Original Works

Time | Books | Ink

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The fireplace crackled – a scent of oak wood in the air – dipping the reading chamber in the amber of its flames, as the world darkened. The clouds outside groaned in the gathering of grey, and in a matter of minutes, the first of its countless raindrops fell. The time was now.

Books stacked in a great many variation of height stood in the centre of the chamber. Surrounding the castle of stories were five gold, crimson armchairs. And the ones found seated on those thrones, from as young as seven to as aged as seventy, called themselves Lectors.

Lectors chose to read when the warmth of fire met the cold of water, for their magic only surfaced when such opposing elements collide. With a book on their laps, they recited the words of a tale from the pages bound long ago. And at each spoken word, their magic came to life. As though they’d uttered a spell, the settled ink peeled themselves from the patchy parchments and rose into the air. They drifted in the draft-less chamber toward the tower of books. And they gathered upon the invitation of magic – magic that only came from the lips of the Lectors.

“How powerful is this magic?” you ask. “What do these gathered words do?”

They move. They create. They open.

Outside of the cages of their paperback prison, they beat to the rhythm of the soul. They bring forth the power to feel. In a world overwhelmed with shrewd emotions, deprived of the yearning breeze of solitude, these inked manifestations bring life – life that only comes from within the soul of its reader. Emotions that existed in the realm of unconsciousness, buried by one’s wakening moments, can breathe new life. These words move and stir the hardened heart to feel again.

But beyond the invisible yet tangible force, is its power to bring into being the imaginations of the mind. The stories constructed on paper, churn the bubbling cauldron, brewing a potion to escape reality. This potion feeds the mind a world not of the present. It builds a comforting environment for when the darkness grows unbearable. However, such magic is a double-edged sword and denying its strength is for the foolish.

Moving and creating are undeniably great feats of such magic. But the greatest feat of all is its ability to open doors to the universe unknown. For as the Lectors read from the spell bounding pages, the gathering words swirled into an orb of vibrant light. Piercing through the gaps of the inked alphabets, a portal within the strings of unintelligible words brought the universe to earth. But to shatter the shell of such magic was too soon. There were more to be read.

One book after another, the Lectors vocalised the tales. As the rain pattered against the tall, glass-paneled windows, the magic in motion grew. The ball of light expanded its reach across the chamber in immense power, tempting to explode with every addition. And when the last word of the last book left the lips of the youngest Lector, it finally did. The bounded magic caved within itself before ripping free from its wrappings. It released a wave of Tuscan sun, snuffing the flames in the fireplace. And as it did, the reading chamber plummeted into darkness. The cold and unwelcoming silence reigned at the end of a story, forcing the Lectors to linger in their presence until the sun arrived. Shining past the departure of the darkened clouds, light eventually returned and magic was gone.

The words once gathered in the creation of great magic rewrote themselves in the pages they called home. They would remain within their bindings until five new Lectors chose to read them again. Their magic will stay docile until their stories are unearthed once more. And when that time will arrive, no one knows.

Many Lectors have come and gone. Unfortunately, as the world orbits into the future, the heirs to this magic dwindle by the day. Despite the calling to move, create, and open, many have chose to ignore. Many have lost sight of the allure of such magic. And many have pretended ignorant to the tugging of its power. How then can this world survive without this magnificent force? How can society live without the strength, hope, and power this magic embodies?

It is upon the shoulders of the remaining Lectors to raise and pass this gift to the next generation. For magic cannot survive the evolution of men without a vessel. And if there’s one thing we all should know, is that every being homes this magic. Every being is a Lector. Every being can make time stop and breathe life into scribbles of ink. Every being can uncover this secret. Why? Because every being is called to be a reader.

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Time, books, and ink, were words given by monkeyeverythingblog. Let me start by saying I’m a hypocrite. Here I am writing a story about reading, when the book by my bedside hasn’t been touched in a month. Yes, I’m ashamed of myself. So as much as this story was written to encourage others, it serves as a reminder that I should never stop reading. There is magic in books. And such magic cannot be forgotten.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. I’ve said this one too many times, and I’ll say it again: give this a shot!

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Writing Journey

To Write 100 Books & Die

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Fellow blogger Zoey told me she is interested in hearing my self-publishing experience. So to start off this new year of blogging, I’ve decided to fill you in on what it’s been like for me. But before I get into my five years in this indie industry, let me share with you my writing goal. It’s pretty straightforward. My goal is to write 100 books and die.

Simply put, I want to write as many books as I can in my lifetime. Whether or not it becomes my full time career, whether or not I become a bestselling author, whether or not the world knows my name, I just want to write. Money and fame are not my goals as an author, they are added bonuses (bonuses I would love to have, of course). But ultimately, writing and writing and writing is my goal. That is why I chose to go indie.

I’ve self-published five titles independently: The Dreamer, Dream World: The Lost Child, Raindrops, Magnum Opus, and Dr. Slubgob’s Letters. Have I ever thought of pitching these books to publishers? Yes. Did I do it? Only once for The Dreamer. Why only once? Because the work that goes into it equals to another book being written. This is a personal statement: I rather spend time writing than looking for a publisher.

Of course, the self-publishing work that comes after writing a book is not easy. There’s editing, designing, publishing, and marketing. Being that I don’t have the finance to fund myself, my books are not given a paperback chance. Having no money to spend on professional editing, I edit my books with the help of beta readers. The cover design of all my books were done by friends who were willing to do it for free (quick tip: be friends with artists/designers). Asking for free help is something I had to do, and being honest about the struggle of being an indie author is something my artsy friends understood. I thank God for having friends who would do book covers for free – these people could charge me for it, but were willing to ‘collaborate’ because I was budget-less.

After all the pre-production work is done, to the best of my ability (note this: I don’t release books I’m not happy with – I’ve ditched some stories too), I export my books into pdf and place them on Gumroad. Gumroad hosts my books online and emails them automatically to buyers. They only take a small percentage out of the sales, much less than Amazon. The reason why I don’t put on Amazon is because of the tedious process (call me lazy) and the low royalty rates. Yes, the book might sell more copies on Amazon, but I prefer to use a platform I have full control over (price, format, and earnings).

Have I made a lot of money from those five titles? No, and it doesn’t matter… because I’m still writing.

I believe the reason why I don’t make much money from my books is because of poor marketing. I had a marketing module in university, but the 4p’s of marketing is a surface level skill. I fail at promotion because the only platforms I have for promotion is here on this blog and on my social networking accounts. Even here/there, I don’t expect great responses. And that’s how it is as an indie author.

I have been doing this for five years, and only a year ago did I attempt to try a new form of publishing: crowd-funded publishing. Last year, I learnt so much from the production of The Battle for Oz through a successful crowd-funded project. I had no idea how tedious the full process of editing was! But just like self-publishing, crowd-funded publishing is not for everyone.

The truth about self-publishing is this: it takes work and you might not earn the money you deserve from all the work. But you have full control and you get to see it come to life. Knowing this, I’m favouring crowd-funded publishing so much more, but that itself is a different ball game.

If you’re wondering which route to take, I suggest you first ask yourself what your writing goal is. Why do you write? And base on your answer, see which route best suits you. I chose self-publishing and going indie because I want to share as many stories with the world. I’m fine dying as an unknown writer, as long as I’ve inspired a few lives with my work. But to some, this is not something they want. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because we all have different writing goals. What’s important is you do what works best for you.

So there you have it, my experience in self-publishing. It’s pretty general as I still have a lot to learn. I’m not sure if I would continue on this self-publishing route or plant myself solely in crowd-funded publishing, but no matter which path I take, I still have a lot to learn. This is the best I can share with you at this point of time, and I hope it helps 🙂

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If there is something you would like me to share, leave a comment below!

Zoey has also asked about my writing process and if you’re keen about the same topic, let me know. Like I said in my A New Year, A New Journey post, this is going to be a different blogging year. I want to interact with you and I’m hoping to build a community of readers through this blog. Hopefully, the shift in blogging will help me in my authoring career. But even if it doesn’t, I hope it helps you, dear reader, in one way or another.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend ahead!

Others

The Sixscriber Milestone

sixscribermilestoneI know, what a bad play with words. ‘Six’ and ‘Sub’ do not sound alike, so forgive me. I tried. And failed.

ANYWAY, why the horrible title? Well… I’ve hit a milestone! The 6k subscriber milestone!

Thank you so much to all the sixscibers of my blog 🙂 Many of you have been around since the very beginning, while some of you have just hit the subscribe button, but each of you has helped make my blog grow. Thank you for being a reader of my works and thank you for supporting me. I’m always trying to improve and I’m really grateful that despite some horrible writing, you are still around. Thank you so, so very much!

This year, I’m looking forward to more awesome adventures with you. There will be more book releases, one even in paperback, and I just cannot wait to see how 2015 will play out. I do hope you would still be with me when the year ends. Chasing dreams can get lonely and tiring, but knowing that you enjoy my works will keep pushing me forward 🙂

Lastly, BUY MY BOOK! BUY IT NOW! BUY! BUY! BUY! Lend me a hand and pre-order my soon to be released novel. It would help a lot! Thank you in advance! (Now you have to buy it 😛 )

Keeping this extremely short and sweet, I just want to say another big thank you. I don’t know what else to add to express my gratitude, but do know that I’m really thankful for you… thank you for being here!

*If you have suggestions, questions and comments, you can leave them down below or send me an email. I’m always happy to hear from you. Which writer does not want to hear from their readers, am I right?

Have a good week! 

Others

A Throwback Tag

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It’s nearing! I can’t wait to hit 5000 subs, and reaching 4,700 is making me excited 🙂 But as you all know, this achievement cannot be reached without you guys. So thank you for joining my little party!

It’s so nice to see this party constantly growing, with new people following me on fictional adventures. I feel blessed and honoured to have you all. I appreciate all the comments, likes, shares, and the emails you guys have sent me. It’s really encouraging to know that I’m inspiring some of you on my little corner of the internet. Thank you so much for being a blessing in my life 🙂

Anyway, just like every other ‘thank you’ post, there’s always something extra. This time, it’s a tag.

This is me trying to get in on a trend, which I normally don’t do. Throwback Thursdays aren’t really my thing, but I’m still going to attempt it anyway with a twist 🙂 Here goes:

Throwback ‘See’ Tag

(Why ‘see’? Because it only involves shows and books.)

#1 Memorable TV Series

– Beastmaster, 1999. Ferrets as pets, enough said.

(Honourable mentions; Hercules & Xena: Warrior Princess)

#2 Favourite Kid’s Show

– Bananas In Pyjamas, 1992. B1, B2 and the teddy bears have amazing stories!

(Honourable mentions; Power Rangers, and everything on Fox Kids.)

#3 First Movie In The Cinema

– Twister, 1996.  I will never forget the cow that flew across the car.

(Second movie; Disney Hercules)

#4 Over watched VHS

– The Swan Princess, 1994. Followed closely by Beauty and The Beast.

(VCD; The Little Vampire, DVD; Mean Girls)

#5 Banned Show

– Charmed, 1998. I managed to watch the whole series a few years ago.

(Another banned show; Dark Angel, 2002. Watched the whole series a few years ago too.)

#6 First Book To Finish Reading

– The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1996. I think, not 100% sure.

#7 Favourite Childhood Book

– Dinosaurs, Ladybird Discovery. With foldout dinosaur panorama!

#8 Unforgettable Books

– Pop-up fairy tale books. I had quite a lot, then my mum gave them away.

#9 First Favourite Author

– R.L Stine. It started out with Goosebumps and ended with Fear Street.

#10 Oldest Unfinished Book

– The Boxcar Children #39. I remember asking my mum to buy it but I don’t remember finishing it.

Wow, I feel old! Haha! But it was fun though. Do you think I should do a Throwback Touch and Taste Tag? Hmm… still on the fence about that one. If you are planning to do this tag, let me know in the comments below 🙂 That way I can check out your answers too.

Well, that is all for this post 🙂 Thank you again for your subscription, my awesome readers, and have a fun weekend!

*Current blog post schedule: A post every Thursday alternating between an original short story and a Harry Potter fan fic novel.

Others

More Subscribers, More Deadly Sins

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Maybe, just maybe, I could end this year with more subscribers than I initially expected. At the awesome rate of you lovely people subscribing to my blog, I am just overwhelmed with joy that so many find me worth reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much to all 3, 800 of you!

The reason I keep writing, the reason I’m smiling right now, and the reason I work so hard on my blog is because of you guys. I appreciate all the support and I hope to be able to be the best, both for you and myself 🙂 Again, thank you!

Now on to the next segment; I read this tag on a fellow blogger’s blog which she found from YouTube. Known as the 7 Deadly Sins of Reading, I immediately thought of how clever and fun it would be to do. So here I am doing it, on a blog 🙂

GREED: What is your most expensive and least expensive book?

Compilation of the Spiderwick Chronicles, RM80. Ouch! Is that a hole in my pocket I see? And The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, RM5.

WRATH: Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

J.K Rowling. I like her for creating Harry Potter… but I don’t quite like her blurting out her little thoughts after the series has ended.

GLUTTONY: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But I think I read Psalms and Proverbs much more.

SLOTH: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

A Dance With Dragons. A laziness that came after spending too long reading A Feast For Crows.

PRIDE: What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?

Erm… I… don’t? Haha! I don’t really talk about books with people.

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in a male or female character?

Male characters that attract me are intelligent and have a way with words. I would appreciate if they have good looks too. And it doesn’t matter if they are villain or hero. That’s why I’m fond of Ender Wiggin, Tyrion Lannister, and even Tom Riddle.

ENVY: What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

Right now, I would really like to add the entire collection of A Series of Unfortunate Events to my bookshelf.

Well, that was fun! I’m sure you guys would enjoy doing it too, so when you do, leave me a comment of your blog post link down below!

I guess that is all for this ‘thank you’ post. Once again, thank you for your support and have a great weekend!

Others

2014, Here I Come!

WordPress hires monkeys. Yes, they do. And these monkeys have prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I love reading the annual reports, as I get to look back and see what I have accomplished on my blog throughout the year. On top of that, I like to see which country visits my blog the most. This year, my own country has taken India’s spot in the top three! Honestly, I’m rather surprise.

Comparing from last year, I have 6000 more views and 14 extra countries viewing my blog. Hey, that is a significant improvement 🙂 And lets not forget, I have you guys to thank for.

Anyway, since I’m publishing this to share my joy with you guys, I have a few updates:

#1 I’m working on Raindrops. I will be sending it to be proofread soon, and will be checking on my artist to see when she can send me the cover design. I’m aiming March for its release and I’ll probably put it up for free.

#2 The Battle For Oz: Exitium (book 1) will also be released this year. I will work on the draft in January and February while the artist works on the artworks. Hopefully by June, we can release it.

#3 The Slave Prince is my second novel, which I wrote in January, 2013. I have an artist working on the art since last year, but I haven’t gotten the time to really go through my writing. I’m aiming October – December 2014 for its release, since I have my hands full at the moment.

Yes, I will be releasing 3 books this year and I am excited! I definitely have my work cut out for me. Oh, busy, busy times ahead!

Well, I just wanna end by saying thank you once again. 2013 was great, and part of it was because of you guys. Knowing I’m going somewhere with all your support makes me happy. I’m definitely looking forward to another year of fun and adventure with all of you!

Happy New Year guys!