E.G.A Book Launch Behind the Scenes

It’s officially been a month since my first virtual book launch for Ella’s Greatest Adventures: Peace at the Dental Office! EGA Peace at the Dental Office1
I remembered feeling kind of overwhelmed, nervous, yet excited to finally share my book but before I talk about my feelings, what’s a book launch?

A book launch is an event where the book is presented to the public for the first time , either traditionally at a venue or digitally.

I chose to launch on Facebook live mostly because of timing and less preparation that was needed to set up. So that morning I met my friends outside of my apartment’s clubhouse and immediately after speaking we ended up moving around  furniture to quickly set up.giphy

Minutes before going live as we were eating icees and praying for a successful launch , I began to read over my notes. Clicked ‘live’ and no one was online. I waited..refreshed page..waited..refreshed page and couldn’t see anyone still lol. giphy1

At first I was using Ella’s Greatest Adventures Facebook page to go live (a page that did not have much traffic to begin with smh) and that’s when my friends suggested I used my regular account, so yayy for friends! It worked!
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Everyone started popping in and I was nervous! You would think because I was sitting behind a screen I would be comfortable but I still visualized being in a physical room with people coming in and out during my presentation. Eventually I was comfortable because I realized the ones that were watching were people that I knew.

This was a big step for me because it’s easier for me to express myself on paper without using my actual voice. Also the fact that I do not like ‘live videos’, ughh!

In spite of my feelings, Ella’s story was told, family & friends rocked, and I faced my fears of doing my first book launch!

** check out Ella’s Site by clicking HERE

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Draw Near To God

 

I am excited for what’s happening in the month of June. My first children’s book will be published!! What started as an idea being in a comic-con convention to an actual illustrated book was an adventure and I cannot imagine doing it by myself.

Well, maybe that’s a lie. When I got my first idea for writing a book I thought I could do it myself. I knew the book would be dental related and drawing couldn’t be that hard…so I thought. I figured out quickly I needed an illustrator.

First, my husband went on forums  to find an illustrator for me. A lot of people responded but did not meet the criteria. People responded to my post that did not believe in my book idea so they would back out. There were people that responded with sketches that appeared as if they were rushing, missing important details. It was frustrating trying to find an illustrator.

When I exhausted my obvious options I decided to pray and ask God for my illustrator. I had an idea for how I wanted my characters to look but I needed someone to capture that on paper. I prayed for the illustrator’s personality to sync with mine since I was working with them. I was led to looking for an illustrator in a Facebook group and within a day or two later three people responded.

I asked God to narrow down my list of illustrators and give me the best one for my first book, the rest was history…

There were sooo many lessons I learned from working with an illustrator. Staying humble, being open for critique, patience, etc, etc. The biggest lesson was I couldn’t complete my book without God or my illustrator. As it starts off in Peter 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..” I had to spend time in his presence and then spend time learning the way he wanted the book . Yes, I would’ve drawn the characters myself but at the same time I felt nudges from my heavenly father saying ‘I want yours done a certain way.’ Working with the illustrator taught me a lot and to trust God knows what’s best.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

 

In 600 Words or less

For those that may not know I have been working towards completing my first children’s book. I’m happy to confess I’m close to being finished … YAYYYY!!!!!!youth-active-jump-happy-40815.jpegThe journey had a few challenging moments however, when I needed encouragement one of the sources I plugged into was my husband, Marcus. He never leaves home without a notebook and pen, from working behind the scenes of newspapers and featured in comics, to publishing his first book From The Mind of Marcus E.T.: Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or LessI wanted to share my inspiration with you all. Enjoy!

Q: At what age did you start writing?

A: I’ve been writing stories since I was 8. I won my first writing contest and spelling bee when I was 9 years old.

Q: Wow, what was the writing contest about?

A: It was a narrative poem about me creating a robot to replace the friends I was angry with, which was inspired by a real-life situation at the time.

Q: *Laughing* Interesting! What were some other stories you created during that time?

A: I wrote my first two books by hand and made the covers out of construction paper. One titled Animania, about a world where everyone in my 3rd grade class being their favorite animal and living in one community together. The other was called Catimorphs, about me and my closer friends being Power Ranger-type heroes who could also change into large cats and use special armor to fight aliens (based on Power Rangers and Animorphs).

Q: I can definitely see how Power Rangers and Animorphs played a role in those stories. Were there any other shows that inspired you growing up?

A: One of the most influential series for me when I was younger was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Q: True! I liked playing their game on Nintendo. So any-hoo I see the pattern of how you gravitate towards sci-fi/ action stories, why is that?

A: I’ve always enjoyed action/adventure stories,sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I appreciate thought-provoking stories, especially with good twist endings, and stories with a powerful message.

Q: Speaking of stories with good twist endings, you’ve recently published your first book less than a month ago, congrats! Where did the idea come from?

A: My book, Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or Less, was a 6-month project where I recreated my dreams and nightmares, reinvented some of my favorite tales, and explored the all-important “what-if” question.

Q: Who would you say is your ideal reader for this book?

A: I thought of family, friends and associates who always said they could never find time to read for fun. So I created a flash fiction anthology with time restraints in mind, also challenging myself to limit my word count for each story to a multiple of 100.

Q: You know I’m definitely a fan already! As I work in the lab I mostly listen to podcasts and scroll through my phone so reading this book would entertain my time for sure especially since this book can be read via phone/ computer. I know you’re constantly writing and will be sharing more throughout the remaining of the year. How can people connect with you?

A: My website is Penandswordink.weebly.com . Twitter is @MarcusET3 and you could also check out my author page on Amazon Marcus E.T

Q: Sweet! Any last words of inspiration  you’d like to share?

A: The best thing about being a creator and fiction writer is that you don’t need to be an expert in anything. You only need to know what stories you enjoy reading and writing, and the only limiter is you.

 

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Tooth Fairy Pillows

Did you know February is known for being National Children’s Dental Health Month? You may even ask what is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Sponsored by the American Dental Association, they raise awareness related to oral health. What better way to raise awareness then to make tooth fairy pillows!

When I was younger I would place my tooth underneath my pillow to wake up with money while other times  my baby tooth would remain wrapped in a napkin. I wasn’t sure if the tooth fairy forgot about me or maybe I was sleeping too hard and they couldn’t get to my tooth without waking me up lol.

Either way, making tooth fairy pillows is a fun activity during children’s dental health month and who knows this may help all of the tooth fairies out there !

What you’ll need::

Felt fabric

Thread

Sewing needle

Scissors

Black Marker

Fabric Glue

Start with a piece of white felt and use a black marker to trace out your tooth. Second, cut a rectangle from a colorful piece of felt and fold together to form a pocket shape. Third, sew the sides of the ‘pocket’ using your thread and needle. Last, glue your tooth on top of the pocket and there’s your tooth fairy pillow!

Acceptance

What is acceptance? It’s the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.

Who would’ve thought that this word would be so powerful? Accepted into college, accepted a job offer, accepted into your spouse’s family, just accepted for who you are. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you have to offer someone is willing to accept just that. However, acceptance doesn’t come right away at least for me it didn’t.

It took a while to accept myself when I was younger. Rejection questioned everything about myself including the way I looked. I wore colored contacts because I thought I could stand out. I didn’t feel accepted so I started an account with Yahoo! To join their chat rooms. It didn’t solve anything but created bigger issues than before. The issue was within myself. Some time later before knowing my husband , I had a big renovation in my thought process.

I am beautiful inside and out. I started saying affirmations to myself out loud and I began to see myself differently.

Accepting the way things are. I realized I was trying to get everyone’s attention and it doesn’t work that way. If someone didn’t like me the way I wanted them to that was ok and I learned to accept that.

God doesn’t make any mistakes. Rejection built parts of my character and I learned that even though I was hurt in the process he had to keep me hidden for his timing. I learned he accepted me before I was born . I was and still am everything in his eyes.

If you’re in a place of wanting to be “accepted” know that you are and you don’t have to change anything beautiful!

Finding My Voice

I was about two months into my job when I heard God say “You’re going to find your voice.” Find my voice? I didn’t have a clue on what that meant but I had a STRONG idea it would involve me being uncomfortable. Finding your voice is finding a way to connect by expressing your ideas or discovering courage as you walk in your greatness. I thought I heard God wrong because with the role I had at my job , I didn’t see where I could use my voice. As things started to shift, opportunities came for me to speak up . Still to this day , I’m adjusting to vocalizing my opinions at work and am now faced with a new challenge.. Periscope.

Never would I ever THINK of being on Periscope in all the days of my life until I had the idea for a children’s book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures. A good friend mentioned the benefits of creating live content a few times but I kept shrugging it off. Eventually, I couldn’t shrug it off because I was surrounded with the idea at business workshops, books, and podcasts. I finally got the nerve to make a video and it was HARD! I looked at it as if I’m giving a presentation in an empty room and as people join it becomes overwhelming. I’m still working on getting better because its not about me.

Finding my voice was never about me, it’s all about God. Of all the things he could’ve gave me as a talent, expressing himself verbally and through writing, are some of the ways he sees best through  me. Everything we say or think he values and I think during this season he wanted to let me know that as well.

 

Write now not later

When I was a young girl I would write in my diary almost everyday. I wrote poems, short stories, but my favorite was journaling. I had friends and my mom to share things with but it was something about opening up to a blank sheet of paper. As an introvert I was considered the ‘listener’ so writing was my turn to vent. Overtime I wrote less and less because some of my experiences I didn’t want to remember the details of them if I ever were to reflect .

Time eventually revealed my love for dentistry. I was fascinated with it all and as I was planning to take the test for dental school my boyfriend (now husband) inspired me with the idea to share my story with others. I didn’t like the idea at first because blogging to me was like giving others access to your thoughts and I was scared. The name , IntrovertedFillings, came to me so clear I knew it was meant to be.

Last year, I went to a comic-con with my husband to be a supporter and we attended a children’s book workshop. I don’t remember a word they said but I left feeling inspired to do something. I played with the thought of writing a children’s book related to dentistry for a few days then asked myself,” why not?” The lord answered that question into a book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures.

Never would I have guessed that writing consistently as a young girl would lead into something bigger. So if you’re feeling prompted to do something , know that ‘write’ now is your best time!

Be Our Guest

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Wedding season is here! Well, actually weddings are happening all the time so is there really a season? Anyhoo, my husband and I are approaching our 1st year of marriage (WhoooHOOO!!) and I thought it would be great to reflect on our growth from the wedding planning to becoming the Mrs. Randomly the first thing that popped in my mind was the guest list.

I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and for most brides I guess it is; however , being a ‘nice’ person this was hard. Our families lived in separate states so we chose our wedding in the state we live in, which is where my husband family lives. Then there was the list.  A lot of people wanted to come when they first heard about our wedding and I started feeling overwhelmed.

I wanted to invite everyone but the money was limited so what was I supposed to do? I went online and searched for a smart way to tackle the list. I drew 4 columns for an A-list, B-list, C-list, D-list. The A-list included immediate family, people we couldn’t imagine getting married without. The B-list included our aunts & uncles , cousins , best friends. The C-list included co-workers and the D-list were people we didn’t talk to in a while, etc. We already had a number set that we could invite so after creating the list it became easier to mark out names. We sent out invitations mostly to the ones that were likely to attend and sent an invitation to church to make an announcement so people could send gifts. I kept track of who was/wasn’t attending using TheKnot guests template. The beginning was stressful but after having a plan the process became easier.

So if you’re in the middle of planning for your big day and the guest list has you overwhelmed , simply create lists of those close to ones you don’t talk to and narrow it down one step at a time.

 

Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute.