Pictures & Prose: Be The Change

Sometimes I like to look a picture and then let my fingers run all over the keyboard. No edits – just free writing for 15 to 30 minutes without really thinking so much as letting my Spirit take charge and do its thing. Today was one of those days. This is purely fiction and does not detail anyone I know or any location I know. Enjoy! ~Shell

Copyright 2018 Johnny Miller
Read More

Platform: Self-Publishing — Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This is NOT my post. I am sharing a post from Debby Gies. This is one of the best posts I have read regarding how to self-publish. I want to reiterate her note about how important editing is invaluable! Take note authors and soon-to-be authors, as the information here is invaluable! ~Shell

How to Build a Readership with Blogging and Prepare for Publishing by Debby Gies As writers who choose to self-publish, we must understand that we’ve chosen to be not only writers but publishers, marketers, and promoters of our work because these components are all essential parts of running a business. Yes, your business! If we […]

via Platform: Self-Publishing — Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Q&A: What Do You Do As A Ghostwriter?

Something I am often asked is what exactly I do as a ghostwriter. The answer isn’t as clean cut as most would like it to be. However, essentially what I do is learn your voice and pick up where you leave off so your story can get out to the world in the best format for your audience.


What the heck does that even mean, Shell?! 


As a ghostwriter, I am basically a midwife to would-be writers who want to become published authors but don’t know where to start. I help them think of what they know and how they would say it to the world through a series of thought-provoking questions and scheduled interviews. I gather materials they’ve researched, videos they’ve recorded, and audio files they’ve set aside and pull all the information into one book that they then review and make changes to. We go back and forth like this until we feel it’s ready for an editor. Our focus is 100% in the book and writing it. From there we will hire an editor, publisher, and graphic designer based upon your needs. I do NOT publish books and I don’t edit my own writing for books (this is an awful practice for anyone to maintain because you miss your own errors since you know what you wanted to say).


For some people, I am more like a Delivery Nurse who takes the baby after it’s born, washed it up, and presents it on Mama’s chest to nurse and raise. I take their 2/3 to 3/4 written books and help them develop it into a full story. For some, they need help due to poor grammar knowledge and vocabulary usage. For others, they type as it comes into their mind and are trying to meet a deadline and just need to push it off to someone else to continue. And yet for others, they just hit a block and need someone else to provide input and clean it up. This is NOT editing, as I am doing much more than looking at how things are flowing and whether the thoughts are fully constructed. I am writing pieces of the book for them and expanding upon their thoughts and knowledge. I’m looking for the pieces they didn’t see while typing. This would be like them standing in the forest while I am flying above it to give a new vantage point.


I am essentially a virtual assistant or executive assistant to the small business owner who is overwhelmed with marketing and advertising and wants to begin attracting more clients to their business or needs internal process documents created. I talk with them and we figure out which avenues would be best for their needs, and I share with them what I need to move forward. This may mean coming into the business personally or visiting through technology with some of your employees depending upon the required assets.


I am essentially a clone of you when it comes to blogging for your organization. Whether you are a small business or a mom who started a blog and realized you can’t maintain it, I work with you through a series a thought-provoking questions and interviews to learn your voice and then suggest content strategy for the next few posts. Depending upon your needs and budget, we create a plan for which I will do all the research and writing or for which you will provide notes in bulleted format based upon your knowledge of subjects we agree upon each quarter. We set deadlines and maintain contact between those deadlines to ensure we are both accountable for moving fluidly from one post to the next so your audience is consistently seeing new content.


And last but not least, I am a marketer to those who need someone to create content for “free gifts” on websites based upon work they already have created but need to reduce to teaser format to help attract clients and build email lists. I am able to write emails based upon most any asset offered to me that creates a desired “click”.


What I am Not


While some ghostwriters will write books, movies, or songs and then sell them off to others for income, I am not that type of ghostwriter. I do this work because I believe we all have stories to tell and just need help at times. All work I do is actually the author’s work and they just needed help getting it from their mind onto the paper. They would have written the very things I say for them if they had time, energy, and writing aptitude (and some do but don’t realize it, so I also point that out to folks).


I am not an editor who will take your already written work and just review it for flow and character depth, nor am I a proofreader who will just review your book for errors. If you need these services, I am happy to guide you towards others to discuss their process.


I am not a magician who can make you a writer when you aren’t one and I can’t create stories where there aren’t stories yet to be told. I am honest in our consultations about whether I am the best fit. If I don’t feel I am, I will share some others who may be better suited for your material.


If you would like more information on how I may be able to help you specifically, let’s connect! Fill out the “Let’s Connect” form in the menu and I’ll reach out to you within one business day.





Love Is

Shell Vera: Poetry & Fiction

What Does Love Look Like?

Love is giving of myself until I can’t give anymore yet not losing myself within you.

It is surrendering my all to you, even when you haven’t given anything to me; yet, limiting how much I give out to ensure I am not enabling you in bad habits.

It’s picking you up off the floor when you overdose. Holding your hand as you recover. Checking in on you for the months to come.

It’s giving you space yet not letting you go when you need me to hold on.

It’s allowing you grow and shine, ensuring the sun is always shining on you, and watering you when the rain stops coming.

It is laughing with you when you need a smile, crying with you when you need to release, and walking with you in silence when you just need someone to be there…without being there.

View original post 333 more words

Appreciation – Epitome Freewriting Story

Eyes Straight Ahead - Shell Vera

If you haven’t already heard of Epitome, it’s time to become familiar with them. I recently had the opportunity to freewrite during their “Appreciation” Album Release party. As the band played, Felicia Stevens of The Drunken Palette painted a beautiful rendition of what she saw in her mind and I wrote a story of what I was seeing in mine as we heard the music. Below the unedited story, you will see the painting. Enjoy!


He’d been walking throughout the day, wandering really. This church, that bar, stopped by a friend’s house, even ventured through the local State forest. So many opinions and thoughts. So many gestures of, “I love you” and “So nice to see you”. Yet he still felt as though he were alone. As he ventured toward the riverbank, he reflected upon his years. There were moments of joy, pain, happiness, sadness. Moments he thought…

View original post 2,399 more words

Poetry: I’ll Be There

When you struggle, I’ll be there.

When you celebrate, I’ll be there.

When you want to just sit in silence because you don’t want to be alone but you don’t want to be with anyone, I’ll let you come chill and sit in the comfortable chair.

When you need a hug, I’ll offer a hug.

When you need direction, I’ll point the way.

When you need more of God, I’ll pray with you.

When you can’t see Him, I’ll pray for you.

When you can’t see me, I’ll always see you.

When you think no one would love you if they knew what you did, I’ll still be here loving you more than I understand.

When you want to give up, I’ll help you be strong.

When you want to scream from the rooftops, I’ll ensure the stairway is unlocked.

When you’ve overdosed, I’ll hold your hand and go through the phases with you.

When you’re high wandering the streets, I’ll walk them too.

When you’re opening your first business, I’ll stand by your side as you cut the ribbon.

When you write your first book, I’ll buy the first copy.

When you buy your first house, I’ll help you move in.

I am here.

I am not judging.

I celebrate and mourn with you.

I rise with you, and when you fall I will help you up.

I value you.

I cherish you.

I love you.



Originally posted on my Creative Writing and Poetry blog:

Movies & Meditation: When You Realize You’re A Showman…

Eyes Straight Ahead - Shell Vera

My daughter and I finally sat down and watched The Greatest Showman a few months ago. It quickly became one of our favorite movies because of its message of hope, love, and possibility.

Why did it take us so long?!

What a beautiful movie! There is not a single song on the soundtrack that my daughter and I don’t enjoy. Each one could easily have become a Music & Musings segment here but I want to focus on the overall movie (though I will surely talk about a song or two as well). The characters made us smile, and a couple upset us. We laughed and cried. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Aren’t We All Showmen?

When we really think about our own lives, aren’t we all showmen of sorts? Don’t we put our best face forward and make it seem like we have it altogether when we really are falling…

View original post 1,200 more words

When the Church Has Hurt You… (An Open Letter to Those Hurt by the Church)

Eyes Straight Ahead - Shell Vera

Dear Person Who Has Been Hurt by the Church,

I am sorry.

I am sorry that as a church we have become more concerned with beautiful buildings than bleeding hearts. That we have spent more time developing economically sufficient social clubs instead of reaching out to our communities and the people who need us most.

I am sorry that each time you have walked into the doors, we ask you for money and tell you what an awful human you have been instead of learning more about you and finding out what made you come in the first place. That we most often times will ignore you after we publicly applaud you for showing up and ask you to raise your hand so we can shove our Information Cards in your hands and get your demographic information in exchange for a coffee cup, water bottle, or bag of candy from…

View original post 2,193 more words

Music & Musings: “Say Something”

Eyes Straight Ahead - Shell Vera

I love music. I love how I can escape into it. I love how it expresses what I am thinking at times when I am tired of my own thoughts or can’t put them into words. I love that I am able to listen to music and fall into the words and drift away. I often will play a song and meditate on it, thinking about what it means for me. There are some songs that really speak to me in many ways and this month I am going to explore those thoughts in this Music & Musings series.

The first song we will kick off with will be “Say Something”. There are two versions of this song that I like, one by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera and a cover by WorshipMob. I’m going to talk about both of them because they each hit me a little…

View original post 2,819 more words

The Execution that Gave Life

Shell Vera: Poetry & Fiction

The day had not gone as planned. It was supposed to be an easy execution, but the prisoner spoke up at the last minute, causing a delay. The person provided information causing the warden to call the case’s judge and ask questions. The judge reviewed the file and commanded the prisoner be set free. Everyone in the room became angry, shouting protests:

“He is a horrible murderer!”

“He cannot be set free.”

“He will do it again.”

“What are you doing? He surely has not changed.”

Everyone, that is, except for one woman. The prisoner was on death row for brutally torturing and murdering her husband, and horribly mutilating her. The woman sat quietly staring at the prisoner through the glass as tears streamed down her face. Amidst the chaos, she seemed completely at peace.

Dear Diary,

Today was one of those days you don’t expect to happen. Victor was…

View original post 1,739 more words