Journey's blog

So You want to Write a Book

Bring Your Manuscript
So you want to write a book. It’s scary not knowing anyone who can help you. I teach workshops for writers and decided to write handbook for those of you who can’t attend or can’t afford them. 

I’m going to take a few topics covered in my handbook Bring Your Manuscript to Publication. 


Welcome to your world of writing. It all begins with a thought for a great story. The next step is to start writing your first sentence. You don’t need to spend every spare moment at the computer. A half hour a day will bring your story together. Pushing aside your desire to write will never fill your dream of having that special book published.

Publishing your work can happen if you persevere and keep your confidence. Famous writers had to start where you are now. In the beginning, don’t worry about making every sentence flow together or panic because they make no sense. There will be numerous times going back to recheck your grammar, punctuation and spelling. You may find it necessary to reword sentences. Those corrections should be in the last stages.

A computer is a gift and a best friend to a writer. Its function keys allow you to cut, paste, copy, delete or add a page from the internet to your manuscript. Remember, most mistakes can be fixed.

One important fact that I suggest is to SAVE your material with each paragraph or page that you finish. If you take a break, if there’s a storm, SAVE your work on a CD before shutting everything down. You’d be surprised how many hours of work can be lost. If it’s gone, you will learn what frustration is all about when you try to remember what you finished writing; you know, those perfect thoughts! 

When done for the day, SAVE your work on a CD. Make it a habit that you write your fresh, new, daily entries at the start of each day in your manuscript in the computer and SAVE the day’s work on the CD. It is easy to get mixed up if you start one day writing on the CD and saving the work in the computer and then the next day starting in the computer and saving on the CD because you will over-riding pages of entries with your finished work. I made this horrible mistake with my first book for months forgetting which location I started my writing last, where it was saved, and it deleted important information that I could not remember. Remember, work on the computer, Save on the CD at the end. Make this a routine practice. 

Keep a pencil and a pad of paper in the living room, kitchen and bedroom. Some of the best material seem to come during the wee hours of the night or morning. Have one special location to store your notes. Type them daily into your document. It saves paperwork from piling up or your notes getting lost. 

Buy a tape recorder (prices can start around $40) and carry it with you everywhere. How many times have you been out and some fantastic idea for the book hits you? By the time you get home that thought could be gone forever. 

Here are all the topics covered in my handbook for $10 or under on Amazon at

Contents Page
Bio of Author 3
Introduction to Writing/How to Develop a Good Story 4
Taking Breaks/Keeping Receipts
Emails/Writer’s Groups
Outlining Your Thoughts
Research/Posting Thoughts, Editing
Outlining Your Story
What is a Hook
How to Open with a Hook
Grammar Problems
Words to Avoid/Your Last Step Editing
Where to Find Editors/ Reference Books
Getting Published
Agent or Publisher
Different Ways to Publish
Becoming Your Own Publisher
E-Books/Query Letters
Sample of Query Letters
Sample of Synopsis
Book Proposal
Book Cover/Title
What Happens after Publishing/Media Kit
Difference Between a Rich and Poor Author/Websites for Authors
Albert’s Contact info and Published Books

Alberta Sequeir

Our American Heroes


The first hero in my heart was my father, Brigadier General, Albert Gramm, one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division during WWII. He fought in the battle of Metz, Lorraine, and the battle of The Battle of the Bulge.

He lived in East Falmouth and So. Dennis down Cape Cod, Massachusetts with my mom, Sophie Gramm.


There are countless men and women who have given up their lives in foreign countries to keep us safe and alive. Our blessings and thanks go out to the ones still fighting wars that seem to have no end. 

Albert L. Gramm’s life can be read in A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugujore. It can be purchased at

Alberta Sequeira
[email protected]

End of Word Press Helping Writers


How to Self-Publish

What a shock! Like everyone else who is after making money off the authors, CreateSpace has started the same hunger step to have authors pay from a choice of 3 different companies to help you get your book formatted for publication. 

I wrote a book How to Self-Publish Your Own Book with CreateSpace. The content of their words to describe what you have to do or what you did wrong, is explained in my book. The remarks will still be of help for free to help you understand how to publish with CS. If you hit in search templets for books, they will have it set-up for you to add your manuscript directly to the size you want for your book. 

CreateSpace has MANY roadblocks for the writer. I noticed when going in to ask a question, they had it posted, but once you hit on the topic, they said it was no longer available. 

So, CreateSpace now has you where they want you. They hope you will put the money out to have their company do the publishing, making money for them. You have no choice if you have never done it before. I went absolutely CRAZY for 4 months trying to get my first book into their site, understanding what everything meant, and had no other author friend help me. They found their steps so confusing that they paid publishers to do it for them. 

I don’t see any reason to update my handbook on how to publish with them. My steps should help you. It was easier for me back then feeling safe with their 24/7 help force, but I myself may end up confused. It’s been 8 years since my last time working to self-publish with them. Never knew until a week ago that they stopped their services. 

Here is a review from someone who bought my book How to Self-Publish Your Own Book with CreateSpace. Click on and my books will show up. The price is $8.00. Better than paying for a three-hour course to attend. 

From Amazon site:
Reviewed How to Self-Publish Your Own Book with Create Space
Great read!
Definitely helps with writing a book for the first time! It helps with various different parts! Thanks so very much.

Have a great day!

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

Believing when we lose a loved one

 I realize that I write mostly on substance abuse, but I’d like to talk about why I wrote my very first book A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje.

Spiritual Renwal

This is not a book just for women. It’s about my not taking advantage of getting to know my father, Albert L. Gramm, before he died in 1990. He was a retired Brigadier General in the Army and served in the 26th Yankee Division becoming one of their commanding offices during WWII, fighting in some famous battles like; Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge. Yes, so many of us let our parent’s lives go with them when they leave this world. We forget they were young at one time.

I watched my father die slowly from cancer at eighty years old as he laid in his bed each day. I unexpectedly called in work on a Monday morning stating I was taking two weeks off to spend my last moments with him. Since I handled the largest account of the company, my manager was upset with no replacement that day. At the time, my need to be with Dad was stronger than leaving him. If they let me go, I felt secure that another job could be found.

He lived with my mother, Sophie Gramm, my brother, Joseph and his wife, Marge in South Dennis, Massachusetts, located down the Cape Cod area. They both lived for years in East Falmouth, Massachusetts. The morning of his death, Cathy Valeriani, Vice President of the Ashumet Valley Property Owners, Inc. came to tell him, they were naming the main entrance parcel of Ashumet Vally to be known as the AL GRAMM PARK. The location is at the corner of Route 151 on Nathan Ellis Highway and Fordham Road in East Falmouth. You can’t miss the tall American flag flying at the large stone. Chathi arrived around 10am and Dad passed at 5am that morning. He never heard the news.

Lucky I did not go to work Monday, because the following Friday, when I would have been returning, my father passed. I would have been at work. Instead, I stayed with him before being taken to the funeral home. 

I had many blessing before his left us. He gave me a special gift opening his eyes the last time while I faced him in the rocker staring at him. His warm, lovable smile went through my heart like a flame and has stayed burnt in it since he left. Thinking back to him showing me his love with that grin, still melts my heart. It brings a smile to my face. 

I watched him holding his rosaries every day and night trying to concentrate as he said them. My sister, Leona, asked if he wanted us to say them for him. I never in my life learned the rosary. We are all given them at our First Holy Communion. How many know how to say them? Here I was at 42 years old not knowing this beautiful prayer. I said them along with my sister and two sister-in-laws. I learned that this prayer was about the lives of Jesus and his loving mother, Mary. 

Leona gave me his beads when he died. He had them his whole life and placed them in his pant’s pocket wherever he went during the war to say them. He promised Our Lady that if she got him home safe to his family, he would say them until his death. He was struggling to keep that promise dying in bed.

His death was a gift to me, because I had left the Church for 15 years from being bitter that God had deserted me while I tried to hold my family together with an alcoholic husband and two daughters. At the time of my father’s death, I realized I not only needed God back in my life, but that I wanted Him. Opening up my heart to God, made me see that it wasn’t God that left me, I left Him. I shut the door on Him. 

I had choices living in fear, confusion and abuse with alcoholism in our family. Instead of leaving and keeping the girls safe, I became a great enabler for over fourteen years, damaging my daughter, Lori. If I hadn’t had God in my life, I would have not survived her death or my husbands from this worldwide disease. 

I took their deaths and made them into books. In this one, I show how God became my life. We will never know why He takes our loved ones, especially the young. We have to wait until He calls us. I wrote about Richie and Lori’s life ending with the conclusion written by 34 alcoholics and addicts about what we are missing as family to work together for them to desire the want to recover. 

This is a book of love, family, death, God, and having our faith return. It doesn’t matter what your religion is that you practice. We are all His children.

The book and the others can be purchased at

It’s a wonderful book to give as a gift to someone in the hospital, sick, dying, someone who has lost their way, or one for you to open your heart to reality….We are here for a short time. Love one another each day! We never know when God will knock on our doors.

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

What would I have changed?


What would I change after losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, from their alcohol and drug abuse? I’ve been asked that question numerous times.

I would have let the laundry wait until I had a cup of coffee to ask Richie and Lori how their day went the night before. Who were they with? Did anything unusual happen? 

I would have taken the time to sit down calmly and talked about what the family went through with them coming home in a blackout; talking about Richie’s actions bringing fear and confusion into the family, especially his two young daughters. I would have mentioned the abuse he was starting with me physically and mentally on his daughters. There would have been no fights or yelling talking to him. I would have stopped the enabling and possibly helped him.

I would have made demands the first time problems started to show. If he had no desire to get professional help, I would have protected our children instead of him. If the family does not make rules and forbid any abusive or mental actions within the family, we innocently drag the substance abuser deeper into their addiction and damage our family members for life.

So, my advice the day after an event of confusion and fear is to have tried harder to communicate. Ignoring the situation makes everyone think that the alcoholic life is normal.

Most importantly, I would have told them I loved them more often and wrapped my arms around them to show instead of telling. I would have let them know I didn’t hate them, it was the disease I hated.

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

Purchase books:

Breaking the ties


Wow, they want me to give up my friends. Are they nuts? What is there to do besides being with them? So we get high. Who are we hurting?

It sure isn’t easy, especially if they are making fun of you or your trying to go straight. No matter how old we get, name calling and being made fun at is still a knife in your heart. 

YOU have to think of what you will gain when you walk away. Sometimes, we have to leave friends and family to go in another direction..a healthy one. If you don’t, you won’t have a life. Yes, it can happen to any of us. 

The more you use, the more you want. The more you want, the closer you come to death!


Books at
Email: [email protected]…I love to hear from you!

Why are you actually drinking or using drugs?



Ask yourself and answer these questions honestly. No one will know your excuses but you. Think about it. Are they excuses to put your life in danger?

Why are you drinking or using drugs? Are you following your friends or the crowd? Are you trying to fit in? How many people in your family through generations have been trying to battle this disease. Did some members die? Do you feel you are on the same path as they traveled?

Is drinking causing problems in your life? Think about it. Are the fights, arguing, bills mounting up, no interest in the family anymore, lost your job, home, car being repossessed, lost your kids to other family members to bring up, finding excuses to fight so you can walk out of the house to join your friends, feel like no one understands you but your drinking friends, stop off for “one” drink which leads into an all-nighter, do you come home drunk and look for fights, are you getting abusive with your mate, are you in too many fights, are your children scared of you, did you lose your past friends that you enjoyed being around, are you avoiding family because of having to explain your actions, feel smothered by parent’s questions, had car accidents after drinking, been arrested for the event, been in jail too many times for your actions while drinking, living on the streets, have you developed the fear to go out into the public and hide at home, or do you have past hurts you can't face without your habit to feel numb?

Wow! I can go on with pages of problems. SUBSTANCE ABUSE BECOMES A PROBLEM, WHEN IT CAUSES PROBLEMS!! Become aware of it. STOP BEFORE YOU CAN'T. Swallow your pride and ask for professional help before your family has to burying you!

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

Dry Spell with Writing and Promoting


Have you felt hopeless with ever getting known or with your writing? I’m at that stage. You call, email, send personal queries, introduction letters, and even walk into bookstores or libraries to have the chance to book sign. Do you run to check emails, or jump with excitement when the phone rings, only to realize your information to someone has gone dead?

Wow! How do we keep going? Since 2007, this is the first time with writing my new fictional book that I’ve been off the computer not doing any work on it for four months. We did move to another building in our complex and I had eye surgery. But, getting to the excitement to continue is a struggle.

My new book The Rusty Years is to be a trilogy. The first book is completed and the other two are in drafts almost done. Sent queries out 6-9 months ago to romance, women’s fiction, and other publishers or agents with my information and nothing has arrived.

Since I have done all my books in Create Space, that will most likely be my next move. I had truly hoped for a publisher with this book.  It felt different than all my memoirs or Narrative Non-Fiction. I had a shock last week finding out that Create Space will NO LONGER help a writer get their book(s) into their site or even give advice if you run into a problem. If you do need help, they offer three companies…you have to pay, to help you set your book up. 

That adds up to another thing being taken off a writer or author…..our money. Everything is about making “money” for everyone but the author who has worked their hearts out to get published. Every company eats off our royalties. 

All these new changes are fine if you work and make “money.” Being retired, is a downfall. We struggle enough to save for our medication, food, gas, or other important things. This year, the raise in Social Security with an added $2.00 a month has not helped me. 

I’m not complaining, but talking openly about the author's roadblocks that face us all. There has to be some wonderful, exciting, new stories to pull at our reader’s hearts or give educational advice that go under the rug and never seen. 

So, to me, the goal is try to get the manuscript correctly into Create Space and set my mind to the steps of just getting the book out there. Miracles happen and maybe, just maybe, the book will be noticed. 

Years ago, I read about a male author who saved himself the headache of everything I mentioned and just put his 23 books into Kindle....ebooks. He put no money out, skipped the publishers and agents, no need to wait 2 years for his work to get into the public’s eye or run from one festival to another. Smart man. If his work is worth it, and the ratings of his book goes up, someone of importance will notice it. That’s a good way to stop stress. If the Kindle goes well, then a publisher could put it into book form. 

Just venting this morning. I hope someone else related to my words. 

Have a great day!

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict


Here is a book, not only for the substance abusers, but for family members, society, doctors, and counselors to learn, not only what the addict is looking for with support to help them through with their recovery, but new ways to help the addicted. You will learn that childhood emotional wounds mold us into what we become in adulthood.
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is a book of personal stories by thirty-four alcoholics and drug users from all walks of life. The first few years of recovery in substance abuse contain numerous pitfalls which addicts in recovery must have the right kind of help with. The best-intention of friends, family, lovers, and co-workers can be healthy supports or obstacles to long-term sobriety. Addicts sharing their experience, strength, and hope with others is something that only a recovering addict or alcoholic can do. It is a unique gift. 

This book contains the testimonies of individuals who were or are actively in a recovery program and wanted to share their habit and actions with their struggles trying to overcome their own addiction. Their main goal is to help others who are fighting with their recovery and sobriety. These are their own stories on how their addiction led to the devastation of losing control of their life, family, friends and the death of other family members from this disease we call Alcoholism. Their desire is to lift other substances abusers, especially young people, in learning the reality that it’s not that drinking and taking drugs may, could or would kill. It will.
Hopefully, the heartfelt honesty from the participants will help doctors and counselors to use their stories for their own study on what may be missing in the treatment methods. The personal testaments within What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an added tool as to how people are affected, and how they suffer long-term drinking habits from living in an active alcoholic family.
As one contributor wrote, “I was tired of getting sick, my hands shaking, my vision deteriorating, my nose bleeding, my bowels moving sporadically, the violence and running from many situations being paranoid to the point of staying home all day (I had a job, a husband, family), not sleeping and not feeling safe.” What alcoholic or addict is not going to relate to these emotions?

From the Author, Alberta Sequeira
I want substance abusers to know these important messages in my book:
Choices: The word is powerful. Realize the meaning when you are faced with taking that other drink or buying that drug down the street.  Choices, if someone calls you to go to his or her party with alcohol or drugs.
Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Stop hanging out with those who have no desire at all to recover.
First, you can do this. You can recover. Think it in your mind and want it more than life itself in your heart.
Get rid of the garbage in your life by talking to counselors or doctors. It’s a step to healing.
It takes more for a person to ask for help than the ones too scared to take the step and keep on the same “death” path.
Forgive the person who hurt you. You don’t have to keep them in your life. Give it up to God for Him to heal you. Forgiving moves you toward recovery. Let it go.
I learned writing this book that family can only love and support the addict. They have to do the work to recover. They have to want it.
I had the contributors write their feelings in this book with their struggle with reaching sobriety because I wanted to know what happened to my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori. What did they need from me that I didn’t supply?
I want families and substance abusers to realize the mistakes I made along the way. 

Email: [email protected] (LOVE Reviews)
Reviews at
I’m free for talks. Email for a quote.

From the Inside Flap
This book was written by individuals who were or are actively in a recovery program and wanted to share their habit and actions with their struggle trying to overcome their own addiction. Their main goal is to help others who are fighting with their recovery and sobriety. These are their own stories on how their addictions led to the devastation of losing control of their life, family, friends and the death of other family members from this disease we call Alcoholism.
Their desire is to lift other substances abusers, especially young people, in learning the reality that it’s not that drinking and taking drugs may, could, or would kill; they will.
Hopefully, the heartfelt honesty from the participants will help doctors and counselors to use their stories for their own study on what may be missing in the treatment methods. The personal testaments within What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict are an added research as to how people are affected, and how they suffer from long-term drinking habits, and from living in an active alcoholic family.
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict may become a learning process for family members to develop the awareness of what the substance abusers are asking for with their support system and recovery programs in order to overcome their addictions. The written statements are a start for all of us to understand the physically and mentally pain alcoholics and addicts are battling. Let us unite together as a family and society to combat this affliction.

From the Back Cover
Do you ever wonder why some alcoholics and drug addicts recover and put their lives together while others die from this horrible worldwide problem? What gives them the physical and mental strength to fight this battle and come out winning? These questions, and the author’s tragedy to losing her husband and daughter from their alcohol abuse encouraged this writing.
You will learn from thirty-four contributors that childhood emotional wounds mold us into what we become in adulthood.

Taking the Steps Towards the Unknown

One Sober Hour

What do they say, “One Day at a Time?” What about “One Hour at a Time, “One Moment at a Time?” I call them baby steps. It’s like crossing over a bridge with pieces of wood missing and going slowly and fearfully, but what a reward making it to the other end. Life can be the same way.

It’s so easy to stay in the pit of no hope when we allow fear to take over, even when you know it could lead to your death. The other side is waiting for you to travel over to reach the spot. 

The unknown is the scary part. Life is about growing and taking chances. It’s about taking our mistakes and turning them into something wonderful. It’s taking a raining, dark, depressing day, and coming to life when the sun and warmth overtakes it. 

Giving up drinking friends, the comfortable social times, the highs, even the hangovers, watching your day come and go with nothing worthwhile achieved but staying stuck, can win over your decision not to change because you’re in a familiar place. You’re already there. You know from your past experiences what the outcome will be, even if it’s bad. 

But changing, going over to the other unfamiliar side of life, the struggle to get there, asking for forgiveness, proving yourself, asking for help, confessing your mistakes, opening up your soul to your past hurts and fears to a stranger, is like taking your heart out. Sharing your past out loud makes you anxious and panicky. That’s the healing process. Get the garbage out. That’s a step to recovery.

Think of your way of life as being the disease that needs an operation to fix it. When you can’t stand the discomfort any longer, you seek professional help from a surgeon. You’re happy you had the surgery, but now you face and dread the pain from the removal of the disease. It’s a long road to recovery. Maybe, you need rehab to bounce back, months of healing. No one looks forward to going towards the suffering, so you stay with the disease to only get sicker until the disease can kill you.

Think of the results, if you say, “Yes.” You can look back and say, “It was a nightmare, torture, but I did it.” You can now return back to being healthy. You’re on a new path. Making a change is better than staying stuck. It takes more of a person to ask for help than one who refuses to change. 

No one can do it for you. Stop waiting for them to come along and solve your addiction or having that miracle pill to take instead of you doing the work. The thing you don’t see is that you have the ability to do it. Maybe you need someone to tell you or to read it in a book. 

I’m here to say, “You can do it.” Believe in yourself and God. Turn to your Higher Power. Give it all up to Him. You’ll never be alone. Don’t worry if you don’t feel the change or see it. We are weak humans who want our prayers answered immediately and how we want the result. Change comes when God feels you are ready and what direction you should take. The transformation will happen when you least expect it. Maybe you will be on the path of recovery and not realize it until you are in the middle of the results.

Most important: Don’t give up on yourself.


You are always in my prayers.

Alberta Sequeira

Email: [email protected]