Belong by Bella Larsen


Early in the morning
Before alarms or the sun
I hide from my anxiety
Content with feeling none
Once I go about my day I start to feel it creep inside
But for now, I feel peace
Anxiety is at low tide
I’m with the love of my life
Cuddling in bed
He’s laying into my chest
While i rub his hair and head
We listen to songs
Or simply just be
Here, in our little cocoon,
I don’t ever want to leave.
He tells me he dreamt of our future
Where we have both a son and a daughter
“She was beautiful and had your eyes,” he says
I can’t wait to see him as a father
This life I am living
Feels as though it’s from my dreams
Sometimes it feels too good to be true
And it’ll be ripped from me at the seams.
So when these thoughts sneak in
And scare away my calm
I take a deep breath and cuddle into my love
Content with knowing this is where I belong.



About Bella

Bella Larsen is a writer, poet, pisces, dreamer, empath, and overthinker. You can find her work on her blog, My Soul Told Me To and on Instagram @mysouldtoldmeto.

Surrendering by Bella Larsen

Sometimes I fight
Against my demons
I fight for control
Of my mind
So I do not lose myself
To their darkness
But other times
Like tonight
I am so very tired
I take a long, deep breath
And I let them win.




About Bella

Bella Larsen is a writer, poet, pisces, dreamer, empath, and overthinker. You can find her work on her blog, My Soul Told Me To and on Instagram @mysouldtoldmeto.

Poetry on Instagram

Over the last few years, poetry’s presence on Instagram has been growing. The ability to mesh two mediums, imagery and beautiful words, has been around for centuries. But today, the accessibility to quickly put together a lovely phrase and an even lovelier image is so easy that it has taken Instagram by storm. Mashable did an article, titled The radical, democratising power of Instagram poetry, in October 2018 about the rise of interest in poetry via mediums like Instagram. Interest has exploded in millennials particularly, per the article. Millennials, who are the leaders in social media trends have spurred this revolution, and revival of poetry interest . Mashable noted that while literary leaders have scoffed at the Instagram poetry movement; young readers are loving it.

If you’ve never considered purchasing a book of poetry, I encourage you to check out some of the poets below. You can view snippets of their work on their Instagram accounts and whet your appetite. Take a poetic tour of the internet and enjoy this artistic medium wherever you are! And while you’re at it, check out @poetryfoundation to meet even more authors and writers during National Poetry Month.

These are some of the top Instagram poets that we follow.

  1. @rmdrake
  2. @cleowade
  3. @rupikaur
  4.  @atticuspoetry
  5. @langleav
  6.  @poeticpoision
  7.  @yrsadaleyward
  8.  @tylerknott
  9. @nayyirah.waheed
  10.  @nikita_gil
  11. @moonmuze
  12. @mustafathepoet
  13. @adrianhendryx
  14. @quarterlifepoetry
  15. @langleav


Do you have a talented Instapoet that you follow? Make sure to share their information in the comments so other readers can discover their craft.

Michele McAvoy & The Gorilla Picked Me!

Native Ink Press: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Michele McAvoy: 
Anywhere where I can hide from my family. Seriously, I have two small children and a husband who all want attention, so I sneak away to write. I will write early in the morning (for an hour or less) before I sign onto my law job and the same at night when all are asleep (and I should probably be sleeping, too). During those times not only do I write, but I also market my published books and keep myself in the loop of the industry (ie: get caught up on Twitter, a virtual playground for children’s book authors).


Native Ink Press: How did you come up with the idea of this book? How long did it take you to write?

Michele McAvoy: The Gorilla Picked Me! is based on a true story from when I was a little girl. As a Girl Scout Brownie, I attended a daddy-daughter dance. When I was little, I was chubby and felt like I didn’t stand out in a positive way like my friends who were tall and skinny. During the dance, my daddy stepped away and a dancing gorilla appeared. The gorilla picked me up and danced with me. It wasn’t until my 30’s, years after my father had passed away, did I think that it was possibly him in that gorilla suit. Simple moments can define a person and I love that my father’s love gave me this special moment. He is no longer here for me to ask if it was, in fact, him in that gorilla suit. It’s his forever secret, and I love that too.

The Gorilla Picked Me! has gone through many (many!) revisions. The first draft came pretty easily and closely resembles the final story. But there were many revisions in between as I tried to navigate the opinions of publishers who don’t prefer rhyme, and as I perfected the rhyme and meter to stand out on a professional level.


Native Ink Press: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Michele McAvoy: I love Andrea Beatty and her children’s picture book, Rosie Revere Engineer. Ms. Beatty is an inspiration for writing in rhyme and I love the message of Rosie Revere, that little girls can do anything they put their minds to and to never let others steer you away from your passion. Be yourself!

I also love picture books illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. A personal favorite of mine (and my 5-year-old daughter’s) is I’m Bored written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. This funny picture book pegs how little kids think and get frustrated and Ms. Ohi’s illustrations are fun and full of positivity.

Finally, I love Dav Pilkey, the genius behind The Adventures of Captain Underpants. Mr. Pilkey came to my rescue in my struggle to encourage my son (now 8 years old) to read. His fabulously flawed mischievous characters, George and Harold, kept my son’s interest and got me through First and Second Grade reading logs. Mr. Pilkey’s unhindered imagination and attention to what kids like (not grown-ups) is an inspiration for all those writing for children.

On a more mature level, I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (at this point it’s become so mainstream I’m afraid it’s a cliché.) But, I’m a romantic and complicated like Elizabeth Bennet, so Mr. Darcy gets me every time!



About the Author

Michele McAvoy is a children’s book author, an attorney and a mother of two young children.  Michele’s love of books began as a young girl excited to order Troll books at school (that Troll traveling bookstore was the best!)  As a child, she loved taking trips to the Barnes & Noble in the Village of NYC to buy Judy Blume when visiting with her grandmother.  Michele always enjoyed the quiet creativity that came along with reading and writing.  She now finds peace in her often-hectic days when she’s writing.  Michele’s debut picture book “My Superhero Grandpa” is the recipient of a 2016 Children’s Moonbeam Book Award.  She is excited about the release of her newest picture book “The Gorilla Picked Me!” coming in 2018.  Michele graduated cum laude from both New York University and Brooklyn Law School and considers herself a “cool nerd.”  She currently lives in the suburbs of New Jersey and embraces her “joisey” accent (it’s a losing battle otherwise).

Michele’s book The Gorilla Picked Me! is available for pre-order on our website, Native Ink Press and Ink Smith Publishing. The pre-order sale includes a hardcover, author signed edition! You can pre-order your copy here.

Connect with  Michele on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

#ShareYourGlass Free Book Giveaway!

#ShareYourGlass with @inksmithpublishing for your chance to win a copy of D.A.Sciortino’s debut novel, Just How Long is a Lifetime! Just snap and post a photo of your wine glass, tag us in your photo, and use the hashtag #ShareYourGlass for your chance to win this love story that transcends time and space.
#love #freebooks #lovestory #wine#contest #giveaway #free #fiction#bookgiveaway #sip #liquidgrapes
Contest ends November 1!

Winner will be notified via Instagram message.


About Just How Long is a Lifetime?

When Luisa, a young girl in nineteenth-century Sicily, falls in love with Giovanni, she is destined for heartache. Luisa’s father has plans for her – to marry the heir of the vineyard that both Luisa’s and

Giovanni’s families work on. Avoiding trouble, Giovanni’s father decides to leave the vineyard after the young couple is caught together.

Following her father’s orders, Luisa marries the heir, Lorenzo, and together they build a family. But fate leads Giovanni back to the vineyard, this time working for Luisa’s husband. All too soon, Lorenzo learns of their past and jealousy sets the barn on fire.

While Giovanni perishes in the flames, Luisa remains unharmed – and extraordinarily, eternally 32. As her family ages around her, Luisa is forced to adapt to each new decade, the mystery of the fire burning in the back of her mind. Will Luisa finally find the answers to a happy ending, or is time against her even when things start to fall into place?