The Millstone Times December 2021

I felt I learned as I went along. There was really little guidance. I didn’t know how to set up the first couple of pages, which included the copyright page, the dedica- tion page, the author page, the illustrator page, and review page. Had I been told what was needed beforehand, it would have saved me weeks of frustration. Luckily for me I had a copy of my friend’s book to look at. What I learned from this experience is that you have to tell them what you want. They don’t give you choices to pick from. So, first time authors, if you want your pages a different color, if you want scrolls, if you want a small emblem to mark the beginning of the story, you have to tell them. Write your story, set it up according to their format, but add what you want to customize it. They are not going to do that for you. Look at other books, ask for bigger print, pictures, etc. from the start. If you are not happy with the guide helping you, ask for someone else. I did. Would you ever use that company again? Tough question. Knowing what I know now, it would be a lot easier and having upgraded my computer so it is compatible with the newer computers, I might, but I probably will do a little shopping around first. What is this book about?

This book is five short children’s stories in one. When I was younger my favorite book was a book of short stories. I believe there were twelve stories in one book. Some were a few pages long, others longer. I loved being able to read about a different adventure with each different story. I tried to recreate that here with five different stories, not just one. Where did you get your inspiration from for the stories? Different places. With Frog in the Well, I remember hearing about an old Chinese proverb about a frog in the well who thought he knew everything about the world from down in his well. This story is about a frog that wants to know if there is more to the world beyond the round sky that he sees from below. When the heavy rains come, he finally has a chance to see what’s really out there! Pogo, the Piano Painter was inspired by one of my piano students. Every time, she came for a lesson, she always had a penguin toy or two with her. I wrote out a story for her a long time ago. She’s probably in college now! It’s about a penguin who looks a little different from the other penguins but learns to love himself for who he is and not what he looks like. Sassy- lost in Manhattan- is about a pampered cat who lives in a penthouse and one day she gets bored and follows the dog, Goober, out when the Nanny takes him for a walk, only she ends up lost in Manhattan and meets up with a stray cat named T’Bone and they go on a wild adventure together. The Sock Fairies idea came one day when I was doing the socks. I’m sure everyone goes through this. How is it you always seem to lose a sock somewhere from the washer to the dryer and end up with only one of the pair. This story is about a fairy who sets out to find a way to keep his family warmer during the winter months. He sneaks in to a house and encounters a boy named Anthony. It explains what really happens to the missing socks. You Get What You Get- When I taught preschool, we had this guy come in with all different instruments. He had these shaker eggs and they were all dif- ferent colors. The kids were yelling out what color they wanted, and the guy told them, “Sorry kids, you get what you get,” which prompted me to write this story. One day the teacher, Ms. Wham, brought in an incubator to hatch chickens for a class project, only one of the eggs didn’t turn out to be a chicken. It was a furry purple thing with big puppy dog eyes and a long wiggly tail. The books are great for the ages of 6-13. Some have a lesson to learn in them. You’ll just have to read them to find out! My artist friend, Anna Johnston, seems to make my stories come to life with her depictions of the characters. She teaches art lesson privately to all ages. ( We have been a team for quite a while now and we are looking forward to putting out our next children’s book, which is right around the corner. For those first-time authors, marketing is a big thing so go the extra dollars and get your book published as an e-book too. I am in the process of doing that now. Self- publishing certainly is not a get rich venue, but more a labor of love. There are those that do get noticed and if it seems like your books are selling a lot, retail stores will pick them up, so it does pay to be a bit optimistic about self-publishing. My book, Crescent Tales, is also available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, but please purchase it on the Bookbaby sight below. It’s available now. I will only get a dollar from Amazon and Barnes and Noble but with purchasing it on the Bookbaby sight, I’ll get a little more and I can pay it forward! All proceeds that I get from selling my book will be donated to help feed, spay, and neuter stray cats. As I stated, this book is a labor of love, and an effort to help all those cold and hungry animals who need a little tender care and attention from the rest of the world. Please buy a book and help me help them! Your kids will love the stories! I would love to hear some feedback from those who do purchase my book or if you are thinking about self-publishing, maybe I can answer a question or two for you. Please email me at: (

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