Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Excerpt

Hey all!

Here's an excerpt from my upcoming novel, The Redemptive Heart. This is a first draft and may change over time.  In the meantime, enjoy!



             Carla sat at the bar nursing her third vodka gimlet, oblivious to the world around her.   She had become a regular at a local bar known as Cory’s Place. Jason, the bartender, had taken a liking to her, and not just for pity’s sake.  Somehow, he knew that her sardonic wit and often sadistic sarcasm was camouflage for a deeper pain. Yet, there was something underneath her sadness; something great, something pure. He was sure of it. He wished that he could do more than just inebriate her pain. She reminded him of his own daughter and he felt the urge, no, the need to watch over her.
            “Carla.  Shouldn’t you be calling someone right about now?”          
            “Jason. Shouldn’t you be minding your own business right about now?”
            “You are my business if you’re too drunk to drive, which I’m sure you are.”
            “Yeah, well, there’s no one to call.  So you’ll just have to pray for me that I make it home safe.” She traced the rim of her glass which held the remains of drink number three with her forefinger.
            “Why don’t you turn over your keys and I’ll call you a cab? I’ll even pay the fare.”
            “How kind of you, Mr. Bartender. My knight in shining armor. Concerned about my welfare, Papa Jason? Tell you what. Pour me another vodka gimlet and maybe we can discuss this cab fixation you have.”
            “I don’t think―”
            “You heard the lady, Papa Jason.  Now, don’t be rude.  Pour her another, and hit me as well.” Jason turned in the direction of a voice he recognized as another one of his regulars.  Derrick was tall, slender and good looking enough where the ladies didn’t mind his company. Especially if he was buying drinks, which he usually did whenever a lovely one peaked his interest.
            “All right,” Jason relented. “One vodka gimlet and a tequila shot coming right up.”
            “Thank you…” Carla waited for her patron to reveal his name.
            “Derrick.”
            “Derrick. Thank you, but I can take care of myself.”
            “I’m sure you can, but a beautiful sister like you shouldn’t have to…take care of herself, I mean.” Derrick smiled and winked as he beckoned Jason to bring her drink.
            “Well, one more can’t hurt, I guess.” Really? “Thank you, again, Derrick. I’m Carla.”
            “Pleased to finally meet you, Carla.”
            “Finally?” She knew she was drunk, but not that drunk. Do I know this guy? “I don’t think we’ve ever met.”
            “You come here about as often as I do, Carla.  I’ve been watching you.”
            “You’re not a stalker, are you, Derrick?”
            “No, but you’re a creature of habit.”
            “Oh.” He’s cute. Charming, but an obvious player.  Gotta keep my guard up. “Well…okay, but finding out that someone’s been watching you without your knowledge…you have to admit…that’s kind’a creepy. I mean, please don’t take offense, but a sister can’t be too careful, nowadays.”  Who am I kidding? I haven’t been careful since…
            “Oh, most definitely.  I agree, Carla, but my man here will vouch for me, won’tcha, bro?”  Jason shot Derrick an I could care less about your mess look and continued to clean the glasses. Carla chuckled at his indifference and finished her drink.
            “Well, Derrick, thanks again for the drink, but I think I’ll be on my way.  I’ve got work tomorrow.  G’night.”  She got up to leave but had to steady herself from the Olympic swim meet going on inside her head.
            “You sure you don’t need a ride? I mean, I’m not implying that you’re drunk or anything like that.” The sarcasm was not lost on Carla and she flashed a fake smile. “I could take you home if you like.”
            “I’m fine.” No you’re not. “Besides, if you take me home, what will I do with my car?” At least you won’t crash it.
            “Yes, you are fine, but you still shouldn’t drive. Someone could get hurt, you know.”
            “I can manage, Derrick.” No, really. You can’t.
            “Tell you what, Miss Carla. How about we go to that all night Coney Island, Zophars.  It’s right down the street and we can both have some terrible coffee to sober us up. That way, you can make it to which ever place you decide to go.” He smiled. 
            Pretty confident, aren’t you, Playa’ Playa’? “What the hell. Okay, Derrick, you win.” So much for being careful. It’s not as though you don’t know how this is gonna end. “See ya, Jason,” she said, heading towards the front of the bar.
            “Later.” Jason replied, trying not to betray his concern. Whatever she’d gone through, he thought to himself, it had caused her to give up on living and to ignore her better judgment. “Take care of yourself, Carla,” he called to her as she disappeared into the night.
            Derrick glanced back at Jason and with his signature wink, flashed a sly smile and followed Carla out the door.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

FACING THE WIND




I faced the wind
as they told me
Daddy
had Alzheimer’s Disease
and this is why he’s so
cantankerous about
Everything and
Nothing.

My heart blew away,
disbursed like particles of dust as
I faced the wind
and they told me
“it”
would only get
worse.

Like a scab that never heals
when a child picks away at it,
that scab, Alzheimer’s,
picked away at the man
I knew as
Daddy…
picked away
his dignity,
picked away
his smile,
the sparkle in his eyes,
the wife, the child
flicking us off its finger,
stained with old blood
from a newly opened wound…

Left his heart bleeding,
his eyes red from
intrusive tears
joining my own, drying as
I faced the wind;
trickling down tired cheeks
white tracks from red rims of swollen
tissue stinging, blurring
dreading the pain and
agony of not
knowing…
what’s…
 next.

Welcome to The Late Bloomer

When I first started this blog, I wasn't really sure what it was going to be.  My passion is writing and my industries of choice are Creative Writing, Fashion and Ghost Writing.  I'm an inspirational writer, a children's story writer and a creative writer (short prose, poetry, novels, and now scripts).  I've tried many ideas for this blog and have finally settled on it being an outlet for the many types of writing that I enjoy

While I write on a variety of subjects, what you'll find the most here is recent creative writing, excerpts from novels, scripts, poetry collections, etc.  I'm no guru, but I believe that as you join me on this journey into internet entrepreneur and authorship, we can discover new and exciting ways to get the word out about our passions and hopefully make a living at what we love to do. Write.

So, welcome to my little writing world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thinking of Self-Publishing? How to Make Every Word Count and Get Your Book Published with Print on Demand (POD)

Remember Vanity Publishing?  Most of us who wanted our books published received these letters in the mail that went something like “Want to publish your book?  We at (insert name of Vanity Publisher here) will publish your work and have your finished manuscript on books shelves in no time.  The cost is only $10,000.00! Many desperate writers begged, borrowed, or stole the money with hopes of publishing the next New York Times Best Seller. Others simply gave up because the costs along with their dreams of being published seemed totally out of their reach. This shameful practice of taking advantage of eager would-be authors, gave self-publishing a bad name and consequently “self- published” became synonymous with “no talent.” After all, real writers have their work picked up by those prestigious, large traditional book publishers that pay their writers huge advances, right?

Today, with the advent of the internet, Blogging, Hub-pages and the popular Kindle e- reader, self-publishing has come a long way. While there are some who still believe that you’re not a real author until you’ve been signed by a traditional publishing giant, many self-publishers are changing this philosophy hands on.  Their sales are so high through Amazon.com’s Kindle, Barnes and Nobles’ Nook and other e-readers that even the traditional publishing house giants are starting to offer these self-publishers cushy book deals. 

Another way to self-publish is through Print on Demand or POD. These book publishers give aspiring writers a legitimate outlet to publish their books at a low cost. What are POD’s and how do they work? POD’s print a limited number of books for their authors as the need arises. This is an excellent way for a self-publishing author to “test the marketplace” and steadily build his/her readership. This method of publishing also affords the writer total control over what he/she writes. This can be both a blessing and a curse and here’s why.

While there may be a chosen few POD’s that offer full services for their authors, most POD’s will not market or promote your book.  It will be your job to get the word out about your book release.  Another draw back is that you are responsible for your own editing, proofreading, and re-editing.  As a self-publisher, this is extremely important (remember the self-publishing, no-talent correlation)? Your concept or idea may be great, but grammatical and sentence structural errors will defeat the purpose behind publishing your work in the first place. A book riddled with errors loses the reader immediately.  Here are a few steps to take in order to avoid this:
  •   Edit, proofread, step away, edit and proofread again.
  •   Keep a Dictionary and a Thesaurus next to your computer.
  •   Use your computer’s spell check.
  •   Make the writing worth reading. Think about your audience. Who are you  trying to reach?
  •   Submit the cleanest copy of your manuscript possible from the start.
Also, don’t be afraid to let another pair of eyes peruse your manuscript. Get a friend, your English Professor, or even a family member to read your book. Tell them to give you their honest opinion.  Join a writing group so that your peers can give you constructive criticism.  Then take it and most importantly, use it. No one is saying that you have to make every change suggested or based on someone else’s opinion, but don’t just dismiss an evaluation because of pride.  It could cost you in the long run.

Print on Demand is a great way to self-publish your book with minimal cost.  There is no overhead for storage of books and you’re basically paying for the printing and distribution to the buyer. Finally, take the time to look for a POD house that share’s your literary philosophy or that specializes in your genre of writing.  They will be more likely to care about your publishing needs if they have at least a slight vested interest in your subject matter.

So write that book!  Proof that book! Self-publish that book!