Sunday, January 12, 2014

More Poetry

Poems seems to be falling out of my head like dust cascading down from the air.

Okay that's hyperbole, but I am writing a lot more poems than I used to. I think one reason for the increase in poems is that I've begun to see they do not need to be focused on an emotion. Well, not an explicit emotion like love, for example. The poem I've started on the joys of middle age is more about resignation and disappointment than anything else, even if the tone is one of annoyance that all the foods the speaker of the poem once enjoyed are banned from him because of cholesterol.

I'm also seeing more types of poems among all my attempts to write poems. For example, I have many story poems. This type of verse does exactly what the name suggests; it tells a story.

I have two type of story poems: the poem of images where imagery carries the piece, and the tone poem where tone of voice is the main thing. Sometimes I do both, but not often.

I prefer the poem of images when I can do it because I love finding the one image to convene an entire story. But that's not easy to do. So I end up with a lot more tone poems.

If I can't find a story in the poem then it is likely to be an idea poem, where a central idea is at the heart of the work. That's a lot harder because often there is no imagery and no special tone of voice to help get me through to the end. In those cases, I will sometimes resort to use rhyme but not always.

And while we are on the subject, I use rhyme only occasionally. I'm not sure why. Some poems lend themselves to it, others do not.

Often each poem stands alone; it is a complete thing by itself. But I've got a set of eight or more poems that tell a larger story when strung together. I suppose this is my first poetry cycle. Most of the poems in that cycle aren't complete so I don't know how many ultimately will comprise it or where it will begin and end, but I've got enough of them in reasonably good shape that I'm shape there'll be some sort of cycle.

And so I continue to jot down poems and images while I try to find time to write the stories and novels I really want to get to.

Keep writing everyone.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Things Change and Stay the Same

It's 2014. As such, I am starting up all my next novel, just as I have for the last few years. At the same time, I am continuing to work on some short stories. I've put my poetry away for now. It needs to a cool dark space where it can rest and mature -- although I've got a few strangling poems to complete.

Nothing new there. But to this mix I'm going to start attending local fantasy conventions and writer events to network and learn about these events. Since I've only got the one novel, I'm not going to try to get dealer space -- not yet -- but I will be networking.

And on that front, I got an event coming in April at my local library and it appears that I've got my book into a fantasy gaming bookstore in Cambridge with the help of a friend. The store will buy the books from me and I, of course, will get them from my publisher at a significant discount. Without said discount, even this would be a losing proposition.

So things change and the stay the same, which is how life is, of course. What remains up in the air is how my first novel is doing in the market. It appears to be selling -- if slowly. Its fate determines what I do about Book 2 which is in final revision now. What is also unclear is how much networking will help me. I know from past job searches that not all networking is equal. Some events are better than others. Nor do I know when my first poetry collection will be ready. It could be this year. But it could be next year. Or the year after that.

In a similar vein, now that I've got over ten stories out on Smashwords, I've begun to group them by genre. Currently, I've got a collection of fantasy stories, a few horror stories, and one science-fiction story. When I get enough stories in a specific genre, my plan is to publish it as a book and remove the individual stories, much the way I'm handling my poetry. What constitutes "enough stories" will depend on word count I suspect.

And those are my plans. It will be interesting to see how the year unfolds, what I accomplish, and what gets push into 2015.

Happy New Year everyone and keep writing.