Sunday, May 29, 2016

Poem: Patriotism

                                      In the woods gathers a brave platoon
                                      Their uniforms, a mixture of tan and green
                                      Each face painted in dark camouflage
                                      Hard bodies firmly lean

                                      A soldier’s life is a lonely one
                                      When sent far from home
                                      War brings out the strength in him
                                      And the battle drives him on.

                                      The hills sharply rocky
                                       Rough trenches sank deep
                                      They crossed the terrain
                                      Troops with very sore feet   
                                      Deadly bullets started flying
                                      Thick brush was set on fire
                                      These soldiers all sent on a mission
                                      Save our men captured there      

                                      The rifles took aim
                                      Grenades the military threw
                                      Fighting with more courage
                                      Than any average man knew
                                      Voices could be heard screaming
                                      Bloody corpses lay slumped down
                                      The skirmish grew silent 
                                      As released Americans were sent out
                                      From out in the distance
                                      A white flag was raised
                                      Defeated enemy had surrendered                                                                                                                          And honored heroes were made

                                      Unpublished Work Copyright 2016 Nancy M. Rollins 
                                                 Nancy Rollins(@NancyM.Rollins)    

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Touch of Beauty Forever Captured

Beginning a new category of still life photos. This beautiful flower blooms on extra large bushes in my back yard. Any guesses anyone to the type of plant?
I've never had much of a green thumb. My plants usually don't last more than one season. I tend to over water them, or forget and don't water them at all. You will find the only living plants inside my house are the ones in the fish tank. The rest are made from plastic or silk. At least the outdoor ones do have mother nature to help look out for them.
To capture a nearly perfect photograph, it may take a few tries. With a small breeze or a shake of the hand, it's easy to be thrown out of focus. How often has our photo's been ruin by shadows or overexposed streaks of light? Should you be facing the sun or stand behind it when snapping a picture? How far should someone zoom in or out on a subject they wish to shoot? Knowing these bits & pieces will effect the quality of the print.
Taking photos is mostly trial and error. I do it for enjoyment, and consider myself an amateur with still much to learn. Writing is another hobby I like to pursue. Photographs are an option to illustrations, and always make good covers for books.
Flowers bring out the best in many. Although I have not mastered their care, the world is a prettier place with them there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Storm off the Shore

                                                       It blows in like a hurricane
                                                       A force with strong steady winds

                                                       Raising the water higher
                                                       Fierce waves tumble in

                                                       Streaks of light flashing
                                                       Moving across the sky

                                                       Heavy raindrops pouring
                                                       Schools of dolphin try to hide

                                                       A storm off the water
                                                       Splashes seaweed along the shore

                                                       Scurrying crabs and shellfish
                                                       Fight a moving tide

                                                                   unpublished work copyright 2016 Nancy M. Rollins

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nancy M. Rollins Interviewed by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in Writing?

When growing up, I seem to be a bit of a dreamer. As I look back, I never minded telling tall tales or writing, although I was a slow reader and a terrible speller. I was blessed with a wild imagination, and utilized this creative side in the essays or stories I wrote.

During those early school years, my bubbly personality sent me fluttering around others like an insect with wings. Foolishly, I became a high school dropout at sixteen, and had to pursue my education later in life.

With time comes maturity. My one and current marriage came two years after leaving school. We raised three children, which now have children of their own. As a family we have traveled more than most, before coming to Florida to live.

On the professional side, my work has leaned towards children or in the medical field. I obtained a GED, and went on to take both vocational and some college courses. In recent years, my interest in writing returned and I began to dabble in poems and stories. Amateur illustration, graphic design and photography were additional hobbies that followed.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

A strict writing schedule may work best for some, but as long as I can make time to jot down a few ideas each day, I am happy. Instead of block hours, my routine is working around whatever I have scheduled on the home front.

Often I can be found on the computer past midnight. Other times, I may work the entire morning and afternoon.  
Writing a few minutes or hours each day will strengthen an inspiring author’s growth in his craft. I believe we all must find what works best individually. It is surprising how quickly minutes can turn into hours when doing what we enjoy.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

Creating a relaxing atmosphere is the first step before writing. Unless you are extremely good at tuning out noise, the television can become a big detraction if left on. I usually turn on some of my favorite music and write in a place that I won’t be disturbed.

An idea for a story can emerge anywhere or during any given moment. Having a pen and notebook nearby is important for not losing phases or thoughts. Don’t ask how many times I didn’t write down a word and forgot it later on.

When it comes to creating a story, the first draft is usually on a standard piece of paper. I make lots of changes and prefer to look it over before it is typed on the desk computer. My laptop also comes in handy. It may be used as a backup for my working computer files, or other projects. One of these is a deluxe word search for kids.

What’s your favorite part about writing? What’s your least favorite part about writing?

What pulls me in most about writing is the versatility. A writer can travel anywhere or transform into any character. The story line may be true; it may be pure science fiction. A writer has the freedom to change topics, settings, or plots in the unpublished book.

If I was to pick the least favorite part of writing it would be the research. Even with a fictional book, a certain amount of truth statements or locations are usually included to make the story realistic. I am currently working on educational books. Although they are written for children, they require some research.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

It’s All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack is actually a spin off from another idea. One of my hobbies is photography and the other graphic design. I had been designing mugs. One day while watching my grandchildren at the park, I began to snap wildlife photos. Before too long, my wildlife collection grew with each returning trip for more.

As I examined the photographs, cute little phases crossed my mind. I downloaded the pictures onto files I made on my computer. I wrote sayings under the ones I could imagine on a mug or t-shirt. One day after several more new photos, I came up with another idea to put them into a book. It’s All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack was that book. Now I have future plans for two similar ones.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

In my opinion, marketing is more difficult than putting together the book. Not having much previous success, I hired a publishing coach to point me in the right direction. With her assistance, she designed a blog, author page, book trailer, bookmarks, and submitted It’s All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack in my name. She advertised my book on her sites, and created contests and blogs where authors could submit their book covers and ads.

Next step was to join groups and try to get my book noticed. My book is posted on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedln, Google +, and author pages. Each day it is best to try to move forward. I post poems on Scriggler, leave comments on blogs I find interesting, and have joined several writing groups. Many allow authors to post their books for free.

Here are some tips: Create a contact list. Emailing places or calling local bookstores may lead to some success. Book reviews and book signings are extremely important when trying to get your book known. I have a book signing scheduled at a local library and another at B&N. With both I will be one of a group of local authors. Scouting around for places to do guest appearances or leave books does take work.

To touch once again on creating a contact list, I made a book ad. This advertisement is slowly being sent to libraries and independent bookstores in and out of state. To make each one personal, I address the heading to the business in which the email is intended.

One last thing I do for marketing is place ads on Facebook. I feel a sponsor advertisement will receive more views on the weekend. I have considered other marketing sites like Amazon and others on Twitter.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Christmas at the Claus House ~ Saving Clara Deer was released four and a half months before It’s All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack. The book is for Santa lovers, and the efforts to save a sick deer. I do not have any other published books out as yet.

It is my intention to release other books. I have several manuscripts either finished or in varies stages of completion. Most manuscripts are in need of illustrations. My current focus is on a deluxe word search for children, which will be a 200 page workbook and a second wildlife book.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I actually have a few. Some manuscripts were stored on a shelf after being rejected by traditional publishers. Usually, I moved on to the next project rather quickly. One big mistake I made was to submit work before it was proof read or edited. That’s a certain no-no with any inspiring writer. Often another person will spot mistakes the author has missed. We as writers can be too close to our work.

The manuscript deepest on the back burner is an unfinished novel. The story is about a dog a boy receives for his birthday, when all he wanted was a new bike. Did I mention the child is also afraid of dogs? This children’s book was put away at its halfway point because of other projects. It’s almost time to pick it back up.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn’t believe he/she has enough talent?

Don’t give up on your dream! For some, words seem to fall into place and seeing their work published in a magazine or book comes easily. For others like me, it turns more into a struggle. With the number of submissions, the odds are against even a seasoned writer. It takes a writer with thick skin and sheer willpower to succeed.

Writing skills develop with practice. Read similar work to gain further insight and never shy away from asking questions. Join a writing group and share. Reading one’s work to others, even for five minutes, can generate great feedback on how to improve a manuscript. Many towns or libraries have their own writing groups that meet monthly or once a week.
A story is in each one of us. It takes perseverance and luck to achieve our goals. An inspiring writer should not give up. When the work is finally in print, it will feel like magic. All the hours, the research, and the lack of sleep will be forgotten, as ideas for a new book begins.
Thank you, Nancy!
Learn more about Nancy by clicking the following links:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Housework Fun

          Warm water pouring on my hands
                   Soapy suds bubbling in a pan

                   A twist of an wrist and a plate, quickly washed

                   Once a sink full of dishes, now there is none

                   The brush of straw, sweeping a tile floor

                   Motion of a stiff broom, moving back and forth

                   Sliding into a dustpan, the dirt forcefully pushed

                   Free fall down an open pit, the trash can is closed

                   Smelly pile of clothing, filling an open bin

                   Small cup of powder, sifting and mixing in

                   Wet, scattered items, stop once they spin

   Putting in another load, the process starts over again   

   Unpublished work copyright 2016 Nancy M. Rollins   

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Photography - An On Going Hobby

These are two eagle pics from the Tampa Zoo. Here stands an magnificent animal. I plan to include him, but use a different photo in the next wildlife book I put together.

These pictures are here merely to demonstrate what can be done after you download photos from a camera to the computer.

The top two photos look rather dull, and I normally may decide to delete them. Even with professional photographers, it's doubtful that every picture is saved.

I happen to like to occasionally adjust the color. Changing the contrast, tones may fade or become brighter. The truth is, I'm only a amateur learning as I go and having fun doing it. Hobbies can be wonderful!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nearly Looking as He Woke Up On the Wrong Side of the Rock

Good morning Mr. Turtle! With those clinched teeth and fixed eyeballs piercing forward, I think he has something important occupying his mind.  Does he want to escape from the strange humans observing his every move, or perhaps he's only hungry.  Lying on small patches of grass several feet away, shredded lettuce had been thrown onto an area of his pen. 

This tortoise had three other fiends trailing close behind. They each surfaced from a man-made den of rock and dirt slightly below the ground. Even with only a glance, it was easy to see what a bond these creatures had developed inside the Tampa Zoo. 

Photographing wildlife seems to tell its own personal story in each picture taken. Influenced by their irresistible charm, it is my plan to write another wildlife book. This time my focus will be on zoo animals. For now, don't forget to check out my current book entitled IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHIRP, SNAP AND QUACK.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Video

Whether you hike through a nature reserve or relax on a hammock in the yard, different species of wildlife can be spotted practically anywhere.
Squirrels scurry up the nearest tree, jumping across narrow branches. The rodent hangs upside down clutching a newly dislodged nut.
Gracefully landing, a small flock of white Ibises join other birds living in their habitat at a local park. Ducks mingle among them, especially when humans approach with food.
On occasion, an alligator hides from view. Living along the river, it remains still until approached by the reptile’s next potential meal.
Photographed flourishing within their protected environments, who could resist these charming wildlife critters? Each species create their own calls or sounds to communicate with their own kind. It’s all about the Chirp, Snap, and Quack, turns these common photos into quick-pace quirky fun.



Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Bookmark - Learning about Advertising at the Beginner's Level

A little behind the eight ball, but with any possible success comes a time to buckle down and push the marketing. Most people start months before the book is release. Those "shout outs" are a big important step. Whether it's your first self-published book, or an article you are about to submit to a magazine, writing demands a lot of dedication and a whole bunch of luck.

What does the novice writer do if the money is not there? Marketing costs can add up to big bucks. If you don't mind a post of the blind leading the blind, I can only share the little I have learned.

Bookmarks or business cards, some people have both. Personally, I think having at least one of them is a must. Making copies online or in an office supply store can save money once the image is made. Bookmarks are handy, who doesn't read a print book once in a while? Business cards are easy to carry with the small size, but they can get lost or thrown away.

Some like postcards, but mailing cost can certainly add too. With the internet so widely used, very few businesses are not online. Displaying my book cover and selling information, I have created my own ad to email to libraries and independent book sellers. Creating a contact list can be very helpful. For self-publishers, contacting potential buyers in each state can be a huge undertaking. It may be best to put aside some time and dabble with it as you can.

Many authors do pay for sponsor ads. I occasionally count up the unspent pennies and run a weekend advertisement on Facebook. Other online sites do this too. Joining sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn can give you a big boost when used regularly. Choosing groups to follow on Facebook can be very beneficial for any writer. It is a place to learn from more experience writers and share your thoughts.

Let's discuss book reviews, which is nearly as painful as a tooth extraction. Talking from experience, this comes from the suffering of not receiving them. How do you know if a book is good or bad? Commenting on a book gives great insight into the material. On the other hand, before the book is published, a good editor or proof reader can spot those small errors a author can read over and not see. Regardless, we all need book review to help advertise our book. From what I am picking up through the grapevine, joining a group of book reviewers may be an inexpensive way to go. Comments should always be honest, but never hurtful in any way. Some writers participate in contests and book give-a-ways, but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.
When building a following, don't forget to create a blog or website to display your work. You deserve it! We as writers pour our sweat into a project, now don't be shy and not show it to the world! Sometimes, we must hire someone to assist us in reaching our goals. I am still learning myself. If possible, try to join a local writing group in your area. Multiple, live feedback can be priceless.

As long as your feet as moving forward, a new writer may discover that path to success.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Considering the Next Book - Making it Personal

With the ink barely dried on the pages from my last book, It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack, there's no better time but to think about creating another. Often for the emerging writer, thoughts easily cloud the brain when too many ideas float inside the head. For a writer, they must be released. What topic should the next book be about? Should I look for what's trending, or write something that interests me? For most starting on this journey, it's best to write about something you know. My advice is to keep a notebook within reach. You never know when inspiration will hit. I jot down story ideas and chapter outlines to revisit later on.

What will my next book be? Honestly, it's a three way split. I've been told, "Nancy, You have too many projects going on!" Many authors feel more can be accomplished if only one book is worked on at a time. Others may have two. I had over a dozen manuscripts in various unfinished stages. The more experience authors were right, I wasn't going anywhere. Now I have two books, the other, Christmas at the Claus House - Saving Clara Deer.  This book once self-published in 2009 was withdrawn and recently revised.

Today, I only work on two or three manuscripts at any one time. Since trying to yo-yo wasn't working, when a manuscript is submitted, another can begin. Currently, I am putting together a deluxe word search book for kids, a story book, and another quirky wildlife book. Trying to sharpen my photography skills, many pictures were taken at the zoo. Some animals display many of the same behaviors as humans. A visit to the zoo can be entertaining, and an educational experience for the whole family.          

I do not know where my writing will take me; I only know there are places my work must go.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photography - A Learning Process

Late one evening, I spotted a small bunny chewing on some grass. It perked up as he heard me, so I did my best to remain perfectly quiet. I remembered my camera was on the kitchen table, and had to go back inside. Happily, my luck held out. The rabbit was still there when I returned.

Fairly new to photography and not yet taken a class, I consider myself very much in the learning mode. With my fondness for wildlife, the rabbit would make a good test subject. Nighttime photos would also be a challenge. The rabbit continued to nibble until it saw my movements, but after two quick clicks from the camera, the animal was gone.

The photo's were somewhat dark like I expected, but experimenting with colors can also be fun. My first step is to always make a copy, so the original image is never destroyed.  Discovering through trial & error, I adjusted the exposure and color by going to the Window's Photo Gallery and clicking on Fix. I also opened with Paint and inverted the color after going to Image. Not all computers are the same. I find changing colors look well with flower photos and such.

To create an image with multiple colors takes an overlapping process. Using my limited expertise, once I had my preferred number of colors, it was a matter of cut & paste sections  in rows over the one basic photo. Note* Lining up the patterns does take some practice. The cute bunny rabbit in the photograph now has a interesting look.

Consider: It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack.
Mixing wildlife and photography in a book with quirky appeal.  Print $11.99 eBook $1.99, but read free on Kindle Unlimited.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Small imperfections do not lessen the spirit within. This Ibis is missing a foot. Admiring the bird's strength and capacity to survive, I was spellbound. Watching his carefree movements and knowing the animal was protected inside a local park, he stood a chance to live out his life.

This white Ibis bird has found a place inside the book entitled: It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack.  For wildlife loves, who enjoy photography books with quirky appeal.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack - Print Edition

Happy to announce: It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack is now available in print. Only $11.99! Don't forget to check out the eBook, free on Kindle Unlimited.

Whether you hike through a nature reserve or relax on a hammock in the yard, different species of wildlife can be spotted practically anywhere. 

Squirrels scurry up the nearest tree, jumping across narrow branches. The rodent hangs upside down clutching a newly dislodged nut. 

Gracefully landing, a small flock of white Ibises join other birds living in their habitat at a local park. Ducks mingle among them, especially when humans approach with food. 

On occasion, an alligator hides from view. Living along the river, it remains still until approached by the reptile’s next potential meal. 

Photographed flourishing within their protected environments, who could resist these charming wildlife critters? Each species create their own calls or sounds to communicate with their own kind.
It’s all about the Chirp, Snap, and Quack, turns these common photos into quick-pace quirky fun. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

This squirrel doesn't know the meaning of shy

Who can resist these little critters? They can be quite the comical sight. Whether hanging upside down, or running across tree limbs, squirrels can be amusing to observe. These animals can also be enjoyable to photograph. 

In the book entitled It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack many animals are captured in irresistible photo's living in their natural habitat. Each photograph seems to have something interesting to say. This collection of charming wildlife creatures inspire amusing comments, throughout this fifty-two page book.

 Animal lovers who like quick pace books full with quirky appeal, reward your spirits with a lift. For a limited time offer, Kindle Unlimited subscribers may read it for free. Otherwise, eBooks are lowly priced at $1.99. Print editions will be released soon, and always, book reviews are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shouting out! It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack

With the beginning of a new year, so does a brand new book. For nature lovers who enjoy a book with quirky, fun appeal, introducing It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack. 

Great for nearly any age, the quick-pace wildlife book is simply charming. Every photograph has something interesting to say. This group of animals, most living in their protected habitat seem to express amusing comments, too entertaining to miss. 

Pre-order your eBook copy now! January 12th, launch date, only $1.99. Print edition coming soon.