Chapter Excerpt from My Novel

I am excited to share with my readers a short chapter in my book Realm of Desire. I've decided to leave it unedited - with all the original scrapes and dents, which only add character, right? I wanted to give readers a glimpse of Sophie in her rawest form- a torn woman in every sense of the word. Leave comments if you like. I'd love to read them. Oh, I almost forgot... Enjoy! :)

Chapter 21
(C) Copyright 2011 by Vanessa K. Eccles

After dinner, Trevor sat in front of the T.V. completely fixated on whatever comic crap was on. It’s amazing to me how people are so oblivious to life because they spend so much time trying to avoid it by filling their heads with meaninglessness.

I wandered into my bedroom, thinking of my mom. I just couldn’t believe that I was going to see her again. Why had I not ever saw that as a possibility before? I’ve seen Lily and countless other dead people. Why not her?

There was a sense of guilt for not having thought of her in so long.

I walked to my closet. I pushed back all of my clothes until I reached the very edge wall. There hung my mom’s favorite dress and a few other things of hers. The social worker had only sent me the things that I requested, things that I thought that I would spend a lot of time clinging to. The truth is, I hadn’t so much as looked at this dress in years. I pulled it out of the closet. I held it to my nose and inhaled the scent. Her scent. The scent of knock-off Chanel perfume and Suave body wash. How could it still smell like her after all this time? Tears filled my eyes. I put the hanger around my head and lay the dress in front of me. I looked in the mirror, and as the dress covered the front of me, I swayed from side to side remembering how she had danced around the kitchen in this dress the one time that I could remember getting an A in class. Oh, how I regret being such a bad daughter to her.

I lay the dress down on the bed, and I walked over to where I kept her urn. I reached down to pick it up and a cold chill came over me. Chill bumps lined my limbs. I lifted it to my stomach and clung to it as I did on the long ride to Alabama. This was my mother; this is what a hug from her feels like now.

To read the rest of the chapter click here.


How to Create Your Own Chapbook

As promised, I decided to do my very best to write a "how-to" guide to creating your very own chapbook.

So, here's my disclaimer:

I've only done this once, but I printed several copies. Yep, and I have to admit that it was the biggest nightmare ever. But I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Here's mine:


I made this one for my Creative Writing class last semester. I chose to do the simple black and white look (mostly because I only keep black ink in my printer). lol These make great mini-books to give away to friends and family or sell them for a few bucks a piece.

What to include on the front page:
1.) Title
2.) Sub-title (optional but it looks more professional)
3.) A graphic design of some sort
4.) Author's name (do not put "written by")

What to include on the inside:
1.) Table of Contents
2.) Dedication (optional)
3.) Several pages of your work (make sure it's even numbered)
4.) About the Author page (include photo and short bio)
5.) Page numbers

Don't forget to add something to the back of the book. You know; you're hallmark. :)

Okay. Here's what I found worked best. I created a template. I laid the appropriate amount of sheets of paper, folded them in half, and numbered every page. (This means that there is two numbers on the front and back of every piece of paper.) The tricky part is figuring out how to place the work so that it reads from one page to the next. Use Microsoft Word's two column option to start the process. Copy and paste your work in the first column and place the rest of that work (if needed) on the page that you labeled 2. Keep in mind that your work will be split up when you look at print preview. Part of a work will be on one page and the rest may be on another separate sheet. Another thing that I've discovered is that when you start to copy and paste for the pages on the back, reverse them. Be sure to print the front of one page and the back of that page immediately after. Okay, I know super confusing. Here is some additional help: eHow.

A lot of making a chapbook comes through trial and error, unfortunately. Only format and print two pages at a time to make sure that it is working when they are folded. I always print the cover last with a thicker paper/card stock.

Also, when you go to print... turn it to the landscape option. Print the first page and then stop. Turn that page over and print the back of that page.

Making a chapbook is tough to figure out in the beginning, but once you've done a couple, you'll get the swing of things. I hope my feeble attempt at directions helps bring your work to print.

Playing Catch Up!

Hello to all my faithful blog followers... a BIG thanks to y'all for that, by the way. My summer has been flying by and with it so have my summer goals. There have been so many things I wanted to post and talk about, but instead I've been moving across the country. For anyone who has never done that, it is a monumental task.

Anyway, there are a few things that I have been needing to catch up on. I wanted to say a BIG thanks to my friend Pam Asberry for giving me the Stylish Blogger Award. You're the best! ;)



I am suppose to send it to 7 people and tell you 7 interesting things about myself. I've recently done this on previous post, so instead I'm going to tell you 7 projects that I am working on or going to be working on soon.

1.) A book of Inspirational Poetry
2.) My second novel (expecting to be done by end of summer)
3.) A book of my short stories
4.) Re-edit my first novel
5.) Start on a novella (medieval modern)
6.) Do some character analysis with my next few MC's
7.) Start another creative writing class

Now to the fun part - the winners!

1.) Donna
2.) Deborah Lawrenson
3.) Elizabeth
4.) Fairday Morrow
5.) Diana
6.) BookLuvr Mindy
7.) Miss Good on Paper

If you have time, you should really check these wonderful blogs out and leave positive comments. There is much to be said about words of support and encouragement.

Well... I have better be getting back to writing. Got to meet those daily goals...

Next post: The joys (more like the nightmare) of making a Chap Book. :)