For those of you in the Maryland area, I will be visiting Chesapeake College on April 16th for a Poetry Panel. Myself, along with two other local poets, will be taking part in numerous poetically themed events throughout the afternoon.
I will be presenting numerous pieces, including ones from my upcoming book, I Am. You can check out the trailer for that here.
I hope you can make it out to the college and meet me!
I can be one of the most elegant poets (at times) and still haven’t seemed to master the English language enough for every day conversation – especially when that conversation turns around to my writing. Instantly I transform into this blubbering, stumbling, hem-hauling fool who stares off into the distance while turning a very unflattering shade of fire-engine red.
Tell me I’m not alone! Does this happen to you? Are you actually good at speaking to people about your writing? If so, what’s your secret? If not…it’s okay. We were never the “cool kids” anyway.
You have left behind a small bedroom, engulfed by the bulky hospital bed with its folding mattress and steely grey rails.
You have left behind an old red recliner, and I sit in it and remember that the wooden handle no longer works and the deep creak in its rock sounds like the background music to midnight conversations, whispered in the hushed stillness of a sleeping home.
You have left behind a closet full of blue dresses and a red cape, and I never would have known that your favorite color was pink, until you asked for a dress to be buried in and smiled when the rose colored sheath was unfurled from its bag, petals opening in front of a sunset.
You have left a trunk full of love letters and silk scarves and stories I was never old enough to ask you for, so that now I sit and wonder about the woman in the picture, legs propped up on the steps, her skirt sliding up to show off her slender calves.
I have days of work ahead of me, maneuvering the remnants of life from present to memory, and you have left your scent in the sheets, your powder on the bathroom sink, your gold pocket watch on the dresser, and me.
You have left behind me.
This has been a six sentence story. You can find out more about them and this week’s prompt, here.
By nature, the writing world is a lonely place. Authors need friends and companionship and a community, not only to draw inspiration from, but to help support them in a field that doesn’t exactly make it easy. Here’s what you should keep in mind about your self-publishing friend:
Most likely, they are doing it all on their own. All the writing, the editing, the designing, the promotion, the promotion, the promotion.
They think what they have written is the absolute best thing out there right now. It’s new. It’s daring. It’s theirs, and they’ve been working their butts off on it for so long they forgot their own kid’s birthday until the last moment.
They’ve probably spent more money on the book then they care to admit.
They are basically tossing 50,000 some words out into the ether and praying that out of the millions of titles on Amazon, someone picks theirs.
It all sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?
So, how DO you love a self-published author?
Read it. I mean, if you hate the genre they write, then there is little helping that, but if you can, read it. They want to talk to people about their work and it would help if you could comment on more than the cover they basically paid an arm and a leg for online.
Share it. The biggest compliment any author can get is someone sharing or recommending their books to others. It’s the equivalent of telling a manager at a restaurant that you just got excellent service from Jane over there and you’ll be coming back again. That just makes everyone feel good.
Review it. A review is complete confirmation that your author friend is on the right track. It is a public praise that brings in more readers. It’s like having the play list posted and finding your name in big letters next to the leading role. It’s important to your friend to know what people really think.
Be patient. Your self-publishing friend is convinced that this time, the two hundred and thirty-third time they’ve shared a post on social media about their book is THE ONE. This post will go viral. This post will get them noticed. This post will lead to a contract or an agent. Be patient with them and try not to get annoyed by the spamming.
Be understanding. This book is like a newborn baby to your self-publishing friend. They have been working on it for so long, and at the end of day they just want someone to pat them on the back and say, “It’s beautiful. You did a good job.”
I was asked by the fantastic Kevin, from New Author Online, to guest over at his blog. If you’ve never stopped over there, give his site a good visit today! He accepts guest posts, has written some awesome books of his own, and is a big supporter of other authors.
Let’s give a warm welcome to our next featured poet, Fida Islaih.
Fida Islaih is the author of three poetry collections, A to Z Poetry, Her Olives, and Hugs & Kisses. She is working on a fourth collection. Fida’s collections focus on her faith, her experiences and emotions along with her love for nature. Her upcoming collection remains untitled with the hopes to be published late fall 2015. It focuses on the places and people that she has rooted herself in. Split into five sections, this collection explores the beauty and struggles of two countries, of sisterhood, the beauty of words and time. Here is a sneak peak from the upcoming collection:
She was tall and graceful
she glided through
the streets of our village
her long, black hair flowing
in the wind
along with her thobe
she always had a smile
as she carried
a basket of bread on her head.