Pet Poetry

I have been working on a Pet Poetry book for years. I have a collection of poems I’ve written about various pets I’ve owned since the 1980’s. Some have been published in magazines; some have not.

I always thought I would put them in a book and publish them. I can’t remember how hard I’ve searched for a Poetry book publisher. I think I gave up awhile ago and decided to publish it on Createspace. I thought it would be a good first book to publish partly because it’s short and partly because it’s written. I just have to organize it.

I am trying to find pictures to go with the poems. I’ve moved so much that pictures have been lost or misplaced. I may be able to take pictures or even draw outlines of what the poem is about.

Right now I’m going through the poems and trying to make sure there’s some kind of picture to illustrate each one. Last night I debated having the picture on the opposite page from the poem, or putting it under the poem. I think having it first might give away some of the endings, so I went with putting an illustration under the poem.

In checking to see if Createspace publishes chapbooks, I read about a poet who has published nine of them there, and she says they sell quite well.

My poems tell a little story and they rhyme. They have meter. I took (or started taking) a poetry course at UNCW when I was getting my Masters degree and ended up dropping it. The poets in that course wrote in free verse. I didn’t feel like I fit in.

When I was in school we studied poets and were even required to memorize certain poems. These verses have come in handy over my lifetime. When stressed, sometimes a line or two will pop into my head. When searching for a reply to someone I have at times quoted a line from a poem.

Much as some things people say trigger a song memory, so too do some things trigger a poem memory for me.

I love poetry and love writing poems. I hope when my book is published, that people will enjoy reading it. I may also put it in the kindle version.

All this is still in development, but I am amazed that I already have so many poems that I can put in the book.

I did some research last night and learned that a chapbook has 40 or less poems and is around one theme. Well, good.

When I get the book published, I will list the link to it here.

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The Thinking Part of Writing

I have been keeping a schedule of the time I’ve spent writing, and I’m disappointed in myself.

However, this morning, as I mentally designed a page/picture for my poetry book that I hope to finally publish this year!, I realized that I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, and not just “I want to be a writer”, but “how can I make this work in the book?”.

I think the thinking part of writing is as important and the act of writing itself.

Often when I sit down to write, I have worked out the words and the flow in my mind before my fingers ever touch the keyboard.

So yes, yesterday was an “off” day for me as far as writing, but while I was “off”, I figured out a couple of ways to illustrate two of my poems and when I sit down today to enter those pictures/drawings, I will know exactly what to do.

I’ve heard of writer’s block where folks sit and stare at the blank page (screen?). I’ve never had it because my mind sorts things out before I ever sit down and start writing.

Also, all these many, many years, as I’ve had writing ideas, I’ve jotted them down, or started this or that project and I know where each one is headed. All I need to do is get to that file/project and continue.

I’ve felt like I’ve wasted so many years not being published, but perhaps they were not as wasted as I think?

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Writers Market Versus Web Search

I’ve always been a big fan of the Writers Market. I have sat down and read it page by page in an effort to educate myself in the best way to use it. It has symbols and tips and then the listings themselves. . .

Recently, when I had an article (two, so far) ready to market, I got my Writers Market out and looked for a place to submit. I found little or no markets using my scan of categories of magazines that publish what I have to sell. This is strange. I’ve always used the Writers Market to find publishers.

I came to this computer after that disappointment and googled the title of what I am trying to sell and added “magazines” to the end of those words and pressed enter. My most recent search (about my raised plant bed article) has yielded 19 possibilities. I’ll do them like I did the other article and check Writers Market for their listing and also go to the magazine’s online website to see if they will be a good candidate for my article. I am very selective to whom I submit manuscripts because there’s no need to waste their time or mine submitting to places that don’t publish the kinds of things I think they do, or who don’t buy from un-agented writers.

Anyway, since this has happened with my last two submissions, I may start going to the internet first and then check the Writers Market.

Everyone else may already do it this way, but I’ve been writing since the 1980’s (for possible publication) plus going through a lot in life and also raising three children while working full time. This is finally my time to pursue a writing career, and I may be behind the times. I am very grateful that most places accept online submissions and I no longer have to use snail mail to reach editors. Perhaps the internet is an easier way to find publishers? It’s proven to be quicker so far.

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Who was the Blindman?

I have been looking at all my entries for my blindman book. I’m still trying to print out the pages, but the ones I check have already been printed out. I change the font to red after I print them so I can tell at a glance if they’ve been printed.

In going through this book, I see I’ve also saved articles on the subject matter and would like to publish a nonfiction book as well .

I had no idea I’d gathered so much nonfiction – true accounts about the subject – that I have. Do I have enough for a book yet? Not sure.

I’m hoping when this book is published that it will generate an interest in the topic like never before. I hope it will open eyes that either don’t look or haven’t seen.  The second (nonfiction) book I hope will strengthen interest in the blindman one.

I’m going to give the chapters one more go through . . . the ones saved for my book . . . to be sure I’ve printed the whole thing out. Then I’ll read it through like a book and see how it reads. I’m sure there are transitions and other editing to do, but I believe it’s completely written now.

I will probably post a scene or chapter from it on my blog to try to tweak interest. I’ll need to find a chapter that can stand alone.

I also looked for a magazine market today for a raised plant bed article because the one I designed is doing so well. I haven’t found one yet, but that just means I have to look harder. I wondered if a short story can be published on Amazon, can a how-to article be published as well? I’ll have to check into it.

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Website

I want a website where I can show all my writing publications, where to purchase or read them.

I looked at the website builder for WordPress and am trying to make one using that.

I had planned to hire a professional, but I might as well try to do it myself first. I know exactly what I want. I just want to pull all the things I do together in one place.

I wonder how many others on WordPress have designed a website here?

I recently asked someone who had written about publishing a short story for sale on Amazon how he did it. I got no reply. If anyone else knows, would you please leave that info for me and others in the reply section?

Remember that old country song, “Is There Life Out There?” I’m feeling like singing it. Let me see if they still have it on youtube.

 

 

 

Getting Serious About This Stuff

Two of my sons have convinced me I should switch from teaching full time to writing full time. I could return to a classroom this fall, but am going to take a leap of faith and write instead.

I’ve started a running record of what I do each day. I find the amount increases daily.

The first day I wrote 276 words.

The second day I wrote for 60 minutes. I see I made the comment, “felt like ten minutes” . . . well, good, maybe I’ll keep it up.

Third day . . . today, I wrote 1019 words in 42 minutes. These were words on four short books (may be short stories, not sure yet) that I am writing. There’s that grasshopper mind jumping from project to project . . . Then I spent twelve minutes finding a possible publisher for my bird poem.

A lot of what I do, I do during “down times”.  I will think about and mentally write stuff while doing dishes or some other mundane household chore. Sometimes I get inspiration while I’m outside. (If I had my “rathers”, I’d live in a tent. I love being outside.) I also will pick up the Writers Market or look through folders of things I’ve written and not count that time.

But for now, I am trying to document what I’m doing and when and probably half way doing it, because I can’t stop and jot down every five or ten minutes I spend.

I did not notice the time when I started this blog. I guess I won’t count it. No big deal.

Just trying to justify my new career. My goal was 4 hours a day, but it looks like maybe I’d be better off counting words?

I don’t think I can write for four hours a day. I heard somwhere that Hemingway (and I know I’m NOT Hemingway), but I heard he wrote 250 words daily and would stop when he reached that number of words.

I’m going to do it the way I’m doing it . . . do what I find interesting that day and write down what I did. I’ve been intending to submit that poem since the 1980’s when I wrote it. I guess that’s progress, whether they buy it or not, it’s been submitted finally.

I wonder how other writers account for their time and writing? Do they count the time or the words?

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