Wednesday, August 29, 2012
a New OrLeANs poet®: Princess Katrina
Saturday, August 25, 2012
For three hours we smiled and greeted anyone who would look our way, which was few. There was a dismal amount of interest in our books. We were complimented by our cover designs and titles, but no sales. Most people would take one look at our books, then walk right by. I didn't see a single person there who seemed like the type to read poetry...no kindred spirits. Every fellow author who I saw struck me as the type who writes for a hobby, not for a passion. The only other artistic spirit I sensed was in David Delamare, who was once again there to sell and autograph prints of his amazing art. I brought with me two prints that Mom and I have been proud to put on our walls for a few years now, and he very graciously autographed them for me in gold ink. I'd seen him before at previous fairs, but had never said anything. I'm glad I did :)
The main lesson I learned while taking part in this fair was this: I am in a whole other writing universe than the crowd that shows up to these author fairs. While they seemed like nice people, I got a clear sense that I was an outsider...that I was not "one of them." I need to seek out other venues which would cater more towards poets and their audience, maybe a poetry slam or open mic night. I found out that for very cheap, I can rent a room at the library to hold book signing parties.
I also learned that I need to learn how to write a proper press release. If I wrote one and sent it to the newspaper, it would get printed in the Community section for free. That would give me great exposure for my books and my blog.
Next year, Mandy and I will depart for the fair much earlier, so we have plenty of time to prepare our table space and get comfortable. It took us nearly an hour to drive 30 miles. Absolutely ridiculous!
Wanna see the view from our table?
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
August 2012 poll: Of the two listed below, who do you think is the better author?
A. Henry Miller
B. Anais Nin
If you haven't read either author, you are seriously missing out. Both Miller and Nin had prolific writing careers. Here is a starter reading list, and their links on Amazon (though I do encourage you to find these at your local bookstore instead):
By Henry Miller:
Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Capricorn
Quiet Days in Clichy
Big Sur and the Oranges of Heironymous Beach
By Anais Nin:
Henry and June
Nearer the Moon
House of Incest
Winter of Artifice
D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Emotionally I am wandering. Sometimes I find myself feeling like Myrtle Wilson trying to escape from her husband's garage just before she is killed. I feel like I am spinning my wheels, that there has to be more to life than this constant financial struggle. Of course there are other things too, but I won't get into them here. The fact that I am comparing myself to Myrtle Wilson (a character from "The Great Gatsby") should say enough. I want to be free. Completely free. I am a caged animal that had a taste of freedom years ago, and can think of nothing else but escaping again. But even then, I would be afraid to be alone...I would want to take someone with me or meet someone at the end of my road, camp out on their couch. What is up with that? Why am I afraid to be alone?
Where would I go? Probably New Orleans. I would fall in love at a cafe on the French Quarter and attend mass at St. Louis Cathedral. That's my dream right now, but unless I win the lottery somehow or win the fellowship, that may never happen. Or it might happen, but it would take suffering "the final straw" to unhinge my inhibitions. I love living on the coast and I love my friends and family...but at some point I need to get some real living in. I am not ready to settle down and grow old yet. I want to do something crazy and wildly romantic.
Would you go with me to New Orleans if I asked?
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I'm also proud to announce that I am a proud passenger of the Poetry E Train! I am among the select few Oregon poets who will be featured in John E. Wordslinger's upcoming book "Poetry Train America: Hauling 2,012,000,000 Tons of Poetry." Check out my exclusive video uploaded today to the train's YouTube channel.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Before, my FB presence consisted of (among other things) my personal profile and pages for my books. I have decided to delete my book pages because I was tired of posting the same news in three different places, and if I created a page for GOTF, that would have made it four. Now there is only one place on FB where you can stay updated on all of my writing news. So if you are a FB addict like I am, please "like" me and spread the word about my new page!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Right now, I am in the process of uploading my video "It's All For You" to my profile there and it is taking FOREVER. Once that is done, it will take up to 24 hours for it to show up, same goes for the Atom feed to this blog. I've always wondered how writers got their own pages on Amazon, and of course it was really easy to set up once I found the link for Author Central.
As you have seen in my last several posts, I have been enjoying a slow but steady stream of creativity. I haven't been able to devote a lot of time towards writing, just a little here and there in between work shifts. My new business cards arrived last Tuesday, and I've been passing them out to friends and co-workers. Some of them even had me autograph their cards! My boss, Flora, says she might sell hers on eBay after I become famous. LOL she might have to wait a long time for that, but I love her for being optimistic.
I still have to wait until August 1st to find out whether or not I am a finalist for the 2012 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. This was the last year for me to be eligible to enter, so I am impatient to find out the results!
I am contemplating on entering the 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship. The deadline is June 29th, so I would have to act fast if I decide to go for it. I will be giving myself until the end of today to figure that out.
I have had a lot on my plate lately, so I haven't been able to accomplish as much as I want to. I need to manage my time better, thats for sure. Until next time, my friends...keep writing and stay strong.
Edited to add on 6/11: The author's page is up and fully loaded, and soon there will be a new addition to my Kindle Store. At the same price as on Lulu, you can download the Kindle edition of "Ghosts of the Field" within the next 24 hours.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
|Print edition cover art|
ISBN (print): 9781105660429
ISBN (eBook): 9781105805127
|eBook edition cover art|
Anonymous / Hell Has Come / Daydream Believer / Survivors / Backtrack Thru Politics / The Wall of Memories / The Serial Killer / Repeat / Treasures / Sibling Affairs / The Matchmaker / The Christmas Party / Ghosts of the Field / The Parker Virus / Accidental Death / The Curse of Black Beauty
The print edition sells at a discounted price of $19.46 only at Lulu.com, anywhere else it is $25.95. The eBook edition, compatible with all eReader devices, sells at just $5. Please visit my official bookstore to be the first to own a copy!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The majority of my poetry is autobiographical, but not all. Some are based on dreams I have, and others are simply random ideas that I am able to write down in time. I got some raised eyebrows regarding my recent video where I read my poem "A Sexy Man," which many people think is based on fact. This is not so. I wrote this poem back in September 1999, a few days after meeting the guy (note, I didn't call him a man) who would become my first fiance, but the adulterous situation I describe never actually happened. At this time, I didn't write many autobiographical pieces. I didn't start doing so until the relationship with this guy began to go south, and even then I would only write about my feelings, my internal battle against insanity. I had few options to express myself back then, and poetry became the main tool I would use. Short stories used to be my favorite medium, but time and a decreasing attention span left many projects unfinished, so poetry became it for me.
Many love poems, beginning with those published in the last section of ROTCT and ending with poems written in the last couple of months, were inspired mostly by one man. He was such a strong muse for me that it was very difficult to break away and find new inspiration elsewhere. I mean, how many times can someone write about the same person over and over again? In a perfect world, I probably could've written about him forever. But it was not in the cards, so even a poet must move on. Yeah I know how that sounds, you don't need to tell me. I'm just glad I was able to move forward, even if the circumstances that led to it wasn't the best.
I used to take a cue from the beginning of episodes from "The Ray Bradbury Theater." Hopefully you remember that old show? Ray Bradbury himself would sit at his typewriter in this room full of curios and get inspiration from the things on his shelves. That is how I originally started to write poetry...only I had my old faithful Canon Starwriter 60 word processor at the time :) I used to spend hours typing away on that. I'd go downstairs into my bedroom after school, turn it on and before I knew it, it was dinnertime. Then I'd come back, and in the blink of an eye, it was time for bed. I wish I could still write like that.
My influences began with Emily Dickinson. She was the first poet I read on my own and enjoyed. I'd read Poe, Blake and a variety of other poets thanks to my reading classes in school, but Emily was the first that really stuck with me. I bought poetry books here and there, mostly I'd buy the cheap Dover Thrift Editions from my local bookstore. I picked up "Best Poems of the Bronte Sisters," "101 Best American Poems" and just after high school I got Jewel's "A Night Without Armor." I read all three titles so many times. But it wasn't until I met the man mentioned a couple of paragraphs above that I really began to expand my poetry collection. Per his encouragement, I read Rimbaud, Rilke and Dylan Thomas. He also introduced me to the music of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. On my own, I discovered Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Verlaine, Villon, Baudelaire, Yeats, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, to name a few. I also subscribed to Poetry Magazine and read the work of several Beat poets. Nowadays, I have been reading the unexpurgated diaries of Anais Nin. What an eye-opener. She was so far ahead of her time. Henry Miller is a natural next choice on my to-read list.
I know that some of you tend to scratch your heads at some of my work...it's just as well that you should. Poetry is not a straightforward art form. It is a language that few speak fluently, and in order to speak it, one must be wired a certain way. The poet sees the world, sees life in a different way. Perhaps we are too sensitive to emotions, events and such. We see and sense what others cannot. There is not always a who, a what, a where or a why in poetry. It simply is. Whether you are able to understand or not is in the hands of our maker. It's like being born gay or straight, or male or female...you are a poet or you are not. There is nothing wrong with you either way. I just know that I have no idea where I would be today without it. Like my friend Matthew Nolan, my pen sustains me too.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
First off, the (so far) final working title is "Ghosts of the Field (and other stories)." Thought that might be slightly catchier. I am also recycling some old ideas and incorporating them into the book cover, making use of some alternative choices from the past. You'll see what I mean very soon.
For now, I am pausing at the back cover. I have some text space to fill, and don't know exactly what to do with it yet. Currently the idea for now is to fill it with mini reviews of my previous books, including at least an excerpt from Matthew's glowing ROTCT review. I'm hoping for more, maybe I'll get it. Or else I won't. Who knows at this point. I still haven't settled on a release date yet.
On August 25th is the annual book fair run by Bob's Beach Books, which is one of the best local bookstores on the coast, if not the best. Writers from all over Oregon and Washington show up for this fair. Amanda and I have attended a few times, but last year it fell on my birthday so I chose not to go. This year, however, I am hoping to secure a table. My only problem is that I will have to get my hands on some of my books. Bob's Beach Books has several copies of ROTCT first editions, which they are anxious to get rid of, I'm sure ;) I will also need to get at least two copies apiece of ACW and SEPOC, and also the short story collection if it's out by then. Of course, that will cost money!
Traci's book has been put on the back burner for some time. I'm afraid that I won't be getting any more material to add to the final product, it's been nearly a year already since I began working on it and I'm tired of bugging mutual friends about writing something for it. It makes me angry, is all. Her life touched so many people, yet how many of them have taken the time to actually contribute something that honors her memory? Counting me, only three. It frankly makes me want to shake her so-called friends and slap them around. I feel like people are acting like she never existed at all, if they can't be bothered to write a simple paragraph or two about her.
But anyway that is where I am at with all this. It's a lot on my plate. I try to focus on a little bit at a time. The next time I have an update, you will know about it.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
That's right, my friends!
The manuscript part of "The Short Story Collection of Sara Megan Kay" is finished. My next step will be to design a cover. This is something I will take my time on, I want it to look delicious. I will shoot for a June 3rd release, in honor of Traci's birthday.
I don't have any specific names in the dedication...only to my graduating class of Newport High School, and a few select members of the two grades below me (if they sat at my table during lunch and before school, they should know who they are). Several of these people provided inspiration for many characters in the stories, as many of them were written during my high school years.
I am so excited, I hope I will get to fall asleep at a decent hour tonight! So glad to end this day on a positive note. This cold has been strangely debilitating in its brief stay.
Friday, April 6, 2012
This is the most ambitious reading I've done so far...and when I say that, I mean this is a reading of the LONGEST poem I have ever written. This was penned in early September of 2005. It was, and always will be, a declaration of love in it's purest (and most insecure and questioning) form. Please like, fav, comment and share. This is a poem that holds a very special place in my heart and memory.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
So without further ado, here is my reading of Matthew's poem "Myself." Please like, favorite, share and leave comments on the video page!
Friday, March 16, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
I'm not the only one, either.
For everyone who has helped support my writing financially and otherwise over the years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you who are thinking about it, please consider first and foremost the place where you choose to buy my books from. By buying directly from Lulu.com, you are not only choosing to support me the most as an artist, but you also support my publisher too. Your help allows them to continue their great work helping independent writers and artists sell their products, many at no cost to the authors themselves. By buying from places like Amazon, fellow Lulu authors such as myself will only make $2.21 for a paperback book retailing at $14.95, before taxes. If you buy at Lulu, the author will make almost three times that amount. The rest goes towards the production of the book itself and Lulu takes a small commission...which honestly is a small price to pay considering the services they provide for writers who otherwise might never get published. Where else can an aspiring writer have COMPLETE control over their book, inside and out?
Click on the following links to browse books by two of my good friends (and fellow Lulu poets), Amanda Waley and Crystal Clemons:
Their bookstores will also be permalinked to my blog, along with Matthew Nolan's website, my friend Mary's blog "Where the Ravens Fly," and my friend Tiffiany's food blog "Lafayette Food Junkie," as part of my personal effort to help plug the works of my equally (and more) talented friends, who have done the same thing for me in the past. Friends who write together, stay together ;)
P.S. Don't forget to take 25% off your order at Lulu.com, for a maximum savings of $50
Coupon Code: LULUBOOK305
Coupon expires January 31, 2012
P.S.S. Book buying can be a rich experience! Seek out your local book fairs, visit with the authors themselves, buy a book and have them autograph it for you!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
I thought I would play around with Windows Movie Maker with two videos I shot tonight with my cockatiel, T.J. Nibbler. It mostly consists of me blowing gently on him, which causes him to fluff and preen like he's getting a shower. He also shows you why he earned the name Nibbler!
It's not Oscar-worthy, but I hope you enjoy it.
The song used in this video is "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, from the album "Lynyrd Skynyrd [Pronounced Len-Nerd Skin-Nerd]"