Monday, August 11, 2014

Thank You

The past few years have been very challenging for me. I’ve faced a lot of hardships, failures, and disappointments as well as health issues and circumstances that brought me to my knees. In the midst of all these things, I was required to write a short story about hope. Hope? How could I possibly write about hope and encouragement when I’m flat on my face begging for something that even resembles good fortune? Yet, I did. Somewhere along the way, I learned an important lesson and I did my best to convey that lesson in my contribution to Light in the Darkness.

Light in the Darkness is a personal success for me. It was not only something active that kept my mind off the things troubling me, but it was a chance to think sincerely on hope and what it truly meant. It’s very easy to slip into self-pity mode when you’re hurting. It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself in a spiral of despair when you’re most vulnerable. It does NOT have to own you. I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to get through your own hard times is to find someone else who is also suffering and help them to the best of your ability. 

I sincerely hope the stories found in this book help others find their source of strength in hope. Even before its birth, it has already helped one.

Light in the Darkness is a project built by many. Each one contributed something that made this book possible.

I’d like to personally thank SK Whiteside and Ivy Media & Press for providing editing, formatting, and both ebook and print publication of Light in the Darkness. Without your resources, our project wouldn’t have the potential to reach the audiences that will now see it. We are all glad you were able to take on our project and help in our mission to provide encouraging stories of hope and to give financial donations to charity.

I’d like to thank Karlan Sick and the Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. Your charity organization has provided thousands of books and countless inspiring author speakers to the troubled youth of New York. It was your initiative of providing support to incarcerated teens that compelled us to produce stories based on hope, encouragement, and morality. I hope that every donation we’re able to make through profits will help advance your mission.

I’d like to thank our team of authors who provided outstanding stories. Some of these authors stepped out of their comfort zones to write in a genre with which they were unfamiliar. The time and dedication put forth in creating these stories has been phenomenal and true works of art. Thank you Em Pil, Casey L. Bond, Candy Crum, Carlyle Lasbuchagne, Timothy L. Frasier, JP Gibbs, Dennis Tyler, Elizabeth Loraine, Will Overby, DJ Shaw, and Stacie Wilson. Your commitment to excellence in writing is outstanding and your ability to come together as a united group has been inspiring.

I’d like to thank our cover designer, Airicka Phoenix, for providing moving cover art that fit the theme of the stories perfectly. Your artistic vision and the options you provided the group for cover art were superb.

I’d like to thank Emily Piland for co-establishing the project with me. We brought together a great team! Also, for her endless promotions and merchandise crafting. Your key chains for giveaways and sales are amazing. I am truly blessed to know you.

I’d like to thank Casey L. Bond for a number of things including mass promotion and support. Thank you for organizing such a huge cover reveal day and also collecting giveaway items for the release party. You have mad organization and google doc skills, girl. 

I’d like to thank the bloggers who supported us in our cover reveal. Word of mouth is the most effective technique of marketing and you’ve done an amazing job helping to spread the word. This thank you is for:

Paisley Reader
worlds away book blog & My personal author blog
Books Mystify
DJ Shaw
WS Momma Readers Nook
Hush Hush Revealings
We Do Write
Pinky's Favorite Reads
Escape Reality with Books
Jess's Book Blog
I Heart YA Books
Hardcover Therapy
A Book Addict's Delight
Out There Reviews & Stuff
Rusty's Reading
Jill Prand
Love Bites and Silk
Love Us Some Books
Nocturnal Predators Reviews
Dreaming Awake
The Book Beacon
Reviewing With Our Mom
Words Turn Me On
Tia Bach, Author
Fairiechick's Fantasy Book Reader
Swoon Worthy Books
Lustful Literature
Tantalizing Reviews
Lady Amber's Reviews
Niccis book blog
Reading Past My Bedtime
Love, Lust & all the Pages in Between
The Boyfriend Bookmark
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
Sammie's Book Blog
Whispered Thoughts
Yesterday & Tomorrow's Reads
Ms. Me28
Hooked On Books Forever
paranormal book club ( PBC)
Mommy's Late Night Book-up
Lynley Wayne
Eye Candy Bookstore
Loco Mundo Literario
Indy Book Fairy
The First Five Pages

I’d also like to thank Amber Garza of LadyAmbers Reviews for donating a full three-hour hosted online release party. Your efforts in promoting authors and their work is heart-stopping. I think I speak on behalf of everyone who has benefited from your services when I say that we are all truly blessed to have your love of sharing great stories on our side.

I’d like to thank all the authors who stepped up to support our release by donating giveaway items for the release day party.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended our online release day party. Bringing Light in the Darkness into the world was a celebrated event and we were overjoyed to have so many of you sharing those moments with us.

I’d like to thank Chelsea Rafferty and Kristina Gehring for their ongoing love and support for DJ Shaw and our project. Your encouragement has been fundamental.

I’d like to thank Kelly Bryson for her ongoing love and support for Emily Piland and our project. Your help in crafting merchandise for giveaways and sale was unmatched.

This project has been a collection of donations. Every story, every blog post, every event, every merchandise item made, every encouraging word was a piece in a giant puzzle that was put together beautifully. Of all the book projects I have produced, Light in the Darkness has been the most amazing. I truly hope at least one story helps you through whatever challenges you are facing. I really hope that our project, Light in the Darkness, will be just that for you.

New Release

Light in the Darkness

Pick up an ecopy of Light in the Darkness, available now on all online retailers for $2.99.

Light in the Darkness is a charity anthology full of stories of hope, encouragement, and morality. All profits from the project are donated to the Literacy for Incarcerated Teens out of New York.

The LIT's mission is to provide encouraging reading material and author speakers to troubled youth in the penal system.

You can find them here.

You can order the book here.

Want a PAPERBACK? Pre-Order here. 

Light in the Darkness features authors Will Overby, Elizabeth Loraine, Carlyle Labuschange, Tabitha Short, Candy Crum, DJ Shaw, Timothy L. Frasier, Casey L. Bond, JP Gibbs, Dennis Tyler, Stacie Wilson and introducing, Emily Piland. It is published by Ivy Media and Press, 2014.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An Online Release Day Party for Light in the Darkness

Five more days! Til you can get ebook copies of Light in the Darkness. 

We'll be having a release day party online where you can win great prizes including free books and merchandise. The party will be on August 11, 2014 from 6-9PM EDT (that's 5-8 PM CST).

Just use this link to join the event and on 8/11, visit the page to join the festivities! EVERYONE is invited to this event. Don't hesitate to share this post with your friends and family. The more, the merrier!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cover Reveal for Light in the Darkness!

Being young is hard, especially with a rough home life. Not to mention if you have a special ability that sets you apart from others, leaving you feeling like an outsider, or the freak that no one understands. Living in the shadows doesn’t have to last forever. Only you can change the road you're on, just look within yourself and accept who you are. Once you do, you will find your Light in the Darkness.

Publisher: Ivy Media Press

Cover Design by Airicka Phoenix of Airicka’s Mystical Creations

Anthology Contributors: JP Gibbs, Dennis Tyler, Emily Piland, Timothy L. Frasier, Will Overby, Tabitha Short, Elizabeth Loraine, Carlyle Labuschagne, DJ Shaw, Candy Crum, Stacie Wilson and Casey L. Bond

The e-book version of Light in the Darkness will release on August 11, 2014. All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT), a non-profit organization based in New York.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daily Dose

Go ahead
Cut out my heart while you’re leaving
You’re nothing but a beginning memory
A fading out demon

Why you wanna do this?
Afraid of a mirror reflection?
After the last night’s dawn
A character flaw detection?

Go on, get lost
Do whatever your conscious chooses
I’m not made for walking with you
Or for taking your bruises.

I’ve wasted too much time
I’ve given way too much
I used to bring out the best in you
Now I’m just your crutch

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dick With Arms Syndrome

Ladies, ladies, ladies. What do we do? What to do? The world is full of douchebaggery and the anonymity of the internet has released a torrent of it upon our already harassment-laden lives. The cat calls in the streets have become online messages from foreign dudes. The pick up lines in a bar have become snap chats of random penises. The winks from strangers across the coffee shop have become the non-innocent version of the Facebook “poke.” *Facepalm*

I guess if you can’t get rid of them, you might as well have a little fun. I’ve decided to become obnoxious with those requests from foreign profiles… you know which ones I’m talking about, you know you do. Everyone gets them. Men too, I suspect. 

My goal is to piss them off so bad they will never consider messaging me again. So for your reading enjoyment, here are a few I’ve already conquered.

Random Foreign Dude: How are you?
Me: I'm doing well. Yourself?
Random Foreign Dude: So... what are you wearing?
Me: Your mother's skin.

Result: Mission Accomplished.

Here’s another one.

UltraS: I have found your profile and to tell you are very pritty. I wish to know you. You look the beautiful flower blooming in summer.
Me: u look like a jerk
Ultras: lol
Ultras: thx
Ultras: I want your opinion on your beauty
Ultras: Iwished to show the jerk one
Me: u do not make any kind of sense at all
Ultras: why did u said I look like a jerk ?
Me: because you do. i bet you wake up every day wondering what the world can do for you, how someone can conform to your needs
Ultras: good good
Ultras: what else
Ultras: how old r u btw
Me: old enough to knwo apiece of shit when i see one.
Me: i bet you treat girls like they're something you own
Me: a piece of property
Me: dont u?
Ultras: aha
Ultras: sure
Ultras: and u r already mine
Ultras: whose the guy who made all of that
Me: allof what?
Ultras: all of what r u talking abt
Me: what? a woman can't be intelligent enough to figure out what you're doing? Tell you what, visit my profile page, hang a left, up in the corner. In case you're too lazy, let me help you out: MARRIED.
Ultras: u r not
Ultras: too young
Ultras: a blonde
Ultras: no experience in life
Ultras: but u can pretend to be a good one, even u'll never do it
Me: u dont need experience to see that you think the world owes you something and must conform to your desires. you dont even need a fucking education to see that you view women as shit on the bottom of your shoe and are simply another source for pleasing you and nothing more than that. I dont need someone to tell me that you are a selfish arrogant piece of shit
Ultras: well to do it shortly
Ultras: I'm married ok
Ultras: don't need anything
Me: feel sorry for your wife...some cheatin asshole hung up on the internet looking for stupid girls to send him pictures of their pussy so he can get off at night... that poor woman.
Ultras: r u serious
Me: am i not right?
Me: is that not what you're doing?
Ultras: no
Me: i bet...
Ultras: lol
Me: then if you're married how come you are here chatting with other women when you should be doing something to show her you appreciate her and need her? ooh that's right...she's simply there to serve YOU and give YOU what YOU need and want...

Result: And he was never heard from again.

Ohhh, and one of my personal favorites, the turn around. In all honesty, I cannot take credit for the creativity here because these are simply phrases that I’ve heard in my lifetime. I just pulled them from the trap in my brain and spewed them out.
Him: How are you today, lovely?
Me: Married. You?
Him: haha, yes, let’s get married.
Me: No, I’m already married.
Him: You want to be with me tonight?
Me: Sure, why not? I hope you don’t mind, though. My cock is kind of really big. You’re not an anal virgin are you?
Him: Ummm
Me: I guess it’s OK if you are. We can use LOTS of lube. It’s really big, though. It might hurt at first and there might be a little blood, but I’ll try not to hurt you. I’ll make it comfortable for you. It gets easier and then it starts to feel good.
Him: Are you a dude?
Me: No, but I got a raging hard dick. You’ll suck it, won’t you?
Him: I thought you were married?
Me: Oh damn, you caught me. But I’m not like other women. When are you driving through my town?

Result: No response.

All of us ladies are continually inundated with these uncalled for requests and messages, so I plan to equip my fellow gender with the armament of contempt and humor. Please feel free to use any of these responses in your next endeavors with assholes. They suffer from a disease I’ll call Dick With Arms Syndrome or DWAS. 

Do YOU have a DWAS response you’d like to add to the weaponry? Please share in the comments below!

Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Edit a Manuscript in Microsoft Word

(Programs used in this tutorial: Microsoft Word )

Step 1—
Learning the Tools: Track Changes
Note: It is always best if you complete the Purge step in the How to Format Your Manuscript for Ebook & Print tutorial before you begin the editing process. This will make formatting easier later.

Open your manuscript in MS Word. On the bottom left there will be a Track Changes option. Click on it to turn it from Off to On.

The Track Changes option will now record all the changes you make by appearing as red text.

Learning the Tools: Comments
Sometimes you’ll need to leave a comment for the writer. To do this, use the comment tool. Click on the Review tab. Select the text you want to comment on and then click on the New Comment icon.

A box pops up to the right of the document. Type your comment into the box and then click on the document to return your cursor there.

If you make a comment, but later decide to eliminate it, just click on the comment and then click on the Delete Comment icon.

Step 2
It’s pretty straight forward. Find all the mistakes you’re great at finding and correct them. Track Changes will pretty much do the rest for you.

Step 3
Wrap It Up
When you’re finished editing and commenting, save the manuscript as something different from the original. I tend to use something like BookTitle_edited.doc. You can send this copy to your clients so they can accept or reject any edits you’ve made. If you prefer to send a fully edited copy, then there’s more to do.

On the Review tab, click on the mini arrow just below the Accept icon. Choose Accept All Changes in Document.

All the edits you’ve made are now in place without the editor’s marks from the Track Changes feature.

Now click inside one of the comments. Click on the mini arrow below the Delete comment icon. Choose Delete All Comments in Document. Now all the comments have been removed and you’re left with a fully edited manuscript ready for formatting.

If you found this tutorial helpful, you might also enjoy the following tutorials:

How to Format Your Manuscript for Ebook & Print in Eight Easy Steps

How to Embed a Font Into Your Manuscript for Publication

How to Create a Navigable Table of Contents for eBooks

How to Embed a Font to your Manuscript for Publication

When sending a manuscript to print or to be published as an ebook, it's important to have the right fonts. If you've downloaded a font or used a font that is rare, the publishing platforms will generally substitute the font for something familiar, like Times New Roman or Verdana. This happens because not all systems have the same fonts installed. To keep this from happening, embed the font into your document so it's available.

Step 1--
Go to File and select Options.

Step 2--
This opens the Options dialogue box. On the left side column, select the Save tab.

Step 3--
Near the bottom, check the box that says Embed fonts in the file. If you've used several fonts or the document is quite long, it might be a wise idea to also check Embed only the characters used in the document. This will reduce the file size of your document.

Step 4--
Click OK.

If you found this tutorial helpful, here are more that you might enjoy:

How to Create a Navigable Table of Contents for eBooks

How to Format Your Manuscript for eBook & Print in Eight Easy Steps

How to Create a Navigable Table of Contents for Ebooks

Step 1—
List your contents.
Just before the prologue or first chapter of your book, create a blank page using a Page Break. Now list all the contents in the book. Put a single content on one line. Here’s an example:

Chapter 1………………………Chapter Title
Chapter 2………………………Chapter Title
Chapter 3………………………Chapter Title
Author Bio

Note: eBooks do not have page numbers. eReaders have their own internal page numbering system, so including page numbers on this document would only cause readers confusion.

Step 2—
We’re going to use the bookmark and hyperlink function to make the TOC interactive. When a user clicks on the interactive pieces of the TOC, they’ll be taken to that chapter or piece directly. Bookmarks serve as anchor points and the hyperlinks link the words to those anchor points.

Locate the start of your Prologue in your document. Select the title (usually Prologue) or the first few words on the prologue if there is no title. Click on the Insert tab on the tool and then click on the Bookmark icon. This opens the Bookmark dialogue box.

In the Bookmark Name box, type Prologue and then click the Add button to the right.

Now select the next item in your table of contents. Most likely that item is Chapter 1, so scroll through the manuscript and find Chapter 1. Highlight Chapter 1 or whatever wording you have used to indicate that chapter. Repeat the process of setting the bookmark, giving it a unique name like ChapterOne or Chapter1. Names cannot contain spaces.

Go through each item of the TOC one by one and create a bookmark for it.

Step 3—
Return to your TOC page and select the first item. In the example above, the item is Prologue. Now return to the Insert tab and select the Hyperlink icon. This opens the hyperlink dialogue box.

On the left side, choose Place in This Document. A list of the bookmarks you created will appear in the frame in the center. Choose Prologue from the list.

To try it out, return to your document’s TOC page. The word Prologue should be blue with a line beneath it to indicate it is now a link. Depending on your MS Word settings for this feature, it may not be blue and underlined. If you scroll over the word, however, your cursor will turn to a hand. Click on the word and it should take you to the beginning of the prologue. In some versions, you’ll need to hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the word.

Now move on to the next item and repeat the process to link it to the bookmark to which it corresponds.

Once you’ve finished, test each link to make sure all the links take you to the proper locations.

Was this tutorial helpful? Here are some other tutorials you might enjoy.