Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Find a Literary Agent

This is a topic that is widely discussed amongst writers and novelists-in-the-making.  It’s a topic that very relevant now because of the precarious relationship between traditional publishing and e-publishing.  Many still feel that traditional publishing is still the way to go because you still will have the veneer of success stamped on you because a traditional publisher accepted and published your work.  This is the epitome of the author having arrived.

However, with so many success stories of independent writers who are making a name for themselves and selling their books through their own marketing efforts (John Locke, Amanda Hocking, Richard Phillips to name a few…), you wonder if it is possible for the average writer.

John Locke has a book that describes how he sold one million books in 5 months.  It gives step-by-step details – but do you have the time, patience and tech/software savvy to handle all of the simple steps and the ongoing promotions and marketing required?

Well, that’s something only you can answer.  However, even if you don’t self-publish, creating a brand and a platform in social media is becoming increasingly more important even when in contract with a traditional publisher.  Publishers want to know that you can engage a decent amount of readers and are not clueless in today’s new publishing arena.

So, if you think your manuscript is polished with tight grammar, spelling and punctuation let’s move on with acquiring a literary agent!

Step #1: Make sure the literary agent you are submitting to is not the first person to read your completed novel.  Have a dry run editor and/or beta readers who provide feedback on your work.  And then, make sure you listen to this feedback and get some other opinions to ensure that you know from a few readers what are the high points and low points of your story.

Step #2: Once your manuscript has gone through the beta readers and/or editor and gets a green light go ahead and begin making the edits/changes suggested from the feedback.  Re-read, or have others re-read again to ensure that you’ve fixed the items that needed clarifying, expansion, contracting – or whatever was needed.

Step #3: Begin creating your query letter which will be your book’s introduction to the literary agent(s) of your choice.  The query begins with an introduction detailing why you chose the agent to pitch your book to and to show that you know something of that agent.  Research and read as much as you can about the agent and incorporate what you’ve learned in that first paragraph.

The second paragraph is your book’s synopsis.  Tell what your novel’s about in 250 – 400 words – less if possible!  Give them sizzle and pizzazz.  Make the agent want to read what you’ve written.  You can compare your book with a similar set of books so they get the idea quickly.  Give them a titillating blurb that will make them want to ask for more pages of your book.  You must also tell them where your book will go on the shelf of a brick-and-mortar store, or where it will be cataloged in an online bookstore.  Is it a psychological thriller?  Is it a historical romance?  Is it a Christian Western romance?  Let them know!  How many readers are in this market?  If you know, you can share that!

The third paragraph is your bio – why are you the right person to write this particular book?  Who the heck are you???  Let them know of your quirky personality through eclectic language that is uniquely you.  This is the time to showcase your ability as a writer!  If you’re having trouble writing about you, pretend you’re writing about someone else!  Be as objective as possible but funny as all get out if that’s who you are!

Step #4: Get another pair of eyes on your query to ensure you didn’t omit something important!  When trying to condense we sometimes overlook extremely important pieces.  While you’re at it, have them check for typos and any other glaring mistakes.

Step #5: SPELL THE AGENT’S NAME RIGHT!  Yeah, I know this is silly but it is extremely important.  If you read the blogs and follow agents’ social media accounts, you will see that simple things like not spelling their name right labels that author as ‘sloppy’ or worse – lazy.

Step #6: Send out that query according to the specifications of the agent’s blog or post.  If they ask for a query with 5 pages of your book – give them what they ask for!  Do not give them more or less.  If they ask that you paste it in the body of the email – DO THAT!  If you send an attachment, in most cases, they will not open it and your query will be discarded without being read.  Following instructions at the outset (and throughout the process) is important.

Step #7: Repeat steps 3-7 until you acquire an agent!

There’s no magic bullet or pill that will find you an agent in 10 days.  The average amount of queries one needs to send out before beginning to even expect to get an agent's interest is 100 queries.  I recently corresponded with one writer who sent out over 200 queries and had 3 agents request to see the full manuscript.  As you can see, the percentages are not in the writer's favor but if this is the road you want to pursue be persistent.

To help your chances, you should attend literary events in your area to get up close and personal to a living breathing literary agent.  Know that the agents will be inundated with hopeful authors such as yourself throughout the literary event.  However, having met an agent face-to-face, you can make an impression that can make the request of seeing your manuscript come much more quickly than if you had simply sent your query via snail mail or email.

To help you find agents, please check out these links:

About this Guest Poster:

Rochelle Campbell is a Brooklyn-based writer who has written two full-length novels and over 25 short stories.  Chambray Curtains Blowing inthe Wind was published in 2009 by Bartleby-Snopes Literary Magazine.  You can buy her short story collection, Leaping Out on Faith, on Amazon for 99-cents (  She is also on a quest to acquire a literary agent.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Transitioning to Gluten-Free Blues

This is going to be a simple post.  This is all about my struggle with going gluten-free.  Due to health/breathing issues I pulled gluten out of my diet in mid-March of this year.  I've slowly tried to re-introduce small things and was NOT successful at all.  I'm almost as bad as I was in March.

After reading this LiveStrong article about testing oneself for gluten sensitivity/allergy, I realized that I was ingesting copious amounts of gluten without realizing it.  French fries are coated with a gluten solution!  Who knew??  Pam baking spray has gluten in it!  Twizzlers = gluten.  Cold cuts, processed meats and frozen meats all have gluten (in one form or another) in them!  This is not fun.

I feel like all I can eat is gluten-free crackers and cheese from Murray's!  Or, I have to make everything from scratch for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I was a vegan for 12 1/2 years and this gluten-free diet feels just as restrictive.

Tracy Joy's LiveStrong article makes it very clear:

You can consume nothing made with wheat, rye, barley, bulgur, couscous, dinkle or spelt, durham, semolina, einkorn, emmer, farina, kamut, gluten, malt, matzo, mir, oats (may be added back in later), seitan and triticale. Anything made with these products must be avoided, which means you must get in the habit of reading labels if you eat processed foods. You will need to eliminate most pastas unless they're made with corn or rice four, breads, cereals, gravies, soups, processed sandwich meats and baked goods. Most processed or frozen meats also have been injected with a solution that contains wheat. While potatoes are gluten free, french fries are often coated with a wheat solution. The point is you must read labels. To be safe, stick with fresh produce and meat while you are testing for a gluten allergy, and avoid all processed foods.

Disgusted with my lot in food, for dinner today, I made myself some sauteed salt fish with boiled sweet plantains and boiled green bananas.  I tried my hand at gluten-free dumplings with some cornmeal in them.  The dumplings didn't turn out too badly!  I cannot tell you the recipe as I was just upset and threw various flours in: cornmeal, white rice flour, chickpea flour, xantham gum and I think some potato flour along with salt, garlic and onion powder.  I kneaded as usual and plopped some spindles in with the boiling ground food.

However, this type of cooking takes time!  I want quick, tasty and fast.  Okay, okay.  I'm whining and complaining. <sigh>

Any healthy, good tasting, relatively quick gluten-free recipes, tips and tricks would be most helpful!  Please leave your comments, tips and workarounds below!! PLEAAASSSEE!!!  I'm in my 3rd trimester now and am generally too tired to make 3 meals (plus snacks!) each day.  So, any help would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. - Found this great video by The Celia Diva and it made me feel so much better.  Thanks Lauren!

Ta-ta for now,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nothing Written is Ever Wasted

My childhood home was crushed last year.

Smashed into a disc of debris by one little windstorm and an old cottonwood. If you were to stand in the wreckage, you’d never have known that it was once a humble house from a humble neighborhood. With windows and worth and walls covered in pictures of smiling faces. It’s a strange thing to see a symbol of permanence reduced to violent rubble – one that the dear people of Oklahoma understand all too well right now. (Our thoughts are still with you!) After discovering that no one had been hurt, those of us who’d long since flown the coop were surprised to realize that the destruction of the house wasn’t as upsetting as it might have been. All symbols aside, it was only a bit of wood and paint. It could be rebuilt. The cottonwood was another matter.

Losing that blasted tree brought us to tears.

To be fair, this was no ordinary cottonwood. It was ooold, having stood benevolently at the home’s side for more than a hundred years. It had provided shade and shelter not only for us, but for countless birds, squirrels, and beneficial insects that were now left with nowhere to sleep. It had been a permanent hiding place for raccoons and a temporary roost for eagles. My baby sister and I had wasted entire summers in its branches, playing at spies and soldiers and daring one another to climb higher, ever higher. Courtesy of an odd clustering of what looked to be four trees melded into one, its trunk measured over thirty feet in circumference and its canopy was a sky unto itself. The dear woman from the local Arbor Society who came to record its passing said it was the most astonishing of its kind, the most remarkable cottonwood she’d ever documented. It had been the reason my father, now gone, had purchased the property thirty years before. In the end, it was the reason the house fell. I suppose there is something sadly poetic about that.
By now, you’re probably wondering at the title of this post.  It’s a long way to go for a writing metaphor, but I’m ambling my way into a point, I promise.

Though we didn’t know it at the time, cottonwoods are notorious for this very type of thing – falling on houses, cars, even people – and as such, aren’t recommended for residential properties. With that in mind, it would be fair to accuse that big, beautiful thing in all its glory of being a mistake. You could say it wasn’t right for the house and the house paid for it. You could say we should have removed the thing the moment we arrived. Maybe you’d be right. But there was a reason that tree had grown to a mounting spectacle, as it did; a goliath that stood apart from its species and endeared itself to everyone who was lucky enough to sit beneath it. Due to a unique growth pattern, the tree’s root system was exceptionally deep and strong. Many cottonwoods tumble after being uprooted by their own girth, but not this one. Had it not fallen victim to disease, those roots might have sustained it for a hundred years more. Even now that it has been shorn to a stump, that system remains, stretching beneath the soil, a living network that none can see, providing a foundation for the new trees that have now been planted atop it. They will tap into that system. They will be nourished by it. They will grow to be more hardy, more successful, and likely more beautiful than they could ever have been on their own. 

And they will have that beautiful mistake to thank for their success.

My point, dear reader, fellow writer, is this:

We sometimes find ourselves in the aftermath of a writing mistake. Maybe you’re struggling to find acceptance for your work. Maybe something isn’t selling the way you thought it would. Maybe you’re looking at the devastation of a grand failure and wondering whether it’s at all worth it to rebuild, to start over – or whether you’d be better off to move away from this entire writing endeavor and find yourself a quiet corner office where nothing goes wrong, where work is always rewarded with pay, and where nothing beyond your control is ever going to fall on your dreams and crush them into filthy shards. 

You could do that.

But you bloody well know that you’d regret it.

Not everything you write will be publishable, no matter how much you love it. Not everything you publish will be marketable, no matter how much you try. Novels will be shelved, ideas will be abandoned, entire works will come crashing down on a massive scale and you will stare confounded at the debris, but that doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your time. Everything you will ever write has something to teach you. Cut the book to nothing, you will still have the memories of hours wherein you dared yourself to go higher, ever higher. You will learn in hindsight that there was a reason why it failed. And you will have a foundation upon which to build something new.

Writing isn’t something you do, it’s who you are. So write. If you fail, start over. And if you fail again, start over again. You will get stronger with every step, every word, every book. Every part of this loony ride of ups and downs is worth it, in the end – even the mistakes.

Scratch that.

Especially the mistakes.

My childhood home has been rebuilt and it is a remarkable sight. Starting over has injected that humble plot of land with enough sweat equity that the once-dilapidated property could now be a contender on any market. But my favorite part? The sea of trees sprouting strong and beautiful from the place where one gorgeous calamity of a cottonwood lived not so long ago. 

I can’t wait to watch them grow.

About this Guest Poster:
Vivienne Mathews is a nerdy ice queen who talks with her hands and owns far too many hats. A beekeeper with a bee allergy, no one would ever accuse her of being sensible. She spends most of her days in Hermitville, just past Nowhere, with her loving husband, two dogs, and a child who won’t stop growing, no matter how desperately she tries to keep him young. More than anything, she hopes you enjoy these books as much as she enjoys writing them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Food-Inspired Art by Raynetta Stocks

Hi Folks!  Happy Monday!!  I hope you all have a fabo Father's Day weekend here in the States and enjoyed the balmy weather we experienced here on the East Coast.  We have a bonus inspiration week post from a wonderful authoress - Raynetta Stocks.

Some of you may recall almost exactly one year ago, this blog reviewed Raynetta's book The Grim and gave it 4 1/2 Blogairy Notebooks.  Raynetta is now gracing our blog again with this colorfully beautiful post on how food and writing go hand-in-hand.

Sit back and enjoy the last post of NoteBook Blogairy's first ever Writerly Inspiraton Week posts!

~ NoteBook Blogairy

I'm on a mission.  For the last two years, I've been drilled on the importance of food as it pertains to good, healthy habits (due primarily to my congestive heart falure and having to lose weight).  The only pastime I love more than reading and writing is eating.  A beautiful plate sitting in front of me brings forth the most magnificent prose I've ever heard in my life, especially if the food tastes amazing!  I have what I call my happy food dance, and only flavorful, yummy goodness gets that honor.

My love affair with food has had to be altered dramatically since my diagnosis (no red meat and pork, low sodium, low fat, high fiber, whole grains, etc.).  And, while those stipulations sound limiting and relatively daunting, I have to admit, the challenge has done nothing but make me love food more.  Cooking, particularly cooking healthy, has forced me to be more creative.  I have to be inventive and spontaneous.  If a recipe calls for sour cream or butter, I have to find tasty alternatives.  I don't believe food -- healthy food especially -- should be lacking in flavor.  And neither, by any means, should one's writing.

By learning to cook to suit my dietary needs, I've been inspired to better my craft as a writer because everything I love about food, I love in good storytelling as well.  I like flavor changes and variety (I mean really, who wants the same old chicken??); bright colors make a plate more enticing, and a little spice never hurt nobody!  The same is true for a well-written story.  I don't limit myself to one genre because I like many different genres and want the opportunity to tell the story that moves me.  Adding bright color to my storytelling can be as simple as inserting an intriguing back story of the character the reader hates most, fanciful plot twists, or anything else that is surprising and completely unexpected.  And spice, well...a saucy romance, or fiendish villain can add heat in any story.  I want my readers to feed on my words the way a starving vagrant feeds on kitchen leftovers, and if what I have to say isn't well-presented, or well-written, then my work will fall flat.  A flat story is as limp and unappealing as rotten veggies.

Just as cooking takes practice for perfection, so too does the art of writing.  I am so proud when I place my son's plate in front of him, and on the first bite, I get the happy food dance.  It means I've done my job!  I've served him something appealing and nourishing.  I have the same job as a writer -- I want the happy food dance from my readers on everything I write.  The spontaneity I've learned at my stove has carried over to my creativity in front of a keyboard, and both are more appetizing than ever!

About this guest poster:

Raynetta Stocks is the author of "The Grim", a spychological suspense thriller released in May 2012.  Writing since early childhood, Raynetta has composed a countless number of prose and short stories which she plans to make available on her new subscription page.  Raynetta's early love of books inspired her latest series "The Lava Chronicles", the first installment which is due in the Fall of 2013.  She resides in northern Maryland with her son. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Write Life: Telling the Truth by Jaclyn Lyons

I am a firm believer that as writers, we tell ourselves things we didn’t know we already knew. It’s an amazing gift we give ourselves and each other--to discover or remind ourselves of truths our subconscious minds had temporarily locked away.

Great pieces of literature are easy to distinguish in this way. We may find as readers that stories resonate with us in that non-verbal part of the brain, causing powerful emotions to stir when suddenly these truths are given words. Articulation. I first felt this when I read the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Every time I go back and read her work again, I’m reminded of the power words have not just over our conceptions of reality, but on a deeper, spiritual level that speaks to the essence of our humanity. I would go as far as to say that literature has the power to tap into a collective subconscious where all our knowledge of the world that has never been given light becomes illuminated.

Perhaps that seems like a bold thing to say. Not everyone speaks the same language and not everyone is literate. But everyone is human and capable at some point in his or her life to have these moments of reflection or introspection that are often inspired by art.

I don’t think that most people outside the literary world would automatically think of writing as an art. But of course it is. Paper is our canvas; words are our paint. Creative impulses manifest in different forms among artists, but carry this same truth-saying power. For some it may come in the form of a narrative, for others a drawing or a sculpture, for others, still, a symphony.

But what exactly do I mean by truth? It is this five-letter word that carries so much meaning, but evades precise verbalization. Quite a conundrum. To add to the paradoxical nature of truth is the notion that it can be found in fiction. Truth is not the same as fact. Truth, to me, is as Dickinson writes, that “certain Slant of light,/ Winter Afternoons –/  That oppresses, like the Heft/ Of Cathedral Tunes--“ And perhaps to me and Dickinson and her other fans, this has sort of become a fact in that we regard it to be as true as any arbitrary date in a history textbook. Where truth differs from fact, though, is its ability to transcend language, culture, and time. Facts, although in ways more tangible, are in many other ways even more elusive than truth when we consider Einstein’s theory of relativity. If we strip away time and space, many facts become irrelevant, while many truths remain the same.

Part of being a writer, or any artist, is being able to recognize the power of the form to convey truth. Just as people have different tastes in visual art, the same is true of literature. Fiction or non, poem or novel, classical or contemporary bears no limits to truth-telling potential. When I think of how different aesthetic value may be from person to person, writer to writer, I am reminded that the truths we tell are best picked up by those that share our same tastes. To be a writer, then, is less about being some type of oracle or soothsayer, but rather a fellow human being. Writing is not the solitary act it is made out to be. In fact, or better yet, in truth, writing has been the most rewarding communal activity of my life.

It can be argued relentlessly whether beauty is truly subjective or not. To bring science into the mix seems to only muddy the waters for me. I prefer to think of it in this way, as John Keats told us years ago:

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.      

About this Guest Poster:

Jaclyn Lyons is a writer, blogger, editor, perpetual and professional student. She has an BA and an MA in English Literature and another MA in Literature and Environmental Philosophy. She's currently enrolled in a Library Science (MS LIS) program, but she will still always identify herself first and foremost as a writer before any of the ways she earns a living because she believes writing is more about who you are as opposed to what you do.  She hopes to get a short story published this year and has a novel running wild in her brain that is begging to find its way to paper. 

You can reach Jaclyn in the following ways:

Twitter: @jaclynwrites 


Friday, June 14, 2013

You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover by Taylor Fulks

Hello everyone! My name is Taylor Fulks.  I am the author of My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal. I’m so happy to be a part of the NoteBook Blogairy's Week of Inspirational Writing. I want to thank you from my heart for inviting me to be a part of this lovely blog. With the “taboo” nature of my novel, I must say I’m both shocked and thrilled to have been invited. I only hope that I can accomplish being inspirational on some level.
It’s been said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well...I beg to differ. I purposely designed my cover to show/warn the reader about the contents of my novel. It is a very dark and very graphic novel based on a true story. A story of child sexual abuse and the fall out that occurred in my life from the permanent damage that was inflicted.
I didn’t intend to write my book this way when I sat down to put pen to paper (yes, I write on paper and then type. I’m “old school”). I was going to write mystery/romance. I had read and listened to hundreds of books in this genre and thought, “How hard can it be?
Instead of seeing gorgeous, ultra-successful, ultra-rich, ultra-everything characters entwining themselves in mystery, drama, and ultimately romance on the pages before me, I found I couldn’t write. Instead, I heard the voice of a dirty-faced,  green-eyed, auburn-haired little girl crying out. That voice was the little girl inside of me, begging to be heard.
After forty years of shame and silence, I finally listened.
Now before you ask yourself, “Where is this going and how is this author part of a blog on Inspirational Writing...” let me assure you I’m going nowhere near the graphic
subjects in my book. My book isn’t for everyone. It’s a very difficult read, even for the stoutest reader.To be honest, I don’t really feel all that ‘inspirational’ as an author.
But for some reason, NoteBook Blogairy does...God love her heart...and graciously offered me a slot on this ‘week of inspiration’ to impart my thoughts. So please hang in here with me.
I want to focus on a Mother’s Love for her children. To me, that is the greatest gift that God has bestowed on any of us, aside from the gift of His Son. A Mother’s Love encompasses many things...patience, discipline, kindness, listening, affection, allowing them to fall and get upon their own, holding your tongue as you see their friends mistreat them...knowing you must let them find their own way. But most of all, a Mother’s Love encompasses protection. I came to these conclusions after the births of my daughters. Looking into the eyes of innocence, I also lost a part of my soul that day. Because you see, my mother ‘knew’ what was happening to me...did nothing to stop it...nothing to protect me. So, as I held my first born child in my arms, I made a solemn vow to her and the daughter that would follow three years later. I would like to share that passage and one other from my book. I hope you will enjoy...
In this passage, I have just endured a hideous and dangerous delivery for both me and my baby. She was born at 9:24 am and I didn't see her again until almost 7:00 pm that same day.

Excerpt from Chapter 33...Fruit of the Womb

Nine long, tormenting and tearful hours later, I was introduced to the love of my life.  It was the single most reverent and holy experience of my existence.  The endless hours of pain and suffering seemed to melt away.  I couldn’t keep from touching her – everywhere.  I counted fingers and toes, traced her eyebrows and ears, marveled at her perfect heart-shaped lips, melted when her tiny hands grasped my fingers, connecting me to her as she held on for dear life; this totally helpless, vulnerable gift from God, was mine to cherish.

As my eyes skated over this beautiful helpless creation, I realized I was looking at God.  Not that my child was God, but that she was a small piece of him that he had given to me to love, raise, and protect.  It was truly an overwhelming and daunting responsibility.  An array of emotions as well as hormones, flooded through me like a tsunami.  This was my baby, my flesh and blood, my number one priority in life.  Nothing short of death would prevent me from protecting this precious little miracle.

As tears welled in my eyes, I bowed my head over my daughter’s body and made a silent, solemn vow before God.  To the best of my ability during her life with me, she would come first.  She would never know loneliness and solitude. She would never fear physical violence or mental and emotional abuse.  She would never doubt my love or question my devotion to her.  She would never question or value or her worth.  She would never know guilt or shame, or be made to feel like a burden to me.  She would be allowed to thrive and grow to be her own person and not be made to feel guilty for doing so.  She would be allowed to flourish, to think for herself, and be praised for her efforts.

Most of all, I vowed she would never have to fear her father, or any other man – ever.  If he or any man ever touched her inappropriately or abusively, I swore before God, I would cut his testicles off with a dull knife and force feed them to him while watching him bleed out.  I promised her then and there as my tears fell lightly on her forehead and cheeks, as she blinked at me, “There will never be a monster in your closet, or under your bed, my love.  I swear it, on my life.”

 Here, I have had three days of breast engorgement, unable to breastfeed my child. Suddenly, my milk let's down and we are finally joined for life...

Excerpt from Chapter 34...I Knew
My mother placed her in my arms then stepped away, tentatively.  I had donned a nursing bra so I could pad and staunch my actively flowing breasts.  I nestled her in the crook of my arm, exposed my left breast and nuzzled her cheek with my nipple.  Instinct and biology took over.  With minimal help, her little mouth latched on to my breast and she began to suckle as I cried.

If you have never had a child at your breast, it is hard to describe the phenomenon.  Words are grossly inadequate and fail to describe the miracle of God, nature, and survival.  It is a holiness that is visceral.  It is a melding of flesh and bone, blood and Manna; a heart and soul converging during such a small, yet immensely intimate act.  I was bound by the ferocious need to protect– like a lioness protecting her cubs. At the same time I was awash in a fusion of innate softness and a boundless, tender love so intense that I was sure my body was aglow. I was so full of love for this tiny creature, my body couldn’t help but leak with it…mother’s milk and tears.

To feel the pull and tug of your breast as your helpless, vulnerable, and utterly dependent child suckles the life-giving, life-sustaining, substance unique to your body alone, is an overwhelming and heady thing to wrap your mind around.  It not only validated, but strengthened my belief and faith in God; my belief and faith in our future as a family; my belief and faith in myself as a mother. It also awakened disturbing questions in my mind about my own mother.

Even though my novel is a tragic story all too familiar to many, and similar experiences (sometimes worse than mine, and sometimes not as bad) are shared by a growing group I affectionately call “The sister/brotherhood of my soul,” I also share the light and hope I so desperately clawed my way out of hell to find. If there is one bit of inspiration I can impart, it would be this...I’m no longer a victim. I’m no longer a survivor. I’M A WARRIOR! For good or ill, I bared by soul to the world on behalf of all the children who have no voice, no one to listen, and no one to protect them. I bared myself naked to the world on behalf of the little girl inside my book...inside of me. The “Telling” of my story has set me free. I no longer live in shame and darkness, afraid someone will find out about my dark and dirty secret, then tell. I’ve already done that. The little girl inside my book...inside of me is fine. I protect her now.

Children are the living footprints in a world we leave behind. So bask in the beauty and joy of Motherhood. Hug yourself and say "Job well done." There truly is no greater love, than the love from a mother... 

My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal 

TWITTER: FOLLOW @TaylorTfulks20 

About this Guest Poster:
      Taylor Evan Fulks is a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, specializing in open heart surgery to pay the bills. She's also a wife, a mother of two very challenging (in a good way) teenage daughters, and an ardent "nocturnal gardener" due to her fight with skin cancer. She resides in a quaint and picturesque town in Southern Ohio along the banks of the Ohio River.
     Since the age of thirteen, she has been a prolific storyteller, never dreaming of one day becoming a writer and sharing her stories with the world. Now, with her children almost grown, her career mastered and steady, she feels compelled to tell her own story...My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal, before she can write what she truly loves...Mystery/Romance.
This is her debut novel. My Prison Without Bars is Taylor's own story written as a fictional novel, but her story nonetheless...her heart.
     "This journey has been the beginning of a new life for me," says Fulks. "I wrote this novel with the intention of healing my wounds. That didn't happen. But I found something I wasn't expecting to find...Acceptance. I can leave my past behind. I don't live there anymore. Now the rest of my life will be the best of my life."