best to get it out before Saturday! As always, thank you for your support!

Writing Prompt 3/18

Writing prompt 12

The anxiety is intense when I don’t lock my door 5 times.

Unlock, lock… one. Unlock, lock… two. Unlock, lock… three. Unlock, lock… four. Unlock, lock… five.

What happens if there’s a burglar. Did I really lock my door? Did I stop at lock or unlock? Better check again because my hearts racing. Something didn’t feel right the last time I did it. 5 more times.

Unlock, lock… one. Unlock, lock… two. Unlock, lock… three. Unlock, lock… four. Unlock, lock… five.

Okay… now I can brush my teeth. Count the stairs to my bathroom. Don’t miss a stair or I’ll have to go back down and start over. Focus. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine… dammit! There are ten stairs in my house. Go back down the stairs. Last night, I didn’t get to bed until 12am because of this. I wish I wasn’t like this. I try to stop counting, but I can’t. Something feels wrong. SHIT! I wasn’t paying attention. Third time up the stairs.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Okay… at least it was only three times up and down the stairs this time. Last night, it was – one, two, three, four, five, six – six, times. Brushing my teeth. This one takes a while because I have to count to 100. I want to be clean, and 100 is a great round number. At least I have control over how many times I can brush my teeth. My mom used to laugh at me and make me stop at fifty three, most days. FIFTY THREE!? That’s not a round number, not a good number… I’m getting anxious just thinking about it. Now that I’m on my own… 100 times, yes, a good number.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen… that number always makes me shudder. It’s unlucky, you know. Even for me… and I like numbers. Numbers are my life. Good thing I stopped brushing… fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty… That’s a good number. No one gives it the respect it deserves. Continuing… thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-three, forty-four, forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty… Halfway there.

I wish I wouldn’t have bought this new toothpaste. It foams up too much. I wonder if I spit some of it into the sink, would I feel like I have to start over? Better not risk it. I’m already at fifty. Fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty. My teeth look good… But sometimes my gums bleed if I take too long to count. Why does my mind keep wandering. I need to focus. I was on seventy, right? Seventy-five? That doesn’t seem right… Oh yeah! Sixty… Sixty-one, sixty-two, sixty-three.

*ring, ring* Damn phone. I can’t let it ring past three times. Ugh! I’m in the middle of brushing my teeth. I don’t have time to answer the phone. But if it rings more than three times, I have to turn it off and on nine times. And if I break my phone… I don’t even want to think about it. It’s just an 800 number, so I’m going to ignore it.

Sixty-four, sixty-five, sixty-six. Again? My mind is trying to focus on the freaking phone again. What time is it? I really hate that I go to bed at 10pm but don’t actually get to lay down until after midnight. I wish I wasn’t like this. Why do I have to be like this? Now, because that stupid number just called to try to sell me a credit card or some shit, I have to turn that off and on nine times. Sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine, seventy. At least I’m almost done brushing my teeth.

Seventy-one, seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-four, seventy-five. This foam toothbrush really is starting to annoy me. I’m choking on this crap. Why doesn’t it say ‘foaming’ on the label. I wouldn’t have bought this… How does ANYONE buy this crap. Seventy-six, seventy-seven, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty, eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-four, eighty-five, eighty-six, eighty-seven, eighty-eight, eighty-nine… ninety. Almost there. And I didn’t even screw up once. Gotta be proud of that. Doesn’t happen often. Ninety-one, ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four, ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred. Spit this crap out of my mouth. Pretty sure I’m going to buy another tube of toothpaste. This is not conducive to my life.

Well… before I get to my nightly routine of turning off and on the lights, I have to turn my phone off and on… nine times. What is wrong with me? Why does counting every, single, freaking thing make me feel good? If I don’t count, I feel claustrophobic and it feels like I’m having a heart attack. This is why I don’t have any friends… This is why I don’t like to go out of the house.

*ding, ding-a-ring* One time. Two. Three. Four. Five… oh shit, it’s not turning back on. Oh, wait, there it goes. Six, seven, eight… Crap! Not again! What if I take out the battery? I may have to start this whole thing over again. Nine? Does it feel right? I mean, I took the battery out. That’s basically like starting over. Okay, I’ll start over because I’m starting to freak out again. What time is it? 11:34PM. I feel like I’m going to be late again to work tomorrow… I’m going to sleep through my alarm and have to brush my teeth like this again, shower, lock and unlock…

No. SHUT UP BRAIN! Turn off and on my phone again. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Okay… check… one less thing on the list. At least I don’t feel compelled to put my pajamas on a certain amount of times. They’re so soft. I really made a good buy with these. Ugh… I’m so tired. But I’m not done yet.

Two more things to count tonight. Haha, that’s IF I do it correctly. Lights, on and off six times. One, two, three, four, five… I wonder if my lights will burn out quicker because I do this? Crap… gotta start over. I just want to sleep. I’m so friggin tired. Just do it quick… Onetwothreefourfivesix. Okay GOD, let’s go lay down. Now I have to turn on one side to the other fifteen times. Why fifteen, you ask? Who the hell knows… it’s a decent number. Divide by 3, you get five… Divide by five, you get three. Plus, I like the shape of it. The one stands firm at attention and the five is relaxed. It’s almost like Yin and Yang to me. Wake up! Don’t go to sleep yet because you’ll have to do this whole thing again at like 2AM.

Roll, left-side, one… two, right-side… three… stupid sheets tangling my legs. Four… five… six… seven… eight… nine… ten… eleven… twelve… thirteen… fourteen… fifteen… WHY!? WHY AM I NOT COMFORTABLE. I don’t want to roll again. I just want to sleep dammit! Close my eyes… okay, I think I can fall asleep like this. This is nice. I’m finally done, and it’s only 12:15AM. Oh, fifteen. What a good number…

Wait… What was that noise? Is someone in the house? Did I forget to lock the back door? Oh shit…

I hope you enjoyed this one! I’m working on my First Draft of Book 2 in my trilogy, so I’m going to be posting once a week with new prompts, tips, etc. Don’t forget to “Follow” my blog to be the FIRST to know when Purpose is going to be released!

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Self Publishing

Self Publishing

So, you’ve finally made it! You now have a nicely-polished novel. And, boy, are you proud! AND YOU SHOULD BE! Not many people make it to the finish line and writing a 70K-100k+ book is very arduous.

Now what? Well you could either go the Traditional Publishing route or you could Self Publish. I’m going to make a case for Self Publishing because that is the choice I made for The Wanderer Trilogy. I want to cover the reasons I’m Self Publishing and help you make the best choice for your literary work of art!

Benefits of Self Publishing – (In my opinion)

There are a number of reasons I want to Self Publish. The good news is that it’s super easy and more widely accepted than it used to be. In the time of technology, the newer generations tend to read the News, Social Media, and (yes) even Novels on e-format. However, there are some of us Millennials (like myself) that are Purists when it comes to books. I always prefer to hold the copy in my hands. And now, with Amazon CreateSpace, you can sell hard copies of your book through Amazon.

To me, Self-Publishing allows a whole additional layer of creativity. Publishing companies have certain ‘formulas’ that they desire. Some will want you to change your book, and the constant battle to just have ONE company say “yes – we want your book” is way too stressful. Not to mention, you have to adhere to different manuscript formats for each company. It’s pointless, it’s outdated (in my opinion), and adds to the stress already compounded from putting your book out there.

Making sure you have the best book that you can is part of the reason you want to use Beta Readers, contracted Editors, and Freelance Cover Designers. Without breaking your bank, you want to have the “Best of the Best” or close to it. Because you don’t have an entire company providing these services, you have to pay for them yourself. However, you won’t be forced to use a specific editor, cover designer, etc.

If you decide to traditionally publish your novel, the amount of money you will make per book will decrease. I’m not sure the exact percentage, but with Self Publishing, you can make roughly $2.00 per book compared to less than $1.00 with Traditional Publishing. Once you gather a following, you can up the price of your books and make a few more bucks! The way I think about it… if I have $20K in Student Debt (*sad face*) and ~15,000 people purchase my book in either eBook or hard copy, minus taxes, I would be able to pay off my debt! That’s really not that many people 🙂

On the flip side, traditionally publishing a novel leaves the company to do your marketing for you. They take care of getting your book into stores. Sure, you make less per book, but you don’t have to market your book alone. If you choose to Self-Publish, you also have to self-market. This means going to bookstores, libraries, boutiques, and random people to sell your book. You’ll want to practice your pitch and be open to rejection. However, you can negotiate with the store owner to benefit both parties. It’s hard work, but it could work out well for you!

I know… on the surface Self-Publishing seems like hard work. But, you are putting in the work to market your novel on your Blog (like this one) and creating fans from the get-go. You’ve already put in the work for your book, what’s a little more elbow grease? If you are willing, you exclusively reap the benefits.

 

Where to Self Publish

I have already mentioned Amazon for the #1 most important place to publish your book. With any of these websites, you have to format your book a specific way. Using Scriviner, you can easily convert your book into popular formats accepted with the Big websites.

  1. Amazon (CreateSpace) – CreateSpace also takes care of the hard copy of your book.
  2. Smashwords – this website is exclusive to eBook format for independent authors. I also believe this publishes your book to smaller eBook websites to get the best coverage without having to know every url.
  3. Kobo – similar to Smash words.
  4. iTunes – this is to get your book on iBooks. If you end up recording an audiobook, I would also publish that here.
  5. Barnes & Noble – this uses the same format as Kindle from Amazon.

 

I really hope this helps! If you have the extra $$$, I would use a Book Printing website (like BookBaby) and print out a few copies of your book. Then, go around to your local libraries, bookstores, etc. and drop off/sell a few of your copies! Any outlet you can think of to sell your book is KEY! 🙂

 

BEST OF LUCK!