The Launch of Shadows… Anita’s book of poems…

Shadows, a collection of poems by Anita Dawes
image by Jaye Marie

Anita has always wanted to see her poetry in print, and I think this is because they mean a little bit more to her than her fiction work. Probably because they are closer to her heart and soul.

Now, I was an editor long before I became a writer, so I thought compiling a book of poems would be a walk in the park.

It wasn’t.

I started with the eBook, which as you know, doesn’t have pages, it just rolls along until the end. I uploaded 100 of Anita’s most popular poems from last year, all suitably separated by a fancy divider.  I wanted to use colour for these, but thought it might be too expensive, (or complicated) 

As I was scrolling down the poems, it occurred to me that this system wouldn’t work for the paperback version.

The one thing you don’t want, is what I think they call Widows and Orphans, where you have half of the poem on one page and continuing the next.

The next problem that hit me was that all these poems were different lengths, so fitting them all neatly on the pages was going to be difficult, complicated to say the least.

One problem lead to the next, when I realised this book would need a TOC, or table of contents.

I haven’t done one of these in ages so had to scrape my morale of the floor and search the house for my thinking cap.

Which leads me to the last problem.

At least I hope it’s the last!

My brain keeps letting me down right in the middle of a procedure. Every time I have a good thought, half of it seems to vanish in a puff of smoke and I’m left with just enough to drive me crazy!

I tend to write a lot of notes these days because of this new development, but it happens so fast now, I often don’t get to the pen in time.

Sometimes the rest of the thought pops up again later, but then I must remember the first part and marry them up!

So I would be grateful if you find any howling errors, to let me know, so I can fix them!

What with one thing and another, I haven’t been able to do any marketing, so I’ll be playing catch up forever with this one. I have tried to add the link but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like behaving. The link on the cover in our sidebar isn’t working either so not having a great day! I seem to have done everything right, so must be this new editor. Methinks its time to ask WP for help…

There will be more about this book, but feel free to add some feedback in the meantime…

What the …

You won’t guess what this photograph is…

I desperately need a new camera, for its absolute crap at taking night photos…

But I tried to capture it anyway, and although it’s terrible, it did make me laugh!

 

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terrible image by Jaye Marie

This is the view from our front door, and the white light is the street lamp.

Drum roll please…  the orange light is…   THE MOON …

To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly, but compared to what is going on at the moment, nothing to speak of really…

Hoping everyone is keeping chins and spirits up… difficult, I know, but one day we will laugh about it. (at least I have been told that we will)

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This week in the Den of Doom…

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The lockdown and isolation has entered the Den of Doom (my office) with a vengeance this week.

We have tried desperately to maintain an optimistic attitude about everything, including all those annoying PC malfunctions. I seem to spend more and more time trying to catch up, meaning I never manage to get around to anything creative anymore.

So much so, our respective muses have been AWOL for days!

Undaunted, I had been looking forward to working on the new bonsai shelves. The wood has arrived and so did the freezing weather. I don’t do freezing to death as my old bones refuse to function below a certain temperature.

So, the waiting will continue…

Shame, for I was looking forward to spending hours away from the computer.

 

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Life isn’t waiting for me…

 

In the middle of the week, I started what I thought was a bad cold, streaming nose and sneezing. Of course, I immediately thought I was dying, but relieved to discover that sneezing is not a symptom of the Covid19 virus.

When the tickly cough arrived, I slipped into denial in a hurry.

The experts say that most people will only get mild symptoms and recover quickly, but not people over 75 who also have serious medical problems like heart conditions, asthma and hypertension, also like me.

Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism and I’m pretty sure I’m not dying. In the past I have beaten some usually fatal conditions, so not expecting to lose this battle either if it turns out that I do have it.

The good news is my temperature is normal and I feel fine…

 

Bcgrpknni

 

#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community… #Poetry

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99 words, no more, no less. It’s a simple constraint, an easy-to-master literary art form, and a powerful writing tool for creatives and entrepreneurs. Writers calibrate the usefulness and beauty of 99-words through weekly flash fiction challenges.

January 30, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a postal carrier in an extreme situation. Even if you base your story on a true one, focus on the core trait of this postal carrier. Go where the prompt leads!

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I have the best postman

No matter the weather

Rain or snow

Pushing his post trolley

Getting more snow

Around the wheels

As he goes

He’s not so young these days

Five-foot tall

I think he’s a superman

He has a shiny red nose

Like Rudolph

I decided to have a hot cup of tea

Waiting for him

Warm his back on my hall radiator

Thaw out for five minutes

We have a lot in common

Not least, my favourite place

Cornwall

It’s the one place he likes to take time off

No matter what the weather…

 

©anitadawes 2020

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 50

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I suppose it was inevitable that an element of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol should have descended on our house. Anita is very fond of this story and always watches at least one version of it at this time of year, but I have a feeling it has something to do with it being a new century and not just a New Year that is due to start in approx. 19 days’ time.

I am always a little apprehensive at this time of year, wondering what Fate has in store for us all, and at the same time trying to imagine new ways to make it better than this one.

A new century is rather special and needs to be planned with a bit more care than usual, I think. We have been blogging now for nearly 7 years and we have made some amazing progress and friends in that time, but so far, the sale of our books hasn’t exactly improved our lifestyle.

We would love to increase the number of our subscribers /friends, write more books and actually sell some of them.

Although I am very proud of all I have learned, I know there is so much more I need to know out there. Already, the to-do list is growing, headed by getting rid of that dreadful subscription pop up and replacing it with a better sign up form, coupled with finding new ways to connect with more readers.

Our newsletters need improving, and our presence on some media sites could be better too.

And I also need to find the time to start enjoying my long-abandoned hobby of craftwork again, and if I can, I think this would make 2020 a special time for me…

 

What do you want to do differently in 2020?

 

We would love to hear from you…

 

Smashing Smashwords!

Feeling mighty proud of myself today, as I have beaten the dreaded meatgrinder!

For those who don’t know, this is the complicated system that all books must go through to be included on Smashwords.com and Silent PayBack made it on the second attempt!

The first time, the cover image was too small and that was easily fixed.

Now, you don’t have to buy a copy, just read a bit and say what you think. Pretty please?

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/992834

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#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 30

 

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Beta Days!

 

We are constantly being told how important it is to have our work read by someone else before we publish. Even when our ego convinces us that our WIP doesn’t need this, that we have in fact, done a marvellous job!

My ego must be having time out, as I knew from the start that my current WIP, PayBack, needed a miracle or a beta read at the very least.

For so many reasons, PayBack was hard to write at times. This was the first time my writing confidence had faltered, and I worried about it a lot.

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PayBack is a crime thriller and I love writing them, even though creating all the twists and turns can test my brain to its limits. This time there were some unusual elements that I had never written about before, all of which threatened possible multiple pile ups and confusion if I allowed it to run amok.

Add to all that the miserable year I have had, what with my eyesight deteriorating and various other problems, it was a miracle I managed to write at all.

When I finally finished writing it, I knew it would need all the professional help I could afford. In this respect, I am lucky, for two books back I found myself a brilliant and reliable beta reader, Sara Maew from Fiverr.com and I think she is amazing.

I know that some of you recommend more than one beta reader or an editor, but even with the best will in the world, I cannot stretch my pension that far. Fiverr is very reasonable, and in my experience, Sara could easily command high prices for the work she does.

I am very confident in her abilities. She will find all my errors, plot holes, howlers and missing elements, and suggest ways to improve them. I also love that she includes praise for all the good bits!

The results of the beta read came in a twenty-page report and covered all the weak spots and errors. More dialogue was suggested, and the plot flow was far too erratic, but after reading this report, my confidence soared for I knew PayBack was fixable and would be a great read.

Criticism can be destructive, leaving both you and your book in a worse state than before, but Sara manages to fill me with such confidence, inspiring me to work on her suggestions to make PayBack not only perfect, but shining!

Next week, I hope to start the foundations for my marketing plan…

 

 

Streets Ahead Book Promotion- For Open a New Door by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades…

Streets Ahead is a book promotion idea created by Stevie Turner over on MeWe.com

This week is the turn of Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades and their wonderful collection of poems…

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Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:
What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.

Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

An Amazon Review for Open a New Door…

4.0 out of 5 stars
Realism dominates this poetry
‘Open a New Door’ by Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle is a collection of poems, inspired from life in Africa and people who make it good, bad or ugly. All aspects are portrayed in a plausible manner.

Both Kim and Robbie have a similar style of writing blank verse, some of the themes too are identical. Realism is the hallmark of their poetry, as they talk about life and people in clear words; imagination takes a back seat. Deeply moved by poverty around her, Robbie has highlighted it in many poems. If ‘The Boys under the Bridge’ brings out the plight of the homeless youth, The Silver Lining underlines the uplifting spirits of a youngster carrying a load of recyclables with abandon, The Beggar’s Child mocks at the apathy of the passers-by but ‘The Golden Light’ focuses on helping the underprivileged children of a school in a squatter camp with books – a wonder gift for them.

Kim seems to be an ardent animal lover because many of her poems celebrate wild life and give a vivid description of how a cheetah hunts its prey, how mother cheetah nurtures her cubs, how a lion lies on golden grass, even her Utopia mentions “stamping buffalo.” Iconic South African birds too catch her attention to inspire a poem. The opening lines of ‘Lessons Learned in a rural village’ seem to be inspired from William Blake’s poem ‘The Little Black Boy.’

Some of the poems are too personal and comment on how life unfolds, offering unforgettable memories, moments of exhilaration and dismay, travails of a working mother and insecurities of an empty nest but they all make life worth living. Heaviness of this book would linger around you even when you finish and put it away. I enjoyed it.