Tag Archives: Writing

On Secrets

 

Going through my poems
Looking what to post
There are some powerful things I’ve written
And hidden.
There are a lot more
Terrible things, atrocious writings,
Embarrassing nonsense
I’ve hidden that too.
The best of me and the worst of me
Still under the rug
Am I even doing
What I set out to do here?
Am I a writer
If I can’t write what bleeds
If I can’t share what hurts?
If it’s all a secret
What’s the goddamnfucking point.

I want to be a monster.
If I ate people
I wouldn’t have to worry about a job
About relationships
About anything except the next meal
I could spend hours hiding in dark places
Or if I were one of the big ones,
I could go city-wrecking,
Send it all to hell.
But I wouldn’t be either of those things.
If I were a monster
I would end up
A Jekyll and Hyde type
Or a werewolf who transforms on the full moon
Someone who has to keep up a human pretense
And deal with human problems just the same
While also dealing with monster problems secretly.

When I was young
I loved secrets.
They made me feel special, unique.
I liked knowing I could do something the others couldn’t
That I’d seen something the others hadn’t
That I knew something the others didn’t.

Now I hate secrets.
I can keep the secret of another for a lifetime
But my own secrets eat at me
Like a wet infection
So I air them
Systematically.
And every time I do
I find
Everyone has a wolf inside.
Everyone’s like me.
There are no such things as monsters
When we all pretend humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Need advice

 

Hey, all you geniuses. And all you hard workers who surpass geniuses. And any random armchair critic with an opinion. I’m talking to you!

I suck at titles. How do you come up with titles? Usually with poetry I can cheat and use the first line, thus not having to really title anything at all. I’ve only ever really written one title of which I’m proud. Everything else has just been a filler line to remind me of what the contents are, and has no real impact or meaning to the story.

If it helps you to have an example, this story had no title. I literally blanked out and gave up. That was my process. What would you title it? What is your thinking process? How do you do it!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Feral Muse

 

My muse is feral.
She will not be trained.
She refuses to do tricks.
Everything is on her terms.
I try to encourage her to stay
I’ve installed a muse door
Leave food out every day
And hope.
On lucky days, she shows up
Sits beside me, soft and comforting
Humming pleasant new melodies.
Sometimes she takes the pen
Right out of my hand
And scribbles fantastic things in the margins.
She lets me hold her, but not too tight
Never too tight.
She’ll bullet out of there
If you love her too much
If you lose patience with her
If you don’t scratch under her chin
Exactly
The way she likes.
She loves you
But conditionally.
You are a means to her
And she will not hesitate
To abandon you
And visit a different artist instead
One with better food
One who always leaves the door open
Who spoils her with everything she wants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Self publishing n’ stuff

I’m supposed to be writing right now, but all I can think is zzzzzzz…. I went swimming today and am plumb tuckered.

Oh, I know! Here’s a semi-educational email I wrote today to a friend. It never fails to amaze me, the things I find tucked away in my brain. When I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was empty out my pockets and see what treasures I’d collected over the course of the day. When people ask me questions and I actually have answers, it’s the same feeling, hahaha.


Would you recommend any particular self-publishing service?

 

I recommend Smashwords… it’s the only publishing service I know, though. It’s free and they distribute it to lots of other platforms. You’ll have to go through your book and do a fair amount of work to make sure it meets their epub formatting guidelines. They give you lots of advice on how to do that properly. Even though it distributes to about 30 small mysterious websites I’ve never heard of, the only place where I’ve sold books are the Smashwords site, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, and iBooks. I had to sign my book up for Kindle separately from Smashwords, though. For some reason they didn’t have that one as a distributor.

If you’re serious about this you’ll want to investigate the pros and cons of some other sites. I’ve never done that so…

I had to break a few hearts and lose a couple potential readers because I didn’t have a print version of the book. Maybe one day… but right now it’d just be a fiscal calamity. There might be some bind-on-demand kind of places but I really haven’t looked into that, either.

 

What, if anything, can I do to promote a book?

 

Make sure you have a fantastic cover, and a really good micropitch to draw them in. You can pull views to the publishing page, but this is where they’ll get asked for money, and have to actually make their decision. Be careful not to mislead them in any way about the nature of the book; if you draw the wrong kind of audience who are expecting something else, they’ll hate your book no matter how good it is.

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE. If you want to actually make money, you’re going to have to put in lots of man-hours. Touch as many people as you can with the links. Put links to the book in your email signature, sign off your online comments and posts with it. Find websites with likely readership and mention your work there. If you have a fearless and winning personality, you could take advantage of local opportunities, too. Little writer’s conventions and clubs abound. You could contact some bookstores or libraries and ask if they want a copy, or if you can do a reading in a coffee shop. Set up a stand on the sidewalk. Pass out business cards. Leave flyers on bulletin boards. Really maximize your efforts by finding the haunts of your niche audience and appealing to them there.

Eliminate obstacles for potential readers. Make your websites, links, etc VERY clear. Think in this way: you want the LEAST amount of clicks necessary for them to get to your book.

Build up suspense and momentum with a promised release date. Get as many people excited about this as you can, maybe build an email list or webpage for it. I failed at this when I tried to do it, but they say it makes a difference.

One thing I want for me is to get a couple more books up there. The more books you have, the more of an audience you’ll get, right? I read about this one girl who had a big string of 20 vampire novels she’d written for fun. She self-published them and people got addicted. If they bought one, they got addicted and bought a bunch more. She made a killing. Of course that’s a crazy popular genre anyway, or at least it was at the time.

Um… that’s about all I know for sure in this area. Marketing is where I’m failing right now, because I’m so damn lazy.

Social media is a big deal for a reason. Big possibilities for promotion with that. Big… possibilities. Go investigate. I don’t really know. You can use FB, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, WordPress, Instagram, Pinterest, Patreon, Kickstarter, Ko-Fi, etc all to great effect if you apply different principles to each one (I recommend you look up and check out each one of these if you haven’t investigated them before). Once again, this requires a time investment and I’m not sure about the exact application for each, because I don’t want that much shit in my life right now.

 

Is there some level of sales that I can reasonably expect?

 

Once again… you get what you give.

Honestly, I wouldn’t expect a whole lot. Unless you put in all that consistent work to promote it.

I put my book up on March 2016. I’ve sold a grand total of… drumroll… 29 books. I’ve had 102 sample downloads, so that’s actually a pretty good (almost 1/3) view-to-purchase ratio, and I’m proud. Like I said… not doing a great job of marketing this book.

From your personal network of friends, family, and blog audience, I’d expect maybe 5% to buy. Email lists are supposed to be a great resource. If you send an email blast to your blog email followers, and the book is written in the genre they expect (i.e. just like your blog), then a slightly higher percentage from there will buy.

Please don’t force anyone to read it. You’ll just upset them and get weird feedback.


 

The end, goodnight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Humbled

So I’m sitting here, writing, in my angry place. About suicide, the state of the nation, all these deep poems. Trying to decide which terrible thing to post. 

Then I get a group text from my sister. It’s a gibberish link.

She does not stay up late at night. She does not use ellipses, ordinarily. And she does not send links. She’s not really techy at all. She doesn’t even open the links we send to her!

Spam spam spam spam spam.

I tell her she’s not being herself, and to change her password. My sister didn’t respond. Everyone in the thread considers themselves lucky not to have clicked it (except the one person who did and it didn’t load).

The preview said “dogapillar in my back yard.”

The group is disappointed that we can’t click on this enticing link. We try to find adequate replacements in GIFs. No dogapillars, unfortunately. Caterpillars, cat caterpillars, and old men with caterpillar mustaches. Images abound. Nothing can fill the need. We didn’t know we had this need until we weren’t allowed to see it.

Then she messages again and says that she really did send it. This was it: 

Dogerpillar-in-the-backyard8230-428cf1

 

So was sparked much discussion on what the appropriate time and syntax is for sending pictures of dogapillars. Should there be a code word to accompany it so we know it’s a legit dogapillar photo? More related GIFs and photos were exchanged.

At long last, the discussion was concluded, and bedtime announced. 

I got back to my poetry rant. It looked so self-important and… small. I can’t post this shit. I have a hard enough time taking myself seriously as it is. Nothing compares to long, ridiculous dogapillar-centric conversations. I have been fully outmatched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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