Countdown to the first self-published novel: 7 – How to enjoy chocolate

The countdown continues. SEVEN.

The process:

The edits are complete! My wonderful editor, Alice Jago, has sent me the last ones yesterday. I’ll incorporate them today or tomorrow.

Along with working on edits, I am learning formatting my novel as an e-book and as a paperback. It is amazing how many things need to be taken into account. And they are extremely interesting.

Have you for example ever noticed that most of novels on paper have first paragraph in a chapter without indentation and the rest are indented? I have never noticed this until challenged but Tim C. Taylor in his book on formatting for CreateSpace (Amazon’s daughter business for self-publishing paperback books). He challenged his readers to go and check the novels on one’s bookshelf and when I did it with many books on my shelf I found that he was right.

The same is with page numbers.

“If you are publishing a conventional novel, most people will never read the page numbers.” Tim C. Taylor in “Format YOUR Print Book with Createspace …and Lulu, using Microsoft Word”.

True. The page numbers are only observed when they are missing. I’ve learned that there are mostly two practices with page numbers. One is to place them centred in the footer and another in the header in the outer corners, while the book’s title and author’s name are in the middle of odd and even numbered pages, correspondingly. I haven’t decided yet, which to choose, the most important criteria here being, that they don’t attract too much attention.

It is amazing how we do not notice details when everything is to our comfort, but as soon as even a tiny thing is amiss, we notice it.

The same is with writing itself: as soon as we are torn out of the story and notice the written word, we wrinkle our noses. Although we do forgive our favourite authors for a mistake or two. Also a smooth flow of a story for one reader might become a trip full with tripping hazards for another. I am quite excited to further try my pen to create flowing and captivating stories.


We learn many of our habits from our parents, and we give them further to our children. Many of these habits relate to how we enjoy our food. We learn traditional meals and we learn how our parents enjoyed various treats. If you ask me what is the best way to enjoy dark chocolate, then you will always get the same answer: with white bread. This is how my father taught me to eat it. He used to say that it tastes best like this. And I agree. Although, I do suspect today that he enjoyed chocolate with bread and taught us to do so in order not to let usually small amounts of chocolate, we could buy on a rare occasion in Soviet Union, disappear at once in our mouths.

With the quote and scene below from Chapter 20, I wanted to capture this tradition invented and introduced by my father.


I never tasted chocolate at the orphanage. The first time I did was in Odessa, when Anatolii shared a small chocolate bar his mother had sent him.

I remembered breaking the dark, almost black chocolate, into small pieces, almost crumbs, on a slice of bread. For that occasion we had bought several pieces of white bread, instead of the usual grey. The gentleness of the bread’s soft flesh and the sweet but bitter taste of the chocolate had made me forget for a moment where I was. When I opened my eyes, I saw Anatolii’s, Nikita’s and Anya’s closed eyes, happy faces and soon finished slices of bread and chocolate in their hands. We laughed to tears when we opened our eyes and saw one another doing the same thing. We all agreed that combined with the tea, this was one of the best meals we’d ever had.


Call to action after the quote: If you ever try to enjoy dark chocolate like this, let me know how you liked it. And if you have another particular way how to enjoy chocolate, I would be very curious to read in the comments.


Candy, chocolate, ice-cream. These are the words, and in this sequence, used by my mother when she addresses my children in Romanian. I simply have to share these pictures of my two sweeties playing together.