Today, millions suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress due to warfare, car accidents and violence.
In response to this global epidemic, pioneering medical researchers develop a new treatment that is seen to produce outstanding results. Dubbed the ‘Quantum Crystal’, the treatment is soon rolled out for many of the maladies that affect modern humanity.
But is this treatment all it is purported to be, or are deeper changes under way?
‘Quantum Crystal’ examines the efforts of victim support group, The Staff, to rollout the Quantum Crystal to a deeply divided humanity and the inevitable violent opposition to change.
An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.
With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas. Despite that, he is actually not that boring. Rob is father of two and has made his green escape with his lovely lady into Australia’s Gold Coast hinterland.
If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?
After the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.
Or is it into a possible past?
The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.
An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.
The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.
From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than refined combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life. First Two Chapters here …
Writing “Traveller – Inceptio”
“Traveller – Inceptio” is my first novel and, like any first novel, is the result of years of writing, rewriting, editing, and then leaving it to sit and mature, or rather for me to mature, so I could go back and write new chapters and make adjustments. Originally titles “Traveller”, Traveller – Inceptio was rebranded to make the book name stand out more.
To keep the historical components accurate I had to engage in considerable research. In so doing I have tried not to become too engrossed in the historical minutiae of Saxon or Gabi Gabi Aboriginal life but have attempted to look at what it was like to be a person living there and then. If I have made errors, these are a lapse in my research or understanding and are not meant to be malicious or lazy. I welcome scholarly and cultural input and corrections so I can better understand the rich tapestry of human history where I dip my toes on occasion.
While writing Traveller I have the deepest gratitude for friends and family for their encouragement, input, and correcting my many spelling and grammatical errors. The inspiration for Traveller came when I was sitting on a beach one day and observing the many resorts that proliferate around Australian beaches. Thinking how the world has changed over twenty years then led to speculation of changes over the past two hundred years since the European settlement of Australia. So – why not 1000 years? The world was such a different place.
The cover is an image of a Saxon saex or knife as created by Artist Blacksmith and Bladesmith Owen Bush of Kent in England. I am grateful for his generosity in permitting the use of his image. View his impressive work at http://owenbush.co.uk/
To describe the attempt to professionalise the writing process, this book has been physically published, professionally edited, rewritten and shortened, republished in electronic format, and recently proofread. Phew!
I hope you find Traveller Inceptio to be an enjoyable read.
Would you survive if sent one-thousand years into the past?
Development of the Transporter saw highly trained researchers, called Travellers, successfully sent one-thousand years back in time to early medieval Saxon England.
Traveller Missions now mean enormous national prestige and the recovery of valuable lost artefacts and knowledge, so nations vie for the use of the Transporter and more daring Traveller missions are planned.
As the study of History becomes hotly contested, politics and power soon come into play.
To study lost peoples and civilizations, Special Forces researchers have to be even better trained, better equipped, and prepared to put their lives on the line.
While Michael Hunter continues to build a life in Saxon England, the tragically injured Tony Osborne finds his resurgence in a mission to ancient Turkey, and Professor Adrian Taylor seeks to better outmanoeuvre his contentious colleagues.
From the misty shores of New Zealand to the shining splendour of the ancient Byzantine Empire, it is soon learned that sending modern researchers into the past is not without its rewards, and pitfalls.
Traveller Manifesto is Book 3 of the Traveller Trilogy, the explosive final sequel to Traveller Inceptio and Traveller Probo.
To use the enigmatic Transporter and send Special Forces trained Researchers back a thousand years is now the biggest game in world politics.
But not only politics, as academics scramble to outdo each other and harness prestige in the increasingly influential field of History.
As Professor Taylor is rescued from Byzantine Rome, a heavily-armed US Traveller team explores Mississippian Cahokia to experience a situation beyond even their control. Michael Hunter and Tatae flee Giolgrave in the hope of finding safety from modern interference. But at a terrible cost.
And something seems to be happening in Israel, resulting in the creation of a high-profile investigation team to uncover if there is a clandestine Traveller mission operated by the US and Israel.
From the windswept mountains of Wales, to the hills of Cahokia and the dusty wadis of the Negev, researchers find that to visit the past may not necessarily provide the answers they seek.
When we examine the history of humanity one thousand years in the past we find many human populations were experiencing massive change and population migration. Migration meant populations coming into contact and the inevitability of violent conflict. This resulted in the extinction of cultures and races.
The people of the time were often not people we of the 21st Century would like to visit. Over a surprisingly wide segment of the globe, any strangers risked becoming victims of cannibalism or ritual sacrifice. The Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and indeed many locations would be just too dangerous for a 21st Century researcher to visit.
Writers Beware is one of the first websites all new authors need to read before they look for a publisher or at self-publishing. Along with this you should read ‘The Ultimate Author Checklist.’ an great PDF full of information from an excellent Marketing website.
Both websites are excellent resources for authors. Writers Beware informs and keeps us updated of things we need to be aware of. It lists Vanity Press and all the ongoing scams which are ripping us off due to writers not doing their research correctly. It is also continually updated. What a lot of writers do is Google publishing or ask in writing groups we belong to. The problem is Vanity Press know how to use SEO’s to their advantage and Writing Groups get a lot of Scammers in them or people who say they know what they’re doing when they don’t.
The Checklist is more about setting yourself up as an Author, getting social media working for you, making or paying for a website and so much more. We give this PDF out to our clients no matter how far along they are in their journey.
SEO’s (just in case you don’t know what they are.)
Search Engine Optimization. Part of this is keywords businesses use to get their sites and adverts in the top spots on Google and other types of search engines. Because it is at the top, you are more than likely to go and click on them, and they have you… unless you know the ropes of what they are offering, which is why research is important part of life.
Many of you will use your own keywords during your publishing and marketing days to help readers find and buy your books. PublisherRocket is great for finding good Keywords for your genre. (It was formerly known as KDP Rocket.)
The first thing you need to be aware of is the cost of publishing. Many say it is FREE! It isn’t. Uploading a manuscript and book cover to KDP and other distribution websites is generally FREE, though some do charge fees. (Ingram Spark and Lulu). All Vanity Press businesses will charge you large amounts of money. Not only that, they also charge BEFORE they do any work on your manuscript. You will also be asked to sign a contract which you need to read and understand. A lot of these contracts give them copyright of your manuscript in all types of publishing, be it eBook, paperback or hardback. Each one will cost you more money to produce. If you wish to get out of the contract, they can take ninety days or more to hand back copyright. You will need the associated paperwork to prove to distributors like KDP that the copyright has reverted back to you.
The main worry about Vanity Press is they don’t do the work they promise. They don’t pay out the royalty; they charge you for storage of books they print, some expect you to buy copies in their hundreds and of course you pay for freight, which they charge more for than they should. I know of one person who did their own freight, and it came out $400 cheaper… This is why WRITERS BEWARE is a must read.
Another thing you all need to remember… When you have work done in your home, building a deck, car maintenance etc… You don’t pay them until they have finished the work. You pay AFTER the work is finished. NEVER pay a contractor in the writing world until you have approved the work they’ve done for you, unless it is a deposit, which many businesses use these days, so they don’t get scammed by clients. Sadly, this does happen and has happened to my business.
Research every contractor you work with. Seek out the details you need by asking the right questions. Get to know what those questions are by reading blogs. Ask for sample edits from various editors and find which one you feel more comfortable working with. Do the same with graphic designers and illustrators for book covers and images you may wish to use. There are certain things contractors need to know to do their job correctly.
Do they edit in the English Language you use—British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc?
Do they edit in your genre?
What type of editing do they offer?
Line Editing, Copy Editing, Beta Reading, Proofreading?
How much experience do they have?
Do they have qualifications, or have they learnt on the job?
Do they have good reviews (ten or more good ones)
Do they buy stock photos?
What DPI do they work with?
What type of file do they save too?
Are the fonts they use for commercial usage?
Proof of purchase of any fonts and stock photos?
You can use photos you have taken as long as you can prove they are yours.
Reverse check any sample images they give you. (some lie or steal other peoples work)
Ask other Authors and check out their covers.
Check reviews (ten or more good ones)
The last thing you want is to be sued by a photographer or font designer for copyright infringement.
Formatting or Interior Book Designer
As well as being an Author Consultant, bringing contractors together to build books, I also work as a formatter, and turn manuscripts into a professional files to upload on KDP and other distribution websites. There are many formatting apps around now, though many are not as professional as people seem to think. Pick up a paperback printed by a traditional publisher, and you will see what I mean. Look at how it is set out, how tidy it is. If you are contracting out for formatting, you will be paying more than $10 to get a professional finish. Note the differences between eBooks and print books. There are quite a few, including page numbers- which don’t start on the first page of the manuscript, header and footers, endnotes/footnotes, images and in eBooks Alt Text for images so people who are sight impaired can read the image.
Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, changes and updates happening all the time. If you’re not a techy person, then you do need to research every detail about producing a book. It is hard work if you want a professional outcome.
Always remember paperbacks and hardbacks need to be justified with a line spacing of 1.15 cm at the most. Indents shouldn’t be more than 0.5 cm. Learn how to use STYLES in WORD if you write in WORD. If you use an app, you still need to make sure these things are correct. This means you need to learn to use the app correctly, watch the videos, or talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. Keep yourself updated with the changes.
Websites and Social Media
Most authors have websites, though these only work if you use them, share the posts, and have a marketing plan. You need to know about SEO’s and keep your website relevant. Post at least once a week. Talk about your books and yourself, about your writing, how your muse helps or hinders you. There are plenty of ideas out there which you can write about.
Social media also seems to be slipping to the wayside, especially Facebook with all their rules and regulations, people getting banned for weeks or months. I’ve noted a lot now use Instagram and TikTok, if you’re not camera shy like I am. You can get Book Trailers made for YouTube or you could read one of your books on video and share the links.
An excellent resource for Marketing is ‘The Ultimate Author Check List.’ It is brilliant, and even I still need to finish reading the document and put things into place. Marketing will cost more money and this should be the only one going cost with your books. If you are a techy person, you maybe able to make Teasers and Adverts to use, remembering each social media website has criteria your advert needs to fit.
Once again, be careful of scammers, especially from those who approach you! Most are dubious. I like to work with people who have reached out to me or have read a review. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. Don’t forget to leave your contractor a review, especially if they fulfilled all the criteria of the contract.
We welcome questions in the comments area. We are happy to help new authors find the right way to go for their needs. Meanwhile, be careful out there.
It has always been my belief that hard work shouldn’t go to waste. I also believe that if something is not a good fit in one place, there’s always a place for it elsewhere.
The following showcase was deemed incorrect for a magazine I submitted to, so I’m sharing it here with you.
Greetings to All…
Before I begin to share the first book in my memoir trilogy, ‘Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life’ with you, I’d like to say thank you for reading… And now, my Book Showcase.
From the back text…
In this, the first book in her memoir trilogy, Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One, How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, Second Edition, Patty shares how her decision to gain complete independence with the help of The Seeing Eye Guide Dog school in Morris Town New Jersey reveals to her a glimpse into worlds she had never before known existed.
Once home from The Seeing Eye, she soon realizes all is not right in her world.
Watch your step as you journey down the pathway with Patty and Campbell. For there are many obstacles along the way.
There are triumphs and tribulations, tears, and fears. But through it all that forever guide by her side, King Campbell works tirelessly to keep her safe from harm.
Before I begin my tale, both old and new, I want to thank you for reading this book. I want to thank those who have been reading my story from the beginning and continuing, and I hope you will be with me for many years to come.
To new readers, I thank you for joining me. Good times and bad, so far, it has been quite a trip.
I’ve faced trials and enjoyed triumphs. I’ve had sickness, and I’ve had healing. I’ve learned lots about myself I didn’t know and discovered things I both loathed and adored. I am what I am, and the best part is that I’m finally learning how to love all of me.
Why have I Written This Book?
There are many reasons. But mostly, I want to help people know more about me and those like me in the hope that after you’ve read what I have to say, you’ll understand how persons with multiple disabilities work.
I’m a middle-aged, single, blind woman who has other disabilities as well. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and short-term memory loss. Over the years, these things have, at times, been real problems for me and those I love and care for.
The good news? For the most part, I have all of the issues firmly in hand, and other than a slip-up every now and then, I’m doing quite well.
It was an unusually warm spring afternoon in May of 2010. My good friend Phyllis, her guide dog Emmy, and I were out for the day. We’d been shopping and had gone to lunch in the mall. We were returning to the store where Phyllis had left her packages when I came to the realization that yes, I really did need a guide dog.
We had just left Ruby Tuesdays, and not ten minutes before, while finishing lunch, I’d asked her how we would stay together. She told me to simply listen for the bell on Emmy’s collar and stay right behind her. I was cane traveling at the time and had no idea what was in store for me. I’d been around plenty of guide dogs and their handlers, but I’d had some sight then, and I’d never tried to follow a handler in a crowded area—and certainly not while cane traveling totally on my own. So, I had no clue what was about to happen to me. I would come to see what happened next as a true epiphany.
We were going along quite well when suddenly, we came to a very crowded area in the mall; Emmy found an opening in the crowd, and with Phyllis following along, took it. I was left eating their dust, saying, “Where the hell did they go?” I stood for a moment, letting what had just happened sink in, and then realized I had not one clue how to get to where Emmy and Phyllis had been going. I’d never walked through this mall—or any mall, for that matter—alone, and so knew nothing of how it was laid out. I was forced to ask for and accept help from someone who honestly annoyed me. The person had this ‘poor little blind girl’ attitude that always gets under my skin.
Once Emmy, Phyllis, and I were reunited and outside waiting for the bus, I asked what had happened. She explained what Emmy had done and apologetically admitted she hadn’t realized we’d been separated until they’d gotten where they were going.
“You know,” she joked. “These things wouldn’t happen if you didn’t go round chasing a stick.”
I went home that night and gave what she’d said some serious thought. The next day, I phoned her to ask how I could get more information about applying for training at ‘The Seeing Eye.’ I’d wanted a guide dog for years, but somehow, something always seemed to be in the way.
I was a single mom, and when my daughter Polly was very young, my mother didn’t think it was a great idea for me to be away from her for so long. Then when Polly got old enough, she could’ve been left. I wasn’t in a place that would’ve been safe for me to work a dog. Nor did I go anyplace where I could work one because I’d ended up where there was no public transportation. I’d had an orientation and mobility instructor visit me once while living there, and his opinion was that I simply wasn’t ready to own and handle a guide dog. I must say, since having the whole experience, I’ve often wondered how different my life and Polly’s might’ve been had I ignored everyone’s well-meaning advice and changed my situation in the necessary ways so I could’ve gotten a Guide Dog.
Eventually, in 2005, I moved to another apartment complex, where I lived until October of 2010. There, with my then Fiancé Donnie’s help, I rehabilitated myself a little.
Rehabilitating myself meant I needed to relearn some of what I’d forgotten when I’d ended up in an apartment where I had no public transportation. I needed to relearn some cane skills. I had to learn how to navigate the bus system and get reacquainted with doing things I’d always done but had forgotten during my years of living in isolation. It wasn’t until then I began to seriously consider making the change from cane traveler to guide dog user.
Suddenly, I knew I could wait no longer. I knew in my heart that, without a doubt, it was time for me to take this step. I was also quite sure ‘The Seeing Eye’ was where I wanted to train.
Chapter Two: Journey to the Seeing Eye
No Good Excuse…
April second, 2011, finally arrived, and it was time to go. My dad was in the driveway waiting; my luggage was loaded. I stood at the door with tears in my eyes, saying my goodbyes. On what should have been one of the most exciting days of my life, I was upset. Why? Because as had become the norm more and more of late, Donnie was putting himself before me. Furthermore, he had no good excuse for his selfishness.
I’d asked Donnie to come with us to the airport, and he’d refused. His excuse was he had his son that weekend, and his son had a friend over. My dad had told us more than once it wouldn’t be a problem; he’d even offered to let the boys hang out and watch planes take off and land after I’d gone, but Donnie still wouldn’t go. I asked him why, but he never gave me a straight answer. Considering we’d argued about my going the night before, to me, the answer was obvious. Though he’d never admit it in front of his son or my dad, he simply didn’t want me to go. He was pissed off because I was going ahead against his wishes.
As I started to step out, I decided to try once more. I loved him so very much. Why could he not enjoy this with me? What did I have to do to make him realize I wouldn’t stop loving him or needing him once I had this dog?
“Donnie?” I pleaded. “Please, come with us? This is one of the most important days of my life. I want and need you to share it with me.”
“No!” he exclaimed in a low, gruff voice. “I told you last night, if you do this, I won’t be here when you get back.”
“Fine. I’d suggest you get packed, and don’t bother leaving anything behind to come back for later,” I growled in a low, harsh whisper, suddenly furious. He wasn’t bullying me out of this. “I’m done dealing with you and your bullying ways. Just one question.” I sneered.
“What?” He snapped.
“What are you going to do without my income once I’m back and reclaim my job? The stupid idea you’ve got they’re going to want you more than me, well, it’s just what I said, stupid. Lynn would never fire me and hire you, and he’d never demote me and put you over me. You’re just full of horseshit. Stay here; be an ass. I don’t care. This time, I’m having my way, and if you don’t like it, fine. I’m not your mom. You can’t throw a hissy fit and make me change my mind.”
I stood for another minute, but finally, there was nothing to do but go on without him. So, I wiped away my tears as best I could, said goodbye, and was on my way.
Chapter Three: Dog Day
That First Meeting…
Time wasn’t moving for me as I sat on the floor, petting and talking to Campbell. Even as trained as he was, he was trying to accept yet another new person into his life. If he heard a noise in the hall, he would get distracted and whine for Drew. I snuggled him close, telling him in a soothing voice he was safe in my loving hands. As the afternoon went on, he began to trust me. We both had a lot of love and faithfulness to give. My heart opened to him and his to me. Then and still today, I knew and know a dog, either guide or pet, requires love and reassurance just as any other living being does.
Chapter Four: The Walk
Knowing and Triangle of Energy…
I’m not sure how much time passed while Campbell and I sat in each other’s arms, getting to know one another. I couldn’t tell you when Drew knocked on my door and came back into my room. It seemed to me Campbell and I had escaped into our own private world, and for us, no other people or animals existed.
After some time, I began to come back to myself and my surroundings. I realized Drew was there and raised my head, turning to him as if returning from a long distance.
With tears in my eyes, I said, “It’s as if I’ve loved him forever.” I still had one arm wrapped snugly around Campbell; it was as if I were afraid that if I let go, he’d disappear.
I could hear the emotion in Drew’s voice when he said, “I’m pretty sure it’s the same for him.”
We stayed like that for a moment. It was simply a feeling I wasn’t ready to let go of. Holding Campbell in the crook of my arm, the energy I felt from him was unlike anything I’d ever felt. I could feel his longing for Drew. I could feel his wanting to love me but being frightened to do so.
I could also feel Drew’s energy. It, too, was rather scattered. I could feel his love for Campbell, but I could feel his hope this match would work as well. Friends, I simply can’t describe the moment any other way than to say for a time, brief though it was, there was a triangle of connection, linking Campbell, Drew, and me.
Then, shattering the spell, Drew asked, “What do you know about harnessing the dog?”
I stood and took the harness from him. In fact, I did know something about this. Phyllis had made sure to teach me how to put the harness on and take it off. She had said she didn’t want me to go to class, not knowing anything at all. I remember it felt good to know something in this new world.
Drew went over all the parts of the harness with me and made sure I understood their functions.
“As you slip the harness over his head, you’ll notice how his chest fits into the curved part at the front. Once he’s settled, you’ll find a strap with a buckle hanging down on his left side. That goes under his belly and attaches to a hook behind his right leg.”
Running my hands along the various straps, I soon figured out how the system worked, ending with everything fitting snuggly across Campbell’s chest and connecting securely around his middle.
“You look good in your working clothes, Bug.” I bent and ran my hands over his body, and he gave my face a lick with his big slimy tongue.
“That stiff U-shaped handle lying on his back is the part you hold,” Drew explained. “You’ll feel everything you need to know right through the handle.”
Once I’d put my handsome boy in his harness correctly, we were ready to begin.
As we started out the door Drew Advised, “First, you want to remember, always keep him on your left. Heeling or guiding. Except in specific circumstances, that’s his side. Now, let’s have you heel him out the door, to begin with. There’s always a chance, what with the two of you being so very new to one another, he could run you into the door frame. We don’t want the first reaction he gets from you to be a correction.”
“Makes sense to me,” I agreed. And then we were off.
I heeled Campbell through the doorway. But to Campbell, it was business all the way. He did such a good job bringing me through; he might as well have been working. I fairly cheered, going into the hall.
“Yay, Campbell! Good boy!”
Drew walked behind me; he seemed to be amused by my happiness regarding how we had performed together for our first time.
As we started down the hallway, he instructed me to pick up the harness handle. Doing so, I instinctively reached out with my right hand and touched the wall, then began to trail it, as I’d always done. Drew immediately removed my hand. Putting it firmly back at my side, he said sternly, “No! Don’t do that. You’ll encourage him to run you into things if you do.”
This stopped me in my tracks. I turned and looked up at him. With my eyes misting up and my lip trembling, I said, “But Mr. Gibbon, if I don’t touch the wall, I can’t see where I’m going.”
He took what I’m sure was a steadying breath to keep from laughing and then said more gently, “Honey, that’s what the dog is for.”
Chapter Fourteen: Endings and Goodbyes
Campbell’s Comfort Zone…
Sinking onto my bed, I buried my face in my arms and began to cry. Just then, Campbell came bumbling out of his crate, where he’d been resting with the door open and nudged me. “Hey, Bug. Momma’s okay. Just feeling a bit sad. It’s alright.”
I petted his soft fur, and he began washing away my tears and nipping my chin as if to say, ‘Don’t cry. I got you, mom.’ I had no way to know, but this was only the first of many times when Campbell would comfort and reassure me, making me feel safe and secure.
Later as I put last minute things in the suitcase, Campbell followed me around the room, sniffing everything and wagging his tail furiously all the time. He wanted to help me pack—or, as it turned out, unpack. As soon as I put the things in, he tried to take them out again. Finally, I had no choice but to shut the big pest in his crate with his bone, in the hopes he would chew himself to sleep for a while. But no way! He decided if he couldn’t distract me by unpacking my suitcase, he would lie on his back in his crate, toss his bone up in the air, and let it make lots of noise banging around. When I told him to knock it off, he simply moaned a big moan and tossed it up in the air again.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Campbell, you really are just like your mother, and you sure know how to chase the blues away.” I knew in my heart Campbell, and I would make a successful team, and I was proud of what we’d already accomplished together. I just hoped Drew and the rest of my training team were proud of us, too. After this morning’s disagreement with Donnie, I’d all but given up on hoping he’d be proud of me.
Chapter Fifteen: A False Start
Ring Around the Runway…
Once we were on the plane and settled in our seat, I began to arrange my things for the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Then the fun started. For the next three hours, we made our way from one part of the runway to another. There were terrible storms in the area, and our flight had been delayed. For a while, I dozed. When Campbell got restless, I requested a cup of ice for him. Since I had no seatmate, I allowed him to stand and gave him a good ear rub while feeding him pieces of ice. He happily took them from my hand and gave me thankful kisses in return.
“You’re welcome, Bug,” I laughed.
Finally, the pilot made the announcement we’d all been dreading. Our flight had been canceled, and we’d be going back to the terminal. Eventually, the flight attendant appeared beside me, ready to escort me off the plane.
I put Campbell’s harness back on and got him into position—which, as Drew had predicted, was no easy task. Finally, I had him situated, and then I learned we wouldn’t be exiting the airplane via the jetway since it was already in use by other planes. The ground crew was bringing a large set of stairs. The stairs were put in place, and when it was time for us to leave, I didn’t think there would be any problem.
Afraid and on Our Own…
Boy, was I wrong! It turned out that these stairs were very high, and the platform at the top was grated and see-through.
Having been trained to avoid such things, Campbell sat down in the plane’s doorway and said in his best doggie language. ‘NO WAY! Ain’t nothin’ good gonna come from that,’
Knowing I had to get us down, I began a gentle dialog. “Come on, Bug. Hup…Hup… Let’s go now. Let’s get on back to the airport.”
“Ma’am?” one of the security guards called, “would you like us to carry him down for you? He looks a little flipped out.”
I thought the idea over and shook my head. “I’d best try and talk him down. We might encounter this some other time, so we may as well overcome it now. Besides, if he got really freaked from being picked up, he might jump from your arms. A fall like that could end his career before it even begins. Spot me, and let me know when I’m coming to the edge of the stairs.”
“All right, but be careful.”
My fear of heights nearly overtook me. I knew the stairs were possibly as much as twenty-five feet off the ground. Neither Campbell nor I were the least bit happy about our situation, but I tossed my terror aside and turned myself around, so my back was to the stairs. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The wind blew hard, shaking the metal platform beneath us. Campbell shivered with fright, and panic bubbled inside me. But I couldn’t show any of my own fear to him. I knew it was essential for me to handle this situation carefully because what I did would affect us as a team for the rest of our lives together.
I began to back up, squatting down and murmuring to Campbell. He was crouched down and whimpering, afraid to move.
I started to pull him and continued talking very calmly and softly to him. “All right, Bug. Almost there. That’s right. Just a little more. Come on, boy. Hup…Hup…
He was as scared as I was, and it was obvious he didn’t want to do it, but he came slowly across with me. I couldn’t imagine what must have been going through his mind. But I could imagine how happy he would have been to see Drew appear at that moment. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings any, either, but we were on our own. What I didn’t know then was it was the first of many times we’d be afraid and on our own.
When I reached the steps, I stood, turned us around, and heeled Campbell into position beside me. I petted and praised him up and down. He’d done a fabulous job of obeying me, and it no longer mattered to me how frightened he and I had been moments before. What mattered was we had made it.
“Campbell, you ready?” He sneezed and gave a big, jingly-jangly shake. I picked up the harness handle and proudly walked down the flight of stairs with my dog. At the bottom, I knelt down and put my arms around his neck. “Good boy. Oh! That’s Mommy’s good boy. I love you. Good boy.”
The flight attendant was in tears. I was in tears; I hugged him tightly and buried my face deep in his fur. As I took a deep breath and filed away the memory of his smell, he nuzzled my neck with his nose. That was the smell of trust, of love. It’s a smell I hope I will never, ever forget.
Suddenly the people at the bottom of the stairs were clapping. Campbell, of course, thought it was a party for him. He began to wag his tail, spinning it furiously around and around. He licked my face all over with his big tongue, and I knew we were good again.
He then guided me beautifully through the airport.
Chapter Twenty-Two: A Double Life
The Nightmare Begins…
Sitting there, trying to compose an email to my volunteers, people who were so much a part of my life, they felt like family. I didn’t know how much longer I could go on pretending everything was all right. If Lynn had doubts… But I had to force those things from my mind. Drew would be here soon, and as much as I loved Donnie, Drew’s visit meant the world to me, and I wanted nothing to ruin it.
Just as I poised my fingertips over the keys to begin my email, the phone rang.
“Hello? 2 1 1, how can I help…”
Donnie’s voice interrupted me. “Patty, the police are here. They’re allowing me to phone you to let you know they’re taking me into custody.”
My heart leaped into my throat, and for a moment, I couldn’t breathe. “What… What do I do?” I asked in a choked whisper. “Donnie, what do I do?”
“Honey, take a breath. Calm down. As soon as we hang up, call my lawyer. Tell him they’ve picked me up and have him come to the jail. We’ll be leaving as soon as they catch Rocky.”
“Rocky? What do you mean?”
“When the officers opened the door, Rocky took off. A couple deputies are chasing him.”
I suddenly felt like I’d been dropped into a poorly written episode of ‘Cops.’ “Do you mean to tell me they’re chasing that dog?”
“Yes, they can’t very well go off and leave him loose. I have to secure the house. Listen, honey, I love you. Don’t be afraid. I’ve got to go.”
With that, he hung up. For a moment, I simply sat, unable to do anything more than hold the phone in my hand. When it began to buzz with a busy signal, letting me know the line had disconnected, I put the receiver back into the cradle and sat there at my desk, my face buried in my hands, trying hard not to fall apart.
When I finally got myself together, I made the call to the lawyer’s office. Then I pressed the intercom button for the conference room where Lynn was holding a meeting. When his voice came onto the line, I said, “Lynn, I’ve got an emergency at home. I’m going to call the volunteer on duty after me, let her know I must leave, and then I’ve got to go.”
He didn’t question me. We’d been waiting for a day such as this, and to confirm, he asked, “Are you sure Donnie can’t help you with this?”
Taking a breath to steady my voice so those in the meeting wouldn’t be alarmed, I answered, “No, sir. I’m sorry, but he’s been detained for the evening.”
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Dec 29th, 2020
I met Patty last November and was immediately intrigued by her authenticity and witty personality. Over the past year, we have become great friends, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her on a personal level. When I heard her new book was ready for purchase, I immediately ordered it! Due to my busy schedule, I read a little here and there, until finally, during the holiday, I was able to sit down with book in hand, really delve into the book, and I was captivated! Patty’s story is one of trauma, perseverance, and overcoming. Her writing style draws you in and will leave you laughing one moment and crying the next, all the while standing in awe of her honesty and transparency. As a person of sight, I had no idea of the vigorous training it took to pair someone with their service animal, and I completely appreciated every single detail Patty shared of her training with Campbell at The Seeing Eye. As someone who has also suffered from domestic violence, I appreciated Patty’s willingness to allow her readers to see inside her personal battle with the mental and emotional trauma that you experience at the hands of an abuser. Anyone who reads this book will be informed, educated, and inspired!
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Dec 31st, 2020
I had the privilege of editing and proofreading “Pathway to Freedom: Broken and Healed: Book One How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life.” The true story details how a highly trained dog helps a strong blind woman step through an open door into the freedom she’s been longing for.
The thing about open doors, though, is that they open to everything–the beautiful and the tumultuous, the issues we’re eager to take on and the ones we’d rather not deal with. Through the changes that shatter the toxic status quo, Campbell is the rock Patty needs to weather the storm.
This book is an educational read about Seeing Eye dogs and their training. More than that, it should be in the library of every women’s shelter across the country. Patty’s story of strength and tenacity is one that will inspire others.
Jo Elizabeth Pinto
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Nov 25th, 2020
I helped with the publishing and interior design; reading the story of Patty’s life and how she lived, how it changed, and how she is moving forward is wonderful to see.
She is stronger than she thinks and, at the telling of this story, stronger than she knew. As a reader, you could see straight away how different Patty was once out of her home and at the Seeing Eye. She grew and learnt many things to help herself with her guide dog—King Campbell. It was wonderful to see how supported she was, though I’m sure many of us will wish she opened up a little bit more about her life at home. This woman certainly has skills, and many of them she shares with us throughout the memoir.
The book is relevant to those who are blind and shows the training journey needed to have a See Eye Dog at your side. This book also deals with mental health and domestic abuse issues. It is an enlightening read and will make you cry and gasp in various places. Patty, thank you for sharing your life with your adorable dog, Campbell and us. He is sorely missed by those who know you.
Claire Plaisted Plaisted Publishing House
Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020, she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness, on September 24, 2020, King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge, where all is peace and love. It is her hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.
Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.
Where she Lives and Works…
Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.
She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine, and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.
Patty writes to bridge the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.
Patty’s hobbies include reading, music, and attending book clubs via Zoom.
Some of her favorite types of tunes are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country.
Patty enjoys fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. She loves books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Norah Roberts, and many more.
Some favorite books include Norah Roberts’ Hide Away, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
Patty describes herself as a spiritual Walker. She says she knows both Mother Goddess and Father God and embraces all they have to offer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Book Showcase and that if you read my book, you’ll take the time to review it either on Amazon or Goodreads.
Unfortunately, Campbell didn’t survive to see me finish this book. Below are his obituary and biography.
Campbell Lee Fletcher, a.k.a. Bubba
®Seeing Eye Dog
November 28, 2008-September 24, 2020.
King Campbell Lee A.K.A. Bubba Retired ®Seeing Eye Dog Died peacefully on September 24, 2020, at approximately 3:30 P.M. at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital, 209 Colonial Heights Rd. in Kingsport, Tennessee, after battling illness for some time. His human Mother Patty Fletcher and good friend Christy McMakin were by his side.
Patty with Campbell at the Vets moments before Campbell went over the Rainbow Bridge.
King Campbell was such a loved dog, and Patty would like to share some of her memories via Photos. These images were taken over the early years, and some of those stories will be in book two. Enjoy.
Campbell Sitting in the sun Campbell wriggling on his back
Campbell with his head on a pillow A dirty looking Campbell
Campbell lying in an armchair Campbell lying on the Carpet
Bio for King Campbell aka Bubba
King Campbell was born in Chester, N.J. November 28, 2008.
He lived with his Dog Mother and Litter Mates until he was approximately eight weeks old, and then he went to live with his Puppy Raisers.
Then, when he was just over a year-old, he was taken away from his Puppy Raiser family by a wise and ancient trainer, so he could go and live in the magickal and ancient land of The Seeing Eye, where his training began.
After only four short months, on April 4, 2011, he was chosen to become the guide of his human Mother Patty L. Fletcher.
He went to live in the land of Kingsport, Tennessee, with her. There they lived a wonderful life together from April 29 of 2011 until September 24, 2020, during which they had many magickal and at times challenging adventures, but through it all, King Campbell did his very best to keep all he loved safe from harm.
King Campbell is survived by his human Mother Patty Lyne Fletcher, human sister Polly Telucia Fletcher Hensley, and her husband and six children, Grandfather Earl Fletcher JR. Aunts Mary Fletcher, and Joan Norris. His Adopted Grandmother Phyllis Staton Campbell, adopted Uncle Dave Light, his now-retired trainer Drew Gibbon and various staff from The Seeing Eye. As well as many friends worldwide, including his editor and publisher Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing House Services, his attending veterinarians DR. Hyatt and DR. Gray, and other beloved staff from Colonial Heights Animal Hospital. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Happy New Year to all our followers and friends. It has been a wow of a year with many of us working from home. The toll on the human race is still growing though with vaccines, perhaps we can beat this virus and the many strains. Please be safe and take care of each other so we can grow and help each other. We are lucky to be based in New Zealand, where though we are on level one, our lives are closer to normal than it is for many other countries around the world. Be careful out there.
Thank you for continuing to be with us over 2020 and on into 2012. We look forward to sharing your work, books, interviews, educational articles and helping out clients – past, present and future. Let’s get those manuscripts built into books and uploaded to distribution platforms.
We have a great team here at Plaisted Publishing, our contractor list just keeps growing. If you know a small business contractor who works in Editing, Graphic Design or Marketing, please contact us. We’d love to help you help our clients and grow each others businesses.
This year we will be introducing you to our contractors, each with their own expertise in a certain area of publishing. You will get to know them and what they can do for you if you are planning to publish a book. We do Interior Book Design in house and have over six years experience in Fiction, Non-fiction, Anthologies, Memoirs, Poetry, Children’s Picture Books and Family History Books/Family Reunion Books.
We also off help with Family History Research and have twenty years experience gathering information for various books we’ve made over the years for reunions and birthday celebrations. If you’d like to talk to us about Family History, please contact us here or email at email@example.com
We are also looking for Content Writers within the publishing world. If you write educational material for Independent Authors, please contact us, we’d be delighted to hear from you. It is important for us all to continue to learn and grow in the publishing world with the ever changing technology we use.
We will also be opening a page to favourite weblinks for educational purposes. If you know of a great website please email us the link and we’ll check it out prior to posting the link on the page.
At present we are updating out website. We will have a library of all the books we’ve assisted with over the last six years along with a list of Author Names. Eventually we hope to also add a profile of each author as well and send those links out to each client so they can share and celebrate each others work.
Our magazine has been on hold for the just over two years now. We hope to re-establish the magazine with a new title, new and easier layout with less formatting work involved. We hope this magazine will be every two months. Here is hoping all this scheduling will work. By the end of this year, we may need a PA…
Distribution Platforms we use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Lulu Ingram Spark Smashwords Draft to Digital
Looking into using Kobo Barnes and Noble (Nook)
Here is hoping for a wonderful year. Take care and be safe.
As a Publishing House, we watch technology to see how it changes relevant to Self Publishing. We are now getting more and more choices for Print on Demand Books.
Here are some distributors who can help you self publish your book. Do remember there is a lot of work involved after you’ve finished writing. Plaisted Publishing House has an Author Assist Program to help you get your manuscript in the best shape for Publishing with any of the companies below. You can find the Submission GuidelinesHERE
Distributors of Print on Demand
One of the most popular was Createspace which closed it’s doors and re-opened as KDPPrint. Fair enough they still do Print on Demand, though it seems there are still a lot of hassles for KDP Printto get it right. This seems strange considering how good Createspace used to be. I’d like to know how they’ve messed it up so much. It is one I now choose not to use as a Print on Demand Distributor, though we still use KDP for eBooks.
Then we have LULU. They also do Print on Demand and eBooks. It takes a while to learn all the ins and outs, not quite as simple as KDP Print. However, they print on cream paper…YAY, They have LIVE CHAT along with up to 50% Discounts. The only downer to many Independent Authors is you have to buy a proof before they will distribute WIDE whereas with KDP Print you can approve with a digital file at no cost.
SMASHWORDSonly do eBooks and it is still tricky. The layout for uploading is pretty easy to use, however, to get the document ready for their site is another matter. They are probably the fussiest of all distributors. The ebook cover has to be a certain size. For the uninitiated, it can be a nightmare of complications. On top of this, your manuscript has to be saved as Doc 97 which very few use anymore. We’ve been waiting for them to update for years.
Ingram Spark is a distributor of Print on Demand. We use this company with several of our clients. They do cost so it is up to the author if they wish to have an account with them. On top of this, they also do Book Covers differently. Instead of RGB colours, they use the CMYK which you use at home with your printer. You also need to download their templates for the book cover size and make sure you add the 5mm on the top, bottom and the unbound edge of the cover and the interior. Make sure you use margins or your file can be rejected.
Draft to Digital is a great distributor for ebooks. They have templates you can use, however, I’m not overly keen on them when I see the files. Some looked pushed up and without the correct spacing. To us this is annoying. They do a good royalty share. Today they ran out their Beta Print Book for testing Print on Demand for Authors to try out. We may well try. We’ve already heard about issues…They don’t do wrap covers…yet. We also noted in the email we received that the royalty share was 40% of the list price and they still take off print cost. Where does the other 60% go? We haven’t seen or read about this yet and will keep our eyes peeled to find this information. Confused? We are too.
These are the Print on Demand distributors most of us know about. However, Europe is digging in their heels with their own companies. Do you want your Self Published Book for sale in Europe? One site we were introduced to also do translations on a royalty share scheme. I suppose this would be a bit like with ACXand Audiobooks.
There you go…Information on ‘How to Self Publish a Book.’ Don’t forget we are here to help you.
Why oh why is Amazon making it even harder to put up reviews for authors. First they curtail your reviews because you supposedly know the author or you publish the author or help them publish. Now Amazon is telling you to spend over $50 to actually put a review in place. That would be a years worth of books to me.
WHAT…. Yep you head me right. It seems they don’t want Indie Authors to be reviewed. If this really is the case then why are we all still selling through them? Why aren’t we using Lulu or Ingram Spark. Why aren’t we using Draft to Digital or Smashwords…they both do Mobi aka Kindle files. I’ve not seen or heard of Barnes & Noble or Kobo refusing your reviews so why is Amazon? What is their problem?
I have heard about biased reviews – nope I won’t give one to anyone let along an author I would call a friend. In fact I’m more inclined to be harsher on them than someone I don’t know. I’ve heard about paid reviews and farmed reviews. I wouldn’t use either. So coming down on people who are in the same social media group, chat on the odd occasion doesn’t mean they are great friends, after all social media is all about making connections. I mean you chat with your fans don’t you?
HERE IS THE ELIGIBILITY
To contribute to Customer features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers, Idea Lists) or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months. Promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the $50 minimum. In addition, to contribute to Spark you must also have a paid Prime subscription (free Prime trials do not qualify). You do not need to meet this requirement to read content posted by other contributors or post Customer Questions, or create or modify Profile pages, Shopping Lists, Wish Lists or Registries.
Maybe it is time we all left reviews about Amazon and how bad they are getting!
I would say ‘what a joke.’ It is idiotic how KINDLE treat authors who wish to give their books away. How hard can it be and why is it so hard to do this with Kindle?
Why is it so hard?
I have no bloody idea. They could make it simple like Smashwords, Google Play and Draft to Digital. But nope they want to confuse you and make it as hard as possible to put your book up for FREE. I am sure they just have it in for Indie Authors. I can’t see Traditional Publishers jumping through the same hoops we have to.
So what to do?
I remember back to publishing the ‘Awethology’ anthologies in Oct 2015. Bit of a nightmare having to publish early on another sight so I could get the books up for FREE on KINDLE on the right date. First they did a couple of countries, then i had authors email me saying it wasn’t FREE in their country yet. It took a while to sort out. I have now done this a few times and another author gave me an easy way to get it sorted faster.
Join Draft to Digital or Smashwords who both distribute to APPLE. Once APPLE have accepted the FREE eBook (They let you know on Draft to Digital) Then you go and click on the link and copy it into a document about ten times. Next you find out which countries APPLE Cover and change the initals at the end of the link. eg. uk is England, ca is Canada. Once you have them all save the document and you can use these links to send to Kindle to get them to make your book FREE
Simple. Just not as simple as Smashwords and Draft to Digital…Even Google Play will put them up for FREE without the nonsense Kindle insists on.