“RISKY ISSUES” IS OUT!!! (+ I have a new site!)

 

Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

Yes, that’s right – my ebook, Risky Issues, is finally out!

I’m jumping with joy over here! (Okay, I’m not, literally, but I AM pretty excited!)

During the past two weeks, I’ve been busy. As it turns out, there is A LOT I hadn’t considered doing, but did.

Let’s back up a moment, shall we?

First things first…

I tried to format my book for Amazon, but ran into problems. Most of you know already that I’m a self-proclaimed non-techie, so this shouldn’t surprise you too much!

But I AM resourceful.

So what I did was this: I went on Facebook and jumped onto a group for indie authors (to which I have belonged for a while) and simply asked for a recommendation to an inexpensive formatter. After several conversations, I ultimately got help from Rich Meyer.

Who the heck is Rich Meyer?

Rich Meyer offers services at a relatively cheap rate and does a great job.

He rambleson his blog, too. 😉 But amongst all the book reviews is a golden post aboutformatting for free.

So, yeah, Rich is a great guy.

And yes, yes, he’s an author, too. Check out hisAmazon author page! It gives you some information about him and also lists the books he’s written.

Uploading Problems

I originally uploaded my ebook to Amazon with the ISBN I was given. (Because I live in Canada, I get ISBNs for free. I just had to apply for it.) But then, I noticed that there was a minor issue when I previewed my ebook. There was no space between two words, but there should’ve been. So I had to correct it and then upload a new file. But then, in the same sentence, a space was deleted again. I know that these issues were caused as a result of the formatting, as my Word document was perfectly edited. So, I uploaded it again, after fixing the problem.

However, because the two files were technically “different,” my ISBN would not be accepted by Amazon. So I emailed the person from CISS (the Canadian ISBN Service), who explained to me that “every time there is a change in format or a change in edition, a new ISBN must be assigned.”

Great. More work. And all because one file contained “thework” and the other, “the work.”

I took a deep breath, and requested a new ISBN. Because I was originally assigned a “block” (a set of sequential ISBNs that are assigned to a publisher or self-publisher), this was easy to obtain.

(FYI, ISBN blocks come in different sizes. They can contain either 10, 100, 1000, 10 000, 100 000 numbers. All ISBNs found in the block start by the publisher prefix and are followed by other numbers to identify a publication and validate the ISBN. A publisher prefix identifies the publisher and the country of the publisher, and my prefix showed that I am a Canadian publisher and that I was assigned a block of 10 ISBNs.)

Because I was changing my ISBN, I decided to add a P. S. to the Special Note From The Author section of my ebook. I added my special poem, which I wrote when I was fifteen. (I would have added it to the table of contents, but I didn’t know how to format it properly!) I then uploaded my new file to Amazon with the new ISBN.

Adding Books to Goodreads

Once all that was complete, I added my book to Goodreads. Again, I had some problems with this. (Big surprise… I am a non-techie, remember?)

I ended up speaking with someone from Goodreads who explained that once books are added to their database, they cannot be removed. Apparently there are strict rules for this, too. So my book is listed twice instead of once. But really, I’m assured, it’s not a big deal. I will know for next time, though, to make sure everything is perfect and to only do it once.

Sigh.Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

Secondly, the things authors need to do…

Then the real work began. By “real” I mean “time-consuming” and “tedious” but necessary.

What did I do?

What a pain in the butt this all was! But kinda fun, too. 😉 However, I’m grateful they are all done.

I was interviewed, too…

It seems like things happen really fast sometimes. Shortly after Risky Issues went live, my good friend and indie author Melissa Bowersock sent me an email asking me some questions, which she turned into a blog post:Author Interview: Lorraine Reguly on Reaching a Milestone.

I’d recommend reading it if you want to pick up some tips. 😉

Then there was the birth of a new site… free of charge!

During the past year, many people told to me to snatch up a website with my name as the domain. Their urgency was unnecessary, in my opinion, as I’m the only Lorraine Reguly in this world. (Yes, it’s true!)

But now that I’m an officially published author, I figured it was about time to set up an author website.

So I did.

In fact, about 16 days ago, I purchased my domain name. With my hosting plan with Abivia, I’m allowed to have four other websites free of charge!

I also purchased a premium theme, which I had a few problems with, but which I eventually ironed out.

I installed plugins – including a new one I just found out about (and which I also installed on this site, which has worked wonders!) called Anti-Spam. This plugin is free and I highly recommend it!

My new author site is called Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There. I even set up a place where people can subscribe tomy Author Newsletter!

Commenting on the new site is not yet available

While I was setting up my new site, I disabled the ability for people to leave comments. So far, I have published three posts, all visible from the home page.

The posts are:

They are all very short posts, so I’d encourage you to give them a read.

What’s Next?

Next I have to get my book up on Smashwords. Then I have to begin marketing it.

I’m going to be asking others to help, too, so if you are a blogger and want to help me with this, please let me know via email. You can interview me, simply feature my book on your site, whatever… I’m open to anything, and appreciate all the help I can get. 🙂

And if you want to buy Risky Issues and/or leave me a review of it, you can do that, too!

Regardless of what you choose to do, could you please share this post on your social networks? I’d love it if you did!

Thank you, and see you soon!

 

 

My Son Was In An Accident (a car crash/collision)

car crash

On May 17, 2014, my beloved son was in a motor vehicle accident.

The picture of the crashed vehicle (above) was the one my son was driving when he was hit by someone going through a red light. I think it was taken byRandi-Lynn Manduca, but am not entirely sure. (I don’t know why there is a line through this link; perhaps it because it links Facebook page?)

I learned about the accident the day after it happened, on May 18, 2014, and my son said that I could find some pics on this person’s Facebook page. Naturally, as a mom, I cried when I saw the photos but am happy my son lived through it and is still alive.

The truck that hit him is rumoured to be driven by a young man (age 20 or thereabouts) who had just broken up with his girlfriend, was upset, tried to involve her and her mom in a car accident but failed to, and so sped away from her house, accelerating and running a red light as my son happened to be going through a green light on the other street. (Yeah, my lucky, lucky son…)

The truck flipped and rolled, coming to a stop in someone’s front yard. He apparently went to the hospital but is also being charged.

The Psychological Effects

Since the accident – which was reported as a scary crash on our local news site – son has been terrified to drive. He no longer owns his own vehicle (he got rid of his last year), but driving was part of the job he had. I say “had” because two days after the accident, he actually quit his job. He’s still anxious when in a vehicle. He also gets freaked out when riding his bike. Intersections scare him, and I don’t blame him one bit!

Pictures of the Accident

Here are some more pics of the accident, also taken from the aforementioned person’s Facebook page: Read More

My Short Story “Firs and Angels” Won the Contest I Entered!

short story winner of december 2013 proofa

My short story, Firs and Angels, was the winner of the December 2013’s Short Story competition I entered via LinkedIn! Today I’ll share it with you, too. 🙂 Soon it will be a part ofAspiring Writers Short Story Competition Anthology 2014, which will be sold on Amazon.

Each month a short story contest is open to group participants. The Group I belong to is 810 members strong (as of this writing) and is called Aspiring Writers Short Story Competitions and Discussions. It is a subgroup of Aspiring Writers, to which I also belong.

In mid-January, I made sure to check the weekly notifications from this group. I was shocked and surprised to see that my short story submission won! Thanks, Ronnie Dauber, for choosing me! I particularly liked how you mentioned that it was “obviously edited for grammar and spelling errors,” too! This proves that I made a good choice to offer my editing services to others. 😉

Short Story to be part of Anthology

The really wonderful news is that my short story will be included in an anthology!

Hooray!

This reminds me of my other recent announcement of having a True Tale of mine included in an anthology!

For this, one, however, here is what was told to me in the group:

“All first, second and third place winners will have their stories included in “The Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition” yearly anthology published in soft cover and e-book format, and will be available at Amazon.com, Lebrary.com and Smashwords.”

Update: The Anthology Has Been Published

 

Aspiring Writers 2013 Anthology book cover

The Aspiring Writers 2013 Anthology is available now from Amazon and CreateSpace.

Firs and Angels: A Short Story

Since I retain all rights to this original work, which was written in accordance with the rules, I’m able to share my short story with you.

The rules for this particular short story competition are included below, in addition to the fact that the story was supposed to be about cutting down a Christmas tree. For each short story competition, a specific prompt is provided, to ensure that the stories are newly-written and original. For those of you who know what flash fiction is, you’ll understand this concept. For those who don’t, I think you get the idea of it now. 😉

The short story rules are as follows:

Read More

A Letter To My Son

This image is of a letter to my son.

I have a son. I can’t always talk to him, so I write him letters. I’ve been doing so since he was a baby.

He’s an adult now.

Whether you have a son or daughter, my advice to you is to be honest and bare your soul. Write your child a letter if you are unable to talk. Writing is therapeutic!

My Last Letter to My Son

My TRUE TALE for today is a bit unique, because it involves me writing a letter to my son, whom I re-connected with in 2013 after being estranged from him for about three years.

We are currently – and still – strengthening our relationship (YAY!) and I obtained his permission to publish this on my blog.

FYI, he’s now 26. (I update this post from time to time…) 😉

I have written my son many letters and poems over the years, and I wrote this letter after reading I Will Never Forget, a memoir by Elaine C. Pereira. Elaine not only guest posted on this blog on a Featured Friday, but let meinterview her, too.

She touched medeeplywith her book.

In fact, this memoir inspired me in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. It was thatmoving. (In fact, at the end of this post, I share my review of this book with you.)

So now, I am putting together a book of letters to my son!

My Son Has Given ME Life

As most of you already know, I would not be here on this computer today, were it not for my son. If you haven’t already, you can read about this whole experience here:
Part One: My True Story About How I Nearly Died(this is the story that became part of a memoir anthology)

For now, here’s my most recent letter to my son.

I’m really looking forward to your comments, too.

A Letter To My Son

Dear Julian,

I may not have been a perfect mom, but I tried to be.

I may not have disciplined you enough, or maybe I disciplined you too much. I don’t really know. I know at times, I drove you nuts!

I fed you and bathed you and clothed you. I bought you toys.

I sang to you, read to you, taught you. You were my boy, my precious, baby boy.

I got up with you to send you to school. I stroked your forehead and hair when you were sick. I knew you were not feeling well, because you let me do these things. You were never very cuddly.

I paid for heat to keep you warm. I stared at you for days, after you were born. I didn’t want to miss anything. I adored you.

I kept you safe. I kept you clean. I soothed you when you cried. I let you stay up late and watch TV.

Do you know that you mean the world to me?

I argued with you as you grew. You formed opinions of your own. I tried teaching you right from wrong, and to treat others with respect.

I hugged you and kissed you at least three times a day, every day. You couldn’t leave for school without a hug and kiss. Remember greeting each other after school, or hugging and kissing me good-night? I wanted to correct the behaviours of my parents, who were, and still are, non-demonstrative. I told you “I love you” constantly, daily, always, because I do. I love you.

I love you!

When you were two, I wrote you a song. I made it up on the spot, while brushing your teeth, to distract you. You were always so active and wiggly. Keeping still for those few minutes required drastic measures! I wrote down the lyrics, and eventually put it to music. I now sing it to your little cousins.

I supported you in most of the decisions you made. I encouraged you to be great. When you were thirteen or fourteen and wanted to come home (drunk?) after fighting with your friends one night during a sleepover way across town, I refused to pay for a cab, even though I told you I’d always be there for you, because I wanted to teach you a lesson about consequences. You learned it, too. Remember? You never let yourself get in a predicament like that again.

When you were on the high school football team, I went to your games. Even though I wrapped myself in a blanket, I still froze and felt the freezing effects of the wind whipping through my bones and at my face as I sat on the bleachers, while you worked up a sweat on the field.

I tried to be the best single mother I could be to you, my only child.

I sacrificed aspects of my life to enhance yours. I did this many times, for many years.

I loved you from the moment I felt you inside my belly, flailing your tiny arms.

When you lost your teeth, I became the Tooth Fairy. I was Santa and the Easter Bunny, too. You never knew, until I told you.

I dressed you up on Halloween, and took you out trick-or-treating, because that’s what good moms do. Do you recall our ritual of checking the candy when we got home, to make sure it was safe? I didn’t want anyone to poison you, or slip a razor or another sharp fragment into your goodies. Remember how we avoided the pedophile’s place? You may recall it as “the bad house.” I did everything in my power to protect you.

Each time we had to move from one apartment to another, I made endless preparations to ensure a seamless transition. I explained things to you, preparing you the best that I could for what was to come. I wanted you to feel secure. As an adult, you said you were.

Yet you pretended not to know me one day when we were walking downtown, shopping, until you wanted something. I understood. I was hurt, but I got that it wasn’t cool to be walking with your mom. I forgave you and admired you for exerting some of your independence. You had a fit when I joked around and pretended not to know you! You say you don’t remember that incident, but I do. Clearly. It was your first rejection of me.

At a young age, I taught you to do laundry. You were in charge of socks. You had fun matching them. As you grew, you graduated to facecloths, underwear, and towels. You were a big help, you know. I was surprised when you refused to let me launder your teenage clothes, and was impressed with the excellent care you took, and still take, with your wardrobe. I’ve never seen anyone iron like you! When you trusted me to sew the holes, I felt needed again. I loved those moments, even though I hate sewing!

Because I have eating and weight issues, and have had them all my life, I never wanted you to gain an extra ounce. Ridicule and self-loathing were not things you were going to experience! The healthy habits you formed early on in life have helped you become the strong, young man you are today.

Do you still prefer yogurt over ice cream? Apples over potato chips? Granola bars over chocolate bars? I think you do. You go to the gym enough! You do it faithfully, too, and I’m so proud. You’ve worked long and hard for your muscles, your abs, your rock-hard body, seemingly made of steel.

Remember our little, plastic, red, first-aid kit? My heart swelled when you told me you brought one to the beach and when you went camping (or was it hiking?) with those two girls. Your foresight and sensibility astonishes me.

Maybe I wasn’t perfect, but I tried hard to be the best single mom I could be. I was still a teenager when I had you. I was only twice your age once. I was 18 and in pain, physically, when you were forced into this world. I was 36 and in pain, mentally. You were 18 then. I remember, too, how crazy I was. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I know I put you through hell.

When I almost lost my leg and had to undergo major surgery to save it, our roles were reversed and you took good care of me. Did I ever tell you how grateful I was? Let me remind you, I still am.

When you were six and came home with a “D is for Daddy” father’s day card, you questioned me. After our conversation, I questioned you, asking you what you would rather have: a daddy who always yelled and hurt us or a mommy who loved you with all her heart. “I just want you, Mom,” was your response. I’ll never forget that, as long as live. I just want you, son, too. I just want you.

I love, and always will love, you. You’ll be my baby forever, even though you are a grown man now. I hope I will always recognize your face and your voice. A book I read recently about one woman’s struggles with dementia has prompted me to write and share this. It touched me in explicable ways. The book? “I Will Never Forget.”

I want you to know my feelings and thoughts while I can still communicate them. I never want you to wonder how I felt, or have unanswered questions. You are my single-most biggest achievement. I kept us both alive despite a huge lack of money to do so. I may have gambled, done drugs, and a few other things you hate me for, but I did try to be a good mother to you, and for you, as well as a friend. I’m not perfect, but I love you. Please, always remember that.

Don’t forget me, son, when I am gone. Maybe through my writing, I’ll live on.

Now, it’s your turn to be a good son.

Love always,

Your unsettled Mom.

A Funny Follow-up

Funny story – I now spend most of my Tuesdays with my son. On one particular Tuesday evening, he showed me a sweater he bought. He had ripped the tag/label out, because it was causing him to itch.
I’m sure you can guess what happened… he was left with two gaping holes as a result.
The shocker, however, is what he said to me. Instead of simply asking me to sew them, he asked me, “Mom, can you teach me how to sew?”
So I did. I demonstrated how to sew and fixed one of the holes. He ended up sewing the other.
I was so proud of him! 🙂
I thought about the part I wrote in the letter to him, about sewing, and how it made me feel needed. I felt a sense of pride, though, after we were done, because I had empowered him with knowledge so that he could solve his own sewing problems in the future.
That I still felt needed was weird, and new, for me; I thought he didn’t need me anymore. As it turns out, he still needs me, but in different ways. It’s great to feel needed and wanted, especially after all of the rough patches we have been through.
The best part is that we’re now in a healthy relationship.
Finally.
And I hope it never changes… (unless it gets even better!)

My Inspiration to Write Letters to Julian Came from A Book

I want to let you know that I’m currently putting together a book of letters to my son, called Letters to Julian. I hope to release it in 2018 (OR SOONER!).
I decided to put this book together after readingI Will Never Forget.
This book had a huge impact on me.
I don’t want to be forgotten. EVER.
I also don’t want to forget, either.

I Will Never Forget

I also want to share my review ofI Will Never Forget, which I’ve already posted to Goodreads and Amazon for readers to discover:

I Will Never Forgetis Elaine Pereira’s beautiful yet heart-wrenching tribute to her mother. Never before have I read a memoir, and I was impressed with the light manner in which this story was written. Infused with humour, the author makes the most out of a difficult situation, making her book enjoyable to read despite the heartbreaking tale she tells. Keep a box of tissues handy – you’ll need them! I teared up many times while reading the author’s touching words, and was bawling when I read the final one. The poem written by the author, found at the end of the book, warmed my heart. It was lovely!

Through the author, the reader gets to know her family, and is able to identify with them as memories are related and glimpses into the author’s personal struggles are revealed. The style in which this book is written provides pieces of the puzzle that many sufferers of dementia face, and the reader can both commiserate with and find compassion for Elaine, the author, a feisty, spunky woman who truly did all she could for her wonderful mother while she was alive. I’m sure Betty (Elaine’s mom) looking down from heaven on her only daughter with great pride and a smile on her face. I would be, if I were her!

I highly recommend this book.I Will Never Forgetwill touch you in ways you cannot imagine or fathom. You will definitely not regret reading it. Besides, shedding a few (or more) tears is always good for the soul.

Your Turn:

What is troubling you? Are you trying to change things with your son… or daughter?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

And if you want to read Letters to Julian,GET ON THE LIST NOW TO BE NOTIFIED OF ITS RELEASE!

True Tales Tuesday: My Best Friend

Terri

THIS IS A ‘TRUE TALES TUESDAYS’POST

A Short Story, Written by Lorraine Reguly, in 1998.

Intended audience: preteens and teenagers

Title: My Best Friend

Snoopy was her name, and I loved her immensely. She was a tiny, grey dog; part Chihuahua, part Poodle, and part mutt. She belonged to my grandparents, who lived next door, but I always thought of her as my dog, because I was the one who took care of her, especially when my grandparents went on vacation.

Snoopy and I were best friends. We were almost the same age; in human years, she was one year older than me. I fed Snoopy, played with her, made her do tricks, took her for walks, and even changed her dirty, stinky newspapers that she used for a toilet. (I didn’t particularly enjoy doing this, but I wanted to show everyone how grown-up and responsible I could be. So I did it almost everyday, holding my breath until the acrid smell was safely contained in a garbage bag.) It was during these times that I felt special; loved, wanted and needed. The bond between us grew stronger until she loved me as much as I loved her. She was always there for me, and always would be. Or so I thought. Read More