Tuesday Tabellion – Writer’s Block…of Wood, Plaster, and Cement

I had all these grand plans for this blog, starting in July, but so little came to be. I had grand plans to finish Yowl & Yarrow too yet it sits at 40% completion. There is an excellent reason for these shortcomings, and it is made from wood, plaster, cement.

At the beginning of the month, I came across a listing of decent price for what my family wanted to purchased for their financial benefit and my residential benefit. A week later, the bid was in, accepted, and we hopped the whirlwind to a quick close date. Last week was the closing. I will be moving soon. Not entirely sure on how soon is soon, but I’m hoping it is before the end of 2015.

All this inherent chaos with the closing and the prospect of moving has rather killed my drive to do any writing. Mostly, I’m just tired for a wide variety of reasons including the closing. I am excited that I will be getting my own place soon. Just trying to be not too excited or optimistic since there’s a lot of loose ends hanging around which can prolong the process. The longer the process goes and the more excited I am, the more pissed off and disillusioned I’ll get about the process.

One potential other good thing to come out of July is the opportunity to sell my books at a new bookstore opening up in Longmont, Colorado which will only stock books by authors in Colorado, primarily Northern Colorado. Local Editions is officially opening for business on August 15th, and it will copies of Passion & Prudence on hand. I am certain that there will be further mention of Local Editions in the near future.

Tuesday Tabellion – Not As Planned but Okay?

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, Camp NaNoWriMo did not get off to the best start due to life things. I did cross the 2,000 poems written threshold on July 1st which I did not realize until July 4th. The 2,000th poem is called Verbal Patterns.

In spite of assorted life distractions, progress is coming along for Yowl & Yarrow. While writing up content for Sable Quill Creations’ blog, I stumbled upon something that may help me with figuring out what to do with my works of fiction in halted progress. Hoping to utilize the information as Camp NaNoWriMo progresses.

Learned that NaNoWriMo participation may be an impossibility this year. Cannot elaborate further at this point – do not want to jinx it. The timeline and information is still extremely fluid and unsettled. A little sad about the potential lack of NaNoWriMo in my life but excited about the why there will be a lack of NaNoWrimo. There is much exclamation of ‘Finally!’ too.

Have to keep my fingers crossed which makes for entertaining typing.

Wishing everyone happy writing and much productivity!

Tuesday Tabellion – Day Before Camp NaNoWriMo 2015, July Edition

There are days where I wonder if I am glutton for punishment. Case in point – NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo 2014 and the Camp NaNoWriMos have not gone well for me the past two years yet I’m trying again. I suppose I hold out hope they will, once again, motivate me to be more productive. This month doesn’t have much in the way of distractions at this point in time so there is a slim possibility of actually devoting a large chunk of time to my writing projects. There are other factors which could kill the creativity but I won’t think or speak of those right now. The only potential time suck in July is the second one where I will be making multiple runs to the airport while staying at my sister’s house taking care of household tasks and such for her.

I would like to complete my current poetry book-in-progress, Yowl & Yarrow, during Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands at 29/100. 71 poems in a month isn’t a huge stretch normally, but it may be this month.

There will be a free Kindle book this month, The Eulogies of Dream. It will be free from July 17th through 21st.

My seventeenth full-length book of poetry, Vervain & Vice, will be release next month. Honestly thought I would never finish that poetry book so I am very happy that it will see the world in print.

I wish I had other news to share, but potential news is still a work-in-progress. I do not wish to jinx it at this point. That light at the end of the tunnel could be a train, not progress.

July 1st is the start of some new things, and the restart of something old. This blog will see more posts. Gradually, over time, I intend to have a daily post – a poem, on writing, or on a topic related to well-being and creativity as they are entwined. Sable Quill Creations will resume accepting manuscripts for content and line editing services. Sable Quill Creations is starting their own blog with a variety of content geared toward writers of all levels, and authors embarking on the various routes to publishing. Their blog content will, also, be a semi-gradual roll out to a post everyday.

Tuesday Tabellion – Release Day for Passion & Prudence

Today is the release day for my sixteenth full-length stand alone poetry book, Passion & Prudence. I wrote its one hundred poems over the course of a month. The process was an experiment in creative endurance. I learned a lot about myself, my creative needs, and inspiration during the month. During this month of June, Poetry Wednesday will feature pieces from Passion & Prudence. Other pieces were posted previously for Poetry Wednesday. Links to all the posted poems can be found on the book’s page.

The paperback version of Passion & Prudence is $9.99 and available through Amazon and Createspace. The Kindle version is $2.99 or free through Kindle Unlimited. Please read, enjoy, and reviews are always welcomed.

Struggling for words
Signify raged fabrication
Given them over to
The light surrender
To passion waiting
In the deep recesses
Of my marrow

Plenty of Ideas…

…if they would just speak to me beyond basic phrases.

I spent last night working with two story ideas that have been on the back burner since 2005, because they decided to present ways of relieving their stagnant states, in addition to writing two poems. Unfortunately, the story ideas aren’t in a talking mood today. Nothing really is. I attended a write-in this afternoon and was not as productive as I would have liked. I wrote two poems for Obiter & Oleander, one poem for Kirsch & Kerosene, and one poem for Nightmares & Nevermore. Obiter & Oleander is three poems away from being completed and Kirsch & Kerosene needs six. Still, I remain confident that the two books will be done by the end of this month so I can focus on Xenium & Xyris, Zephyr & Zine, Elysian & Ether, Nightmares & Nevermore, and whatever novel that decides to talk to me during the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.

I also wrote a piece for poetry magazine in the UK that is doing open submissions for an upcoming anthology. It has been many years since I’ve submitted a piece to a magazine or anthology so I am a little nervous about the whole thing. I really like the piece, Incantations, I wrote for it. The writing guidelines for this anthology were wide open so I have no idea if the piece is right for it or not. If it gets rejected, it will find a home in Obiter & Oleander or Xenium & Xyris. In the past, my work has done better with the UK magazines than with the US ones so there is a chance. One of the US-based magazine actually told me I should look into getting extensive psychological therapy because my poetry was just too disturbing and dark. That particular magazine went under a few months later and the name of it escapes me now.

It is hard to believe that July is a week away. I am not ready for it to be here yet. This next week will be very busy making preparations for the coming month because there is so much I want to write, and I cannot afford to be distracted by other things like I was in April.

Writing Update

Been very bad about keeping tabs on the blog this month. I apologize to my readers, to the words, and to myself as it isn’t fair to any of us. I’ve been either very busy or mind-numbingly exhausted. Every day closes with me being so exhausted that I do not even dream once my head hits the pillow. In some ways, this is a good thing but, at the same time, dreamless sleep is not refreshing. This also hinders my writing ability.

Today, I found myself at a write-in. It was quite productive in spite of horrid fatigue. I wrote four pieces for Obiter & Oleander and, inadvertently, a piece for Elysian & Ether which has a specific theme unlike Obiter & Oleander which is random. I also spent time reading through Ink & Ice and correcting some minor formatting issues. Unfortunately, the file was reading strangely on my laptop so I was unable to correct the Table of Contents. The ToC will be a project for tomorrow on the desktop computer.

I am nineteen pieces away from completing Obiter & Oleander. Since I have not written anything for Kirsch & Kerosene lately, it still needs 23 pieces to be completed. Still, I am closing in on the finish line for them. Next up is Xenium & Xyris, Zephyr & Zinc, and Elysian & Ether for the poetry books.

I started in on a continuous story poem today (aka an Epic Poem) tentatively titled Night Wolf. I am 50 lines in but no idea if it is an idea I can actually complete to my liking. I hope I can. Mostly, it is a just a writing challenge to try.

Cleanse offered up some clarity as to its plot’s intentions but did not inspire any new pieces just yet. It is nice to have a better idea of what to do with when it decides it wants to be written further.

Last weekend, I began assembling a new poetry collection called Russian Hymns. No idea when it will be done as works are still filtering in for it. Although, its theme seems to have run its course as it has not popped up in Kirsch & Kerosene in quite awhile. I do hope that it shows up again in Zephyr & Zinc as the title of that book is inspired by the theme’s catalyst. If you’ve read Flare & Fetter and read Unlined & Undertakers when it comes out in October 2013, you’ll have a better understanding of reasoning for Russian Hymns. The collection will be of prior written/published work as well as some new pieces.

I hope the coming weeks are more productive with the writing but I doubt it. I have a lot of house stuff to tend too. Those tasks but the increasing heat leave me pretty useless by the time I get around to writing. Writing in the morning is also out as I keep thinking I should be cleaning when it is cooler in the house. Looking forward to July as long as June is fruitful with decluttering productivity.

Advertising A Book?

This will not be a post about how to advertise a finished book. It is more about what not to do.

Advertising is important regardless if an author self-publishes or ends up with a major publishing house. An author must always advertise who they are and what they write. This is a very challenging task for many authors, as I can personally attest, because authors have a tendency to be very introverted. Not all writers have this personality trait but most do. This trait is why we’re willing to spend day after day in front of a computer or with pen and paper in hand while putting any and every word to paper in hopes that it will form something worth sharing.

Disclaimer: If the ‘not to do’ tactics mentioned in this post are your bread and butter, I am thrilled for you. Truly glad that you found a way to build a platform that makes you money. Carry on doing what you do but do not expect me to partake of your work anytime soon.

I know I need to do more advertising for my plethora of books but I am reluctant because of those who have taken their advertising to an extreme. Those authors pissing me off on a daily basis with their overzealous attempts to make a sale, and (seemingly) futile intentions to compensate for their introverted natures. There is an exceptionally fine line between productive advertising and annoying your audience.

I am sure you’ve encountered them too. In this age of Twitter, Facebook, and Meetup, they are everywhere.

I am a member of several Meetup groups for writers. Every once and awhile, a writer will join but never actually attend any meetings. There may be a rare exception to this but, generally, they attend nothing. About a week or two later, I start receiving email newsletters from this new group “member”. Shortly after the newsletters start, most of these writers will leave the group. I typically unsubscribe from these newsletter quickly once I realize who it is and if their writing does not hold my interest.

There is one, however, who keeps re-subscribing me to his newsletter every single time I unsubscribe. He sends out weekly newsletters and they are dull as dirt. Most of the content is begging the reader to buy the (poorly edited and written) book he published two years ago. The rest of the content consists of his advice on being the best writer ever. Most of this “advice” can be found in almost every book on writing out there but, because he has a MFA, he feels his “advice” is so much better because he’s more knowledgeable about writing than the writer who has a mountain of rejection letters, 20 bestsellers, and a TV show/Movie deal.

These newsletters stop for a week or two after I unsubscribe then restart. I complained to the company he was originally using to issue his newsletter. A short time later, he moved to another host and started spamming me again. I tried setting a filter in my email for his newsletters, it would work for a few weeks then he’d change email addresses or change the structure of the email so the keywords no longer filtered. I still receive his newsletters despite twenty attempts to unsubscribe.

This writer is an email newsletter bully. Another word came to mind for “bully” but I’ll keep this post clean. This bully is the main reason I decided to write on the topic of what not to do in advertising.

The next category is a very prolific one and many writers have fallen victim to it. The abuse of Twitter is a slippery slope. I am sure you have a writer or several on your Twitter feed who post every 10 to 15 minutes about the book they have published. These posts often have links to the book’s page, the author’s site, an interview about the book, places of purchase, or a page where you can read a snippet. This is all well and good but every 10-15 minutes each and every day is excessive. It is also very rare to see any kind of other tweet from these authors. They’ve composed the obnoxious tweets into an auto-post program – which also trolls for new followers to add – then leave it and Twitter alone. If the writers in questions also added other tweets that showed they were present and involved, the obnoxious behavior would be vaguely tolerable. These ‘I beg you to buy my book’ tweets should be far fewer. If there was one every hour or two, the situation would improve greatly.

Sorry but I have no inclination to explore a book after seeing thousands of tweets about it. This is also true of the overabundant Facebook postings.

One of the local writers I know posts to Facebook a lot. Her tweets show up on Facebook too and vice versa. She posts constantly through out the day about whatever book she just released in addition to numerous posts about her day, writing progress, new book contract, etc. At least one day a week, she posts around 40 times. I am amazed she gets any actual writing done. She posts impressive word count totals when she writes but I remain mystified. I also know whenever she’s at her day job. She posts around 10 times in a span of thirty minutes then silence for hours on end then a flurry of posting again for about an hour. When she works overtime, the post-job flurry does not happen. I actually look forward to her work hours because I can then read my Facebook feed without be assaulted by her postings. I think she is a lovely lady and a decent YA writer but I cannot stand her Facebook etiquette although it has improved greatly in recent months.

The ‘needy author syndrome’ is the final advertising sin I want to share. I know a few authors like this although I recently encountered the worst one in a NaNoWriMo group. Those afflicted with this condition troll forums and Facebook groups. They constantly post about how none of their friends will read or buy their books. Posts wondering why all their friends keep abandoning them because they spend so much time writing. They frequently fish for people’s websites, twitter info, and NaNoWriMo page info so they can add these people to their “web”. This information is then used to beg these new “friends” to read/edit/buy a book. When most of these “friends” jump ship out of frustration or are dumped by the author because they won’t read/edit/buy, the author goes fishing for more “friends”. It is a constant cycle of whining and bullying.

The worst offender holds this title because she comes across as a very whiny 14 year old girl with possibly very low self-esteem but she’s a 32 year old married mother of two according to her Facebook profile. Given the snippets of writing she’s posted to the NaNoWriMo group and her style of writing her posts to the group, I have a difficult time believing she’s a writer who’s been published by a major publishing house. Her writing is worse than the ninth graders I use to deal with.

When I was in 10th & 11th grade, I worked as a TA for one of my English teachers during open class periods for credit. I primarily graded papers, and most of her students hated writing. They despised every homework assignment that involved essays, poems, and/or short stories. It showed in their work. They clearly phoned it in and did as little as possible in order to get a grade. This woman’s writing is worse than that. I give her props for trying to be a writer but I am of the opinion that she’s lying about being published in an attempt to “fit in” to her target audience for attention.

Personally, I did not self-publish to make money or to seek attention. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to sell more books and the money would be very help. Money often comes from the attention. However, I write because I need to write. I opted to publish my work for myself and to share the words. Words are meant to be shared. I am not going to annoy people on a daily basis in order to make money.

I do know that I probably was a bit obnoxious with my blogging during Camp NaNoWriMo – NaPoWriMo. I apologies if I annoyed you. It was not my intention and I assure you that such prolific posting is out of the ordinary for me.

I believe that if someone likes the poems I share on my blog/Twitter/Facebook, they may eventually feel inclined to buy a book or two. This is why I have the New Poetry Wednesday segment. I post 8 to 15 poems from each book over the course of several months (or just during NaPoWriMo) in hopes that those poems will inspire someone to read even more of my work.

I will inform those who read/follow my blog of my progress and when things are published but I will not abuse, bully, or beg to get my writing out there. I cannot see such guerilla-esque tactics actually working in the long run.