I wasn’t planning on making this post. With so much going on, it didn’t seem I could find the right headspace to write for August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman blogfest, but I just started reading Elizabeth Anne Mitchell’s “The Most Beautiful Woman” post… and it got me thinking about how impossible that would be for me to nail down that title to one person.
She’s that homeless person that just walked into Bruegger’s this morning with a creaking shopping cart full of plastic bags, most carrying scraps of clothing. She spent a half-hour in the bathroom, using it to bathe.
She might be the manager who saw Emily (not her real name) come in the store and who smiled and said cheerfully “Are we out of milk? Would you like more?” and made small talk with her. And made sure to leave a cup with some bagel bites and made sure there was extra milk and cream left out for the homeless woman to get a small meal before Emily left, wrapping a plastic bag about her shoulder to block off the cold wind.
Perhaps that most beautiful woman is the one I met in line while getting my sandwich. Despite some rushing, we had a wonderful conversation about the weather and how the sky is so pretty in the Winter.
Perhaps she is the receptionist at my son’s school who managed the most amazing smiles even though she lives in daily fear for her son’s life because an autoimmune disorder.
Yes, and no…
She’s my sister-in-law, my grandmother, my mother, your mother, your sister, your wife… you.
She is all of us.
♥ to all of us And to the men in our lives too. You guys are beautiful too!
- Beauty of a Woman BlogFest logo (August Mclaughlin)
- English: A picture of a plastic milk bag holder (or pitcher) with a lid pouring milk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- Just Women (Photo credit: tchon92)
Today’s a hard one. As fellow challenge poet said in her piece The Cure, how does one write freely and not write as one’s self? I’m still a bit stumped, but I’m willing to wing it and see what happens.
For those interested in joining in, there’s still time on the linky. The “rules” as they are, are here: Poets on the Page Day 3
a phone rings.
in my chair,
alone in our room
my tea is nearly finished
so I set it down instead.
I want to stay here.
It’s too loud down there
with your television show
as you type away
on your computer
I don’t know how long I’ll continue posting these pieces–certainly for the rest of the week of the Poets on the Page challenge. As I said: the words need.
For day two, Julie Jordan Scott asked people to choose five things they could see from the vantage point of their reading the original challenge post (at least that’s the impression I took from the post). Then we were to choose one to write a poem about without naming it.
Of my five items (the Green Man, a peacock feather, fossils, rough wood paneling, and old ribbons from chocolate boxes), only one called out for a poem today:
So cold to touch
I trace you
The saw laid bare youth,
left points and sharp edges,
bands of color to abraid my fingers.
Now you shine, polished,
miniature valleys of ice.
Were you ever so warm
when you yet lived?
Normally I don’t post here the way I probably should, but the sweet Julie Jordan Scott is running a mini poetry challenge this week, and I felt I needed to join in. The words …want.
So here is my short poem (no form used) for Day 1 of the February Mini-Challenge of Poets on the Page:
red from the effort
of standing by,
as so many have passed
Image and linky to join up are on the Mini-Challenge page.
Where do you want to be in the end? Plan ahead to get there!
Originally posted on A Round of Words in 80 Days:
Start thinking ahead.
The sooner you start calling yourself a writer, the sooner you will start seeing the world is full of opportunities for writers. If you introduce yourself as an office worker, your conversation will start off focused on what everyone knows about office workers, which is not much. If, however, you start by saying that you are a writer, people will immediately think of all they know about writers, which often leads to them offering you surprising avenues of help. And it is at the beginning of your career that even the smallest bit of hep is welcome. I’m sure Stephen King is no longer excited when someone says that their brother owns a bookstore and would be happy to host a book signing, but I would be over the moon. So start working your magic.2. Know Your Market
As sad as it is if you want to write for a living, then you need to write what people want to read. Simple as that. No one is going to pay you to write something that no one wants to read. And as you are writing, you will come to scenes that can go in a multitude of directions, with many of them suitable options within the story. However, knowing how you plan to market the book can save you from taking inappropriate directions. For example, the reader’s expectations for a romance with a touch of suspense are quite different to those for a suspense with a touch of romance. For example, if it’s a romance, you can’t kill off the love interest, though in a suspense you might be able to. Having worked with self-published authors, I can tell you that trying to squash a round book into a square market after it has been written is a horrifying ordeal which you should do your best to avoid.
3. Promote As Soon As You Know What You Have To Promote
With my first book I saw making the book cover as one of the last steps before I published. I now realise that this is a mistake. As soon as you know basically what your book is about, you should be thinking about book covers, because this is your promo poster for your book. It is just like how cinemas put up ‘coming soon’ posters that make you excited about a movie months early. So getting a professional book cover done and displayed on your webpage, sent out with emails, and used it to start a Goodreads pre-release giveaway all before you’ve even finished the book will save you months of promotion after you publish.
I’m coming to believe that pre-launch publisizing is worth twice post-launch, especially if people can sign up to buy pre-release. Why? Because if you can sell the same amount of books within a week as you do later over a few weeks, you will go higher in the Amazon ranking. And the sooner you start scaling on the rankings, the better. Moving up the ranking is a self-perpetuating cycle, more people find you, so they buy you, so you go further up the rankings. But there is a critical point you need to get over first, and the faster you do that the easier it will be.
4. Think Five, Ten, Twenty Years Ahead
Finally, remember that you are in for the long haul. Often I feel like a failure because I have only done an hour of writing that day when I said I would do five. Or worse, there are the days when I struggle to sit down at all, and argue with myself that twenty minutes of writing won’t make a difference. The best remedy for this is to think ahead to the end of your career. Think of where you want to be in twenty years time.
In twenty years, if I have done twenty minutes a day, what will that have gotten me, compared to if I’d just given up? Well, 20 minutes x 5 days a week for 50 weeks of the year (see, I’m letting you have two weeks holidays as well!) is a total of 5,000mins, or 83.33 hours. If you write at 1000 words per hour, that’s 83,000 a good size book. After twenty years, even if you didn’t do any more, you would have 20 books available. And with twenty books, you are starting to get somewhere.
So think ahead now and don’t stop, because you are going to be huge.
Posted January 8, 2014on:
I can’t “like” this post by Kristen Lamb because of how close to the heart it hits. I just know it makes me want to hug her and share a cup of commiseration disguised as tea and cookies with her.
Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:
Today is a tad of a touchy subject, but in this New year, I want everyone to have a the greatest gift any of us can have…peace. Bullies, in my opinion, are among the lowest known existing lifeforms. I wouldn’t want to insult cockroaches and fleas by drawing a comparison.
Kristen’s History With Bullies
A little family story…
World Suicide Day: Preventing Tragic Loss (reblog, but original post removed from CommuniCATE)
I grew up in a household where suicide was always felt (my great-grandfather had killed himself… it may sound like that should have been distant, but our family was a very extended one with me living with parents, grandparents and my great-grandmother in the same house). In that house, there was a room no one was supposed to go in, the room he shot himself in. The blood hadn’t even been cleaned after his body was removed and buried. They just closed the door and on rare occasions, someone would shove a box of “stuff” to stack in the room through the door… when the door could be reached. Usually stuff was piled in front of it.
The outside door to that room (it was the original kitchen to the house, and yes, after he died, they just made a second kitchen) overgrew with ivies, the small awning was allowed to just fall off the house, pulling some of the clapboard with it. The window broke and the barn cats would go and nest in there.
I used to want to know why that room was closed up so much. No one talked about it. If I tried to peek a look, either I risked poison ivy itches (not so bad for me, since as a kid I never caught the rash, but horrid for my uncle and grand-father since they could catch it from being around me) or being hollered at…. And the brief peeks I did catch never made much sense. What was so special about a dirty old kitchen filled with boxes and the corpses of mice and birds?
It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I’d pieced all the hints together. By then I’d been hospitalized for suicide attempts myself, my uncle had been living on antidepressants, my grand-father had been slowly recovering from alcoholism, …
Suicide does change things.