Poetry Book Wednesday – Zephyr & Zinc

Starting off Poetry Book Wednesday with Zephyr & Zinc which was published on August 12, 2014. Hard to believe it has been four years since its release. While I adore all 20 of my poetry books, Zephyr & Zinc, the 13th book, is one that holds a special place in my heart.

Zephyr & Zinc continued where Unlined & Undertakers left off as dreams go wrong and turn to anger while furthering the themes of change and coping with those changes or the lacking of coping. Passion, anger, exhaustion, hope, and the path to centering self comes along the winds of Zephyr & Zinc.

zephyrcover
Ink to hold me dear
Skittish dream so sweet
I need to thrive
To express my dreams
Never as sweet as they seem

Zephyr & Zinc is available through Amazon. Kindle – $2.99 and Paperback – $9.99. The other 19 of my currently published poetry books and numerous chapbooks can also be found on Amazon.

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Tuesday Tabellion – Who Is?

Question: Who is the ‘he’ and who is the ‘she’ in your poems?

Answer: This answer largely depends on the context of the poem and the reader’s perception. Some poems – especially those written early on – do have a specific person attached to them. The poems which came to make up Russian Hymns are about a fictional character named Zephyr. Unlined & Undertakers and Zephyr & Zinc pay homage to Zephyr as well. A few poems after Russian Hymns, Zephyr & Zinc, and Unlined & Undertakers also reference him. Typically, these later poems make note of hymns. Why he sings hymns remains a mystery to me. Zephyr, at his core, is not a nice person and only gives the illusion of being wholesome, loving, better than he is. In some ways, he has evolved to be the general meaning of ‘he’ in a lot of poems. There are times where I think Zephyr has always been ‘he’ but grew to be more of a solid entity then returned to a more incorporeal state of existence as words and emotional needs are fickle. Predominately, ‘he’ and ‘she’ are a reference to creativity or to some personification of a harbinger of dying/death. Again, which is which depends on context and perception. I am not always sure myself and I wrote the poems. I am certain there are times where ‘he’ and ‘she’ are a direct reference to death but I can never seem to pinpoint the exact poems in which this occurs.

Release Day for Zephyr & Zinc

zephyrcoverZephyr & Zinc continues where Unlined & Undertakers left off as dreams go wrong and turn to anger while furthering the themes of change and coping with those changes or the lacking of coping. Passion, anger, exhaustion, hope, and the path to centering self comes along the winds of Zephyr & Zinc. It is available as a $2.99 Kindle book and as a $9.99 trade paperback.

State of Chaos

I’ve been most neglectful of this blog for the month of June. A few pre-scheduled posts about the month’s free Kindle download and that has been it. No Poetry Wednesday, no updates, nothing more. Why? Well, I’ve been working on the third move in nine-ten months. My time with my nephew has come to an end. I will miss him but I have also missed my typical day-to-day routines and my fur babies.

I knew it was truly time for me to go in May but things were delayed a bit as my sister got her ducks in a row to become a stay-at-home mom. Truthfully, I’m surprised it took her so long to do this. I figured out she’d eventually become a stay-at-home mom within 2-3 weeks of the baby’s birth.

In end of May/June, I worked really hard to complete Zephyr & Zinc and Xenium & Xyris. I was becoming quite frustrated that it was taking me so long to finish those books. I should not have been so frustrated considering I spent, since mid-April or so, 70 to 90 hours a week tending to my nephew, cooking meals, cleaning house, and grocery shopping. How I managed to get any writing or editing done from December till now continues to mystify me with everything else going on.

Those hours and their chaos have caught up to me though. I did okay in the beginning but now, I am very sick and will be spending the bulk of the next two months trying to recover. It may take longer than that but not sure if I can surrender so much time. Still, I have a long to-do list for the month of July including participation in the second session of Camp NaNoWriMo and getting my editing business back up and running. I also need to finish editing and formatting Zephyr & Zinc and Xenium & Xyris.

July and August will contain the theme of looking for a place to live. I am moving back to my mom’s house for the time being. Not looking forward to being around her ever-growing hoard of stuff. I’m trying not to think about the hoard. I’m trying to focus on spending time writing, recovering, reading, and cuddling my fur babies. I do not have much in the way of housing prospects right now because my income is very itty bitty but I am optimistic to find something and move into it by September which would make make for four moves in a year. Have I mentioned how much I despise moving?

I did have a small vacation in the month of June. I went to Vegas for 2.5 days and 2 nights for a Symposium in regards to volunteer work I’ve been doing for almost 3 years now. Most of the cost was covered by the volunteer organization which is why I was able to go. I became debt-free in May. There was no way I was going to allow myself to go into a small amount of debt again in order to go on “vacation”.

The Symposium was decent but not as informative as I had been hoping. I have fun getting away for awhile. A friend, who also attended the Symposium, and I went to see Thunder Down Under one night, Cheesiest experience ever. I continue to be baffled about how we let her husband talk us into going (so he could go to some other show guilt-free). I did get to see my paternal grandmother and her husband which was really nice as it has been almost three years since I last saw them. We had a lovely dinner together my first evening out there.

This weekend is the moving of the last bits of stuff aka the furniture. Hope it goes smoothly, and I dearly hope that I will be able to setup up my furniture at my mom’s house on Monday so I have a decent work space and a comfy bed. Last I checked, the bedroom I’ll be using/guest room continues to be overrun with stuff, and the other bedroom where the guest bed will go is so full that only a small walking path exists. My hope is minimal but maybe I’ll get to be surprised.

Poetry Wednesday should be back for July as will general posting.

 

NaPoWriMo 2014 & Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 30

Today is the last day for NaPoWriMo & Camp NaNoWriMo. I gave it my best. I finished out my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 20,000 words yesterday with 20,018. I did complete Zephyr & Zinc which was nice.

I have no poem for today. The same as the prior days. My sister got sick after they came home from Belgium. A short while later, the baby ended up sick. After 3 days of being sneezed, coughed, and drooled on, I became sick too. I spent Days 26 & 27 primarily in bed asleep. I did crank out a bunch of editing on Sunday. An hour of sleep, a chapter of the manuscript, an hour of sleep, another chapter. Rinse. Repeat.

The editing work completed in full on Day 28 despite absolute and utter exhaustion. Day 29 had me going stir-crazy. My sister and brother-in-law were working from home so I managed to escape during regular daylight hours for some me time but writing was not forthcoming. Today reminds me that I should not have gone out yesterday. I can barely keep my eyes open. Of course, the nephew seems to be doing better. He’s eating more, and is extremely hyper. Barely functional Auntie and a hyper baby = my personal version of Hell. Day 28 wasn’t all that great either with very weak & sick Auntie and a baby sick with a cold & bronchitis.

So this month of writing exstravaganza ends on a down note. It was good while it lasted. I wrote far more than I thought I would.

In total, I wrote 46 poems.

Tough Decisions on Day 19 of Camp NaNoWriMo & NaPoWriMo 2014

Tough decisions this Saturday morning. Was so close to finishing Zephyr & Zinc so I decided to take a number of pieces from Nightmares & Nevermore in order to finish out Zephyr & Zinc. The poems from both books follow similar themes and threads so it isn’t a stretch. I also took a number of poems from Elysian & Ether and placed them into Xenium & Xyris, but it did not finish out Xenium & Xyris because I could not take enough as most of Elysian & Ether‘s poems were written with a very specific title-related theme in mind.

Today’s piece is High-flown, a former piece of Elysian & Ether that now has a home in Xenium & Xyris. I wrote and posted it shortly before deciding to move things around.

The Present Counts now stand at
Xenium & Xyris: 83/100
Zephyr & Zinc: 100/100
Elysian & Ether: 28/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 33/100
Overall Word Count: 14501/20000

Camp NaNoWriMo & NaPoWriMo 2014 – Day 18

And here we are at Day 18 of Camp NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo 2014. It is a surprisingly nice day here in Colorado, and I miraculously ended up not having to watch my nephew today. Sadly, it isn’t a day off. I’m supposedly editing a manuscript which I grossly underestimated the timeline on so I am facing a ton of work with a very close deadline. Does this mean I can focus on it? No. Exhaustion from the week and the flaring of allergies makes the day annoying.

I underestimated the timeline due to my nephew. This is the first novel manuscript I have received since his birth. Editing work, for the last six months, has been short stories, novellas, and chapbooks. Normally, I would already be done with the manuscript but the nephew is very time consuming. Even with my sister, nephew, and brother-in-law gone for a week and a half, progress has been slow going. Their absence was barely noted as I dealt with the drama from other things they had setup to have done during that time, and other issues from other things I work/deal with. I had wanted time to edit, write, and relax but no, never happened.

I, now, know I need to adjust my timelines for future editing work in order to reduce the undercurrent of panic I am feeling. I edit to help pay the bills. I am really good at it – I use to do a lot of auditing work which comes in handy in editing – but I’d rather leave it by the wayside in favor of writing.

I’m taking time out of editing right now because of a realization. To understand this realization, there needs to be a bit of backstory… I do not understand emotions in the overall sense. I have them but I am oddly detached from them. I’ll cry at a drop of a hat yet I have zero idea as to why I cry. Happy is like this bizarre twitch under my skin I just want to get rid of. There are moments where I know I should be mad but I cannot express it properly. I usually just cry in order to ‘flush’ out whatever the discomfort is. The only thing I truly understand is pain. I know that one oh so well and I wish I didn’t. I also understand paranoia and anxiety to an alarming degree. Through my poetry, I apparently understand longing or so others tell me. I honestly have no idea what at least 70% of my poems mean or imply. I really detest the question, ‘What does your poem mean?’, for this reason.

To today’s realization, these photos of this tiny house showed up on my Facebook feed. I thought, I really like that design. With a few minor tweaks, I could see myself living in one of those. I had this feeling about these images that I could not place. I mulled it over for a while. Napped on it then it hit me. I know what I was feeling. It has been so long since I had felt that kind of emotion that it wasn’t recognizable. It was unadulterated heady lust. The kind of lust that binds characters, in paranormal romance and erotica novels, to their destined mates. The kind of lust which drives them to madness should their mates be in danger. Pure, perfect, and all consuming.

My dream of having a tiny house has transformed into this lust. I am not surprised by this, however, as my kenophobia (fear of large/empty spaces) has gotten far worse since moving in with my sister, nephew, and brother-in-law. I may have a “small” room here but 90% of my time is spent in the rest of the 3300+ square foot house.

The “small” room is actually large enough where I could put a decently sized kitchen (sink, work surface, stove, and fridge), my queen sized bed, my 5 foot long desk, and a small sofa into it if arranged properly. Add in the bathroom, a small portion of the closet, and the little square hall between the bedroom door and the bathroom door, it becomes the perfect little cabin with ample space despite all it holds. It would probably even fit a stackable washer and dryer. What can be done with the “small” room has made me even more aware of how I could easily live in a tiny house with my beloved feline overlord. (I miss my Anubis cat so much. I miss my Iah pig too but not as much as my Anubis.) I still need to downsize my possessions some more but they are in the manageable range now.

I will be completely debt-free next month – at least two years ahead of schedule thanks to the selling of the flood-damaged house – but money remains an issue as I do not wish to go into debt again to achieve my tiny house dreams. However, I cannot stay in this huge house much longer. Having free room and board is very nice but it has meant too much sacrifice in regards to my privacy, well-being, and writing time.

A local tiny house builder, who’s homes are surprisingly affordable all things considered, is offering a chance at getting half of a house financed with possible income later but one needs to put down 50% cash up front. This offer comes with the requirement of letting folks tour the house once a month for about four hours. The projected income received from this ($500 to $1000 a month or so they claim) goes to the loan but, once the loan is paid off, the tours can stop or they can continue and the money goes to the homeowner. It sounds like a decent deal to me even though I do not like people in my personal space.

At my current income rate, it would take me a year or so to come up with that kind of down payment, if I am very lucky, unless miracles happen like I get a huge influx of clients with novels to edit, massively increased book sales, and my listed books & other items on half.com & etsy.com sell.

Writers and editors do not make a lot of money which is why I diversify. I know a lot of people who keep telling me that as soon as they publish a book, they are going to be making a lot of money, and they cannot wait to make a living as an author. It doesn’t work like that. It really doesn’t. The average author doesn’t start making money until their 10th book maybe. If you write for a niche, it might be right away, it might not. It is extremely rare for authors to find them in the position like JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer where money is just throwing itself at them. I know this very well but I remain hopeful that one day my writing will start bringing in a nice income. Of course, I didn’t start publishing my work to make money. I did it to share the beauty of words. Money would just be a nice perk and a means to achieve a goal of being able to write full time without editing or worrying about how I am going to pay the basic bills each month.

Looking back over the last few months, today wasn’t the first time I had felt lust toward an idea/concept. The previous time was about two months ago. I was sorting through my writing files, current works in progress, and future writing ideas. All I wanted – and what I still want – is to shut myself away and just write until all of my works in progress were entirely done. This prospect is just too tempting. It is another goal I am striving for although the lust for it is not as strong as the one for a tiny house right now.

Now that I have over-shared my thoughts for the day, a status update.

Editing might be kicking my butt with reckless abandon but it has nothing on Camp NaNoWriMo/NaPoWriMo 2014. Oh I keep cranking out those poems – which are surprisingly great – despite missing Days 12, 13, 14, and 15 but progress amuses me not. I must remind myself constantly that this is the most writing I have done since November 2013. It is going to hurt. There’s a lot going on constantly which puts me off my creative game. Kenophobia is a huge stumbling block in the creative process. I just need to find new ways to cope so I can get back on an even keel. There’s not enough words to express the many ways that PTSD is mucking all over my days, much less my art. Must remind myself every second of the day…

For Day 16, there is Quicksand, a piece for Xenium & Xyris.
Day 17 has Scrolling, a piece for Nightmares & Nevermore, which expresses some of my present writing frustrations.
Day 18’s offering is Magpie, a piece for Zephyr & Zinc and testament to my intellectual nature – much to the chagrin of my family. They think I am a smartass who likes to pretend I know everything and use this “pretend” information to ‘one up’ people. Not the case. I’m just sharing random bits of information I collected because it seems to apply to the conversation and nothing more. They seem to think I spend time trying find ways to prove I am ‘superior’ to them so I just share things I made up. No, I just collect things. Sometimes, the information gets put together wrong but not making it up nor I am trying to be superior. I am a magpie. Information, words, paper, and ink I collect.

Present Stats
Xenium & Xyris: 71/100
Zephyr & Zinc: 78/100
Elysian & Ether: 39/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 53/100
Overall Word Count: 13711/20000

And two pictures of my new tiny house desire…objectoflust2 objectoflust1