Wednesday, 19 February 2014

10 Minute Poems

I call them 10 minute poems. I've been having fun with them lately.

What are they?

Well, they are poems I write in roughly ten minutes, but there's a catch.

I solicit ideas from friends and strangers. These ideas come in the form of a single word or phrase that people give me. It can be an animal, an object, a thought, a feeling, anything. Their own imagination is the limit. Yesterday on my Facebook page, I asked for someone to give me a word and I'd write them a poem. I was given the word Xbox. This poem took roughly 15 minutes to write. I'm totally guessing on that. It was first thing this morning when I wrote this, and to be honest, I wasn't keeping close track of the clock, but I promise it didn't take long.

His Affair

You should be here
pressing my buttons
blazing trails of happiness
down my back
with sweet kisses.
Bliss could be ours,
we could fall
into each other
never recover.
I've waited for you
forever
and the only thing
between us now
the only thing hindering us
from falling into each other
is your unshakable addiction
to Assassins Creed.
I think you love that Xbox
more than you love me.

I plan to write more of these in the future. So, if you want to be the inspiration behind a 10 minute poem, leave your word or phrase in the comments.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vote For The Echo Remains

My poem, The Echo Remains, is in a competition over on bestnewpoems.com It would be super duper if you'd go read it, and if you liked it, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. While your there, be sure to check out some of the other awesome works.

In other news, I've got a few more acceptances in the old inbox lately, so be sure to look at My Work. A 100 word story of mine was recently published, read that here.  Last, but not least, a story of mine, Talking to Strangers, was accepted into the exciting first issue of The Literati Quarterly.

And I may or may not have sent my poetry chapbook to a publisher this morning. *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Review Ettiquette

Reviews are a big thing in the author world. They can make or break you, really. You do your best to put out a quality piece of work; but in the end, no matter the perfection, the readers still get their say. They get to say if they appreciate the work you've done.

It seems that there is an ongoing debate about whether or not authors should comment on reviews of their work. Even if that comment is a positive one, such as a thank you. As an author, one would think it courteous to say thank you to a reviewer. After all, good or bad, they did take the time to review your book. I used to think it would be okay to say thank you, what harm could come, right?

I saw someone say that authors should stay away from their reviews. If you must read them, read them, but do not comment on them under any circumstances. Even to say thank you. This person said it seems obsessive, and I might be inclined to agree with him. If a reader wants to talk to you about your book, they will contact you. If they can't contact you, you're doing it wrong.

I've seen authors go the other direction and completely lose it on a reviewer, not cool. I've also seen authors go on their Facebook pages and other social media sites and completely bash someone for leaving them a one star review. This makes me not want to read your book. If I have read your book, this makes me certain that I will not leave you a review, ever. I don't want to be the next topic of public flogging on your blog.

So, here's my advice, both as a writer and a reader.

Don't comment on reviews of your book.
Don't comment on reviews of your book.

and third,

Don't comment on reviews of your book.

If you feel obligated to thank someone for their review, send them a private message, don't use public forums to thank the reader. Thank-you's are like potato chips. "If I give one to you, I have to give one to everybody else." Also, don't flog the lower ratings on your blog/website/twitter/facebook page. All you're going to accomplish is making sure less people leave you a review...and you're going to draw attention to your lower ratings. People are snoopy, guaranteed at least some of them will go and read this review you hate so much. Don't do it.

Just. Don't. Do. It.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I'll Be Thirty One Soon

My thirty first birthday is approaching. Every year for the past few years I've tried to set goals which revolve around my birthday. For example, back a few years ago now, I was a smoker. I made a goal to be a non-smoker by my thirtieth birthday. I quit when I was nearly twenty-nine and have been smoke free ever since. Since that went so well, I then set a goal to write a novel before turning thirty. So then, during NaNoWriMo 2012, just months before my birthday deadline, I wrote my first book. I then followed it with another and a treasure trove of stories.

As I approach my thirty first birthday I take comfort in the fact that I've accomplished a lot of writing goals this year. Certainly not least of all, I've assembled my manuscript for my chapbook. It's out with some beta readers right now, but it's together and I'm proud of my work. I can't wait to submit it.

Now I sit here, feeling rather accomplished and I think to myself, what can I do before I turn thirty two? What things do I want to accomplish in this next year of my life. Well, I want to write another book. This book, however, I am certain will make it beyond the first draft. I have two books under my belt which means I have two books worth of mistakes under my belt. I feel slightly more confident going into this new project of mine. I think this one will be the one to make it.

So, my goal for the thirty-first year of my life: Write another book and get it into a submission worthy state.

I know I can do this. I feel like I really know what I'm doing for a change.

Plus, helping Amber with her books has given me volumes of experience that I know I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. I suggest to any writer, that they beta read for others. I've been working hard this year on honing my skills, beta reading among them. But I didn't stop there. I also branched out into content editing and recently, line editing. It was an invaluable experience and you know what else, it didn't even feel like work. I had a ridiculous amount of fun going through and line editing.

I guess I really was meant to be a writer.