Okay, so an Indie Author has only her self and word of mouth to rely upon. She has to shamelessly self-promote and end up feeling like a seedy salesman trying to push the product from the trunk of her car.

I am always thinking of ways I can sneak my book into conversations, and ways I can boost exposure. I am presently being honored by being the feature poet of Indie Affair, an online magazine available for free on Scribd.

I’ve dedicated a good amount of time to build up my social media brand/self/voice on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkdIn, Wattpad, WordPress, Goodreads and I am learning about how to expand on Kindle, Amazon, Pinterest, even YouTube or maybe SoundCloud.

I am open to suggestions. Currently my teeny tiny book has five 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Have patience with me, I do not know how to add side bar testimonials and so I am writing this new post. Below you will read from other readers, writers, friends, and total strangers how emotionally charged my book is…please take the time to read. And thank you for being you. anxiety chapbook

Top Customer Reviews


5.0 out of 5 starsEmotional

By Mujer con Voz on March 9, 2016

Verified Purchase

The author welcomes us in, behind closed doors, in the tranquility of her own house when the kids are already put to sleep, at the moment when the serenity and the monsters hit her mind & soul. Her poetry has the ability to trap you, using themes that seem so ordinary, and somehow she changes them to something meaningful, in a way that we can all connect. We often see the writer, letting herself free, confessing, displaying her universe of words, making us feel her suffering. C. Dougherty is the light in the lunar eclipses of modern poetry, she will poison you with real sentiments and leave you hungry for more. She heals us from inside out, she drowns us in thoughts, and we change places. We are left bleeding on the page with her amazing creativity, our hearts are left wide open to finally feel.

By Amazon Customer on March 26, 2016

Verified Purchase

Cynthia is one of my favorite poets on Instagram so it’s no surprise that I would enjoy her book. She has definitely left her heart within these pages here. A painfully heartfelt collection of words artfully laid out in poetry. A must-buy book.

By D. West on April 4, 2016

Bleeding on the page highlights an emotional landmark, a closure if you will. A look into the near past, while the author reflects on her present circumstances with candor, and a light heart; there is mention of sadness more as an afterthought than a bitter reality, thus enabling the journey to advance forward. Readers will fall in love with the sincere qualities in C. Dougherty’s writing.

By John Doe on March 28, 2016

The poems are simple in the way they are written but tell a tale. The poems are clearly coming from the heart of a restless soul. Beautifully written poems

By kathy on March 26, 2016

Verified Purchase

Hauntingly beautiful book. I truly felt every line that the author wrote… looking forward to more of her work. Her poems are amazing!

15-min Writing Prompts

I’ve been involved in this online writing group invited & created by Nancy Chase, a fellow author. It’s done me a world of good. I have had an opportunity to break out of my comfort zone and try to expand my experience with prose writing.

Actually by taking part in the 15 minutes free writing exercises I’ve begun to develop a new work in progress. This novella, or maybe novel, is growing every chance I get to sit down and focus. I have started to add more depth to the characters and I am trying to enhance my comprehension of seamless dialogue. But I digress. I wanted to share with you the prompts from the past three months.

If you are like me, and you want to break from the mold and escape the comfort of one genre or one style of writing then join in. I thankfully now have a journal full of short stories, generally 500-1000 words long. I can’t wait for the summer, when I am away from my day job as a teacher, to be able to take apart, revise, edit, and further develop some of my favorites.

Here is the month of January:

1.      Every time I saw it
2.      Did you tell them about me?
3.      They were both waiting
4.      Even before they arrived
5.      A traitorous thought
6.      Just don’t ask about
7.      Enough was enough
8.      Did you get into much trouble?
9.      So far he had won nothing at all
10.     Will you forget about me?
11.     Instead, she apologized
12.     He’d done it before
13.     Is it true?
14.     I still haven’t told her
15.     Nothing’s definite
16.     Let’s go upstairs
17.     The room was filled with
18.     What’s wrong with you
19.     That was the night when
20.     A bad day
21.     The new girl
22.     It wasn’t his fault
23.     It won’t happen again
24.     If you think you can help
25.     A terrible secret
26.     She didn’t mind them staring
27.     He didn’t know how to stop
28.     It’s worse when they’re nice
29.     You don’t believe me anyway
30.     We’d been talking about it for years
31.     After midnight

This is the month of prompts for February…
1.      I should have listened to him
2.      Just tell me the truth
3.      He’s not clever like you
4.      I told myself I didn’t care
5.      I should have taught you better
6.      She beckoned with a bony hand
7.      But what else could I do?
8.      No one knows for sure
9.      If you believe the rumor
10.     Where did you get it?
11.     Remember your promise
12.     He didn’t want to go
13.     Hold out your hand
14.     We should have been happy
15.     It’s better to know, isn’t it
16.     But nobody came
17.     It’s such a waste of talent
18.     I was beginning to worry
19.     I was twelve when my mother was taken
20.     There was an awful moment of silence
21.     It is not a matter of choice
22.     She was angry but she did not speak
23.     The little boy was the big dog
24.     Two years later, when he had almost forgotten
25.     That was the last I saw of them
26.     Far below, the lake grew dark
27.     It was such hard work, though
28.     It made the long days seem less empty
29.     Despite the cold and the darkness

My favorite, the month of March (aka also my bday month 3/29)…
1.      Why can’t we go?
2.      One he loved and the other he hated
3.      Hours passed and she didn’t return
4.      No one came to my rescue
5.      I had heard of it before
6.      He rarely spoke
7.      A man hurried past us
8.      I heard the front door bang shut
9.      Sometimes in my dreams
10.     That was a fear she understood
11.     He was not at all handsome, but
12.     I had never even been kissed
13.     She was right on both counts
14.     Does it really work
15.     Would you like me to show you
16.     It was easier Thai expected
17.     I can’t trust you
18.     No one could talk of anything else
19.     Wouldn’t you have done the same?
20.     He’d already stayed far too long
21.     That’s all I ever wanted
22.     They all laughed, every single one of them
23.     You can do anything
24.     They gave him a week
25.     There will have to be an inquiry
26.     The handwriting was unfamiliar
27.     It was still raining when he arrived
28.     He heard a footstep behind him
29.     We had it all arranged
30.     What do you do when a dream has come true?
31.     An argument in the corridor

Use them at your leisure and if you are so inclined, let me know. I will share a few of mine as the days go by.

SIDENOTE: (aka shameless self-promotion)

I have been a little silent on social media as of late, but that is only because I am trying to pull back and work on my word count. I am following the habit of some committed writers in my small writing pack. Check out my works on Wattpad: @CDougherty83 , on Instagram: @Poetry_Goddess88 , and on Tumblr: @ElusivePub .

Follow me on Facebook, stop by and see C. Dougherty, Author Page

Available on Amazon, my poetry book:img_0245
“Bleeding on the Page: My Soul Exposed” by C. Dougherty

I am a jester, where is my hat?

The mind is a wonderful, terrible thing. I often get lost in the maze of my thoughts, and I’ve mentioned this before. There is a different mask I don dependent upon the audience at hand. I often find myself in awkward situations where I feel lost and ill at ease, introvert tendencies beg to shy away from the limelight.

I either withdraw completely of feel the need to ham it up. I rarely ham it up, I’m not all that good at it. I have great one liners, but that doesn’t suit the hour long conversations around a dinner or at a birthday party. You can’t exactly walk away when you have to keep an eye on your kid, who happens to be oblivious to your discomfort. A child is the most demanding audience of all.

So here I am. I am a jester, where is my hat?

If I cannot run it on, if i cannot go live and keep the masses entertained then I close in on myself. I withdraw to the background amidst the crowd and blend into the woodwork. I reiterate, I am a self proclaimed extroverted introvert.

Life does demand social interaction. A writer needs to extend outside their comfort bubble and “phone home” from time to time. An independent writer has to do this way more often.

As a mother, I try not to be anti-social towards the parents of the children who co-exist with mine. I have mastered the art of non-verbal conversation. I nod, blink, shrug, and a host of other physical and facial cues to keep the dialogue going. Oftentimes the other adults are so involved in their own discussion, they don’t notice that I am not engaged. It exhausts me too much to involve myself. I spend all day reacting, guiding, leading, performing during my regular day job.

My children, my biologically born babies, understand that I need to decompress for at least fifteen minutes when I get home from work. Mommy needs quiet time. However, these little minions also help me pull out of my own chaotic mind. I can get lost inside, to the point where I have to remind myself to blink. Blink. Think. Blink.

It can be exhausting, and at the end of every day I have more trouble turning off my mind than my body. It makes for some interesting, colorful, emotional, at times turbulent, dreams. My poor husband often becomes my soundboard for ideas and although he doesn’t always follow, he doe listen. At times he reminds me that whatever makes sense in my mind to me, sometimes needs a little more explanation out here to others who don’t think like me.

He helps me keep my feet on the ground, and a smile on my face. Writing is what soothes me; it allows me to unravel the threads of thoughts that try to smother and overwhelm me. At the end of the work day, mother day/night, and wife life I am still me. I get to remove the hat, and just sink into my bed with a journal, pen, and some tea. I reflect on the moments with eyes wide open and I try to paint a canvas with letters instead of colors. My words, my poems, my ramblings are my gallery art pieces.

I am imperfectly perfect.

Writing 101: Happy (Insert Special Occassion) ???

I thought about which special occasion I would talk about for today’s challenge, and I had trouble choosing one that would help me express my own voice. I come from a large, expressive family in a very traditional Hispanic Catholic sense. Our lives were a duality of experiences, and it seems like everyone has “story-telling” in the blood. I needed to chose one that came from me, my memories, and not heard from others so often it became my own.

I ended up choosing Thanksgiving, a time of food and laughter. Even harsh feelings don’t stand a chance in the face of succulent turkey and buttery homemade mash potatoes. Couple that with my mother’s song voice, and it becomes…bliss. Pure bliss.

Thanksgiving has been my personal favorite holiday for a long time, but no memory stands out so much as the first one I began to connect more with my family. As a child I was too wrapped up in my own world of books and writing, I didn’t really know my cousins and family that would come over. I was polite and courteous as my mommy taught me. I said hello and hugged family I hadn’t seen in some time, but I quickly turned back to my room or a quiet spot to bury myself in myself. I wanted to have peace, and tranquility; being the youngest of six with more than twenty cousins, aunts, uncles, and all of our padrinos and madrinas and compadres and comadres…I was drowning in a sea of faces. Yet Thanksgiving was a time of grace, thanks, and family conversation without the pressure of presents and being good.

When I began to break out of my bubble, I began to enjoy the time of crowds and loud conversations. My cousins were hilarious, and we all had a unique view on our parents. My nieces, Brenda in particular, were my babies in that sense. They were the ones who showed me the most, the fun of being a child. I had always felt like a mini-adult (albeit shy beyond compare).

Playing in and out of the house, flitting through various conversations as I travelled through the yard, patio, and common areas. The living room was by favorite. You could catch snippets of laughter, advice, complaints, and a variety of stories from both present and past.

The food was beautiful, and my mother carried that tray of turkey to the table with grace and a welcoming smile. We would all gather at my mother’s command, and make the most odd looking, wobbled “circle” as we held hands and said grace. Hearing my mom’s melodic voice praying el padre nuestro and santa maria followed by words of thanks is soothing, and my loud, rowdy family would calmly listen and pray along.

After the eating was done, and the coffee was brewing or the beers were being passed amongst the adults, my Tio Jose would start a song. Tio Jiame and Tio Juan would pick up the tune and my momma would join the fun. The accordion would come out, the guitar, sometimes even a mic or two. Last, but definitely not least, cousins were pulled out to dance and sing or laugh along. It was always my favorite.

Time has passed, cousins have married and moved away. Some aunts have passed away, and now its pretty much just us. Now, by no means are we a small group. We have merely replaced some of the components of our past Thanksgivings with new events. We still have prayers and our lopsided circle of held hands.

Me and my siblings (with their children, and grand children) now compose a group of more than thirty with our parents at the crown being not only grandparents, but also great-grandparents. I still get to see my Tio Jose with the microphone or accordion at most family gatherings, and now my children get to sing alongside me and my mother. My sisters and brothers, their kids and more, all under my mother and father’s roof. A house that was never a house. My parents’ house is and always will be a home. All of this love has surrounded me in the best and worst of memories, because my family for all its faults is supportive. Thanksgiving brings us together in a way that feels more sincere and genuine; it lingers in my heart and makes me smile for weeks and months after.

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I can’t wait. I anticipate it, as if clinging to the edge of a cliff on Mount Everest. I know the fall will be glorious and long-lasting.

Writing 101: Death to Adverbs: Sept 23: Blood on the page

(Okay, this day required a death to all adverbs, I have to admit they are my weakness. Instead of writing a new piece and going somewhere to observe strangers, I decided to attack an old piece and edit. Hope you like how it came out, I think I need to develop the story further for this protagonist.)

Flipping her bangs to cover her face, she rushed to her favorite spot at the back of the classroom by the window. Banging her backpack onto the chair in front of her, so no one would sit nearby. This girl loved her solitude, and being buried in her cyber world was more than a past time, it was a necessity.

Head down, eyes half-shut, she opened up her bag and retrieved her pen and spiral notebook. She didn’t make the mistake of leaving her spiral behind anywhere. Oh sure, she bore a spiral with her name on it like anyone else in class, but that was the decoy. That was kept up to date merely to amuse her teacher and maintain her common passing average.

With the strength that whispered in her soul, she clicked the pen and began to make the page bleed. Her drawings, her poems, her secrets spilled out of her onto the page. This spiral was no forgery, it was her, she was the paper and ink. Although more tattered and worn, it was more valuable to her than any diamond ring or stolen kiss.

On the page no one judged her, no one scorned her, no one made her cry. If she shed a torment of tears, she did so in the privacy of her spiral. No lock was needed on this treasure, because no one knew its worth.

Cindy glanced at the boy at the head of the row, and smirked. He was an ass, but adorable nonetheless. Good thing he was transferring to another school, their paths would never cross again. She would not be a “star-crossed” lover in a melodramatic play. She would be W-O-M-A-N. No longer the shy, overlooked child with a hesitant smile and blushing face.

This year is her year. She wrote, and never looked up as he stared at her one last time.

Reaching out… #reblog #writers #writing101 #ramblings

Writers write in order to not drown in the emotion of it all.

I wrote this earlier on someone else’s blog post. I didn’t realize how true it was when I thought of my own writing. An epiphany happened in that moment. When I am strangling those around me with my overflow, I am not writing.

When I am struggling to breathe in my own neurosis, I am not writing. When I write, as this blog has helped me to commit, I can cease the whispers of insecurity in my own head. I feel more grounded and centered in the world around me. I am me. My thoughts bleed onto the page either in ink or digital format, and I can smile without wondering who wants to steal my smile and make me cry.

Singing along with my favorite artists may appease me, like a band aid or a tourniquet on this river of emotion that resides in my soul, but writing creates new streams to redirect the pressure of the rising tide. Teaching can only take me so far, the love of the written word and expressing oneself is so much more. I release what would normally create an overwrought emotional mess. My memories, emotions, creations, and developments on the page ease a base emotional/biological need inside of me.

So bloggers, I ask and beg, come see my blog. It is but a tiny, plain brown sparrow lost in this exotic jungle of rare and wondrous, iridescent birds. I need feedback, comments, likes, and more. Validation and criticism are welcome. I hunger to become a better writer.

Trying to live in more than one world…

I’ve always thought that writing required a deeper understanding of the surface reality. Seeing possibilities in the most improbable opportunities, and trying to stay grounded in the meeting when my mind wants to add more drama to the blasé daily activities of whichever character is tripping in my mind.

I can’t imagine living without the daily chaos that is my life. I both love it and hate it, giving the ever fighting duality of my mixed emotions. The only thing I am sure on a day to day basis is that life has to continue down the sometimes rocky road of adventure.

How does anyone do it? How do you carve a niche (or more like a gaping hole) in your life to write? The dishes always need to be done, the laundry breeds when you blink, and three children under the age of 12 are like swirling dust devils that sprout a mess where it was once clean.

My world is a full world, but I also need to keep a hold of me. The writer in me needs to express thoughts in order not to drown in the voices, but I will take that ten times over the silence that sometimes suffocates. Words are my passion, and writing helps facilitate my addiction. And face it writers of the internet, writing is an addiction.