Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Indie Authors Rock - Blog Tour

Tamara's One Stop Indie Shop

I joined this tour on a whim, thinking it would be an easy post, a bit of publicity and a chance to support fellow writers. What I didn't realize was the amount of soul searching it would require to get the job done. To be honest, I had never planned to be an Indie Author.

Writing does not come easily to me. I stress over each word, each sentence, each paragraph and when I think I might have it perfect, I usually end up deleting and starting all over again. It's a painful process but in the end I have something created for me, by me that I am happy to share with the world. Being an Indie Author gives me the opportunity to maintain the integrity of my writing without having to succumb to publisher norms, market trends or writing styles that don't work for me.



To be honest, this wasn't the path I intended to take. Like every hopeful writer starting out, I created my opus and sent it out to agents and publishers thinking I had an immediate best seller on my hands. Of course, that wasn't true. Oh, it was good - but it wasn't what anyone was looking for. It didn't "fit" their piece of the marketing puzzle.

With a lot of encouragement, I blindly set out on my own, self published and put my heart and soul on display for the world to see. Not having a clue about publicity, or how to go about advertising with elegance, I joined Indie writing groups on social media networks, hooked up with other self-published authors, read everything I could find and am now starting to actually sell books outside of my small social circle in the world.

Indie Authors provide a unique brand of enthusiasm for their work. They are approachable, giving, helpful and work hard for all their achievements. Contrary to popular belief, they simply don't zip off a quick story and publish to Kindle. They take their time, pass their books through editors, beta readers and their own critical eye. They hire cover designers and attend courses for marketing, social media and promotion. It's hard work, but worth every moment when a reader says, "I loved your book. When is the next one coming out."

Even more rewarding is when someone says, "Wow, your writing has improved. The first book was good, but the second was simply amazing."

There are some really good authors out there, easily visible, mixing with traditionally published writers. Put them side by side and you can't tell the difference unless you go looking for the publisher.




Listed below are the other participants in the "Why Indies Rock Blog Tour". Writers, reviewers, bloggers - stop by and see what they have to say.


November 1st- Tamara Beard 
November 2nd- Amber Garza 
November 3rd- Alli & Laura 
November 4th- Lori Parker 
November 5th- Jennifer Bogart 
November 6th- Coral Russel 
November 7th- Supagurl 
November 8th- Jo Michaels 
November 9th- Tammy-Louise Wilkins 
November 10th- Matt Gannon 
November 11th- Brianna Lee 
November 12th- Katie Shelby 
November 13th- L. Leander 
November 14th- Cynthia Hill 
November 15th- Mandy Anderson 
November 16th- Jamie Loeak 
November 17th- Amy Miles 
November 19th- Steph Brentson 
November 20th- Annie Walls 
November 21st- Becky Elizabeth Searson  
November 22nd- Ivana 
November 23rd- Jamie Cross
November 24th- Teresa Gabelman 
November 25th- Jennifer 
November 26th- Ren Reidy 
November 27th- Delphina Miyares 
November 28th- Nikki 
November 29th- L.a. Freed
November 30th- Patricia Lynne 
December 1st- Mary Smith 
December 2nd- Danielle Banister 
December 3rd- Janiera Eldridge
December 4th- Caddy Rowland 
December 5th- Shanora Williams 
December 6th- LM Preston
December 7th- Candy Ann Little 
December 8th- Jill Cooper 
December 9th- Martina 
December 10th- Shelly Pratt 
December 11th- Kelley Grealis 
December 12th- Michelle Hughes 
December 13th- Allison Medina 
December 14th- Angela 
December 15th- Jennifer Martinez 
December 16th- Brandi 
December 17th- Kristina Snyder 
December 18th- Jolene Perry 
December 19th- Stephanie Constante 
December 20th- Jessica Gibson 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Boring Biography


After polishing and perfecting my writing, next to creating the blurb to sell it, the most difficult thing to write is the dreaded author biography. I don’t want to bore readers with the mundane details of my very ordinary life, nor do I want to come off as being aloof and unreachable by not providing enough information. The problem is, finding the right balance.

The sad fact is, my life is really quite normal. Happily married with four boys and a dog; I’m a fulltime mom, part time chauffeur and hardly-there housekeeper. We don’t have dust bunnies in our house; we have fully grown dirt dragons, complete with wings.



My life experiences are very suburban. I might have started out on a farm but it’s not like I had to collect eggs from the chickens or anything like that. In fact, we didn’t even have chickens. I do remember confiscating my brother’s Tonka trucks to use as Barbie cars, since they were the perfect size. I also remember creating elaborate villages in the sandbox and flooding it with water to create rivers and lakes which drained as quickly as they formed.

Life as a teenager was typical. At least, I think it was. My taste in music was much to be desired. We’ll call that a blip since it improved tremendously as I matured. I had a solid group of girlfriends (who I’m happy to say I still keep in touch with), a boyfriend, and a part time job.  My biggest claim to fame was being the editor of my high school newspaper. As an adult, I can now admit I used to skip classes to work on “editing” articles. I’m surprised my teachers fell for that line. I was such a rebel – what I was really doing was reading or writing something just for me. (Sorry Mom and Dad – I did try to be a good kid most of the time.)



University followed, where I met my husband through a mutual friend, but that’s another story. Upon graduation, I didn’t find my dream job; rather I stumbled along that rocky road, taking what I could get until I wriggled my way into a fulltime writing position. It was only proposal writing, but I didn’t care because it meant I didn’t have to spend my days on the phone trying to sell somebody something. From there, I ventured into some technical writing before becoming a full time copy writer for a software company.

Then, there came the children – four in total – quite literally one after another. All boys, all very dynamic, and all somewhat demanding. To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything about them for the world – except for the asthma and allergies – that I would change if it were an option. Shortly after the arrival of the third child, we moved to the Montreal area and I decided to focus on raising my boys.



When the youngest started Kindergarten, a small void opened in my life. I decided I needed a dog, and Panda came into our lives. The problem was, she wasn’t quite enough to fill that hole, so I started writing again. The results? Remember Newvember, followed by Reflections. That’s it. That’s my life.
There are more ups and downs and bits and pieces, but essentially, these are the highlights. What it boils down to is: Jennifer Bogart lives outside of Montreal with her husband, four boys and the family pet. Not terribly exciting, but the best I can do.



I don’t have a story of success overcoming hardship and I haven’t traveled or lived in exotic places. We make our own adventures in life. Mine might seem simple, but trust me, raising a family and being a writer makes for a very busy and chaotic life.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Friends Forever

One of the primary themes running through Reflections is the connection between friends and family. The book is about how one woman lost track of her place in life and her sudden need to rediscover who she is. She does this by navigating her capricious relationships with her daughter, sister and friends.

Friends are something to be treasured forever and always. Unlike family, they don’t have to like, support or even respect you. They choose to be a part of your life and you have to choose to keep them there. It’s essential to take time for them, especially if they’re important to you. 


The older we get, the more difficult it is to hold onto those friendships from years gone by. How many of us can honestly say we’re still in touch with our first friend? I’m not talking about family friends, or cousins. I’m talking about those first companions from daycare or Kindergarten. I can’t. We moved when I was nine, and while my parents were very good at keeping track of their friends, I wasn’t.  At first there were letters, but soon those tapered off, which is to be expected as I became more engrossed with my new surroundings.


Now, my high school friends are a different story altogether. Some of us went to college/university together, we had our kids together and while we all moved away from our home town, we still managed to stay connected. Perhaps the bond between us was more mature or perhaps we were just better at holding on to what was important in our lives.


Friends come and go, as the need arises. Some stay forever and others just drift through on a passing breeze. Very few actually stick around through the best and worst of who we can be. These are the people we need to treasure. In today’s world, geography isn’t an issue. We have so many ways to find each other, to stay in touch and to communicate. Publicly or privately, it doesn’t matter. Aside from my family, who I love with all my heart, the extraordinary group of women who surround me, both far and near, will always hold a special place in my heart. 




Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dreaded Query

For the most part I try not to repeat myself on Facebook and my blog, but I thought the picture below was worth repeating. It's a copy of a query letter I dashed off, mostly to relieve the frustration of sending out serious letters and getting nothing in reply. The few replies I do get are simple form letters that show me the agent or publisher either didn't even read my submission, or couldn't be bothered to draft a personal note in return.

I know they are busy people, and I understand that there are thousands and thousands of authors submitting queries to them everyday in every possible genre imaginable. I also know that my writing may not be perfect, or appealing to everyone. It takes time, patience, practice and a little bit of luck to land on the right desk at the right time. My ability to practice patience was overruled by my sense of humour, and so I decided to share.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Unplugging to Plug in

I’m guilty of spending far too much time on the internet, checking Facebook, Twitter and browsing the forums on Authonomy. I have accounts on Goodreads, Pinterest and even something called Gothise, but I’m not exactly sure what it is or how I ended up there.


Sure, social networking is fun. My virtual friends are witty, sarcastic and funny. The problem is, I can lose hours to each of these things and not actually accomplish anything of value. There are times when someone’s status update will take precedent over something one of my kids have asked me, and that’s just wrong.

Not only am I connected to the internet by my faithful laptop, the vast information highway follows me where ever I go. Cell phones, smart phones, iPhones, iPods, iPads and Tablets are all wonderful devices, designed with the convenience of being portable. With 3G, 4G and free WiFi pretty much everywhere I go, I don’t even need to be sitting at my desk to get my internet fix. It’s always there, morning, noon and night. When I leave the house, go out for lunch, go grocery shopping, go to the gym or even spend an afternoon at the local pool with my family.


On the odd occasion I can’t actually connect to the virtual world – I have texts at my fingertips. Not quite as much fun, but for some strange reason, texting has become the communication of choice. Sometimes it seems easier, and perhaps less intrusive than a phone call, but is it really the same as truly connecting with a friend?

This week, while my husband is on holidays, I will also be taking a holiday. I will give myself the gift of unplugging for hours at a time, so I can focus on my children, my writing and connecting with friends in the physical world. This isn’t to say I won’t check in once and a while – I’m an independently published writer, so disconnecting completely would be suicide, but I will be placing some strict limits on my internet usage. No more Bejeweled games, no more checking Facebook’s news feed multiple times a day or idly skimming through the forums on Authonomy or other sites. I think it’s reasonable to allow 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 minutes in the afternoon to see where the world is at beyond my physical space – but other than that, I will be signing out. I owe it to myself, my children and my husband to take care of what I can feel and touch. So, for this week, at least, I will be unplugging so I can plug in with them and give them the quality time they deserve.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Seven Random Facts




Eveli Acosta nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. What a terrific way to acknowledge fellow bloggers, gain new followers and learn a bit more about friends in the virtual world. To “earn” this award, I must disclose seven random facts about myself.


Here goes:
  1. I like oranges but hate orange juice. It's slimy and tastes weird. (Somehow I manage to work this little fact into each of my books, not intentionally, it just happens).
  2. My husband and I went to Jamaica last spring. Everyone talked about how lush the vegetation is there, but I still think Canada has the most beautiful (and lush) countryside. 
  3. I kill plants - not that I'm proud of it, but for some reason I can't seem to make things grow, no matter how hard I try. 
  4. I have a dog that looks surprisingly like a black and white heifer. Her name is Panda Bear; she's lazy and too cute for words. 
  5. I hate folding/sorting socks and underwear. We are a family of six - that means 42 pairs of socks (or 84 individual socks). When I have to discipline my kids, I make them sort the gigantic basket of mismatched socks. 
  6. I love chocolate, but I am a little picky about the kind of chocolate. There can't be any nuts, mint or other weirdness in it. Some things just spoil its natural goodness. 
  7. My men (all five of them), mean the world to me. They drive me to distraction and back, but are completely worth the journey. 


Now – I have to nominate 15 bloggers to receive the Versatile Blogger Award – not an easy task, since there are so many.
  1. http://desertpackrat.blogspot.ca/
  2. http://fat-bottom-girls-chucky.blogspot.ca/
  3. http://webbiegrrl.blogspot.ca/
  4. http://www.thebigbangauthor.com/
  5. http://bookfare.blogspot.ca/
  6. http://www.yesandyes.org/
  7. http://mlgarrett.blogspot.ca/
  8. http://gemmiej.blogspot.ca/
  9. http://thatgirltyson.blogspot.ca/
  10. http://www.thewriterssalon.com/
  11. http://chitchatwithnettiebergin.blogspot.ca/
  12. http://euneria.blogspot.ca/
  13. http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.ca/
  14. http://elizabethmarcuswolfe.blogspot.ca/
  15. http://wordsbystelladeleuze.blogspot.ca/

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ten Things I learned during Camp NaNoWriMo

This year, I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, and things did not go quite as expected. Promising to write 50 000 words plus in 30 days amidst the chaos of grade six graduation, two birthdays, father’s day, a wedding anniversary, a child with a concussion, various other ailments, appointments and traveling was a little bit insane. I didn’t complete the 50 000 words, but I did learn a lot about myself and my writing – so I thought I would share:

1. During a 15 minute writing sprint, I can write up to 900 usable words. If only I were always so productive.

2. Writing is more fun when you know someone, somewhere is writing with you. Thank you FB support groups!


 3. The Ninjas will attack. They will steal your words and hold them hostage for hours, days or even weeks. Having chocolate on hand will help keep them away.


 4. My muse is not only nocturnal; she also often deserts me in favour of playing with other muses and eating cake.

 5. Alcohol does not cure writer’s block, but it can help.

6. Coffee is an absolute necessity.


7. My friends will bring me chocolate if I whine enough on social networks. (And I LOVE them for it!)


8. Laundry does not do itself, and while husbands and children are very helpful, they aren’t adept at folding, sorting and putting away. (Then again, neither am I.)


9. Books do not write themselves. They take time, patience and the understanding that sometimes even the writer doesn’t get to control the direction characters choose to take.


10. Trying to write with four children and a dog underfoot all day is like trying to paint a fence in the rain. Everything gets messy and diluted.

I don’t know if I’ll attempt Camp NaNoWriMo again during the summer months, but I am glad I tried. I have 32 000 words of a fun novel of fluff and stuff that I should be able to finish over the course of the summer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

50 Shades of Hype


Like so many of the curious, I found myself a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey so I could read what all the “hype” was about. I read some reviews, watched Ellen’s little skit on Youtube and decided I would take a look for myself before passing judgement. I’ll admit I was looking for the “wow” factor that transitioned E. L. James from a Twilight Fan Fiction writer to a traditionally published author.  The little green gremlin inside of me is still searching for it.



Fan fiction aside (both the author and publisher insist it is an original work of art, despite evidence to the contrary), the writing is redundant and lacks polish. The editor should be mortified over the misuse of words such as “subconscious”, not to mention the repetition, the word is found on nearly every page. In addition to its blatant misuse, it quickly loses effect and becomes boring because there is very little variation in Ana’s internal dialogue.

Still, pressing forward, what is it about this book that so many women are gushing over? It can’t be the sex. Either I’m too jaded, have read too much or “just don’t get it”. There is much better erotica easily available to women everywhere: erotica that isn’t degrading, but still involves rough play, bondage and other fetishes. A trip to a sex show will easily illustrate these are very common activities and not really so taboo as they once were. After a while, even the shock value of the sex wears off and loses its appeal – perhaps the author is simply giving away too much.



I must be losing my marbles – I can’t find any redeeming features in this book. At this point, I have read about one half of it, have skimmed over other parts and am struggling with finishing it to the end. Looking at character development – there simply isn’t any. Ana is whiney, annoying and nearly spineless, despite her last name of “Steele”. Christian is an ass – overbearing, selfish and quite frankly, rather bland. Perhaps I need to force myself to read a bit further, but my time is valuable, and I think, for my purposes, I’ve done enough research to answer my own question.



The hype is very simply our human need to be in the “know” of what’s cool, popular or scandalous. I fell for it, as I’m sure many others have. I’ve read comments by people who “don’t normally read books” who simply loved the series. I have also read comments by others, who hold the same opinion as I do, but bought and read the book anyway – to see what the fuss was about. I’m very much guilty of proliferating the publicity for Fifty Shades of Grey by posting this review on my blog.

Vintage Press, an imprint of Random House, should be embarrassed by this publication. Not because of its contents, and not because of its origins, but because of its poor presentation. For all intents, they seem to have been in such a hurry to deliver it to the public that they couldn’t be bothered to give it the attention and invest the resources any published book deserves. Sure, it’s selling millions of copies, and making them millions of dollars – but what it’s done to their reputation is irreparable. In fact, the entire situation makes me glad I’m an Indie writer. If this is what one of the “big six” puts out, I’d rather be dependent only on myself. I'll be spending my pennies on Indie Books in the future. Many of them are better written, with more engaging characters, and interesting plots. There's no point in supporting major publishing houses when they can't be bothered to spend the money necessary to make an author's work the best it can be. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NaPoWriMo April 25th

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are  embarking on their literary journey, I have been posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Today, I seem to have run out of poets - so you get the special treat of my most recent masterpiece.

Shadow Dance
(copyright Jennifer Bogart)

Sometimes when I'm walking, I look back and see
My shadow is dancing: a memory of me. 
From a time long ago, her step is airy and free,
I close my eyes tight; I don't want to see. 

Pale skin, soft eyes, with a smile so bright
I follow, entranced: afraid I'll lose sight. 
Her countenance changes, she gives me a fright,
I search through the darkness, but can't find her light. 

I call to her, but cannot remember her name
She once was me: but we're not the same.
She's only a memory, a figment, not tame,
Her gift is my future, cold, dark, filled with shame. 

Carefully, stealthily, I look to the right
The woman beside me is me: but not quite. 
Her smile is sad, her soul knows my plight,
She knows in my heart we can't make this right. 

She's in the past, too elusive to hold
Can't have her back: she's frail and she's old.
I look to the future, for legends untold,
I'll find myself there as my story unfolds. 




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 24th

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

Collin Tobin


Bio:

Collin is a native of the Boston, MA area, who graduated with a B.A in English, and an M.A. in Teaching at Lander University in South Carolina. While there, he earned the 1997 Southern Literary Festival's first prize in poetry. He is back in New England and enjoying life with his beautiful wife Gina and his two girls, Abby and Rachel. He intensely enjoys writing poetry, but also fiction, and is fearlessly working on his second unpublished novel.


Ash

I stood by your elbow at the front door
While you chatted with our neighbor
Your idle conversation swirled above my head
And an early summer breeze
Lazily tangled with your cigarette smoke
Pulled it through the door's screen
Diced it into little squares
Reassembled it on the other side
Again, and again, and again
A rehearsal of magic

The back and forth
Soothing swell of motherly gossip
Lulled me
As I leaned against you
And you leaned your still young, slim arm
Against the door
The warmth of the sun
And your warm hip
Kept me there for long minutes
As your cigarette ash elongated, stooped
In this shared torpor
As if nodding off
Then broke

The ash fell on my own arm
I forgot to scream I think
As I dumbly stared in horror
At the ash's still glowing red center
As if witnessing the delivery
Of a newborn devil

You jumped back
And extinguished it in a slap

Years later
You asked that I pour
The boxed up three pounds
Of your own cool ash
Into your favorite lake
I don't even have that now

Which is why I wish
That cigarette cinder had been brighter, hotter
Burned deeper
To leave behind the shiny cup of a scar
That I could touch, console
While lost in thought


 

Monday, April 23, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 23rd

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

William Holt


Bio:

I have been making poems for 65 years. The earliest one I have was written down by my mother when I recited it at the age of three. I have never been especially prolific; all the poems I care to allow people to see could fit in one medium size book.
Anything may bring about a poem--a sudden flash of memory, a chance remark, and animal crossing my line of sight, a marriage announcement in a newspaper, a feeling of frustration. I try to let the subject matter determine the form, which may be that of a sonnet, a villanelle, a clerihew, a double dactyl, a triolet, or a composition in free verse.

For many years I taught college and university English. I'm now retired and enjoying it greatly. My son, a far more prolific and often published poet himself, said that retirement has improved my output. But I doubt that it will ever increase to more than about twenty poems a year.

Many of my poems are collected in the anthology A Stony Path, available on the Authonomy web site, along with my paranormal crime novel, Faust's Butterfly.

A Little Ogden Nashery on the Weevil Race

Let us sing more of weevils.
They are not among the greatest evils.
Should you a weevil meet
It will not mind whether you greet
It with enthusiasm or with suspicion;
Irritability is not the weevil‘s characteristic condition.
But a weevil is not much of a pet:
Ask any vet.
It does not need or desire your care.
Because it has none, you need not comb its hair.
It will not give affection
Nor will it give protection,
And though it is unlikely to do anything to cause anyone to sue you,
It also does not believe that any of its simple services are due you.
Weevils are at their best in the wild,
And with a few notable exceptions, the damage they do is mild.
(The cotton boll weevil raised a fuss quite historical 

But this case should not cause condemnation categorical.)
If you ignore weevils they will ignore you too,
And you can be ignored by them and not be feeling blue. 



Pearl Bearer to Predator

Down where the waves do not define the sea,
I lie stone-still, feeding on things that come
By subtle currents, not by choice, to me,
Full of your poisons, yet I don’t succumb
To things your busy industries pour out.
I take them, and I hold them, growing more
Dangerous as time passes, and a stout
Dose waits for snails or worms or sea-stars, or
You--if you think this meat will sate your greed.
Keep off! or treat me wisely: use my shell
For fertilizer or for chicken feed
Or for an ashtray, but don't taste this fell
Envenomed flesh. I'm helpless in my bed, But when you kill me, take this pearl instead.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 22nd

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.



Bio:

I'm a 25-year-old psychology graduate and Benefits Officer from North East England. Most of my poetry was written during my teenage years, when life was turbulent and emotions were fierce. It seems that the contentment of my adult life is not as inspiring, when it comes to poetry, as the angst, sorrow, infatuation and heights of romantic love that punctuated my youth. I do still dabble with poetry occasionally though, mostly frivolous efforts. Most of my time is taken up with writing fiction these days - almost exclusively dark, expansive and out of this world.

I don't take my poetry very seriously. To me, it is an exercise in writing: a means rather than an end. But if a poem, a line or even just a word that I have written were to move you in some way, I would be very pleased.


Symphony


Your laughter,
Your tears,
Your sweet young soul.
Bind them to me,
‘That we might become whole.

Eyes full of stars,
Touch of your skin.
Open my heart
‘That you might step within.

Yours is the music,
Mine is the passion,
Ours is the symphony
Love comes to fashion.



The Thorn In Her Heart


Now, in the finality,
The good times seem so close
And her pain is mirrored in me,
A thorn in the heart.

Fear blinds my true feelings of what should be,
Casting my choices into doubt.
I brought down our house through uncertainty,
The demon that tore us apart.

Our love brings us pain, yet maintains its beauty,
Like a garden of roses, cut from their stems.
The passion-red flowers will wither so slowly,
But the thorns will forever stay sharp.





The Dead of Night


As I was passing down the alley, a chilling wind flowed through the valley,
Howling mutters, rattling shutters, screaming in my ears.
To my small mind, the sudden gale resounded like a woman’s wail,
And I almost found the piercing sound was not of wind, but tears.

The silence slowly then returned, the wind’s cool passion having burned,
And still my wicker torch did flicker, holding back my fears.
The torch was bright enough to show a figure dancing in the snow,
The fairest scene that I had seen in all my lonesome years.

The shapely form of such a girl, her skin as pretty as a pearl,
Like Juliet of Capulet, the purest of veneers.
Her snow white dress and raven hair, a vision floating through the air,
I stole my chance to see her dance and as I watch, she nears.

In failing light, I saw her face was elegant and full of grace,
More beautiful than any that has ever blessed my eyes.
Yet, as she ventured closer still, I couldn’t help but feel a chill,
As if the air were freezing with the strength to paralyse.

Again the wind began to bluster all the strength that it could muster,
Placing me in quite a fluster, due to my surprise.
Despite the wind, I kept my feet rigid on the snowy street,
As the wind brought to me the cruel sound of desperate cries.

Soon the flame of the burning brand held up by my shaking hand,
Is tossed and thrown and chilled and blown and in the winter, dies.
In darkness, I could faintly see the ghostly form in front of me,
And in my fear, despite her cries, I could not sympathise.

The ghostly visage drawing near gave rise to new, tenacious fear,
The strength of which would prove too much for any mortal man.
And so, afraid, I turned and fled, conquered by atrocious dread,
With haunting thoughts inside my head, I ran.

The snow was crushing under-foot, and crashing as I lifted,
Crunch-Churn, Crunch-Churn, Crunching as I shifted.
My feral fear was reinforced by the firm ferocious force,
Of the frightful fierce and furious wind that ran its fiendish course.

Running through the dark of night,
The moon my only source of light,
I passed the graveyard on my right,
And saw a terrifying sight.


Over the ancient burial mound,
Were spirits rising from the ground,
Then came to me the awful sound
Of ghostly voices all around.

I took the opportunity,
To turn my frightened tail and flee,
The terror now surmounting me,
In my pernicious reverie.

At once, the howling wraiths gave chase,
Unhindered by etheric grace,
And quickly matched my laboured pace,
As I made for a safer place.

Soaring like a blackened host of fallen seraphim,
These apparitions of the damned were surely slaves to him,
The infernal lord who surely spawned this conflagration
Of burning souls and flaring tempests wrought in foul temptation.

Ghostly claws of foul creation, instruments of excarnation,
Thrashed and slashed my body, like a thousand phantom scythes.
I felt no cuts upon my skin, for the pain was deep within,
As if the wind’s fell fury focused where my spirit writhes.

I ran on forward, barely stalling, stumbled slightly, nearly falling,
Desperate to avoid the most deplorable of fates.
Still I heard the dead ones calling, suffered transcendental mauling,
Thankful I had reached the fabled haven of my gates.

On I ran, and up the stair, taking exponential care,
Not to trip or falter there, and face the shadows of despair.
I reached my humble home in strides, and all the safety it provides.
The dark incorporeal tides are held back firm by stone divides.

Now I sit inside, alone, in my sanctum made of stone,
Left to ponder on my own, events that chilled me to the bone.
No mental wall I hide behind can chase the visions from my mind,
Inside my head I am confined to face the demons there entwined.

In my deathly doleful dreaming, wicked revenants are screaming,
Screaming from the rift in me that has been torn into my core.
Though the fact remains unspoken, I am sure my mind is broken,
Dreaming dreams no mortal man has ever dreamt to dream before.

Now my thoughts are churning, turning into something foul concerning
Evils that the least indignant man could not help but abhor.
Presently, my splintered soul is striving to regain control,
Yet, I find that peace of mind is toilsome to restore.

Despite my wits now being rotten, inner thoughts are quick forgotten
With the sound of howling winds and creaking in the floor.
I rise up, shaken, terrified, and soon my fears are verified,
By the faintest noise of fingers tapping at the door.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 21st

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

Jimmi Jaq

Chemist by day, lyricist by night. 
Bio: 

Well, well, well ... what can I say ... who will come out to play with me today? Pull up your boots and straighten your skirt ... give me a smile, now that didn't hurt. Welcome to my other side ... the man you thought you'd never see ... don't worry though, it’s only me.

Find more of Jimmi Jaq's work on his blog: Love, Loss and the Lies Inbetween

She comes to you in the night
(Copyright Jaquith, 2011) 

She comes to you in the night
As she always will
Emerging from the darkness
A close and welcome friend

You have been waiting for her
To bring you back to life
To wash away your tears
To save you from your world

A dark and mysterious smile
A quiet and playful laugh
A desire that challenges your pride
A loneliness you cannot quench

You whisper her name
And draw on all your courage
She won’t leave you tonight
She will stay with you this time

But the rising shadows hide her eyes
The mists of morning collect her sole
The sounds of day quiet her song
The sun steals her warmth

You are left alone again
Clinging to her memory
Searching for her face
Who will watch over you today?



Memories of Me 
(Copyright Jaquith, 2011) 

Memories of me
Something new to see
Truth behind my eyes
The mirror tells me lies

Tell me who I am
Reach out a loving hand
Wipe away all I see
Bring me back to me

I gave you a smile
That will have to do for awhile

I gave you a smile
A smile, a smile
A smile, a smile

I find comfort in a lie
I find my reason why
Bring them back to me
Stolen memories of me

Count my tears that fall
A penny for them all
Save them up for me
Why won’t they let me be?

Take me by my hand
Make me understand
A love so unreal
Help me just to feel

I gave you a smile
That will have to do for awhile

Find the strength to stand
Tell me who I am
Something new to see
These memories of me.


Friday, April 20, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 20th

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

Salwa Samra



Salwa Samra is a writer of ‘Poetry' and 'Non Fiction.' She is most passionate about 'Poetry' and prefers to label her writings as - 'Writing Pieces' rather than Poems/Poetry for the specific rationale that her writings are 'Pieces' that reflect nature, emotions, sentiment, and experiences of the human body, mind, and spirit.
Salwa has a varied and wide collection of Writing Pieces.

More of Salwa's work can be found on her blog and her facebook page.

Please NOTE:
All Salwa Samra's Writing Pieces are protected under the Copyright Act 1968. Copyright gives its owner the legal right to take action in certain circumstances if someone else uses these Writing Pieces without purchase or permission.

I’ll Be

I’ll be your flower in the sun
I’ll be your rain in dry periods to come
I’ll be your tears in trials of sorrow
I’ll be your lender in times to borrow

I’ll be your strength when you are weak
I’ll be your light from darkness to peak
I’ll be your calm when the storm arrives
I’ll be your peace in peril and strife

I’ll carry you through each mountain height
I’ll tread you along each heavy plight
I’ll be your stream in the valley low
I’ll pace you through any frightening blow

I’ll be your touch when it’s too hard to feel
I’ll be your warmth from the cold to seal
I’ll be the straight trail from the crocked path
I’ll be your joy to impart a candid laugh

I’ll be the gold when you’re being refined
I’ll be the pearl in the oyster you find
I’ll be the colours in your rainbow
I’ll be your unquenchable gusto

Salwa Samra © 2009
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.



ASPIRE

In the rush of the wind
A whisper is eager to ascend
In the twinkle of an eye
A raindrop releases its cry

As the fawn shadows the doe
A prey surrenders to its unrelenting foe
As the seed is soiled to the land
It emerges to something quite grand

During the Winters rain the storms roar
In its fierceness unforeseen victory may soar
Within the splendor of the sun new life is created
Inside the wonder of Spring much is mated

Through the dark of night when all is still
The mornings dawn contains its silent fill
Soon dusk appears in its misty haze
Weaving the day for the next to amaze

Endeavour to grasp the unknown design
When a new day greets another entwines
As the twilight comes and the stars appear
Seek to understand the unfamiliar near

For each individual is a unique creation
In every personality a diverse foundation
Aspire to embrace what is yours alone
In each of us a gift is fervently sown

When the bird orchestrates its familiar songs
Contemplate nature to you it belongs
When the grandeur of life leaves you in awe
Aspire to discover just a little more

Salwa M. Wills © 2008
 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.



Rooms in my Heart

One day I discovered many ‘rooms’ in my heart
As I walked down it’s passage, doors set apart
On these doors were displayed the title of each
Travelling life’s journey, everyone I’ve beseeched

The first room I entered ‘love’ was its name
I was touched by it’s settings, warmth it attained
Recalling many memories from child to mother
There glittered unconditional love for many another

Leaving the room of love coldness invited me
To view a room quite dark, it was ‘anger’ you see
The walls were covered in irritable black
Retracing many experiences of looming tracks

Separated from anger was brightness of ‘joy’
Throughout this room many colours to enjoy
Dancing, laughter, celebration & success
Rekindled many memories of moments blest

Then suddenly a haunting sound caused a fright
And led me into a room so dismal in it’s plight
‘Fear’ had inhaled this space and it’s extent
Causing many an opportunity abandonly spent

Continuing nearby was harmony I heard
its door and ‘peace’ greeted me without a word
How I longed to linger in it’s victorious liberty
Rest had heralded me to stillness so free

Many other rooms in my heart reside
Each one I exhibit a portrait inside
To enter and view with an attitude of trust
Furnished with an aspiration to polish not rust

By Salwa Samra © 2009
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 19th

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

Robert Heath 



E-mail: contact@carpe-somnium.com
Website: http://www.carpe-somnium.com
Twitter: @RobHeath1969
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003492794082

What can I say; this bit is harder to write than the poems themselves!!

Forty something project manager in the engineering sector by day and in the very early hours, before work, a dream of being a writer. Avid reader. Keen Allotment grower. Proud family man. Happy. Living with my long term partner. Two great kids.

I am a recovered heroin addict who lost a good portion of his twenties to drugs. Having redeemed myself somewhat I am now in the position of being happy enough to try again for the only personnel dream I have ever had, that of being a writer.

As a man I am massively influenced by my late father, who taught me how to read and therefore how to learn, and my partner and our children, who taught me how to be free.

As a fiction writer and a poet I am influenced by the greats as I see them – Kafka, Dickens, Bret Easton Ellis, Hubert Selby, Cormack McCarthy, William Faulkner, William Burroughs, Phillip Larkin, W H Auden, Adrian Mitchell, Brian Patten, Roger McGough and myriad more – people who could paint the inside of your mind with words. I like to think in some small way, I am following in their footsteps, or at least trying to.

I have to date won an online short story competition and had several pieces of poetry published in various magazines. As well as posting my debut novel on Authonomy which is Harper Collins online slush-pile.

For me poetry represents freedom to explore and explain – Poetry is distilled prose, the frozen second immortalised in a handful of words whose power lies in their form and construction as well as their given meaning.

Poetry is the very heart of the writer – the mirror to the inner self.


EVERYTHING’S BLUE IN THIS WORLD


I’d say Christmas and birthdays are the worst.
It’s like a hollow pull in your guts.

Eight years ago....................
And I don’t seem to have even moved.

Bernard helps.
Though he locks most of it away.
Sometimes a sherry or two will set his eyes bright
And he’ll reach for his hankie and mutter something about dust.

In the mornings I awake and wonder why I can’t just sleep
In dreams I see her as she was
In the day......
....well, you can’t hide from it can you

It’s in everything
The lack of her laughter
The silence at mealtimes
The slush in your groin when the news talks of another
The stupid way people are with you.

I know she’s dead
Some think, because her room is just the same
That I’ve gone a little mad.

They talk of moving on
And how time heals.

But I have nowhere to go,
Just here and the clocks tick
Just the guardian of a memory.

don’t eat as much cake anymore
used to make my own but
The taste’s gone.
And as for the garden,
It’s lucky if it sees attention once a month.

We just sit around I suppose.
We like to watch telly
And, on Sundays we put on faces and play bowls.
I hate the quiet
I hate the (w) hole in me
I hate this endless drift.

I think I’ll go look at her picture
That helps.
Sometimes.
For awhile............


HOW HE DANCED

How he danced when youth was the currency of long summer days,
And she with him. Red fire dizzy in the meadows,
And now this uncalled for haze.
A shutting up.
A pawning of trinkets.
A closing of days.

But solace, half caught like glimpses of dragonflies looping by,
to achievements never tarnished by time.
Quicksilver laughter chasing her white ankles through slurping streams.
Ambitions of becoming immortal,
yet how short the summer seems.

Too vague at times,
The holiday by the river,
The time she tripped and he caught her arm.
her breath misting in the winter air.
Too vague to grasp. Just sit and stare.

Back to a time of simple things, joined by common desire.
Just left to him embers of that fire.
And no more breath.
A simple slip.
A culmination that lasts an eternity.
Oh, how he danced.



BE ADVENTUROUS WITH THE CRISPS

Be adventurous with the crisps dear,
The salted can’t be ready this time,
No, it’s not that I am different and
Yes dear - everything is just fine.

I rather fancy denying the clocks tock today – that is all,
Beating back the reapers hand –
Like the day we spent in Haringey
Shopping on Green Lanes – now that was grand.

We were ageless then, zeal crazed too,
imbued with a desperate fire,
Yet it leaks away so darn quick,
Dear, make sure you take your walking stick.

And no cheese and onion dear,
that I am afraid will never qualify,
It’s as banal as the others are dear,
Oh hurry lest I cry – a little admissions tear
I’m so coffin crushingly alone - aren’t I dear.

No one actually to fetch the crisps,
Adventurous or otherwise.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NaPoWriMo - April 18th

April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.

Robert P. Rowley

I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in New Mexico, U.S.A. I studied fiction writing with Mark Harris (BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY) and Tobias Wolff (THIS BOY'S LIFE). My nonfiction has appeared in THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR, HIGH COUNTRY NEWS, NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE, TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE, TRUE WEST, etc.

Rob's poems are writtin in Spanish - but don't worry, he provided a translation for those of us who aren't fluent in that beautiful language.


La Cacofonía

una melodia,
pequeña pieza de armonía
en si.

Robert P. Rowley

(Cacophony

a melody
small piece of harmony
in itself.)

La Unión

Me has ayudado, mi amor
en muchas formas,
como la lluvia le da ayuda a la flor.
Y como la flor le da belleza al mundo,
mi esperanza es hacer lo mismo.

Robert P. Rowley

(The Marriage

You have helped me, my love
in many ways,
like rain gives support to the flower.
And as the flower gives beauty to the world,
my hope is to do the same.)


"Claret Cup Cactus blossoms"--Robert P. Rowley


More of Rob's photography can be found on his blog: http://desertpackrat.blogspot.ca/