The Accident

“She shouldn’t have been running across the street!” said a familiar voice in the crowd.

It was Cousin Rachel and if I had the energy to throw a scowl her way I would have. I still had not felt any pain and only prayed now that I would live. I scanned the crowd, it appeared the entire neighborhood had come to see the event. Heads popped outside of windows, neighbors stopped in their places and strangers huddled together alongside family, shoulder to shoulder, as if shielding me from the outside and encasing me inside the core of the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, my fingers tingled with blood that raced toward the tips because someone was squeezing the life out of my left hand, and their tears kissed their apologies on top my skin. She was the woman who hit me and was knee deep in apologies and instant compassion consumed me. I forgave the woman over and over again while simultaneously praying I wasn’t going to die. But I was talking in my head again. The lady had not heard me, my mouth still had not moved, and my memory only went as far back as rolling off the hood of someone’s car, down the window and onto the ground. (For some reason I remember sliding down the window). Prior to this I was on a quest for ice cream and decided a quick dash across the street would grant me this prized possession. Needless to say I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I looked down at my right thigh that the full realization of what happened came to me: my right thigh was twice the size of my left one. Still, I felt no pain. I felt nothing in fact. I just lay there consumed by thought and words that had no sound. It wasn’t until the Ambulance arrived and I made the transition from the ground to the vehicle that the shock wore off and the excruciating discomfort started.

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The arrival to the hospital itself is a blur. I was in so much pain that everything seemed surreal. It turns out that I’d broken my leg, or more precisely, my femur bone (the longest bone in your body, located near the thigh). I remember staring into the ceiling, my little brown body highlighted against the white sheets. My mom was to my left as we waited for the doctors to return. My whole right leg had been wrapped in some kind of casing and the feel of it was that it was getting heavier and heavier as time passed. As I cried out in agony, I could not understand what was taking them so long to come back. I also wondered who had done this cruel thing as to wrap my broken leg in a cast, which made my leg so unbelievably heavy that I could not lift it and supposed then that it was not only paralyzed, but by the time the doctors felt like getting started I would have no leg left, for it was diving deeper into the bed and the mattress began to fold over.

Of course, none of this really happened. My leg was not wrapped in a cast and was not sinking into the bed.

When the doctors and nurses finally did return, in what seemed hours later, they started to cut my clothes off which added to my rising dislike of these people. I was wearing something really cute that now sat in shredded pieces of nothing. Meanwhile, in my head, I was explaining to no one in particular about the evil doctor who commanded his men to try and make my leg disappear and cut up my nice clothes. I’m sure he wanted to do away with me and I was being taken to a secret laboratory in which this would happen. I was just about to imagine what he was going to do when someone put a pill in my mouth. When I woke up I was laying in recovery with a steel plate replacing my leg, twenty-four surgical staples piecing me back together and surrounded by family.

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I still remember when mama took me to my first check-up. I assumed the clever doctors had found me and sought to continue their plan. In my head, I’d been rescued by family who found a way to piece me back together and store me away in recovery. Now however, we were on our way to the doctor’s office and had to cross a big street that I’m sure came out of nowhere. On my journey to get across, I wondered what kind of technology they were using. I’d better be careful not to step on the yellow lines; it may activate some special gadget and suck me deep into the ground. Because my enemies had decided it was better that I use a walker instead of crutches, which I’d hoped to experience, it took me what seemed forever to get across the street. The evil doctors had done it this time, they were back and I was sure that they had somehow stretched the already wide road so that with each step I was not getting closer, I was only getting further and further away. I thought about telling mama about these corrupt men but I didn’t want to blow my cover. If she was protecting me they couldn’t know about it.

When we got to the office and they removed the staples, I was instructed by the doctor to move my leg back and forth but I couldn’t do it. My body had not all the way adjusted to the steel plate and told me this wasn’t a very good idea. Instantly, I stopped and threw a scowl the doctor’s way, “Way to go genius that hurts.” But I knew what he was trying to do. He was trying to kill me. I better not say anything, they may try to kidnap mom and throw me in that laboratory again.

*****

I would like to publish a memoir one day. While I am still undecided as to publish an entire manuscript, I have taken to writing down bits and pieces of my life story and publishing excerpts to this blog for practice. What you have read is the true story of when I was hit by a car at ten years old. Names of real persons have been changed to protect their identities.

Word to the Wise

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As we approach the month of August, when teachers return to work and students go back to school, I couldn’t help but to get excited that in just a few short weeks (mid August) I will be publishing another book. I’m really excited about this one and this excitement led me to a thought which in turn led me to something I think all Self-Publishers should take into consideration. I know that finances are a big deal to Self-Publishers and we are always looking for the most cost effective, yet professional, way to produce so here goes:

Never use POD (Print on Demand) services like LuLu and Createspace for anything other than Printing your books. Do not use POD editing services, POD promotional services, or POD book cover design services. Why? Because you can save a lot of money not doing so.

The most effective and creative action we can take as Self-Publishers is to use Print on Demand Companies as Printer Companies for our books, and then sell them from our own Author websites. Let people buy your books from YOU and you take a percentage of that income to pay the Printing Company (Createspace) to print the book AND if you don’t have the funds to buy your books in bulk from the POD, you can still send it to the buyer directly from the POD service. Remember to apply wisdom to everything that you do, so remember that you still have to pay the POD to print the book and to ship it so set your prices high enough to actually reap a profit but low enough to be reasonable. When people have to go to YOUR website this helps build you as an Author brand.

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However, there are some exceptions  to be understood when considering these methods:

  • You’ll never make Amazon’s Best Sellers List using this method because your buyers are not buying from Amazon they’re buying from you. If making Amazon’s Best Sellers list is important to your writing goal (which is understandable) I suggest you ignore this post, carry on and not use this method. (It would be wise to use Amazon to sell your e-books and your Author site to sell your print books, kill two birds with one stone).

*Here’s another secret*

Amazon, Createspace, Kindle Select etc., is extremely popular right now. When people hear your book is on Amazon they go and inquire, they get excited and you feel like you’ve accomplished something great, AND YOU HAVE. But, it’s not really that big of a deal. If you really want to build yourself as a Self-Publisher, invest in your own Self-Publishing Company and make YOUR name the one people get excited about. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just your name alone will do. (I will draft another post for another day on building a Self-Publishing Company and creating a name brand in the most cost effective way possible).

  • If you don’t buy in bulk and are shipping directly from your POD, you won’t have the chance to include promotional products with the book since it ships directly from the POD, which doesn’t help you with promotion.

BUT …

(OK so I’m really letting all the cats out the bag, gonna have to get a dog)

…you can send readers a separate gift with the money you saved AHEAD of the books arrival with these special offers (bookmarks, flyers, business cards, gifts etc.). Make sure to expedite the mail so that it gets there BEFORE the book for a professional outcome. Include a little note that thanks them for the purchase and that you hope they’ll enjoy the free gift. Don’t forget to include your contact information (business card) and to also inform them that their book is on the way! Readers will appreciate this, trust me. Why? Because, who doesn’t like to get mail filled with free goodies? Plus, if your readers are anything like yours truly, they’re extremely anxious for the book’s arrival and a little something ahead of time will help calm their nerves while they wait .

I hope this information has been helpful. Now, get off the internet and back to writing :).

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Roald Dahl

So first I want to give a warm welcome to all of the new bloggers joining Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Yayy!

So for today’s segment of Colleens Writer’s Quote Wednesday, I draw my inspiration from Roald Dahl:

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This was definitely not my first choice for Writer’s Quote Wednesday but it carries with it a memory that I found exciting to share. Matilda was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid and I loved most that Matilda loved to read like I did. She was a magical kid with supernatural abilities but reading seemed to me to be her most powerful ability; it seemed to me her foundation. It didn’t just give her knowledge but it opened her mind.

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Of course, Matilda is a fictional character, but reading this quote brought me back to that innocence of childhood while simultaneously becoming inspirational writing advice. That is: you never know who your writing helps. The people who silently depend on the comfort of your words, hanging onto them like little pieces of salvation scribbled in ink. A breath of fresh air to whatever stifled reality they may find themselves in. Matilda was all alone in the emotional sense of not having a family who loved her but her mind was nurtured by the words of all those authors who knew nothing of it. Sometimes we are saviors to readers we will never know exist. If that ain’t inspiration, I don’t know what is.

About The Author:

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Roald Dahl is a children’s author who wrote many of the most famous children’s books turned movies of our childhood (well, some of our childhoods. I was born in ’87 so the 90s was kinda my time lol): Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach to name a few. Dahl wrote his first story for children, The Gremlins, in 1942, for Walt Disney but it wasn’t very successful at the time. It wasn’t until 1961 that Dahl first established himself as a children’s book writer with the publication of James and the Giant Peach which was adopted into a movie in 1996. Three years later (’64) Dahl published Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was also made into a popular movie. A film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971.

In addition to James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl’s most popular kids’ books include Fantastic Fox (1970), and Matilda (1988).

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And that’s it for this week’s installment of Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Don’t forget to click the pic and join the fun….you know you want to!

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