Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year ;) (slightly updated)

I have some more good news for those of you with eReaders (or as I'd like to call ya, traitors LOL). Since last night, I have been hard at work at getting my books ready for digital sale. Oh, they've been on sale in eBook format before, just not like this:

Roots of the Cypress Tree (ePUB)
A Candlelit World (ePUB)
Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions (ePUB)

That's right, folks...all three books are available in ePUB format now. At this time, they are only available for purchase at my official bookstore, but in time (crossing my fingers) they will also be for sale at the Nook and iBookstore websites.

But...that's not all!

As of today, they are available for purchase at the Kindle store too! No, you are not hallucinating! I may be a book purist, but I also recognize the changing of the times and am doing my best to adapt. On the right hand side of this blog is a new widget called "My Kindle Store" for you to check out.

The best part though, is that no matter which store you buy these eBooks from, the price will be $5.

In my last post, I gave you Lulu's latest coupon code. Be sure to use it to your fullest advantage, whether you are a book purist like myself, or you have gone digital. Please visit my official bookstore to see my updated catalog, and keep an eye out for my upcoming short story releases for January. Happy New Year everybody!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The first two short stories in a series of monthly releases has been published.


The Christmas Party, published 12/21/11
Synopsis: Anya Douglas and her small circle of friends each receive an invitation to a Christmas party. They decide to attend despite not knowing their hosts, and get much more than they bargained for this holiday season.

From my notes: I started writing this story on August 16th, 1998. I was 11 days shy of turning 18 years old. I finished it on January 25th, 2000.

Who might like this? Fans of the "Twilight" books and romance novels might enjoy it. This story contains some adult content, so don't let your kid read this one ;)


The Wall of Memories, published 12/22/11
Synopsis: When the Vietnam Memorial is dedicated in Washington DC, two veterans make the road trip to see it and come to terms with their memories of war that still haunts them 16 years later.

From my notes: This story was started on February 22nd and finished on April 12th, 1998. This was originally written for my Conflicts & Revolutions class, taught by Steve Cole. This story is dedicated to him.

Who might like this? Fans of war history, war films & literature. Although the story is fiction, it is set against the backdrop of actual events related to the Vietnam War.

I plan on releasing two more titles a month for the next five months, all in ePUB format. Then, when the time is right, I will combine all short stories into a single collection and publish in actual book form.

Be one of the first! For only $2 each, buy yourself a copy of "The Christmas Party" and/or "The Wall of Memories" today!

moment of clarity

I'm up a little later than I should be tonight, I have to work early tomorrow, but I wanted to write about a moment of clarity I had while I was nearing the end of my shift.

I suppose every woman has moments like this when she's in her early 30s. I've been working at the same job for almost seven years, it was a job that was originally supposed to earn me some easy money while I wrote. It's not an easy job, I've worked in fast food for years before McDonalds. Over half a decade later, I wear a manager's uniform but mostly I'm a seasoned grunt. I can go anywhere and work any position. My co-workers are like family to me, and my work life has taken over to such an alarming level that my writing has suffered despite publishing 3 books and the projects I am currently working on. Needless to say, its a dead-end job. I feel like I could be better used elsewhere, but I'm too comfortable where I'm at to look for a better position. Yes, I've gotten lazy in several aspects of my life.

As a kid, I saw myself as ugly and fat. Guys in my class didn't pay any attention to me and I was not popular. I suppose that was the reason why I had relationships with the guys I did. If a man did pay any sort of attention to me, I grabbed on and held on regardless if he was the right one or not. These relationships, with two exceptions, ended badly because I wound up settling for the first man who would look my way instead of waiting for the man of my dreams. I deluded myself that these con men were the real deal. When I met a man who had potential, I screwed the relationship up myself through my own self-destructive insecurity and fears. It is something I've had a lot of trouble letting go of, because there was always the hint that maybe someday we would get a second chance. That hope is slowly dying six years later. I don't think he will ever really come back. I really loved him and always will. I feel his absence in my heart every day and see what could have been in my dreams almost every night.

The biggest piece of advice I can ever give anybody is this: The only things in this life you really regret are the risks you didn't take. If you see a chance to be happy, you grab it with both hands and to hell with the consequences. Don't ever settle.

I am trying to start doing more of the things I love, to take better care of myself and become the person I want to be. From now on I am done settling.

My friends, this may sound familiar. Well let me assure you this moment hit me so hard I may as well have been punched in the gut. I saw the never-ending cycle stretching out in front of me with no end in sight. I saw my life wasting away doing the same old shit when friends my age and younger are starting families and finding real love and happiness. As much as I loved my aunt Patsy, when she was alive she led the same sort of life. She lived several lives in fact, but the one I was a part of was one of...well, comfort. Security. She was only really happy when she was with her family. She was a real independent woman, never had a boyfriend move in with her and she raised her kids by herself. I love and admire her memory, and I always looked up to her. But as she told me several times, "Don't be like me."

I don't want to. I want to love and be loved, have a family and nurture my writing. I know that anything worth having is worth working hard for. I intend to make it happen.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

conversations of my heart and dreams...

More progress made today...

I had a "duh" moment today when I realized that none of my stories had copyright notices in them...and how some of them had title pages (and when necessary, TOCs) and others didn't. Now they do. I'm getting closer to releasing them, maybe it will be a Christmas present for you guys?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making progress already :)

I have been working for hours at a time these last few days on my old stories. What a blast from the past. I remember sitting at my desk as a teenager from the time I got home to the time I went to bed, only stopping to eat dinner, typing away like a fiend on my Canon StarWriter 60. That was my first workhorse. I only stopped using that poor old thing when its built-in printer finally died, but it got at least five years worth of near constant use. Transferring the contents of the old text documents to Word has been a major pain. With every paragraph break and italicized or boldface words (so many italics!), there was a small mass of strange symbols in between sentences and words. Luckily I still know my old stories inside and out, so it wasn't too difficult.

The majority of my stories have been gone through and all the weird symbols have been removed, now all there is to do is fine tune them until I feel they are fit for release. My plan is to publish each one individually in eBook form, which depending on their size will only cost one or two dollars apiece. I will eventually combine them into a short story collection, maybe two if I feel like stretching it out further, but I doubt it.

My stories are so much shorter than I thought they were! I was sure "Survivors" would be long enough to be a standalone title, but its only 87 pages long! I was very impressed with some of them, many of my one-liners made me laugh out loud. There are one or two which will need an extensive rewrite, or else will get scrapped completely. Otherwise, they are still really good and I am so happy that they will finally be given an official release after collecting virtual dust for almost 16 years.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Upcoming projects!

I have two projects that are on the horizon, thought you would like a sneak peek at whats coming up in my world.

1. On June 3rd, I lost one of my closest friends who was also a poet. Unfortunately in all the years that I knew her, she never saved her work, so only 11 of her poems have survived. I am planning a book which is a tribute to her life, which will include her surviving poems, photos, tribute pieces from friends and loved ones, and I have compiled all the Facebook status updates that she wrote in the last 6 months of her life. Unfortunately, much of the book relies on the contributions of friends and family and that is slowgoing. "Traci: A Life in Reflection" will hopefully be published in 2012.

2. Novella and Short Story Collections
Before I started writing poetry, I had aspirations towards being a novelist. One of my earliest goals was to publish my first book before age 16, which was how old S.E. Hinton was when she published "The Outsiders." I never realized that goal, but during the course of 15 years I wrote several short stories and novellas. Few are large enough to stand alone, and some will be paired together. I will be spending a lot of time going through and revising these old stories as needed- most of them were written when I was a teenager and therefore are in dire need of fine tuning.

Here is a brief list of titles which I will be reviving:

Repeat - One of two war-related stories that I penned in my senior year in high school. Set during World War 3, this centers on the antics and misadventures of a reluctant soldier who finds himself repeatedly returned to the front lines after being injured in combat.

The Wall of Memories - Another war related story, this was written originally as a class assignment. A veteran travels to Washington DC when the Vietnam Memorial is completed and comes to terms with his past as a soldier in the Vietnam War.

The Christmas Party - Three friends receive an invitation to a Christmas party from a mysterious couple who are more than they seem. This may appeal to those who enjoy the Twilight books.

Treasures - Three petty crooks get wind of an urban legend about a treasure chest buried at the bottom of a lake and get themselves roped into a fatal kidnapping scheme to find out the details.

Sibling Affairs - A group of friends become tangled in the lives of the Rush family, who share a deadly secret.

Survivors - A possible stand-alone book, this story is divided into two parts. Centering on the character of Sarah Greene, a high school student who is kidnapped with her class by a deranged teacher and a year later finds herself in a dangerous situation with her savior from the traumatic event. It is her circle of fun-loving friends who step in and save the day.

The Curse of Black Beauty - A man survives a near-fatal accident involving a horse and, upon moving forward with his life and finding true love, finds himself on borrowed time.

The Matchmaker - A middle aged woman sets up her roommate with a reclusive man and winds up falling for him herself.

The Serial Killer - A young woman is taken hostage by a serial killer, who falls in love with her and will do anything to reclaim her after she is rescued.

Ghosts of the Field - A woman investigates the mysterious death of a man whose ghost is haunting her.

Backtrack Thru Politics - Set in the year 2096, four scientists travel back 100 years to foil a Presidential assassination with the help of a professional time traveler.

A Fallen Colonel - Set in the pioneering days of the film industry and has characters modeled after real life silent celebrities, a trio of friends find both fame and heartache when one of them succumbs to alcoholism. This was begun in 1998 and is currently still unfinished.

Churning Through Sick Lullabies (working title) - A woman comes to terms with her life as "the other woman" in a couple's marriage after the husband dies.

These are all projects which will take a very long time to sort through and finalize. I will keep you posted on their progress.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rememberance Day for Authors and Poets?

Today is a big day in the world of writers and poets.

The following all share a birthday today: Mark Twain, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jonathan Swift, Israel Singer, Mark Lemon, John McCrae, Philip Sidney, John Dickson Carr and Eugene Walter.

Also, these people passed away on this date: Oscar Wilde, Compton Mackenzie, James A. Baldwin, Fernando Pessoa, Terrence Rattigan, Margaret Walker, George Henry Lewes, Arthur Ficke, Patrick Kavanaugh, Norman Cousins and Christophe Tarkos.

Methinks a new holiday should be in order ;)
Check the "love this" box at the bottom of this post if you agree with me.

In other news, I finally made the big investment and purchased myself a netbook which will be used for my writing. An external DVD/CD-RW drive will be arriving shortly which I will use to install Microsoft Word and then the setup will be complete :)

This is so exciting for me. I am also in the process of choosing a poem from Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions for my next video. I'm personally leaning towards "It's All For You." Stay tuned, my friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Exclusive videos NOT posted on YouTube ;)

Until I get my third video shot (which will hopefully be soon), I thought I'd treat you to some never-before-seen videos which are not available on my YouTube channel. Hope you enjoy.

This is the original test video where I stretched my reading muscles for the first time in many years. This was shot on June 2nd, 2011...the poem I'm reading is "Fire Branded" from ROTCT.

Shot on July 17th, 2011, this is an outtake version of "Flight of the Lover" which very quickly crashes and burns right at the end.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2nd video posted last night :)

I don't know why I didn't post this last night while I was sharing the link at my other spots online, but better late than never, right?

Last night I decided pretty much on a whim to shoot my 2nd video. I wanted to read a poem from Matthew's book "Exhuming Juliet" and figured I should do it while the idea was still fresh in my mind.

Hope you enjoy it. Please like, comment and share the crap out of it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Black cats,
Screeching bats,
Children in disguise running door-to-door
Knocking "rat-a-tat-tat!"

Ghosts and ghouls rise and rampage
While pirates growl and pillage-
Vampires bare their fangs
and lie about their age!

The Witch dances and cackles
As the giant bonfire crackles-
"Tonight is Halloween,
'tis plain to see
Why we're all acting so strange!
The shrouds of death are thin
and delightful magic
Brings about great change!
So eat your candy and sleep well tonight,
As our friends go to arrange a real
Halloween fright!"

- "Halloween" is on page 76 from ROTCT

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions" now on Amazon!

Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions

Click on the link above to find my new book over at Amazon. It never gets old seeing your personal creation listed on the largest online store in the world.

Been feeling the need to sequester myself in a lone room somewhere and write. I feel like I have lots of things I want to say, but no time to actually set aside for it. Perhaps that is an option for my vacation...perhaps I can convince some loved ones to give me a room of my own to hole up in for a night and burn a hole through my notebook with my pen.

Even though you can buy my book at Amazon, I want to strongly recommend that you buy it directly from the publisher, Lulu.com. You will be supporting me better as a writer and supporting my future work. Every penny counts and I want to earn it by doing what I love most. So even though it is more widely available now, get it from the source.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My 1000th viewer!

I am happy to announce that at 3:24pm today, Erika Lynn was my 1000th visitor to the Egg today! You rock girl, I love you :)

Roots of the Cypress Tree: Second Edition

In acknowledgment of my blog's impending 1000 views, I decided to create a second edition of my first book, Roots of the Cypress Tree. I never was completely satisfied with the font I chose, so I went back and cleaned it up and now it looks much better. Everything else is mostly the same...it is still in hardcover, same cover art (though the text has been updated) and very few changes were made to the poems themselves. So for those who already own a copy of the first edition, congrats to you! It is now a collector's item.

I hope that those of you who haven't yet added ROTCT to your bookshelf, that you will do so now. I am proud of the changes I have made. Oh, and enjoy a 25% discount from the original price of $34.95 when you order from Lulu.com!

Click here to buy the second edition of ROTCT now!

991 views!

Only nine votes away from 1000...if you are my 1000th visitor, be sure to leave a comment and I will love you forever!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Have you seen?

I have little widgets all over the right hand side of the blog here...one each for my books (which all have their own FB pages), and also for GoodReads, of which I have an author account there. All of my fellow FB users please find my book pages and like for the latest news, book excerpts and related events. Feel free to add me on GoodReads if you're on there too :)

Oh yes...and don't forget to place your vote in the monthly polls :)
The current one has only a couple of days left before the new one begins!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Almost at 1000 views!

Currently the Egg is at 948 hits and counting...yet only 3 followers? Say it ain't so!

Y'all know what to do about that *wink wink*

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kam Meng Chinese Restaurant - taking a stab at food blogging

I remember a particular summer day years ago, when my friend Scott and I were on the tail end of playing tourist along the Bayfront, we discovered a little Chinese restaurant across the street from Apollo's Nightclub. It was a place that we had never been to before, but had always wanted to check out. We went inside, loved the quiet atmosphere and marveled at the view we had of Yaquina Bay...not to mention the fantastic food, beautiful artwork on the wall and the owner herself, a lovely woman by the name of Huiya Chen, who made it a point to come out, refill our water glasses and talking to us like we'd been regular customers for years. We adored her instantly.

Then we noticed there was a menu-sized laminated pamphlet on each of the tables. The headline on it read: "This story is about the owner of Kam Meng Chinese Restaurant: Huiya Chen ~ An Artist's Story" with a beautiful photo of Huiya and her husband at Yaquina Bridge State Park gazing at the ocean during a sunset. We took turns reading the pamphlet, and were amazed by what we read.

Click here to read "Huiya Chen ~ An Artist's Story" on the Kam Meng website.
 
Standing before us, talking, serving us what was frankly some of the best Chinese food we'd ever had in our lives...was someone who had dedicated her life to realizing her Dream and is succeeding at it. Escaping from a life of poverty in China, she nurtured her childhood love for music and painting. She balances her time between being a wife, mother, restaurant owner and artist, painting exquisite portraits of local ocean scenes and still life with colors vivid and true. She sells prints of her artwork as well as the original pieces. I've been saying for years that one day I will have a piece of her art hanging on my wall.

It was maybe a year or so after our first experience at Kam Meng that they moved a few miles away from their original location on the Bayfront and into a larger place in Agate Beach, just past the golf course. It is painted a bright yellow with a green roof and trim, very hard to miss while you're driving Hwy 101. There is a separate play area for children, filled with toys and a vintage piano. She always makes sure to use local seafood and fresh vegetables for her dishes, and keeps coming up with delightful new additions to the menu.

My last dining experience was a couple of weeks ago, after a particularly trying day at work. Rick had come to town for a temp job, neither of us felt like cooking so we decided to go to Kam Meng for dinner. We didn't realize it had been nearly a year since our last visit, but the place was exactly the same as though we'd never left. We were seated immediately in a booth, and their new server brought us each a cup of hot tea. Instantly, the stress of the day began to melt away. Huiya came right over to say hello, and we caught up on everything new in the restaurant...she'd installed video poker machines recently, and she explained that their buffet was no longer going because they were losing money due to the waste and food costs. She was sad that some of her customers stopped coming as often because of it, but her main focus was getting things back to the way they used to be. She's getting there, slowly but surely.

After much debate, we decided to go for one of our usuals...the family dinner. As our main dishes, Rick chose the House Special Lo Mein, while I opted for something new...the sizzling green onion oyster. Within a minute, my bowl of hot & sour soup (the best in town) arrived and just as quickly vanished. It was a short time later before the Bo Bo Tray arrived...their appetizer platter, with Mar Far chicken, egg roll, BBQ Pork, fried wontons and beef & chicken skewered on sticks, with a small cast-iron cauldron in the middle with a live fire inside and a grill top so we could roast our food over the flame for extra flavor. For the first time ever, we ate everything on the tray!

I wanted to take a look around at the artwork on the walls, as I'd noticed a couple of new pieces, but no sooner when I had stood up and left the table, that our main dishes arrived, mine on a literally sizzling plate and smelled WONDERFUL. The lo mein tasted even better than last time, and I fell in love with the oyster dish...a decent number of fresh oysters pan fried in delicious brown sauce with sliced ginger and green onions. I love oysters but usually hesitate on eating them in restaurants. They were cooked to perfection, and tasted like they'd just been fished out of the bay. The only leftovers we took home was the lo mein...the oysters were all resting comfortably in my belly. It was an excellent meal that didn't leave us broke.

I highly encourage everyone who visits the Oregon coast to be sure to go visit Huiya for lunch or dinner at Kam Meng. It is a classy, peaceful place where one may go dressed in their Sunday best, but if you're like me and go in still wearing your work uniform after a long shift, that's okay too. Sit down, have a cup of tea and relax. She'll take good care of you.

Kam Meng's official website! Click and love!







Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here ya go.

Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions
Written by Sara Megan Kay, published by Lulu.com on 9/14/11.

This book picks up immediately after 2007's "Roots of the Cypress Tree" leaves off, giving poetry lovers a new and much deeper glimpse into the author's life and heart. Inspired by the works of Sylvia Plath, Francois Villon and Ted Hughes, this is Sara Megan Kay's most personal work to date. Allow her to beckon you closer with her revelations regarding life and love, in a language that few can speak.

Here is the best part:
Remember that little surprise I mentioned a while back? Featured on the back cover is a short but thrilling review of ROTCT written by my dear, dear friend in the poetry world, Matthew Nolan. I am so honored that he did this for me, I don't know if its fully sunk in yet. Matthew, you are the best. Really truly.

"Scrambled Egg" is for sale at Lulu.com with the price of only $14.95 for paperback and $5 to download the e-book. As soon as I can, I will make this available on iBookstore along with my other books. Within 6-8 weeks "Scrambled Egg" will be available to buy at Amazon.com, but why wait until then? Please show your support by buying directly from the source.

Please buy your copy today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions" has been published.

Yep, you saw it here first.

Unless you're on my Facebook friends list, in which case you saw it there first.

"Scrambled Egg" has been published. The distibution package is awaiting my approval of the book, but you can buy your own copy today.

Just click on the damn button. You know you want to.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good news.

Over much debate, I have added to my manuscript the ten poems I have written since "finishing" the book. It's amazing what a surge of creativity can flow upon the supposed completion of the latest project!

Final Page Count: 211

Sunday, July 17, 2011

First YouTube video up!

Please check out my first video on my YouTube channel, "Flight of the Lover"
Like, share, subscribe, comment!



Exciting news!

My latest book, Scrambled Egg: Poems and Other Confessions was completed on July 14th. It would have been finished sooner but I had to wait until I could get my hands on a full version of Word in order to fix the TOC. Thanks to my partner in crime, I was able to do so. When I viewed the finished document, I was greatly impressed with myself. Not to sound arrogant, but this might be my best work to date.

I have started the self-publication process through Lulu, and it should be at least a month or so before everything is fine-tuned and arranged to my liking. I think everyone will be thrilled with the final project once it is finished.

I won't reveal it yet, but there will be a special surprise on the back cover...
*muahahahahaha*

As to a specific release date, I don't have one in mind. I want to say it'll be out before summer ends, but don't hold your breath on that. I feel like I rushed things with ROTCT and want to take my time with this one.

More procrastinating with my YouTube channel! Arrrgggh there is so much to do and always so little time...

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Poetic Review: Crumpled Paper Dolls

Dancing with the dolls, their bent cardboard feet
Painted on red Mary Janes, dirty socks
and their peeling faces worn at the lips.
His pen sustains these, the filthy mind
Brings the broken promises to light
In a tome written by a classic heart
Shattered by lost hope, disease lurking
With jagged fingers clinging
To a suicide note written on news clippings
About 9/11, to a bottle of pills
Swallowed religiously to fight off demon lovers
Who haunt his past mercilessly.

I remain intrigued by the music.
Her jaded swaying repels me back to my cocoon,
While his fatal breath warms my neck.
Cautiously, I step forward
and open my legs to dance one more time.



Crumpled Paper Dolls: A New Orleans Poet is quite possibly the best thing to happen to poetry since Ariel. Not since Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton has a poet reached in and ripped out one's insides so lovingly. Do not go another day without this book in your collection.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Still procrastinating...also a new project

I am still working towards shooting my first official YouTube video, just haven't had the time to work out a decent script for what I want to say. It is coming soon though...be patient.

As for the new project, this deserves a backstory. On June 3rd, one of my closest friends passed away while she was visiting me at my apartment. Traci was 31 years old. We had just gotten back in touch after 2 years of not speaking. We met seven years ago shortly after I moved back to Newport from Salem. We spent a lot of good times together and shared a love of poetry. One of the things I "inherited" from Traci was her writing binder, which contains six poems. I had two or three more that I had saved on my computer from years ago, and another one that a friend of hers sent me after her passing, which totals only ten poems so far. I want to try and collect as much of her poems as I can, but I am going to have to rely on other people to wrangle the material for me. I'm hoping more can be salvaged. Once I have gathered everything together, I will have it published.

Today I started the editing process of the material that I have so far. I copied her poems by hand, making only spelling corrections and shaping her verses a little bit. Otherwise they are just as she wrote them. Next, I will transfer them to a Word document and then wait for more poems to surface. I am hoping that they will.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"A Candlelit World" co-author Amanda Waley has published her 2nd book!

This is a momentous occasion indeed! I am excited to announce the publication of Amanda's second book of poetry, "Second Thoughts" which is available for purchase at Lulu.com!

"Second Thoughts" took only three years to complete, and when I buy a copy and read it for myself, a proper review will be given. In the meantime, won't you be one of the first lucky ones to buy your very own copy?

Click here to buy "Second Thoughts: A Collection of Poetry" by Amanda Waley today!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dragging my feet...

So what else is new?

I got my webcam on Monday, spent the evening playing around with it and made my first video which is posted on my Facebook page. I don't consider it YouTube worthy (lol) as it's mostly a shout out to my buds. The webcam works great, and it is indeed everything I need and easy to use. I couldn't be happier with it.

On Tuesday my pet cockatiel Tweaker flew out the back door and as of 6:45pm that evening there has been no sign of him. I have placed his cage outside and handed out missing posters to all of the more popular businesses in town, plus I have friends and family spreading the word too, so hopefully I will get some good news soon. He's been my birdy bird for 10 years, I feel like my own child has run away from home. I've been in a deep depression about it all week. Some people have suggested I simply get another bird, but that is the furthest thing from my mind right now. While I would love to open my home up to a new feathered friend, I don't want to do it so soon. There is a female cockatiel for sale in a local ad, which I may eventually get...best case scenario, Tweaker will come home and have a new companion waiting for him.

Because of this tragedy, I have put YouTubing on the back burner for the moment. This weekend I have the apartment to myself so once I finish catching up on housework, maybe I will have some time to devote to practicing my reading skills and shooting some test videos. Maybe I will have my first one up by the end of the weekend, but don't hold your breath. Writing has been at a standstill for months now...hit another dry spell. I've got some new ideas for poems but haven't had the time or energy to bring them to life. Maybe I can do that this weekend too.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coming soon...YouTube!

I have had an account on YouTube for years, but have never thought about using it for more than watching videos until very recently, thanks to my friend Matthew, whose channel I plugged in my last post.

I ordered a webcam and am waiting for it to arrive in the mail, and once I learn how to use it and practice enough at reading my poetry out loud, I will be uploading videos.

Best case scenario, I will be getting more exposure for my books and maybe even win a few fans...but in all honesty I am not expecting much to come of it. But who knows...I could get lucky.

Here is the link...check it out and be one of my first subscribers.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Matthew Nolan on YouTube!

My friend Matthew has a channel on YouTube now! Check out his video below on how to conquer writer's block, then head over to aNewOrLeANspoet and see him read a few of his poems. Be sure to subscribe to his channel too!





This is making me think about doing the same for my poems...though I'm way less confident that anyone will watch them. Would you?


Oh, and I know I'm a few days late but...this month's poll is up. I wouldn't mind some suggestions on what polls to have in the near future, I always want some input :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2 years worth of work GONE (updated)

I got my new computer today, and like usual made a mad dash to copy everything to transfer onto it. In the process I lost my only current copy of my manuscript. My last backup copy is dated April 26th, 2009. There are some pieces that were online only that were never written down in my notebook, so those are gone forever. Looks like I'll be spending some of my free time catching up...oh I feel like a giant idiot for this.


UPDATE! I found a program that recovered my writing files, my manuscript is saved!!! ISO Buster, you rescued me!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Random quote I wanted to share with you.

‎"The sun gives us light, but the moon provides inspiration. If you look at the sun without shielding your eyes, you'll go blind. If you look at the moon without covering your eyes, you'll become a poet."

~Serge Bouchard

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My books are now live on Google Books!

After a semi-lengthy ordeal, both "Roots of the Cypress Tree" and "A Candlelit World" are both live on Google Books. I have embedded the previews to be seen here, or else you can also click on the links below to check it out. This is so exciting for me!

Roots of the Cypress Tree
A Candlelit World

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thoughts on "Last Letter"

This blog is a long time coming, but didn't get the fire lit under my ass about it until now.

I have been fascinated with the story of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes for some time now. I initially fell in love with her writing because it was in a similar language to my own. Later on, I started checking out Ted's work and loved it too. There are those out there who choose sides regarding the circumstances of Sylvia's suicide...most are pro-Sylvia which is understandable and isn't helped much by Ted's unwillingness to speak about it until just before his death in 1998, when he published "Birthday Letters" and "Howls and Whispers," which gave readers their only chance to see things from his side...or so we thought. Last October, a new poem was discovered titled "Last Letter," which brings us the closest we'll probably ever get to figuring out what happened during Sylvia's last days. Needless to say, I was excited.

When I located the poem online, I pored over the words repeatedly. I can't recite it word for word, but kept reliving the images in my head almost as if they were my own memories or scenes from a movie. In a word...amazing.

Around the same time, while poking around I learned that Ted did not spend Sylvia's last weekend with Assia Wevill, as I had previously thought, but with Susan Alliston, also a poet. This led to a purchase that I enjoyed immensely.

Click here to buy "Susan Alliston - Poems and Journals 1960-1968" on Amazon.

Even with the poem and the inaccuracies which have been pointed out by several reviewers and insiders, there still begs the question...despite his philandering, was there a chance? Would Ted have eventually returned to Sylvia and reconciled their marriage? If you own a copy of "Letters of Ted Hughes," the first pages you would've read was Ted's letters following her death. His words give the distinct impression of a shattered man. Shattered and guilty. A part of him died with her, and he had to bury that away along with her body in order for him to live on with the aftermath of his mistakes. I'm sure that Sylvia's ghost haunted him for the rest of his life.

But maybe his actions didn't have anything to do with her committing suicide...her previous attempts combined with the fact that she never recovered from the loss of her father, signal a ticking time bomb. If it wasn't Ted, it probably would've been someone or something else. Or nothing at all. Who really can know what went on inside her mind. We can infer all we want from her poetry, but do we really know?

Maybe the discovery of "Last Letter" is one of the final steps to giving both Ted and Sylvia the ability to rest in peace after all these years. I have copied and pasted the poem below for you to read and make your own judgment. I welcome your opinion.





Last Letter
by Ted Hughes

What happened that night? Your final night.
Double, treble exposure
Over everything. Late afternoon, Friday,
My last sight of you alive.
Burning your letter to me, in the ashtray,
With that strange smile. Had I bungled your plan?
Had it surprised me sooner than you purposed?
Had I rushed it back to you too promptly?
One hour later—-you would have been gone
Where I could not have traced you.
I would have turned from your locked red door
That nobody would open
Still holding your letter,
A thunderbolt that could not earth itself.
That would have been electric shock treatment
For me.
Repeated over and over, all weekend,
As often as I read it, or thought of it.
That would have remade my brains, and my life.
The treatment that you planned needed some time.
I cannot imagine
How I would have got through that weekend.
I cannot imagine. Had you plotted it all?

Your note reached me too soon—-that same day,
Friday afternoon, posted in the morning.
The prevalent devils expedited it.
That was one more straw of ill-luck
Drawn against you by the Post-Office
And added to your load. I moved fast,
Through the snow-blue, February, London twilight.
Wept with relief when you opened the door.
A huddle of riddles in solution. Precocious tears
That failed to interpret to me, failed to divulge
Their real import. But what did you say
Over the smoking shards of that letter
So carefully annihilated, so calmly,
That let me release you, and leave you
To blow its ashes off your plan—-off the ashtray
Against which you would lean for me to read
The Doctor’s phone-number.
My escape
Had become such a hunted thing
Sleepless, hopeless, all its dreams exhausted,
Only wanting to be recaptured, only
Wanting to drop, out of its vacuum.
Two days of dangling nothing. Two days gratis.
Two days in no calendar, but stolen
From no world,
Beyond actuality, feeling, or name.

My love-life grabbed it. My numbed love-life
With its two mad needles,
Embroidering their rose, piercing and tugging
At their tapestry, their bloody tattoo
Somewhere behind my navel,
Treading that morass of emblazon,
Two mad needles, criss-crossing their stitches,
Selecting among my nerves
For their colours, refashioning me
Inside my own skin, each refashioning the other
With their self-caricatures,

Their obsessed in and out. Two women
Each with her needle.

That night
My dellarobbia Susan. I moved
With the circumspection
Of a flame in a fuse. My whole fury
Was an abandoned effort to blow up
The old globe where shadows bent over
My telltale track of ashes. I raced
From and from, face backwards, a film reversed,
Towards what? We went to Rugby St
Where you and I began.
Why did we go there? Of all places
Why did we go there? Perversity
In the artistry of our fate
Adjusted its refinements for you, for me
And for Susan. Solitaire
Played by the Minotaur of that maze
Even included Helen, in the ground-floor flat.
You had noted her—-a girl for a story.
You never met her. Few ever met her,
Except across the ears and raving mask
Of her Alsatian. You had not even glimpsed her.
You had only recoiled
When her demented animal crashed its weight
Against her door, as we slipped through the hallway;
And heard it choking on infinite German hatred.

That Sunday night she eased her door open
Its few permitted inches.
Susan greeted the black eyes, the unhappy
Overweight, lovely face, that peeped out
Across the little chain. The door closed.
We heard her consoling her jailor
Inside her cell, its kennel, where, days later,
She gassed her ferocious kupo, and herself.

Susan and I spent that night
In our wedding bed. I had not seen it
Since we lay there on our wedding day.
I did not take her back to my own bed.
It had occurred to me, your weekend over,
You might appear—-a surprise visitation.
Did you appear, to tap at my dark window?
So I stayed with Susan, hiding from you,
In our own wedding bed—-the same from which
Within three years she would be taken to die
In that same hospital where, within twelve hours,
I would find you dead.
Monday morning
I drove her to work, in the City,
Then parked my van North of Euston Road
And returned to where my telephone waited.

What happened that night, inside your hours,
Is as unknown as if it never happened.
What accumulation of your whole life,
Like effort unconscious, like birth
Pushing through the membrane of each slow second
Into the next, happened
Only as if it could not happen,
As if it was not happening. How often
Did the phone ring there in my empty room,
You hearing the ring in your receiver—-
At both ends the fading memory
Of a telephone ringing, in a brain
As if already dead. I count
How often you walked to the phone-booth
At the bottom of St George’s terrace.
You are there whenever I look, just turning
Out of Fitzroy Road, crossing over
Between the heaped up banks of dirty sugar.
In your long black coat,
With your plait coiled up at the back of your hair
You walk unable to move, or wake, and are
Already nobody walking
Walking by the railings under Primrose Hill
Towards the phone booth that can never be reached.
Before midnight. After midnight. Again.
Again. Again. And, near dawn, again.

At what position of the hands on my watch-face
Did your last attempt,
Already deeply past
My being able to hear it, shake the pillow
Of that empty bed? A last time
Lightly touch at my books, and my papers?
By the time I got there my phone was asleep.
The pillow innocent. My room slept,
Already filled with the snowlit morning light.
I lit my fire. I had got out my papers.
And I had started to write when the telephone
Jerked awake, in a jabbering alarm,
Remembering everything. It recovered in my hand.
Then a voice like a selected weapon
Or a measured injection,
Coolly delivered its four words
Deep into my ear: ‘Your wife is dead.’

Sunday, February 20, 2011

aNewOrLeANspoet: Valentine's Day

One of my friends in the writing world (maybe you have heard of his books "Crumpled Paper Dolls" or "Exhuming Juliet") has created his own blog...click on the link below to read his first formal (and exciting) entry. He is a writer I admire very much, the personification of my generation's Poet, and I'm amazed everytime we correspond online as friends. I can't wait to meet him in person. My friends and readers, please check out Matthew Nolan's blog.

aNewOrLeANspoet: Valentine's Day