The Flash Fiction Contest is officially over and the winners have all been notified! The prompt for the contest was: “They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this.” Each writer was to write 300 to 500 words. Here are the results:
Ordering Chicken at the Wide Awake Cafe, by Marla Cantrell
They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this. I know that’s what they’re thinking, these parents of mine. Later, heading home, they’ll say unkind things about my housekeeping, about my cooking. But the smell is not unpleasant. Bay leaf, cumin, cinnamon, orange peel. I tossed them all in a saucepan, added water, turned the burner low. It smells like Dudley to me, and he is gone.
My mother’s house smells of gardenias.
Dudley had the fairest skin, and black hair. He was unreasonably tall, and folded himself into cabs when he left my apartment late at night.
“Let’s go out,” my mother says.
“No,” I say. I am too tired to embellish.
“We’ll get that fried chicken you like so much.”
I’ve been a vegetarian for three years, though my parents have yet to notice. I used to be beauty queen. I have a shelf in my closet with my tiaras. There are five. In the end, I give up. My father shuffles into his coat. My mother smoothes my hair. Outside, in the brittle air, I cough.
“You aren’t getting sick, are you?” my mother asks. She feels my forehead, and then we climb into the car.
At the Wide Awake Café, I order the chicken. I order biscuits. I ask for strawberry jam.
“Getting out is all you needed,” my mother says, and my father grunts beside her.
When the food comes, I push the chicken away.
“Honey,” my mother says to my father, “tell Doe who we saw last week.”
My father is folded over his plate. “Roger,” he says without looking up. “Down at the feed meal.”
I stuff a piece of biscuit in my mouth.
“He asked after you,” my mother says, and raises an eyebrow.
Roger knew me when I was a better person. When I twirled a baton and told the judges my grandma was my hero. That I wanted to grow up and teach other girls to love their bodies, love themselves.
“Is he married?” I ask, my voice unsteady.
“No,” my mother says. “He was, to a Yankee who broke his sweet heart. He moved back a few months ago.”
The last thing Dudley said to me was this: “You’re a small town beauty queen looking for the guy who’s going to remember that. I’m not that guy. The sooner you realize that, the better off we’ll both be.”
It stung so much I didn’t mention Dudley’s cheating, which seemed to be the entire point at the beginning of our argument.
When I was about to hand off my last title - Miss Magnolia, 2002 – I started to cry. I felt my life shutting down. Roger saw me breaking apart. He stood up. He clapped. And finally he shouted, “I love Doe Starling, always and forever!” The crowd whooped and hollered and I took a bow.
It was better than any crown I ever wore. It was the the best and brightest night of my life.
Duty Calls by Mary Vogel
They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this. Sirens screamed from the street below jolting them awake.
“What’s that smell?” Alex ripped the blankets off and sprinted to the door. She tapped the doorknob, feeling for heat.
It was hot.
Now what do we do? Alex tried to remember what the fireman at school taught her.
Thick smoke seeped under the door and encircled her feet.
“Tina, get up!” Alex tore the blanket off her sister and laid it in front of the door. She ran to the window and as she lifted the blinds, revolving red lights rallied around the bedroom. “Look, Tina, three fire trucks are here. We’re saved!”
Alex shoved the window up and freezing air rushed her face. It felt fresh and she breathed deeply. Turning, she saw her baby sister rocking back and forth, hugging her knees.
“Come on baby.” Alex softened her voice and reached out her hands. Tina jumped into Alex’s arms and clung like a monkey.
“Help, we’re over here!” Alex waived out the window trying to catch someone’s attention over the wail of sirens.
A ladder thumped against the house beneath their window. “I’m coming, Sweetie. Hold on. I’m almost there,” bellowed a voice from below.
“He’s here.” Alex squeezed Tina tighter.
Massive gloves gripped the windowsill as the fireman heaved himself up. He reached an arm through the window and wrapped a glove gently around Alex’s arm. Looking directly into her clear blue eyes he said, “Hi Sweetie, I’m fireman Frank. What’s your name?”
“Alex. And this is Tina.”
“Listen, Alex, I can only carry one of you down at a time. I need one arm to hold the ladder. I am going to take your sister first, and then I am coming back for you. I promise I will only be one minute. Watch from the window as I go down and come right back for you. Do you trust me?”
Alex’s eyes pierced his as she nodded in agreement.
Frank whisked Tina into his arms and raced down the ladder. As he neared the bottom, outstretched arms grabbed the child from his grip. Frank heard the mother’s wails of gratitude above the sirens as he ascended the ladder to retrieve the other girl.
“What are you doing Frank? We got the girl. The mother said there is only one child left in the house,” Frank’s captain shouted.
“No, there’s another girl, Alex. I promised I’d be right back. I saw her.” Frank shouted back.
“What are you talking about?” Tina’s mother stepped forward in disbelief. “Alex was my older daughter, but she died of leukemia two years ago. What are you saying?”
“There was another girl in the bedroom. I have to save her, I promised,” shouted Frank as he hustled up the ladder. He pulled himself through the window and searched the room for the girl.
“Alex,” he shouted frantically over and over to an empty room.
Paradise? by Julie McCarty
They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this. A sickly sweet smell, and much stronger now that they were inside. The mice peered through the hole into what seemed to be another world – filled with sunlight, giant trees, high humidity, and heat.
Cautiously, they poked their heads out. An outside world indoors, a hot jungle with the click and whirr of a pump, tinkling water. Paradise?
Another mouse emerged from under a door. This mouse, unlike them, moved slowly, nonchalantly, toward a grate in the wall with a hole half-hidden underneath it.
“Psst!” the bolder of the two mice whispered.
The traveling mouse stopped. Seeing the hole and the noses, he said, “Whoa,Dude! Come out here so I can see you!”
“I don’t think so,” said the first mouse. “Why are you out there? Someone could see you!”
“Nope. Sleeping,” said the resident mouse. “I shouldn’t share my good fortune, but it gets a little lonely around here sometimes. Come on.”
The house mouse turned and ambled back to the door. The new mice hesitated, but finally scurried along the wall to where he waited.
The same sweet smell was even stronger as the mice peeked under the door. They blinked as a haze stung their eyes. Several people slouched on furniture, asleep. And on the floor – food! Pizza boxes, fast food containers, and candy wrappers littered the floor.
The house mouse said, “I used to be like you guys, scared and hungry, on the move, and then I found this place – and got on the gravy train, man! I come out here at night, everyone’s asleep, and have my pick of the leftovers.”
“Aren’t you scared of the people?” The timid mouse spoke.
“Naw. I try to stay out of sight,” said the house mouse. “One night they saw me, and for some reason they thought I was very funny. They tend their trees, a lot of people come and go, and they laugh and eat and sleep.
He grinned and patted his belly.
“What is that smell?” asked the first mouse.
“It’s the trees, man. They burn ‘em, and it makes this haze, and it makes them slow. It even makes the cat slow.”
“Cat! Are you crazy?!!!”
“Relax,” the house mouse said. “He’s s -l -o -w. Now if you’ll excuse me, stay if you want, help yourself to some grub, chill out, whatever.”
And with that, the house mouse took one more deep breath of the heavy air and ambled back to his hole.
“Let’s eat!” said the timid mouse. “I’m feeling quite brave, and you heard the mouse. No danger here.”
“There’s always danger,” replied his friend. “You go on.”
So the emboldened mouse went to feast, and the wary one lay down until he was awakened by the opening of a door, the entry of a human, and one cat who, having been outside in the fresh air, was decidedly not slow.
Winter Saturday of Small Discontents by Maren Tirabassi
They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this. Something infiltrated the January Saturday dirty oven smell that remembered layers of spill back to Thanksgiving. The beagle smelled it, too, with his olfactory-enabled snout. It was Dove soap and Minnesota pine, vanilla dabbed behind the ears as poor-girl perfume – that was the best they could make of the ghostly scent.
“I don’t know.” The man said. “Something in your dough?”
“I … guess,” the woman with the rolling pin and a flour thumbprint on her cheek bisected by one tear, looked doubtfully at her bowl then at her husband with the leash in his hand. “Walking the dog?”
“Yeah. Willie misses her already and she’s probably just getting to the airport. “Ta da!” He made a little finger-fireworks in the air, “The longest time till he gets his college girl back. Exercise will do him good.”
“You, too,” she murmured below hearing aid level. Louder. “Watch the ice.”
The oven smell had awakened the grandma-ghost. Smells are … friendly to lingering spirits who also can’t be seen or heard. She floated down to watch her own daughter more closely. No sense of proportion! Missing a child gone back to school for four months is sad the way a rehearsal is a wedding. There will be all kinds of missing, just like there will be all kinds of going away. Marriage or estrangement or illness or … The grandma-ghost could tell stories about loss to turn the heart inside out with sad.
But one’s own sad is one’s own sad – there’s no hierarchy to loss or loneliness. The limited imaginations of the living are their safety valves.
The middle aged woman who was not fastidious about Easy-Off had tree and star cutters for Christmas cookies by her board as if culinary conjuring would roll back two weeks to the beginning of Christmas break.
“I meant to make cookies. We were just too busy. I meant to make cookies. What kind of a lousy mother is too busy to make cookies …
“I meant to sing carols. We were just too busy. I meant to sing carols. What kind of a lousy mother is … I meant to read ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ What kind of a lousy … meant to make epiphany stars out of aluminum foil … meant to …”
Her hand closed around a jar of red sprinkles. She stared surprised at her fingers – some kind of Ouija bake-off. “I miss my daughter.”
“So do I.”
“Who said that?” As she looked up, the man with the parka and disreputable earflaps came into view, beagle bounding through the snow beside him. A surreptitious hand found the corner of his eye.
“Old fool.” she said and carefully set the red sprinkles next to the rolling pin.
“Which one?” whispered the ghost and watched her long ago little girl toss the tree cutter in the drawer and pull out a heart.
“Not too late for Valentines.”
The Scent of Eddie by Robert Douglas
They crinkled their noses, wondering what could make the room smell like this.
The hospice nurse and chaplain were used to the stench of a urine-Clorox mix that permeated the air in the shabby nursing home, out of sight on a wooded cul-de-sac and out of the minds of families who used the facility to warehouse relatives too feeble of mind or body to care for any longer.
But on this late November morning, Eddie’s room was an aromatic oasis of citrus. It was like walking into a sunny Florida grove, far away from the reality out in the dimly lit corridor where lonely widows sat in wheelchairs waiting for death or one of their grandchildren — whichever came first. The same reality Eddie had shared.
The chaplain closed his eyes and inhaled the sweet fragrance. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” he said to the nurse.
“Look here,” she whispered as she approached the patient’s bedside. “I think Eddie has gone over the rainbow.”
The gaunt and grizzled patient who had been grimacing in pain during their last visit was resting peacefully with a five-pound bag of oranges in his withered arms and a smile on his face.
There was puzzled silence until a tearful hospice volunteer returned with a nursing home doctor and orderly to pronounce Eddie dead and wheel him away.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” said the chaplain, embracing the volunteer he knew had become close to Eddie over months of regular visits. “But do you mind me asking, what’s with the oranges?”
The volunteer wiped his eyes, took a deep breath then explained:
Eddie made his living picking fruit all his life until he could no longer climb up a ladder with a full bushel bag. He followed the harvests from Georgia for peaches to Michigan for apples. But his heart was always in Florida’s orange and grapefruit groves.
We were trading memories one day and I asked him, “Where were you when you heard JFK died?”
“Up an orange tree in Palm Beach County,” he said. “That’s one time everybody remembers where they were.”
With another assassination anniversary coming — surely the last for Eddie — I went to Publix to buy him a bag for old time’s sake. His face lit up. I cut him a piece to have one last taste. I wiped his mouth and tears. He wrapped his arms around the bag, closed his eyes, smiled and just let go.
The three of us put our hands on Eddie until the orderly gently told it was time it was to say goodbye. Then we took the bag from his arms, left his old room and gave an orange to every lonely soul we passed on our way out, spreading the scent of Eddie along the way.
The winners in the Flash Fiction Contest have been notified. Check your email to see if you are one of them! Names and stories will be published here by the end of the week, after all five winners have confirmed their winning notice. Prizes will also be sent out once I have confirmations from all five.
I intended to get this information out sooner, but have been preoccupied with doctors and tests at the hospital after a fall I had on Sunday. Everything is OK now, so I can start moving ahead.
More information to come . . .
These first weeks in 2014 have been challenging for me. I am at a crossroads in my career and have decided, after a great deal of thought, to finally take the steps down a slightly different road. I mentioned some of the changes I was contemplating the last time I posted, and now I have solidified those changes.
The final issue of Excellent Writing, the newsletter for the Center for Writing Excellence, will be published on March 3. The winners of the Flash Fiction contest held in January will be announced and prizes will be distributed at that time.
The January contest will also be the last contest we offer. The contests have been great fun, I have met a lot of wonderful writers through them, and the judges have done an exemplary job evaluating the work of so many talented writers, but the time has come to move on.
The Center for Writing Excellence will still be here, but our focus is changing to encompass more editing and publishing. For more information on the editing services we offer, click here: Services or on the Services tab above. For more information on the publishing options available, click here: Publishing, or on the Publishing tab above.
We have also shortened the Novella class from an eight-week course to a more compact four-week online course. You and a friend can take this class together for the price of one enrollment. Check out Write Your Novella in 30 Days for more information. The course starts March 23.
On May 17 we will offer the Self-Publishing workshop again. This workshop will give you some excellent tools to self-publish your own book, or to help you decide whether or not you want the Center for Writing Excellence to publish it for you!
I will be posting here on the blog site once a week or so, providing information about editing, publishing, and other writing related topics. I will also be looking for guest bloggers on these topics, so if any of you have something you would like to write about in 400-500 words, please contact me, either through the comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Writing Everyone!
Over the next several months there will be some significant changes made to the Center for Writing Excellence. I want to concentrate more on editing and publishing so have decided to set the Center up as a book publishing company. To that end I will be offering customized services for writers who have a manuscript ready to publish. Services will be offered ‘cafeteria style’ and include:
- Interior Formatting/Design
- Cover Design
- Obtaining ISBN
- Distribution through POD printing
Watch this space for more information on this new adventure.
In order to prepare for the publishing arm of the Center, I am going to put the newsletter on hiatus. The Flash Fiction contest will run for the last time in April.
The other major focus of the Center will be the courses, both the 8-week online courses and the Webinars with both local and online participation. I am also thinking about adding some shorter online workshops and welcome any suggestions for topics.
Your support over the past four years has been amazing and I have met some wonderful people all around the country. I hope to continue the relationship we have built.
Onward, writers! New goals, new heights are out there, let’s go get them!
In the past,self-publishing, also known as Vanity Press Publishing, was difficult, expensive, and held a stigma for ‘real’ writers. Fortunately, that image is changing. With Print on Demand (POD) options, the expense of self-publishing has diminished significantly.
- A time lag of sometimes more than 18 months before the book actually appears on shelves.
- Holding physical book signings in local bookstores – sometimes with very few sales.
- Hoping for some media attention from the review copies that were distributed.
- Sitting at home waiting for the royalty checks to start coming in.
Typically, royalties are small, with the publishing house taking a big chunk, along with agents, editors, and others, leaving very little to the writer. The dreams of huge advances are rarely realized in today’s publishing world except by writers with established fan bases. More often, the publishing house will want the writer to go out and build his or her own platform before coming to the publisher. There are isolated incidences of big advances for unknown writers, and we applaud those authors, but we also need to be realistic when it comes to actually landing one of those contracts.
Things that have changed with the advent of POD self-publishing include much faster print to shelf time, larger royalties, and more work for the writer beyond the actual writing. As a self-published author, you create your own brand, build your own platform, and do your own selling and marketing. Yes, it is more work, but if done right, it will be more rewarding.
The writer is at the very center of the platform. He or she can determine just how far to go. Adding in a website or blog is the start of the marketing process. Every writer who wants to sell his or her work needs a website or blog to create the brand, present information about the book, offer incentives, and interact with his or her audience. Social media like Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others are excellent ways to spread the word and grow an audience.
As more and more people opt for self-publishing, the stigma is decreasing, but it is still important to create self-published books that look professional, and are grammatically correct. One of the reasons for the negative opinions about self-publishing is the fact that the product itself may not look professional. You, the writer, can ensure your books do look professional with good editing, an enticing cover, and professionally presented content. POD printers all offer editing and marketing services, or you can choose to take on those activities yourself.
The bottom line with POD publishing is YOU have control. For more information on how to self-publish your books, plan on attending the Self-Publishing: Are You Ready webinar on May 17.
Do you have your 2014 Writing Goals outlined yet? The Center for Writing Excellence has some exciting opportunities for you to help jump-start your projects.
To start off, we have a very exciting, interactive 8-week class on Dialog starting tomorrow (January 12). The Dialog-Breathing Life Into Your Writing class is an excellent opportunity for you to learn how to help your characters speak to each other in ways that are believable. Like our Facebook page (Center for Writing Excellence) and you can take advantage of the 15% discount offered on the registration page. We also have a payment plan option (1/3 down, 1/3 halfway through, and 1/3 at the end of the course).
Another fun way to get your muse started is to participate in the Flash Fiction contest:
- Contest starts at 10:00pm (Mountain Time) on Friday, January 17, 2014.
- Contest ends at 10:00pm (Mountain Time) on Sunday, January 19, 2014.
- Contestants will have 48 hours to write and submit a flash fiction story of 300-500 words based on a single prompt.
- Cash prizes available for the top FIVE entries!
- Entry fee is only $4.00 for one $6.00 for two entries.
And, to round out our first month of Writing fun is a Webinar on January 25. This is a 3-hour session called Self-Publishing – Are You Ready?.
How to publish and promote your book using the latest Indie book publishing techniques. The entire process from your word processor to a real book in hand. Even if you don’t have a manuscript ready yet, this workshop will give you the tools necessary to publish when you are ready. Fiction, non-fiction, ebook, or print, this workshop will help you get your book into your reader’s hands.
The Webinar starts at 9:00am (Mountain Time) and ends about noon. The fee is $39, but if you register before January 20, you can take $5 off. OR, LIKE our Facebook page and you can take advantage of the C4WE Discount and pay only $30!
If your book is already written and you are in need of an editor, we also offer Editing Services:
The Center for Writing Excellence will edit your books, novels, and short stories. We will check for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors as well as review for content. The technical review will look for consistency in voice, tense, and syntax. The content review will examine relationships between characters, looking for consistency in behavior, etc. It will also cover things like errors in time frame, reliability of ‘facts’ and ‘believability’ of actions, dialogue, etc. Comments will be provided on plot and characters as well as in an overall critique of the work. Qualify for up to a 15% discount (information available on Website.)
Lots to do – I better get busy! Hope to see all of you in one or more of the C4WE events!
Some of you may have seen my note about this on FaceBook – but I think it is good enough to share again. I was going through a box of old papers I found in the back of my closet the other day when I came across a real find. Apparently my Uncle Gerald kept a log of the time he spent in the Navy during WWII. Another uncle found the log after Gerald passed away in 2002 and he and his wife transcribed the hand-written diary. They then sent copies of it to my mother. Mom must have put away her copy and when she passed in 2004 I got a box of her old papers, which then migrated to the back of my closet.
Now I have the diary. It starts in January, 1944 and ends in March, 1946, about three years before I was born. Several pages are one line entries:
January 23, 1944: Left San Francisco
February 1, 1944: Arrived at Pearl Harbor
Others contain a bit of narrative:
February 28, 1945: Back at Saipan. It certainly took us a long time to come from Iwo. We made 5 or 6 knots all the way.
Still other entries are much more descriptive of what he was doing:
March 4, 1945: Arrived at Iwo Jima. gave some ships mail we brought from Saipan. We went real close to Iwo. In fact we were so close we could see people walking around and hear small anus [sic] being fired. We could see a lot of wreckage on the Island I would hate to live on it. It is a very desolate looking place. I couldn’t see any trees on it. All I could see is a tundra like growth, volcanic ash, rock. Patrolling rest of day & night.
So now, the question is, what to do with this? There are several of the very descriptive entries so I am thinking about maybe doing some research and creating a story based on his notes. It needs editing, but just the entries alone might make an interesting first person account of being on a minesweeper in the Pacific Ocean during the war.
I know I have been given a priceless gift and want to honor my uncle, his service, and the family by writing his story.
Have any of you ever found something like this? What did you do with it?
Good morning! We have a new course debuting at the Center for Writing Excellence in January! This course, Dialog – Breathing Life Into Writing, was developed by Dr. Luccia Rogers, one of the judges from our Genre Contest.
This course will give writers tools to help them write dialogue without over-writing it. Participants will learn to write dialogue that comes from the character, not from their own personal agendas for the story. They will also learn that writing dialogue is fun once they let themselves relax and exercise their freedom to expand their horizons through their characters’ voices.
I have attached a podcast about dialog that I created earlier this year as an introduction to a previous course on dialog. It is a great way to introduce Luccia’s new course. Click the link here to download, watch, and listen to the presentation: Creating Realistic Dialogue.
You can register for the 8-week, online course here: Dialog-Breathing Life Into Writing. The course starts on January 12 an runs through March 8. There are reading and writing assignments due each week, along with discussions in the course bulletin board.
What about the ending?
It is difficult to end a short story, and many writers struggle with this part of the writing. Don’t overwrite the ending, either. Make your point and end it. Sometimes a short story ends with the story up in the air – without really giving the reader the answer to the conflict presented in the story. If you do this, be careful that you are not just stopping the story because you came to the end of the word requirement.
Make your story unique, don’t write the same old story, same tired clichés.
- Stay away from melodramatic, overwritten stories with corny endings
- Make the story memorable – something the reader will not say “So what?” after reading.
Things that will kill the sale quicker than anything:
- Spelling, grammar mistakes
- Unnatural dialogue – make it real and natural
- Conflicting plots or themes – it’s a short story – keep it on track
- Too much history – again it’s a short story – keep the back-story to a minimum
Good morning everyone! It is Fall in Arizona, the temps are going to be delightful today. November in Arizona is weather bragging time!
I also have some great news for those of you who have a Kindle and did not get a chance to pick up the Third Annual Fiction Anthology yet. Starting Saturday morning, December 10, the Anthology is going on a special new promotion by Amazon called the Kindle Countdown Deal. Here is how it works: For the week starting November 10 at 8:00AM PST the Anthology will be offered at a deep discount, starting at $1.99 for the first 39 hours. Every 39 hours later the price goes up $1, until the price reaches $4.99 in the final 39 hours of the countdown week. The price goes back to the original $6.99 once the week is over. Get in early on this deal!
And now, for the feature story today: How to Create a Family Anthology.
A perfect Holiday gift for your family is a compilation of their work, whether it is poetry, painting, or writing. My family has poets, writers, and artists – and one year for Christmas, I compiled all their work into one bound anthology that they will treasure forever!
Start by contacting your family members and asking for copies of anything they wish to include in the anthology. I got photos, drawings, poetry, short stories, essays, school papers, letters, even a script for a play!
Do some Internet research on your family name. I found interesting facts about the origins of our name in Scotland, including images of the family crest.
Sort through all the artifacts sent by your family members and categorize them. Create an outline by category and author name. For example, I had four family members submit poetry so I started with the Poetry category, then listed each family member name and the poems he or she submitted.
Write the introduction, including the reasons for writing the anthology, and highlighting some of the pieces and photos to follow in the book. The introduction should encourage the reader to read the rest of the anthology through descriptive phrases about the works included.
Scan in the photos and artwork, keeping them in a folder that is easy to access when working on the book. Include the graphic pieces as stand-alone pieces or as illustrations for the written work. For example, on the page with my mother’s poem titled “My Past” I include a photo of mom as a young woman.
Enter all the written submissions, the poems, short stories, school papers, etc. As you type them in the Word processing document, keep in mind the order as already presented in the outline. Use the Styles in Word to create headings, which later will be used to insert the Table of Contents. Some of the pieces I received were so interesting in their original format (the poem my kids wrote the year I turned 30 for example) that I scanned them in and used the image instead of typing in the text.
Write the conclusion. This can be a wrap up of the content of the anthology or, in my case, this is where I wrote up the history of our family name. I used the Internet research, including web references so the family could look up more information if they so desired. I also included more graphic images that were related to the family name.
Insert the rest of the artwork at the appropriate places in the body of the anthology, with captions explaining what it is, who created it, and how it fits into the text, if it does. This step is important; it is the one that starts you working on the layout of the anthology.
Continue formatting, adding artwork, and editing the anthology. When you are finished with the body, go back and enter a footer with auto pagination and then insert the Table of Contents, using the Automatic Table of Contents feature in Word.
Choose a title and cover image for the anthology. I chose the title of my favorite poem by my mother, “Picking Dandelions” and added the sub-title “A Clan Johnston Anthology” to highlight our Scottish heritage. I asked the artist in my family to read the poem and create the image for the cover.
Choose an image for the back cover. In this case, I choose a recent photo of the family from a reunion. I also added a photo of the family crest.
This is the printing stage. You can take it to your local copy shop, which can turn out to be pretty expensive. An option is to have it self-published using Create Space or Lulu or any of the other Print on Demand self-publishing websites. If you would like to know more about Self-Publishing, you can attend my workshop on December 14. Self-Publishing, Are You Ready? The workshop is online for those of you outside of Phoenix. Locals can attend in person.
- My family members said they laughed and cried as they read the anthology. It was a huge success and I am thinking of doing it again, using recipes or travel as the theme.
Happy Writing, everyone!