Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Self Publish For Free

When self publishing your book through createspace, Listing your book only on the createspace estore will produce the lowest minimum list price possible. When you select amazon.com the minimum list price for distribution will increase by 33.3% of whatever the initial minimum list price is through createspace.

For example:

Minimum list price for 124 page full color book listed on the createspace estore is 11.92. Listing your book through createspace only on the createspace estore, will produce the lowest minimum list price possible.

Minimum list price for a 124 page book with full color listed on Amazon.com is 15.89 

Minimum list price for a book published through any one, a combination of, or all three of createspaces "Expanded Distribution Channels" such as, Bookstores and Online Retailers, Libraries and Academic Institutions, and Createspace Direct will increase the minimum list price of your book by, 50%.

Minimum list price for 124 page full color book through Createspaces Expanded Distribution Package is 23.83. That's double the initial minimum list price for said books, sold through createspace alone.

Whatever the minimum list price is for your book, anything you choose to mark the book up from there is all profit. Depending on which channel your book is sold through, will determine the royalties that you receive. Let's say you chose the Expanded distribution Package for your book, and you priced your book at 24.99, since the minimum list price for the EDP is 23.83. Someone purchases your book at the list price of 24.99 through the createspace estore, you will earn 13.07, for the sale of your book, since the minimum list price for your book sold through the createspace estore is 11.92. Let's say a company purchases one of your books at wholesale through createspace Direct, you would earn 1.16 in royalties, since the minimum list price for that channel is 23.83.

This all falls under the stipulation, that you've chosen createspaces 'free ISBN' for your book. Your book must have an assigned ISBN, in order to be sold through any distribution channel. 

A distribution channel is any one of the sales avenues I mentioned earlier, such as the channels which fall under createspaces standard distribution package such as the createspace estore, Amazon.com, Amazon Europe; and all of the channels that fall under the free expanded distribution package that createspace now offers, such as bookstores and online retailers, libraries and academic imstitutions, and Createspace Direct. 

It is certainly a good deal to choose the free ISBN which createspace offers, if you have a restricted budget for self publishing your book. I mean, what could be a better deal, then a free ISBN and an opportunity to publish your book through createspace to any one of the distribution channels mentioned earlier, if you choose that free ISBN.

What are the restrictions to choosing the free ISBN that createspace offers? Well, if you choose to publish your hearts treasure using the free createspace assigned ISBN, you may only use that free createspace assigned ISBN as long as your book is published through createspace. 

But what if I self publish my book through createspace using the free createspace assigned iSBN, and a year later, my book is finnally accepted for publication by a large or small press, what do I do then? The answer to that is simple. You may unpublish your self published book with createspace at any time. Simply go to your message center under the box that is titled as my account to the right of your screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the page at your message center and click contact support. There is a yellow envelope next to the words contact support. Choose what createspace can help you with. In this case, we are retiring a title. You would click on more options and choose retiring a title. From here you may send createspace an email. Just include the title id and request that the title be retired. From there you can inform the press who has agreed to publish your book that your book has been retired from createspace and the book may be assigned a new ISBN from that publisher.

ISBN stands for international standard book number. It is similar to what an American citizens social security number is to them. Only a social security number is permanent for each person from birth to death. An ISBN may be retired from a book and a new ISBN may be assigned to that book. Essentially an ISBN serves the same purpose to a book as a social security number serves to an American citizen. It is a identifier. If you are publishing a second addition or a new addition to your book you will need to assign a new ISBN.

ISBN's are only assigned to books. The book may be printed, audio or electronic. A paperback version and a hardcover version of the same book title will each need to have its own ISBN assigned. An ebook or an electronic book does not always have to have an ISBN. When publishing an ebook through amazons kindle direct publishing it is not required that you assign an isbn to that ebook, however you may assign an isbn to the ebook you are publishing through kdp if you like. 

To assign an isbn to an ebook published through kdp, you will need to have purchased your own isbn. Kindle does not offer free ISBN's for ebooks. Even if you go directly through createspace after publishing a paperback version of your book. You must have an account with Amazon to sign up for kdp and publish an ebook. Most publisher's do not assign ISBN's to ebooks. Someone selling an isbn may encourage you purchase an isbn for an ebook, but I see no need to do so. As of today it is an ongoing question with publishers if it makes sense  to assign an isbn to an ebook economically or if there is any logic behind it at all.

If you decide you'd like to purchase your own isbn for your book foregoing the free isbn that createspace offers (other arbitrary self publisher like lulu also assigns free isbns to books and now offers free expanded distribution as well.) then you can visit the isbn identifier bowker. There are lots of other places you can purchase your own isbn from besides Bowker, but be aware that in order for online bookstores, libraries and other distributors to be able to locate your book in an online database like ingram, your books information must be listed through bowker with the isbn it is associated with. 

If you purchase one or more isbns through a second hand seller of isbns check first if they will enter that information for you. Whoever purchases the isbns through bowker will be listed as the publisher. The only way to add the information of the book youve chosen to associate your isbn with is through bowkers my identifier. You must first have an account with bowker to purchase an isbn, therefore you must be the one who has purchased the isbn to enter the books information into bowkers my identifier associated with the isbn.

The advantage to createspace offering a free ISBN is that they will be listed as the publisher for your book. It's free advertisement for them and they also earn more royalties when your book is sold through the expanded distribution channels. 

If you were to purchase your own isbn through bowker for 125.00, you could list your book to the expanded distribution channels createspace offers through bowkers my identifiers and not have to mark up the minimum list price of your book by fifty percent, keeping the selling price down and your profits up. 

The cost for ten SBN's is 250.00. The more you buy, the lower the price of each isbn in the bundle. If you wish to self publish and have the extra money to purchase your own isbn through bowker it is a great idea. 

If you only plan on publishing a paperback version of your book you will only need one isbn. If you plan to publish a hardcover and an audio version of the same book you will need an individual isbn for each version of your book. 

You will also need a barcode for books which may be sold physically in stores like a paperback and a hardcover. If you choose to assign an isbn to your ebook you will not need a barcode since it is an electronic book not sold in physical book stores and does not need to be scanned for pricing. Bowker offers barcodes for 25.00 each, but of you are computer savvy you can simply Google for a free barcode generator and generate your own barcode for free.

There are many companies like createspace and lulu that will offer you a free isbn and distribution. The difference will be the royalties each company takes for the sales of your book through all of the different channels. 

Createspace is the first time self publishing indie authors gold mine. You don't need a penny to publish through createspace or lulu and you will earn royalties on each book sold. You can set the price to whatever you wish it to be as long as it is above the minimum list price. You may change the price of your book at any time. 

Printing is print on demand so you do not have to purchase a large quantity of your books and sell them or distribute them on your own. Each time someone orders your book through createspace estore or one of their distribution channels the book is printed to order.

If you have an abundance in cash and wish to self publish you can purchase your own isbn through bowker so that you may make a healthier profit on the expanded distribution channels through creaesapce.

If you are an indie author with an empty piggy bank, lnterested in publishing your first baby, I mean book, and you wish to make your book immediately available to the public you can do so for free through createspace and many other self publishing arbitrators which can be discovered by Google bing or any handy search engine available on your computer.

All you need to publish is a book and a dream. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

thirsting for absoluteness

i

sunless months-
dead cacti
pricking us,
you, me; calamity, 
colliding thoughts
sips from the cup
of martyrdom 
thirsting for 
absoluteness 


ii

miles
traveled on
separate roads
waving
from a polluted distance
i, tire of this journey
can we make mole hills
again?


iii

sun peaks through clouds
glancing upward
raindrops descend 
into the mouths of solitude 
and we realize,
we can't figure this out alone.
the cacti are reborn
we will prick ourselves once more.
but for now;
appreciate the 
warmth











  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lulu December Coupon Code

Coupons To Get Your Gift On The Tacky Elf brings Lulu.com's biggest sale of the year! Enter the coupon below for deals that make you cheer. But be warned! The Tacky Elf is not always sincere. The deal may change without a whisper in your ear. And he won't warn you when that time is near. Sitewide SITEWIDE Deck Your Shelf with 30% Off Deck your shelf with the best deals of the year, Everything is 30% off on Lulu.com, far and near. The Tacky Elf says, "Spread the holiday cheer!" Act quickly! Deals go fast when they come from the Tacky Elf Use Code: #decktheshelf

Notes From Another Self - Bigger so That Kastor Can Read

Sunday, December 1, 2013

DeviantPixie



Lulu Free Shipping Code










Click picture to link to Lulu





Free Shipping: Order by 12/10, get by 12/24. Use code: FREESHIP
Add caption

My Short Biography

Born in NJ, Alison Breskin is a nurse, a continuing nursing student, co-owner of Shoestring Book Publishing where she designs books and Treasurer/Publications coordinator for a non profit organization; the International Poetry FellowshipPoets publishing poetsBirdsongs of Poetry and Birdsongs of Poetry 2 entail reactions to her father’s drug-addiction and death, teenage love and/or infatuation, confusion about life and misguided angst. Waking Spirit Dreams and Waking Spirit Dreams 2 By Alison Breskin include spiritual poetry. Since 2012 she has realized why she was was hurt and angry most of her life, she held onto anger from the past. She was miraculously healed by conversations with a friend and wrote a self-help book The Artistry of LIFE Knocking on the WHITE DOORHeartwarming haiku by Alison Breskin includes haiku and senryu, with an educational tutorial and practice exercises. Notes From Another Self by Alison Breskin is a 6x9 writing journal. Her first children's parable book The Habits of RabbitsHeartpieces Songbook by Alison Breskin, written during heartbreak. Oranges and Sailboats, by Alison Breskin, spiritual/love poetry. Coming soon, her first fiction novel, Violet's Kismet.



Friday, November 29, 2013

Publish a Book

http://shoestringbookpublishing.weebly.com/

Free Book


How to get published

Dear Readers,





Alison Breskin is  the treasurer and Book Productions Director, on the board of directors for a non profit  organization:  International Poetry Fellowship which publishes anthologies or amateur poets.  If you would like to  see what the International Poetry Fellowship is all about, visit our facebook page.  We are a group of poets publishing poets and the amount of anthologies published each year is based upon donations alone. We thank you in advance, every little bit helps publish a poet, who otherwise couldn't  afford to be published and any amount donated is greatly appreciated. All donors are acknowledged in the donors index of the anthology for which they've made a contribution to.

If you would like to become a member of the International Poetry Fellowship gaining opportunity to have one of more of your poems published in an anthology you must first be a member of the online poetry site, Allpoetry. It only takes a minute to sign up and membership is free! Once you are a member of Allpoetry, you'll have the opportunity for publication in an anthology, if your poem is selected from one of the relevant contests held by the IPF at Allpoetry, as long as you are a member of the Anthology group, 'These Human Shores. All poets are welcome to join, come on in, we are a friendly bunch!










Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to add Google 1+ to your webpage

Hello readers!

here is the HTML code, you can add to your webpage, so that viewers can 1+ your page!


<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. -->
<div class="g-plusone" data-annotation="inline" data-width="300"></div>

<!-- Place this tag after the last +1 button tag. -->
<script type="text/javascript">
  (function() {
    var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true;
    po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
  })();
</script>


More information on this




With Love,



Friday, November 22, 2013

BeerQuest



Dear Readers,

The following is a description and a link, to where a really awesome book, called BeerQuest can be bought, which is about; beer, space travel, threesomes, a sarcastic spaceship and saving the world! There's lots more that happens too, but you'll have to take a look to see ...

BeerQuest By, Allan R, Emery

Because of one brave and lonely man the universe came out of a dark age of pointless orgies and into an age of enlightened orgies, the universe itself was created, dinosaurs became extinct on Earth, Jupiter got a fixed spot, the governments of Earth united in peace and the universe discovered the best beer anywhere! It's all here, including a torrid threesome between a ne'er-do-well, a struggling waitress, and a little 4 inch tall leggy, buxom astronaut from another galaxy. From our creator Knurdleigh's outside-the-box thinking came the two most weird yet true stories of our time: How the Universe was created and how the greatest beer in the universe was discovered. This is without taking into account, the spot on Jupiter, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the enlightenment of the universe except for Earth, and the sprouting of the one and true religion, practiced throughout the cosmos by the greatest of all wise peoples, the Drunk Monks. Bottoms up!

Buy BeerQuest flipbook here: http://book.flipbuilder.com/allanremerybooks/





Allan R. Emery on Soundcloud

Allan R. Emery's blog

This book is so funny and sexy! I hope you will take a look at the preview and buy it!




With Love,








Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Link to my blog

http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=http://alisonbreskin.blogspot.com/&usg=AFQjCNEuf8-_VGzlIutY0Qx8P7ZPPQNKdw

International Poetry Fellowship



Dear Readers,

Are you interested in being published in an anthology? Here at the International Poetry Fellowship, contests are held at Allpoetry, where poets gain the opportunity to win large points prizes and publication of their poems! Why not give it a try? It's free to sign up for Allpoetry and enter the contests for inclusion. What have you got to lose? Join Allpoetry today and look for The International Poetry Fellowship.

Who is the International Poetry Fellowship? We are poets publishing poets — a non-profit organization formed to support the publishing of poetry anthologies for its members and winners of contests held by members. We believe wonderful poetry is written by our members every day.We wish to bring this poetry to light.


Our current endeavor is an anthology being edited by Diane Allen Hemingway, and published by the International Poetry Fellowship under the direction of its Board of Directors.



















The smart choice for the wise indie author's voice!















Oh Love




Oh Love
I want to lay beside your skin
drenched within
and without
of your secrets deeply
and devouring your smile
on my lips ...

Oh, Love,
nestle with me in this nest
of sacred trust
not lost but found
and we will show one another
what it means to feel whole
under the scarlet sky
of summer's dulcet lullaby's.

Oh Love,
I come before you humbled
naked with desire
and it seems,
we are in totality
we are totally free,
with the signature of silence
and a bottle of decadent dreams
singing songs only we can sing,

My Love, Oh Love,
the rest of the world
can dance alone.





Shoestring Truthbrary

Dear Readers,


The Shoestring Book Publishing's Truthbrary. Because if it's not the truth, we'll not publish it! The Shoestring Truthbrary, is a fantastic and magical store, that makes available to the public, books by independent artists, or indie artists, self-published through Shoestring Book Publishing's professional book design services. 

The Truthbrary showcases talented artists rising along the way! Every artist had to start somewhere, whether it be Shakespeare or J.K Rowling! So please, take a gander at The Shoestring Truthbrary, and consider purchasing a book in support of helping a hungry artist. Help a Hungry Artist, is a  movement to inspire inspiring minds alike, to purchase and enjoy the art of the independent artist

We encourage you, not only to purchase and enjoy the indie art in the Shoestring's Truthrary, but to take the time to leave Amazon reviews on the art that you so kindly invest your time and money into! 

From Spiritual poetry to Children's parables, from anthologies of poets around the world to soft and sensual poetry, from fiction novels with plots that excite, to self-help novels filled with delight, peace be with you as you relax and read!


With Love,




Facebook   Website



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On Cliche Poetry

Have you ever gotten a comment on a poem, saying that it was 'Cliche'? Well, I have gotten this comment before. Cliche poetry, what does it mean? The definition of Cliche, is. A trite or overused expression or idea. As according to the Online Dictionary. I know this accusation can be hurtful, especially when you've poured your heart out into a poem, which was totally original, to you. Who's to say, what expressions, or ideas, are 'trite' or 'overused'? Who is the authoritarian on what is cliche and what is not cliche? Is there some sort of data base, that holds the statistical information, as to what is trite, or overused? Well, there might be, I don't know. But my point is, that ones own perspective of what is 'cliche', is more so based upon personal opinion, than any one fact that is tangible. 

Let's say, that a movie becomes popular only in America and in turn, there is a catch phrase that most of the American population begins to repeat on a daily basis, the more Americans that use that phrase, the wider it's popularity spreads, therefore rendering it 'cliche', since it becomes an 'overused' phrase. However, in China, a Chinese poet, uses that very same phrase, in his/her poem and an American poet comments on that poem, saying that the poem was cliche. Who is the poem cliche to? Certainly not the Chinese poet! 

So, dear poets, the next time you pour your heart out onto a piece of paper and someone comments that it is 'cliche' take it in stride. Just because something is cliche to someone else, doesn't mean it has to be cliche to you, or the rest of the world! maybe you've written a cliche poem on purpose, in which case, you would not be surprised when someone calls your poem cliche. It takes more thought, to come up with an original idea, yes, but lets face it, most of everything in poetry has been done already! Love, Hate, Anger, Joy, ect ... There are only so many ways you can compare the seasons to the cycle of life or ones own feelings! The important part is that you enjoy writing poetry, regardless of what anyone else says. So chin up, and fingers to the fire, write what your heart desires!


If youlike my blogs, please consider following!

With Love,









\


Heartwarming Haiku

Hello Dear Readers,

I've published a second edition of Heartwarming Haiku, which now has vivid color pictures as well as Haiku/Senryu poems and a tutorial on how to write Haiku/Senryu with practice exercises. You can download this book for free, in a PDF format. Purchase paperback here.

With Love,

Alison Breskin


Monday, November 18, 2013

Violet's Kismet, Chapter 30, Grandpa Jethro

As I stood at the white marble counter top, by the Bonavita coffee maker, drinking my hazelnut coffee, as the sun shone through the window, reading the newspaper, I was shocked by what I had seen on the front page.

"Key evidence found by mayoral candidate, Frank Jibroni ..."

My mouth hung open in shock and I nearly spilled my hot coffee as I made my way over to the kitchen table to grab a cheese Danish and sat down. What I read next, was more shocking than being visited by an Angel who made dog poop disappear from my hand, Seeing a pirate and an alien at my side when I was running the 1600 meter race at the track meet, AND being attacked by an evil tornado wearing a straw hat and Tania with a pocket knife all put together and rolled into one.

"Colin Davis was charged yesterday with eight counts of rape and four counts of murder and is suspected to be the Hudson River Road Rapist." I read.

"No Way!" I said rather loudly as I took a bite of my Danish.

"No way, what dear?" G'ma asked as she sipped her tea, browsing through a catalog.

"Colin's been charged with Cindy Swanson's murder and seven other counts of murder! They believe him to be the Hudson River Rapist!" G'ma sadly shook her head. She had pink curlers in her hair and a white bathrobe on.

"It's very unfortunate for those poor young girls. Uncle Frank is an honorable cop and if he found evidence against Colin tying him to these heinous crimes, then it's more than likely he's the one." I shook my head in agreement with G'ma’s intelligent deduction as I read on. Thank God the newspaper didn't mention my name anywhere in conjunction with Colin's indictment. Just as I finished reading the paper, I heard Damian honking the horn for me, outside. I got up from the kitchen table, with the newspaper still in my hand and only a few bites taken out of my Danish. I stuffed the newspaper into my olive green messenger bag, which was hung on the side of the chair I was occupying.

"You're not going to finish your breakfast?" G’ma asked and I looked down at the barely eaten Danish and then picked it up.

"I'll finish it on the way." I replied and G'ma smiled approvingly.

"Have a nice day dear." G'ma said and I momentarily felt guilty for what I was about to do, since I was skipping school that day  with Damian to go see Grandpa Jethro, without telling her what I was doing, or where I was going.

As I walked towards the front door, I reached into my jean pocket, checking to make sure that I had Grandpa Jethro's address, that Aunt Mel had written down for me on Saturday and I saw that I also had a text message from an unknown number on my phone.

"Hey Violet, its Tatiana. I will be testifying against Colin. See ya' at school!" The text message read. I placed the phone back into my pocket and fixed my light purple baby doll shirt as I walked out the door.

I got into Damian's car, he gave me a peck on the lips and then as I buckled my seat belt and looked over at him. I could tell that he looked nervous.

"Everything's going to be fine!" I said assuring Damian.

"I told my mom what I would be doing today." Damian said and I looked at him with disapproval. "It's okay, I told her that you couldn't tell your grandmother." I half smiled and touched him on his shoulder. "Thanks for doing this for me." I said with appreciation. Damian looked at me with those most amazing crystal blue eyes. "I love you, Violet." he said and I was silent for a few seconds as I was not expecting Damian to say that he loved me at that moment and I hadn't thought about if I loved him, or was I even sure that I knew what love was. But I smiled. "I love you too." I said and felt this whole new feeling rush over my body and capture my heart. Damian smiled back at me lovingly as he drove off.

"So where are we going?" Damian asked.

"I have the address here." I said calmly, as I pulled it out of my pocket.

"47 Town Line Road, Washington, NY, 12839. I read from the paper.

"Washington, that's got to be at least an hour's drive." Damian said as I typed the address into the GPS.

"Actually, it's about an hour and a half!" I said.

"Okay." Damian said. We'll need to stop at some point and get gas then.

"No problem, I'm sure I'll have to use the ladies room, somewhere along the way." I giggled.

"Of course you would!" Damian chuckled.

"Hey, I drank a lot of coffee this morning, leave me alone, I have a small bladder!" I defended my need to always pee.

"mmm hmmmm." Damian laughed.
"so, you're not going to believe what I read  on the front page of the newspaper this morning!" I said as I initiated a more serious conversation as opposed to bowel movements.

"What was it?" Damian asked curiously.

"Colin's been charged not only, with the rape and murder of Cindy Swanson, but he has also been charged with three other counts of murder and seven other counts of rape, all from women who are from Troy."

"Troy, that's where you grew up, isn't it?" Damian asked.

"Yes." I confirmed.

"I guess, Frank was so interested in inspecting the area where I had the vision of Colin raping and murdering Cindy, because he was on the "Hudson River Road Rapist case all along."

"They think Colin's the Hudson River Road Rapist?"

"Yeah, it's all in the front page of today's paper."

"What a scumbag." Damian said sounding upset.

"Yeah and I bet Tania was going to be next ..."
"It's lucky for her she broke up with him, before he had a chance ..."

"I'm not so sure that would have made a difference." I said

"So how do you think they connected him to the rape and murder of those seven other girls from Troy?" Colin asked.

"Tania texted me this morning, that she was going to testify against Colin. Maybe the other girls that Colin raped, but didn't get the chance to murder are coming forward too, since Tania did."

"One could only hope." Damian said as he drove onto the highway. I nodded off until about an hour had gone by and Damian stopped at a gas station which also had a small grocery store, to get gas and snacks. I woke up once the engine stopped and I could see we were at a gas station and a store.

"Did you have a nice nap, sleeping beauty?"

"Yes, it was wonderful!" I said happily.

"Why don't you head inside and get us some snacks while I fill er' up!" Damian said.

"Sure." I said as Damian leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

"Grab me a coke!" Damian said as I went to get out of the car and he handed me ten dollars.

"Okay." I replied.

I made my way into the grocery mart and purchased a bag of chips and some trail mix, a coke for Damian and an orange vitamin water for myself. I had just enough, as the total came to 9.86 and the clerk handed me the change. I headed back out to Damian's car with our drinks and snacks. I handed Damian the coke.

"Thank you babe." He said as he opened it up and took a drink.

"We’re almost there, 20 more minutes to go." I said as I checked the GPS.

"How do you feel about meeting your grandfather for the first time, that you will be old enough to remember?" Damian asked as he drove off back on onto the road.

"I feel nervous, but good." I said.

"What are you going to say, to your grandfather when you get there?"

"I don't know, hadn't thought about that part yet." I answered

"Are you angry with him, for not wanting anything to do with you for all of those years?"

"No, Surprisingly, I'm not angry with him. As I've been reading my mother's journal and she speaks about him, I feel like I've become closer to him somehow. I know it doesn't make any sense."

"Sure it does, it makes perfect sense!" Damian encouraged my positive attitude and I smiled.

"Thanks again, for being so supportive. I know this was hard for you to do, skipping school, since it's going to tarnish your perfect attendance record."

"Perfect attendance is not nearly as important as being there for you, Vie. Love is much more important than academics." Damian said sweetly and the fact that he cared for me so much really made me feel at ease. I looked at him lovingly. The rest of the ride to my grandfather's house seemed to go by rather quickly. I was a beautiful 70 degrees, sunny fall day in October and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for driving, or so it was, up until that point. Right as I had so cheerfully commented to Damian about what a beautiful perfect day it was, he pointed up ahead.

"I wouldn't be so sure that this nice weather is going to keep up."

Damian said with concern as he continued to point at a wickedly stark storm cloud not too far up the road that we were headed right into.  The GPS announced in its womanly voice that we had one more mile to go, until we would be turning onto Town Line Road. I just looked ahead with a surprised look on my face, as I was not expecting to see such a large and dark cloud up ahead, when the sky had been practically cloudless the whole entire journey to Grandpa Jethro's up until that moment. As Damian and I drove closer towards the monstrosity of what appeared to be a storm cloud, it began to hail, golf ball sized balls of hail.

"Oh my God!" I shrieked as the golf ball sized hail hit Damian's car. The sound of the hail, hitting his car was super loud. It sounded as if, someone had taken a baseball bat to Damian's car and had gone to town with clubbing it, like a mad person! I cringed as if that was actually what was happening, as if that would have been any more startling. Damian caressed my shoulder dearly and he assured me, everything would be alright.

"Everything's going to be alright, Vie, I promise!"

"But the hail, it’s like baseballs are falling down onto your car!"

"We're in a Subaru, it's a sturdy and safe car, with all wheel drive. We'll be just fine."

"Okay, I trust you. I wasn't really scared anyway" I said as I giggled. I really did trust Damian, so just by him reassuring me that everything would be alright, even if gold ball sized hail was slamming against his sturdy Subaru that was more than enough to relax me.

"Sure, you weren't!" Damian said as he snicked and I smiled heartily.

As we drove into the storm, which was centralized beneath the giant monstrosity of a storm cloud, not only did it begin to hail golf ball sized hail, but the wind picked up rather quickly and aggressively and the windows rattled as I could even feel the resistance between the wind and the vehicle.

"It seems to be a local micro burst, just over the town of Washington!" Damian said calmly as I looked at him curiously.

"What's a micro burst?" I asked.
"A micro burst is a very powerful but small storm."

"Okay ...."

"It's basically like a tiny hurricane."

"A hurricane!" I said kind of like a question and a statement all at once. Then it dawned on me, what were the odds that I would experience a tornado, right in front of my house and then a mini hurricane that was only over the town, in which I was traveling in all in the same month? Pretty slim, I would have assumed, although, given the more recent supernatural events, like the fact that I was seeing an angel, a pirate an alien and a man who looked like a colonel, at different times, all within the past month, I was willing to accept the fact that anything at all, was possible. Damian drove very slowly and cautiously the rest of the way and even though, it was only a mile we had left to go, since we have driven into the micro bust, what should have taken us a matter of minutes to travel, given the horrendous weather conditions, then took us about ten minutes.

As we turned onto my grandfather's street, Damian slowed down so that we didn't pass the house. The houses were spaced far apart, as they were set on farmland. We passed a plethora of cows and horses along the way. Shortly before we had arrived at my grandfather’s street, I had received text messages from Crys, Gerri and Ollie, asking me where I was and why I was not in school that day, once they figured out that I wasn't there, of course. I read the text messages and answered then with the usual teenage excuse for not being in school. "I'm not feeling well today." I responded and they were all convinced that I had finally caught Ollie's flu, as if it was inevitable. I was pleased that my excuse was so convincing and I bragged about my accomplishment to Damian.

As the GPS had announced that we had arrived at our destination, Damian seemed un-trusting of this, given the fact, that it was then raining really fat cats and dogs and the wind was whipping around at about 40 miles an hour or more, obstructing our view, quite blindingly so.

"Let's just proceed with caution, GPS' aren't always the most accurate with directions and we haven't really been able to see where we are going!"

"Okay, cautious is good." I said in agreement.

"I mean, I'm pretty sure this is the right place, since it's the only house in sight, but I think it's good, if we are careful." Damian said and I nodded in approval.

Damian drove haltingly into the dirt driveway, as he made a left, which was paved in mud and small puddles, which seemed to be forming little ponds, from the excessive downpour of the micro burst. As Damian proceeded up the muddy driveway with care, I looked around wondering if we had arrived at the right place, my grandfather Jethro's farm house. I turned my head to the left, towards Damian and said "I think this is it, I have a feeling we're here." then I turned my head to the right to check out the house, and I could see a silhouette of a thin person, standing in the window. I could see that the silhouette of the person standing in the window was holding an umbrella; they must have been waiting, to escort us in. How could my grandfather have known I was coming, when I hadn't even told him ahead of time, that I was going to visit? Damian and I looked at each other as Damian parked the car and we smiled.

"This is it." I said. "It's the moment you've been waiting for." Damian said. We unbuckled our seat belts and as we proceed to exit the car, I noticed there was a person standing there, with an umbrella next to my door, which was mighty nice, given the unfriendly weather circumstances.  I quickly got underneath the large black umbrella and Damian walked over to the stranger and I and the three of us, proceeded to walk towards the house attempting to keep as dry as possible. The temperature had dropped considerably, since Damian and I had left that October morning and I held my arms together, rubbing them for warmth. Damian gave me his Navy Blue Nautica jacket to wear, so that I might warm up, while we walked towards the old farm house, struggling to stay dry underneath the large black umbrella. No words were exchanged, from the time Damian and I exited the car, to when we were housed underneath the stranger’s umbrella, we were simply in a rush to get inside, where it would be warm and dry. As I looked ahead to the house, I began to see it more clearly through the downpour.

The house appeared to be a white run down bi level farm house, with a huge wrap around porch. The lawn looked unkempt, even through the storm. What was once, a very lush hops field was now a barren land. I thought to myself, that the place looked as if it had been abandoned for quite some time. We had parked behind an old jalopy of a pickup truck, a blue 1960 Chevrolet Pickup truck, which Damian had pointed out as he parked the car, before we had gotten out.

My brown cowboy boots were covered in mud and it was just as well; there was no way to avoid muddying them. The stranger wore a black trench coat and his hands were gloved with thin black leather gloves. The collar of his trench coat was turned up and he had a black fedora hat on his head. It was really dark, so I couldn't really make out anything else, of what this stranger looked like, as far as the features of his face were concerned, plus, he had hidden his face fairly well. The stranger held the forest green door open to the farm house, for Damian and me, after he pulled the screen door back and we hurried inside shivering.

"Sit down" the stranger said in a most soothing tone as he pointed to the kitchen, which was visible from the foyer, past the family room. The family room was dark, as we walked through and there were several candles lit in there and in the kitchen as well. It didn't take me long to realize the power had gone out.

"Guess the power went out." I said to Damian as he followed me towards the kitchen.

"Yeah, guess it did." He replied.

Damian and I sat down at the round dark wood kitchen table. I could see the stranger still in the foyer, removing his 'rain gear'. As he removed his gloves first, then hat, then trench coat and he turned to face towards Damian and I sitting at the kitchen table, I noticed that he looked exactly  like The Angel. As I noticed who he was, my heart jumped to my throat and I would have fallen out of my chair, if The Stranger, I mean The Angel, I mean my grandfather wasn't so nimble to jump over to me and hold me up.

"Thank you." I said to him, as I gasped in shock. Then he sat down at the kitchen table with us calmly, sitting back in his chair, which was actually a rocking chair at the kitchen table. It looked really old, with lots of carvings and detail. He was sitting in the corner between the table and the counter. After a few seconds of silence and a thousand questions running through my head, he finally spoke as I looked to Damian to make sure he was alright, since he must have been concerned and confused by my near fainting reaction. "I'm alright." I said to him as he just looked at me, like he was afraid to take his eyes off of me, in case I might nearly faint again. Several candles flickered on the table and on the counter tops.

"The last time you were here you were a little tiny baby." The Angel, I mean my grandfather, said as he held out his tanned, slightly wrinkled hands to indicate how small I was. My grandfather was the Angel, who had been visiting me in awkward situations for weeks; I certainly didn't see that one coming. Then Grandpa Jethro introduced himself to Damian. He looked over at Damian and said;

"I am Jethro, Rodriquez, Marsalas, Qunines. I am Vie's grandfather and you are Damian, right." And Damian just nodded his head; I suspect he didn't know what else to do or to say.

"Violet, you look so much like your mother, you have the same eyes, the same red hair, you look so much like her, and it’s nice to see you." He said as he smirked and the crease of his wrinkles deepened on his tanned leathery face. I smiled sincerely.

"Would you like some coffee, or tea, or hot cider? He asked, but Damian and I just sat there looking at each other, as to see which one was going to answer first. "Hot cider it is." Grandpa Jethro decided, since we hadn't spoken up with our drink orders. Hot cider was just a perfect idea, I loved hot cider and it wasn't something I drank every day, like coffee or tea. The idea of a hot drink seemed very enticing at the time, as it was still a little chilly inside of Grandpa Jethro's retro kitchen.

He had gotten up to serve us the hot cider, from his distinct looking rocking chair. In fact, none of the kitchen chairs matched, it was rather odd. He walked over to the refrigerator as Damian and I sat there quietly, with the candles flickering. He got the cider out of the fridge and brought it over to the stove, where he poured it onto an old black cast iron pot. The stove in which he warmed the cider on, looked like it was very old as well, like it may have been from the 1940's or somewhere around that time period.

There was a slate sink to the left of the stove, and instead of one spigot, for hot and cold water, there were separate spigots for hot and cold water, which had star shaped knobs on the top. Grandpa Jethro's kitchen appeared as if it hadn't been remodeled in at least 50 to 60 years. It wasn't cluttered or dirty, it was just old. The hominess feeling, of the kitchen,; where you could feel thousands of conversations taking place around you and so much history happening here, was a good feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but as I looked around at the oldness of the kitchen, it began to calm me down. Up until that point, when Damian and I had arrived in the muddied driveway, I hadn't begun to relax again, like I was relaxed before being approached by a stranger in a trench coat with an umbrella in a hurricane storm, who turned out to be The Angel, who was actually my mother's father, my grandfather, whom I had never really ever known.

I was grateful at that point, for the opportunity to be sitting in his kitchen, with the boy I loved, the very same kitchen where my mother had eaten her meals and probably drank hot cider too. The rain still persisted, although the hardness of the rains fall had lightened a little. There was mild thunder, thrashing outside the walls as Damian and I sat there awaiting our warm cider, which was heating on the old stove. As we waited for our drink, I turned to Damian breaking the silence.

"Remember when I kept telling you about this angel, that I would see?"

Damian shook his head in a yes motion, still choosing against exercising his vocal chords. "It was my grandpa." Damian continued to sit in his chair as the candles flickered, like a deer in headlights, like he didn't know what to say.
It didn't take very long for the cider to get hot, maybe about three to four minutes and grandpa Jethro poured the cider into two plain mugs and handed each of us our cups warning us it was hot. Then he sat back down in his rocking chair and spoke.

"I suppose rather than waiting for you to get around to asking me questions, I might as well just answer them." He said as I inspected his face in the candlelight. he had to be at least in his 50's but he had this full set of gray hair and a rugged look about him, with wrinkles, which made him look like he could have been a 40 year old man who had spent too much time in the sun, or an 80 year old man that was especially spry for his age. I couldn't tell which it was. He just had such a non-distinct look about his age, it was impossible to tell. As I sat there pondering of his age, he poked my nose with his finger to gain my attention

"Boop." He said as he poked my cold nose and I giggled and spun my head around in a small circle, indicating that the nose poke had brought me back to reality, or whatever was real, back to the moment, in the now. He sat back in his chair, lighting up his pipe and he began to speak again.

"I'm a bruja" he said and then he looked at Damian and he said "That's a sorcerer." Damian remained quiet still, but was paying full attention. Then Grandpa Jethro leaned forward to the kitchen table and he banged his open hand on the table and then there was a plate, with pastries on it, that wasn't there before he had banged his hand onto the table. Damian and I were both scared by the sudden motion of his hand and the loudness of it bashing onto the table, mainly because it was so unexpected. Later in life, I learned that Grandpa Jethro had done that, not to supply us both with delicious pastries, but to move the point of our focus, to scare our bodies and by doing that he could move our focus/assemblage point to the place of fight or flight, where we would be at a higher level of consciousness, since we would have a higher level of epinephrine running through our bodies.

Just as he had unexpectedly slammed his hand down, unto the dark wood table, there was a huge lightning strike and Granpa Jethro looked out of the kitchen window, then he made a fearful expression and he said, "He's here!"

"Who's here?" I asked curiously and he just laughed.

"You'll see soon enough." he said rather confidently.

Since he had moved our focus points, to a position where we were scared, he was able to tell us what he needed to tell us and we were in a place where we would be able to understand. 

"Bruja's seek power, some of them seek power wisely and some seek power foolishly, ambitiously. The day comes when the bruja finds himself opposed by the foolish ambitious bruja, who wishes to steal his powers and although he doesn't seek to fight, he has no choice. Being a wise man, he determines the time and place that the fight takes place and he determines how it takes place so that he has no chance of losing."

As Grandpa Jethro went on to tell me that he was a bruja, or a sorcerer, it was no surprise to me that I had come from a family of sorcerers, that would certainly explain all of the strange things that had been happening to me, most of my life, especially with the shadows. As he paused to take a puff of his pipe, as he began to explain to me, why I was 'different' Damian and I sipped on our hot ciders. Damian was sniffling a little from the cold.

"Our whole family of brujas, has been concentrating on one person for three generations. At first, we thought it was my wife, your grandmother, so we concentrated on her, but she fought it, she didn't know she was fighting it and so it killed her, God rest her soul. But we hadn't started concentrating on her, till she was a grown woman, so then we thought it was my daughter Julia, your mother. We started concentrating on her when she was a young teen, about 12, but neither of them proved strong enough, so they kept postponing the fight, but you Violet, you are the one, that is strong enough and so now, it is time. You have been tested and you have passed all of the tests so you are ready. We have been concentrating on you, since you were a baby. You were the first one to receive such a high level of concentration for so long. "

"What happened with my sister?"

"Your sister was kidnapped by the power hungry brujas, or the evil force and died as a baby."

"Why separate me from my parents?"

"As your powers started to get stronger and stronger, we could sense that the evil force was getting closer and closer and we made a decision one day that your mother would lead the darkness on a wild goose chase and your father would need to go with her, because she would need him. This was important, because saving people's lives depended on it, because once our power if defeated, the evil force will come for each of us individually and we can't stand against it."

"I can stand against the evil force, alone; I have the strength to do this?”

“No you are never alone, you have the strength of many concentrated within you. You have the strength that you need, you proved that at the race, because using the powers was easy for you, you felt like you could have gone even faster and yet you broke the state record."

"That felt amazing, like I could fly." And he laughed and said;

“Maybe you can, who knows! All you have to do is exactly as I say and our family will be rid of this particular problem, once and for all. You have a part of each one of us brujas inside of you and that part of you knows exactly what to do. All you have to do is have confidence enough to let it happen."

"I have confidence."

"Take off the necklace and the bracelet and put them in this box. They were designed and built to mask you, so that you cannot be found, but we're going to make it so you will be so easy to find, that the dark force will be here in minutes."
Grandpa Jethro said and I looked at Damian and I said

"Why am I not afraid? I feel like I should be terrified."

"You are special, Violet." Damian said.

"That is the force, of all of the brujas in our family, working together to make you strong. Together you have the strength and you have no reason to be afraid. They could SEE that, the moment you put the bracelet and the necklace into this golden box, because you are ultimately clear to them now too. There are generations of bruja spirits all around this room that you cannot see, here supporting you now. All of them saw without any doubt, that you are strong enough."
The early fall wind had been steadily progressing to a more violent gust, as it howled; I could swear that it was talking to me. The rain had also begun to fall harder, once again and the lightning strikes seemed to be getting more and more frequent and lasted longer. I gazed over at the wooden stove, as it had finally begun warming up the old family kitchen.

"Finish your cider." Grandpa Jethro said tenderly and so I finished up the rest of my yummy cider and just as I took the last drink of it, there was a flash of light and I could have sworn I had seen a number of multiple translucent people standing in the room over by the far wall, just standing around, looking over at me with blank expressions.

Although I had never seen any of their faces before, I felt as if I knew each and every single one of them and so I held my breath waiting for the next lightning strike and that time it was a long one. I had the fortunate opportunity to see all of the translucent people once again and I got the idea to turn my head to look around the room and then I noticed, there were people standing all around the room and two of those people, were my parents.

I only had the chance to see my parents for a flash, just before it became dark again. But a flash, just wasn't enough to satisfy my heart and so the next lightning strike, I put up my left hand up and I commanded, "Stop!" to the lightning and the third lightning strike froze in place, as if it was frozen in time. All of the people were interacting with one another, muttering among themselves and blinking and smiling. I stood up and walked over to where my parents were, by the window.

"I knew you were alive!" I said to them and my mother smiled, but she didn't say anything and then my father spoke. "Trust us pumpkin, everything is all set!" He said with a brave heart. I wanted to hug my dad as I looked at him longingly but he was kind of see through and I didn't know if I should, if it was the right thing to do and so I didn't hug him, I just said "I trust you." And I looked around the room to see that everyone was smiling when before they were all deadpan straight faced, I guessed I must have said the right thing. I looked at my mom and said “Why are they all smiling?” And my mother said “You compressed time, darling.” I realize now, that my mouth never moved.  Then the lightning strike ended and I was back sitting in the same kitchen chair I had been sitting in before. I felt, in that instance, that I was changing, or that I had changed so much, it was a feeling that I had inside, that I was so sure of myself and who I was, it was a kind of self-assurance I had never really had before. I turned to my grandfather and said, "I'm ready." And he smiled and he said, "Good."

At that moment that I had told my grandfather I was ready to fight whatever Evil that had intended to destroy me and my family and steal our powers. There was a particularly larger gust of wind then before and the back door to the kitchen swung open, banging against the wall. A humongous shadow came through the door at mock speed and I put my left hand up to stop it and I yelled, "Stop!" And time seemed to slow down as if everything was moving in slow motion. The shadow had gone from raceway speed to barely moving.

 I put my other hand up and stood up. Then there was another lightning strike and I was unable to see the kitchen table any longer. What I could see, was the bear in front of me, to the left was the green glow of the alien, the colonel was on my right and I could feel that the pirate was behind me, even though I couldn't see him. Then I started concentrating on the big black nasty shadow that was slowly making its way through the back kitchen doorway.

I placed my steady hands together as if I was going to clap, everything was still moving in slow motion as I finally clapped my hands together  When I finally was able to clap my hands together, I noticed that the bear, the alien and the colonel had become balls of energy of different colors. The bear was a dark red energy, the alien was a green energy, the colonel was a violet energy and the pirate had turned into an ultra violet energy, like a black light.

The  very second that my hands touched, all four of those powerful energies came together in front of me and had made a brilliant white light. I turned the palms of my hands toward the villainous shadow, which was still struggling to make its way through the back door of the kitchen. Purple flames shot out from my hands and it was like bright lights were shooting out at a blinding speed. They pierced through the shadow, impaling its very essence and when that happened, the bright light eventually consumed all of the shadows darkness, until the shadow was no longer an entity of any sorts. As this happened it was as if the illumination from the light was even brighter than a lightening g strike. I squinted my eyes as this miraculous event took place.  It was like the light had devoured the darkness and good had triumphed over evil.

Then, I was sitting in the same chair again and the oval table had returned. I looked over at Damian, who pulled out a handkerchief from his jean pocket and wiped the sweat from the brow of my face.

"Are you okay?" Damian asked me and before I had a chance to respond, my grandfather said, "She's fantastic." And then he walked over to Damian and placed a hand on either side of Damian's head and immediately closed his eyes, so that he would go to sleep. He made sure that Damian would not fall out of his chair, once he was asleep. I trusted whatever my grandfather was doing with Damian and just in general at this point. It appeared that the Dominus had been defeated. Random papers and kitchen items were strewn across the kitchen floor. It was apparent that there had been some type of battle fought. Once Grandpa Jethro had made sure that Damian was stable in his chair, he turned to me and said;
"That was the most powerful display I have ever seen. I am very proud of you, Violet." I smiled feeling somewhat relieved my family had helped me defeat inevitable doom by evil. Okay, I was really relieved! Then he said; "You have to make a decision right now. You have no choice, you are going to be a bruja the rest of your life, whether you like it or not. This boy has a choice, he can lead a normal life, or you can force him to become one of us, whether he wants to or not."

I could feel a lump rising in the back of my throat and my eyes welling up. I loved Damian, with all of my heart, but how could  I force him into a life where he wouldn't have a choice? As painful as it was to let him go, I knew the right decision would be to let him go. I didn't want to cry, I had already known what my decision was going to be, I figured there was no sense in crying, but as badly as I tried to fight the tears, they somehow managed to escape my eyes, as I had flashbacks of all my wonderful memories with Damian. I knew I would always have the memories at least, and by letting him go, I would be doing the right thing, by protecting him from a dangerous life of sorcery.

"I couldn't do that." I said.

"Then you will have to let him go." Grandpa Jethro said.
I looked at Damian and took a deep breath, although I was feeling sad for the moments we would not get to share anymore, I understood that I didn't want to make anyone live that crazy life that I had been leading, and would continue to live.

"I can make him forget you, but you have to make sure, that you don't help him remember." Grandpa Jethro said and I walked over to Damian and I placed my hand on his face, Grandpa Jethro stepped away, so that I could say goodbye to Damian.

"Goodbye Damian, I love you, I always will. But I have to let you go, it's the right thing to do." I said and I kissed him on the forehead and then the cheek and then placed my face next to his and gave him a hug. Then I turned to face the wall, feeling sorrowful and my mother walked through the wall.

"You made a very good decision. He's a very nice boy, but he's not the right one for you." She said as she touched my face. "You are the most powerful bruja in the family; you're going to need somebody who can deal with that."

"Are you coming home now, mom?"

"Soon, baby, soon." My mother responded and I could hear laughter and I looked around the room and I could see all of the translucent people again. They were laughing that my mom said I would need a boy who could deal with the fact that I was a bruja, because they understood what that meant. 

That was the last thing I had remembered before Grandpa Jethro had taken me home, to Albany, NY. Damian had woken up in his car, with no recollection of where he was or how he had gotten there. But he still knew who he was for the better part, minus the memories that he had of me. He would surely use the GPS to navigate his way home. Grandpa Jethro had carried Damian to his car and buckled him into the driver’s seat, placing the key in the ignition. He walked over to the rusty garage and I followed. When he opened up the garage, there was a shiny new, charcoal Mercedes sports car, which shocked the hell out of me! He had driven me home and the weather was back to beautiful and sunny. I basked in the sun’s glow as the top was down. When I arrived at home, luckily, G'ma's car wasn't there, so that meant she was out. Grandpa Jethro walked me up to the door and handed me the keys to the car, again, I was shocked.

"I don't have a license!

"I own property in Maine, it's not a problem, we'll take care of that." What was up with people owning property in Maine? Oh well, I wasn't concerned with the logistics, I had just been handed the keys to a shiny new Mercedes sports car. As I looked down at the keys in my hand and marveled, I looked up to tell him thank you for the sweet ride and ask him how he was going to get home, but he was already gone.