Creativity Opens Doors for Poets

Keywords: publishing poetry, writing poetry, poetry agents

So someone asked Anna Ghosh of Ghosh Literary, why agents for publishing poetry books, are nearly nonexistent.

Before reading the agent’s response , I already knew the answer: poetry has evolved and is accepted in its modern form of rap, ballads, or slogans to sell t-shirts.

However, Ghosh responded by stating the obvious- there are no high selling markets for poetry anymore, and publishers are not willing to take a chance on a book of poems that will not sell. “Book publishing is ultimately a business, “Ghosh states. “Where book sales largely drive what book editors acquire.”

Publishing books of poems is sadly not the vehicle to drive anymore(if it ever was, to begin with).

I will never downplay poetry because poetry is in my heart and it flutters with haiku, free-verse, onomatopoeia and inspired verses from pictures I find on Pexels.  On March 20 this year, Haiku Journal published my poem in Issue #57 of their journal and paid me. So, there are markets but you as the poet who can see yourself writing nothing but, you have to get creative.

Poetry is a creative art on its own, but you have to be even more so to get others to read it- if that is your goal. I don’t have all the answers and I surely will not lie and say poetry will get you rich, but here are my thoughts on re-packaging poetry.

  • Don’t think of selling it. That’s right. Don’t do it. An article by Meghan Rogers on Welltoldstory.com opened my eyes when she asked the question: Are we writing for the right reasons? If your goal is only to be published, you may not enjoy the journey. This is very true for me, which is why I just write now. I am still a writer whether I am published or not.
  • Ever thought of taking music lessons? I don’t know if anyone ever thought of this, but singer Lorine Chia said when she picked up a guitar, she was finally able to put her words to music. All we need is a beat right?
  • Pick up Poet’s Market. I still have my 2013 Poet’s Market Guide and it remains fresh and useful today. It gives tips, samples, and thousands of markets you can choose from.  Also, PW.org  is how I found Haiku Journal! My advice is to look for a unique market first, see what their guidelines are and what they want, visit some samples from their site and then create your own based on their guidelines.

I’m not sure what other ideas are floating around. Do you have ideas for poets trying to expand their marketability?

Let me know, down below!

~The Write Web

Hidden Corners, Short and Strange Fiction

leaf eye
Image of Leaf and Eye from Pexels.com

The foundation for Fright of the Frostbitten Chilling Stories 2018…

One man questions what he actually sees and begins to wonder if what’s hidden in plain sight is really all in his mind or a frightening truth of a new reality…

Seeing things from the corners of my eyes was becoming an unwarranted and unwanted addiction. At one point it fascinated me because I was seeing things that according to others— wasn’t there.

On the other hand, the Creepy factor was just too high. The fear that would clog my throat every time I saw a gnome or dark shadow.

Later in life, I had perfected not seeing any shadows at all, making sure to keep my eyes focused and if I must swivel my head, I did so while turning my neck at the same time.

The kicker came when I met Dahlia Thomas.

Dahlia Thomas was a petite cup of Brunette Beauty and Brains. Her brown eyes were full of warmth and intelligence and I witnessed that intelligence a lot when she would come over with stacks of books and her laptop, leaning over it, clicking away, working on some report for her law class online.

Her hair wet, twisted in a messy bun atop her head and her lean legs tanned and crossed. We had tacos that night.

I sat next to her when she waved me over to her side.

“Remember when you told me you see things from the corner of your eyes? How does that work exactly?”

That’s why I loved Dahlia.

You think she had no interest in what you said hours or days ago, then suddenly she’ll mention it along with her comment or solution.

“Yeah. That was last week.”

“Uh huh,” she slipped her tongue out to rub along her bottom lip. “When did it begin?”

“I was ten. Right before mom got me some glasses.”

“I see.” She darted her eyes to the right and left without moving her neck. “I mean, peripheral vision isn’t the best and some images can be skewed…”

“But these aren’t just images, they are real and I only see them when I turn my eyes.”

“Try it now,” she said.

“No way.” I pop a kiss on her forehead. “You’re cute and all, but I am not about to scare myself half to death for you.”

Her rosy lips hinted a smile. “For me, okay? You said nothing happens, you just see them. In fact.” She rose up and went to the far side of my apartment, the section before the kitchen area. Her lean frame stood there with hands on hips and a smile. “Come on! Turn around and then look here.”

“Dahlia.”I love you. I wanted to tell her right then and there.

Maybe I should have.

Maybe then I would be a sane, happy man today.

“Alright,” I turn my back to her, not realizing that women do indeed hold a strange power over men, to cause them to be childish, tempted…stupid.

I turn my eyes and let out a yelp when a shadow loomed over her body. She was oblivious, but a worried look crossed her features when she saw how frightened I was.

I quickly snatched my eyes back to the front. “Jesus.”

Her arms wrapped about my middle and she kissed my neck. “Was it there?”

“ A big one. Right behind you.”

She looked away. “I see nothing but a kitchen though.”

“You don’t believe me?”

“Oh I believe you,” she came around me to stand in front of me, her warm brown eyes full of sympathy and intelligence. “I just think there’s a scientific explanation for it.”

“I hope so. I can’t keep living like this. I’m 27 years old.”

“You’ve never seen a doctor, told your parents?”

At the mention of my parents, I close up inside. They were both in a plane accident just five years prior. No survivors.

“Never.”

“One of my professors has connections to a medical research facility about an hour away.  I have his number.”

“So I’m crazy now?”

“I hope you are…about me,” she teased before walking away and writing down a number on one of my napkins.

I took the napkin.

Never called.

But a week later, Dahlia Thomas went missing.

Copyright© 2018 Erica Jean Smith

**Thank you all for reading. This is just a small portion from the short story called Hidden Corners. I was inspired by my myopic eyesight and some of the blurry globules or flashes of light I see sometimes look like other worldly creatures…or I am due for another eye exam, right?

Let me know what you think. I’ll be back soon…

-Ericajean

‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ by Deepak Chopra

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I just finished an important book- “The 7 Spiritual Laws to Success” by Deepak Chopra. This was an audiobook and to be honest, you get more out of it when you can hear it(at least for me). It is like sitting at the foot of a very wise and honest friend.

It is very hard not to give spoilers, because I would rather you discover yourself what those seven laws are, however, I will say this: True success is conveying your talents, every skill is given to you by the Creator to help humanity.

I take this lesson to mean, that no matter what we do, we must cultivate it, nurture it. Whether it is arts, music, medicine, teaching- do it all for humanity. I was once told by a nurse that my passion for writing will not help a soul. However, my writing has brought joy and meaning to people who have read my books of poems;  and what about textbooks? Someone wrote those too, right? Textbooks help people.

Deepak Chopra has a very soothing, fatherly tone of voice that blesses your spirit. You want to know what he knows. His advice may seem abstract but he offers practical tips to unlock each of the spiritual laws.

As I listened I took notes. Applying his guidance to your life is key to truly understanding his advice. I hope you give it a listen.

Highly recommended!

Find Deepak Chopra’s audiobook on the Seven Spiritual Laws on Amazon.

5 Emotions You’ll(Probably) Have While Reading ‘A Curve in the Road’

 

a curve in the road*A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean, in my opinion, is an amazing show of great authorship and storytelling.

-From Amazon,

From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes a suspenseful, emotionally charged novel that explores the secrets and hidden truths within a seemingly perfect marriage.

Abbie MacIntyre is living the dream in the picturesque Nova Scotia town she calls home. She is a successful surgeon, is married to a handsome cardiologist, and has a model teenage son who is only months away from going off to college.

But then one fateful night, everything changes. When a drunk driver hits her car, Abbie is rushed to the hospital. She survives, but the accident forces unimaginable secrets out into the open and plagues Abbie with nightmares so vivid that she starts to question her grip on reality. Her perfect life begins to crack, and those cracks threaten to shatter her world completely.

The search for answers will test her strength in every way—as a wife, a career woman, and a mother—but it may also open the door for Abbie to move forward, beyond anger and heartbreak, to find out what she is truly made of. In learning to heal and trust again, she may just find new hope in the spaces left behind.

First some SPOILER  keywords:  drunk driving, infidelity, side chicks/mistresses, narcolepsy, death

Now on to my feelings while reading this addicting book:

Paranoia/Impending Doom:

From the opening scene when Abbie leaves her mother’s house, you get the sense something bad will occur. Her thoughts are very introspective, the questions she asks about her life as she is driving on the road right before being struck by a drunk driver.

Pain:

The obvious next emotion I experienced was the pain of the accident. While Abbie is trapped in her car and even on the way to the hospital it is so sharp that even you as the reader begin to think about your own experiences as someone being trapped or hurt in some way.

Grief/Grieving:

The terrifying emotion of grief is one that will also be the heaviest burden and you can’t help but experience this as Abbie MacIntyre tries to piece together the why and how of the event.

Suspense:

Now this one also keeps the pages turning and I mean turning fast. I was at work trying to catch every bit of the story as Abbie’s world unravels and she begins to question her own sanity.

Hope:

Even though A curve in the Road is an emotional rollercoaster, there are pinpoints of light at the end of the tunnel as Abbie works hard to rebuild who she is and explore all that life has to offer.

I truly enjoyed this novel from start to finish, it is definitely another 5 star read from Julianne MacLean.

A Curve in the Road is available on Amazon     Nook  and other popular bookstores August 14, 2018

*This book was received for free for my unbiased review from Julianne MacLean and her publicist. Also, there are affiliate links in this blog, just so you know 🙂

Kate Bowler’s ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ is Sensational and a Miracle

everything happens

This book was a miracle to my thought process…

No matter how much church we have in our pockets or theological knowledge- when death sniffs us out as potential meals, who cares about the English language anymore? This prosperity teaching author drops the f-bombs freely and sweetly as she shares her life story about living with stage IV colon cancer. There are more truths I paid attention to here as well.

The book is almost a guide on how to respect the ill and dying.

Reading an account of someone living with stage IV cancer is one thing, to hear the author read her own memoir aloud is another. Kate Bowler finds out she has colon cancer at the age of thirty-five and with a little baby and doting husband, she wonders if this is something God orchestrated and she explains in her own sharp-witted way(and with candid humor), that sometimes there can’t be a reason and sometimes things are the way they are.

“Some are sinking faster than others- but we’re all sinking” (Kate Bowler, “Everything Happens for a Reason”)

The emotion behind the author’s voice brings to life the anguish and irony of living while dying. The encounters with snotty doctors, uncaring doctors, and others who mean well but just cannot help.

As an assistant professor at Duke University, whose specialty is in the Prosperity Gospel, Kate is astonished at how little prosperity Gospel actually teaches. The chapter I paid attention to most is “Magic”, where the author recounts how at church one day everyone was proclaiming God’s provision in their lives for cars, homes, and weight loss and each of them received it but she had not received her blessing. I totally empathized with her on that one. There have been plenty of times God looked out for others and I would declare to no one in particular. “Why isn’t God looking out for me too? I love Him too?!”

The author definitely keeps it real about her diagnosis: from the evaluation to the nurse calling her and telling her that cancer was all over her body and then the grueling, painful task of saying the “slow goodbyes” to friends and family.

Overall, I admire this woman’s courage to tell her truth and even though we all know to be kind to others, when in the presence of someone deathly sick, please refrain from:

  • platitudes and Scriptures
  • Prayers of healing(unless asked for)
  • trying to “make” the person well again *of course, all of these are great if asked for!

and more importantly, do not treat them as if they are already erased. Just be there. Just listen.

I think about my father when he had stage IV esophageal cancer;  I would gently hold his hands and I would whisper prayers of healing I found online. He wore the Jehovah Heals scarves, had water that was prayed over and I told him “God can do all things, even heal”

His body resides in a vault now. Six years has passed on. Nope, it hasn’t gotten easier folks.

What was running through my own father’s mind when I tried to church him to health?

He was quiet, I do remember that.

We accept life, why can’t we accept this part of it too? Maybe because we never been on that trip before and don’t want to find out. We love God but we question: does he love us enough? I understand we are mortal, so death is as certain as taxes but cancer remains a beast.

*Kate if you are reading this, your book is a miracle in writing and I will say to you that there are never perfect words of healing to say to anyone in your position, I will say to take each day as a present as we all should, and that God may be there but I believe there are times where He presses the mute button.

-Ericajean

Edgar Allan Poe’s Chilling Stories Come to Life on #NetflixNights

Death: They all succumb to my prowess. The poor, the weak; the rich and powerful. Everybody bows before me. I offer you one last chance.

Crow: I don’t want my work to be lost forever. My work is eternal. I want that eternity…[from Extraordinary Tales adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s stories]

 

netflix edgar

It’s hard to find the mot jueste, to sum up a writer’s life. Particularly a lonely writer. I am not lonely, but the habit of writing can be incredibly fantastic and humorously lonely at times(think about the conversations your characters have in your head or the rhyme-less poetry that hits you before you sleep).

Anyway, this isn’t about me, this is about Edgar Allan Poe’s stories coming to life on Netflix.

I was one of those chicks that read the dramatic pieces of V.C. Andrews, the vampire stories and I loved when we delved in Poe in high school. This was my zone. Favorite stories of his are the Cask of Amontillado(I remixed the story in 9th grade and I swear the whole room went deathly pale).

The Tell-Tale Heart, and the Pit and the Pendulum.

When the film begins, you are struck by the fact that it is animated. I thought there would be real people, but being that I love animations, in some ways this did not bother me. Second, the crow(which we learn immediately is Poe) is having a conversation with Death. Death has the voice of a woman. It is sweet, at times condescending, but almost like a lullaby.

Remember Tales from the Darkside?

It’s kind of like that. In Tales from the Darkside, a little boy tells stories to a woman who has him chained up, preparing to kill him, but his stories are so juicy she delays killing him.

Well, Poe explains to Death that he knows her power but he tried to defeat it with his literature.

The one that gave me severe chills is The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. Briefly, the chilling tale is about a narrator interested in hypnotizing a person at the point of death. He tells his friend of this and his friend agrees that the narrator can indeed hypnotize him whenever death calls for him.

It happens and his friend calls on him while he is about thirty minutes or less from death. The narrator mesmerizes him and the friend reports he is asleep while in a hypnotic state then finally- he reports he is dead..

What transpires later is definitely chilling. It could be just the way the story is told though.

I definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars, great narrator and sound effects, however, I think more of Poe’s stories should be brought to life too. Amazing narrating talent such as Guillermo Del Toro(director of Hellboy), Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Roger Corman brings Poe’s stories to life.

I highly recommend this for classic horror fans as well as Poe fans of course.

 

The Hate U Give #SummerofRealness #YANovels

Hi bloggers and fellow readers!

I am back again with the latest novel in the #SummerofRealness #YA reading venture.

This time, it is to reveal The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is a play on the acronym THUG and is about a teenaged girl named Starr who loses her friend Khalil to police brutality. In today’s world, it is so unfortunate that our black youth are experiencing the same injustices our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced.

I think the true magic of this work lies in the timeliness and realness of the story. Starr is the narrator and she must navigate two worlds: In one world she is a resident of Garden Heights where gangs line the streets and schools are filled with over-sexualized teens profanity and overall detrimental behaviors, but Starr attends Williamson on the other side of town where she becomes “Williamson Starr”- she changes her accent and enjoys being the “non-ghetto black chick.

What you must know is this: there is romance, there is violence, but there is the tie of familial love as well.

Surprise! It is a movie and The Hate U Give will arrive in theaters October 19th 2018.

**Side Note: I did not get to finish this story because the loan period expired at my library, however, the overwhelming amount of positive reviews this book has received is astounding. Over 2,000 five stars on Amazon.

Let me know what you think 🙂