Poetic Prose


 

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Photo found online. I thought it was rather beautiful. See watermark for ownership. 

When You Sleep
By: Deedra Mosley (Copyright 2017)

The silky sky flowering above,
Soft caress of your shining brass soul,
Hush, silent longing;
I’m your desire,
The burning fire in your flesh,
A dream floating through you,
The silk touching your mind palace;
Sights, sounds, and a beautiful aroma,
Falling into your world,
Drifting over you,
A ship on your sea;
When you sleep I’m there,
Beside you an empty memory,
Inside you a living flame;
Burning through your ebony walls,
Drifting into your world;
What is desire but a dream waking can’t destroy;
What are we but dreams untold;
When we sleep,
There are no walls between us,
The falling stars write our names;
Passion unfolds like a blanket,
Upon the lush sea green memory;
Don’t fade away,
I’m real when you sleep.

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Writer’s Life 2/22/18


It’s not you, it’s them. Unless it is you. 

I have been making my goals for 2018 so far. I have also been getting rejected at least once a week. This week I got it twice. When you are a writer, it is hard to sell yourself to the powers that be. Sometimes nothing you do catches their eye. Then there are also the readers. I need those eyes on my work!

It can be hard to admit you have written a book that nobody is interested in. Maybe it was the wrong genre for the times. Perhaps it is an excellent book, but just not what everyone wants today. There is still tomorrow. Don’t give up on yourself.

I took a look back at my first fruits of writing and realized they are awful. People still buy those books and really enjoy them. They are no longer a good example of my writing skills, but they still have value. I must admit when I started out writing I wanted to just give the world my stories. Today I want to pay my bills with those stories.

The struggle is real for writers. We write, rewrite, edit, then submit or self-publish. We work hard and often see very little in the way of income. You don’t have to starve to be an artist. You can make money, but it isn’t always enough. It is good to have many marketable skills that can help you support yourself. Take time to really look at your skills and ask yourself what types of income generating jobs can you do. Make a plan and stick to it.

Sometimes you fail. It is just another part of life. You can’t be successful at everything. Remember that failure is just a sign you are really living. You can’t fail nor can you succeed if you never do anything at all! Never taking chances is no way to live your life. You need to really put yourself out there and give it everything you got. Collect your rejection letters and be proud of them. They represent your journey.

Your Favorite Home Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley


Writer’s Life Update 2/20/18


It has been a difficult month here in Kentucky. The weather has been crazy, and so has a life. My dear friend was in a tragic car wreck and lost her unborn child. It is heartbreaking to see her pain. She is healing physically and emotionally with the help of God. I am so thankful she survived the crash. It was so hard seeing her after it first happened.  

I spent time today talking with my worker from NEBA Collen about marketing my manuscripts. It was a very productive day. I have some exciting ways to approach my next wave of efforts. I have to say having sold books and getting a notification that I will be getting paid this month feels wonderful too.

Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart, and neither is writing in general. You must be willing to put yourself out there and continue to follow up with your literary contacts. Persistence is key to success! If you want to be traditionally published it will require time and effort as well as being willing to be rejected at any time for any reason. There are a lot of no’s to be heard.

If you go the self-publishing route, you have to really market your books. It will be hard to sell if you don’t put yourself out there on social media and face to face marketing too. You can’t just hit publish and then get paid. Marketing is key to success. You are the one who knows your books best. You need to really think about what makes them so desirable to readers then use that to get your work out there into the sight of those who are interested in your genre.

The wind is howling here in Kentucky, and my internet and phone are coming and going. I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet since the weather is not being kind this week. As you write, remember your market. Think about ways you can generate interest in your writing. Don’t let the winds of life blow out your flame of desire!

Your Favorite Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

 

Writing Tips 2/3/18


Making the most of your writing

I have been playing with ideas of how to market my books. I admit some of the ideas I have come up with deal only with my poetry. You could get creative and use quotes from your novels too. Here are some of the ideas I have added to my list to try.

  1. Create tweet length pieces using parts of your poems that really stand out to your beta readers. Or use quotes from your novel-length
  2. Create Instagram visual posts using portions of your poetry or novel quotes.
  3. Some products your above pieces would look good on are: Pens, pencils, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and candles. Create wall art with quotes too.
  4. Schedule your posts to repost throughout the year. Target holidays that match with your content.

I will be looking at some of my past works keeping the above in mind. It pays to get creative with your marketing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time doing some of these ideas either. When you invest in promotion, remember that sometimes the cost is only a bit of your time. Posts for social media do not cost you a dime.

      Getting visual on social media

      Some ideas on how to make your posts pop are simple. You can use your author bio picture, book covers, photos of your desktop, and any doodles you might have floating around in your sketch pads (for those who draw) to make a visual to go with your social media posts. Even short pieces of your writings cropped into a square picture can create an excellent visual to help get your posts noticed. I have been recycling some of my favorite pictures this past month. I plan to add some new ones soon. Don’t be afraid to make it personal too. Pet photos and family pictures are another way to show your readers something interesting about your life.

      Here are some safety tips for your visuals to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure no personal information is visible in your pictures. Passwords, birthdates, school info, or other information that could put you or your loved ones at risk.
  2. Location, you might want to keep the area of your home or other places of business like the post office, vet, or hair salon to yourself. Especially don’t make a habit of saying when you go there. If you have a routine, keep it to yourself.

That is just a few things to keep in mind while you are creating your social media marketing posts. Be safe, savvy, and have fun marketing your work.

Your Favorite Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

The Writing Life 2/2/18


Do writers have slush piles?

Yes, everyone I know who writes has their own slush pile. The stack of almost worth it projects we mean to get back to that sits in the corner of our minds. We file it away as not right for the moment. Maybe it isn’t something we want to deal with. Sometimes it is just a piece that we forget about.

            I just found several bits of work I had tossed into a pile that will be refreshed and sent out on a submission journey. They are hot messes at the moment, but that can be fixed. It was surprising how much I actually have filed away in journals, scrap piles of paper, and old notebooks. I really think it is hard for some of the best works to get into the hands of readers due to the writer themselves filing it away.

            Those bits of scraps I tucked away for a rainy day have some good parts to them. What will it take to get out of my own slush pile and become a polished piece ready for reading? Well, I think in 2018 we will find that answer out.

Blackballing literary agents, should you do it?

             I found myself on YouTube watching different videos late one night. I stumbled upon this literary agent, who I will not name here, doing a video about their views on Indie publishing and book success in general. I have to say they started out well enough, but then they ended up sounding like a network marketing rep.

           If you start out confident telling writers you know the industry and promise them success for their manuscripts based only on them working with you, then don’t sabotage yourself by sounding like a network marketing scam artist middle of the pitch. This lit agent has been added to my blackball list. Coming off arrogant, ignorant, and pessimistic landed them there.

            First, if you just promised success don’t follow that up with if you have five books not selling a specific number in a particular time you are a failure and won’t get another manuscript sold to a publishing company ever. That told me as a writer that arrogant “I can make you great because you work with me” is a lie.

           Really if you want to actually convince me you are the bomb as a literary agent, then you should tell me how you can do for my manuscript what those other five reps or lack thereof couldn’t. Do not assume I believe you are the key to success. There are too many lit reps out there for me to think you hold all the magic.

          The second mistake is telling me that having one or more self-published or traditionally published books not sell well makes me a waste of your time. If you damn to hell a new stand-alone manuscript based on the past learning experiences of a person, then you will miss the next best author. It is a lot like telling a baby you wet yourself in the past so you can’t gain access to the toilet today. Silly right?

         The above brings me to number three strike against this person. Pessimistic thought process. I personally believe you get out of those around you what you put into them. I do not want to work with someone who honestly thinks failure can’t be overcome. Period. There it is right there. If you really are going to post on a public YouTube channel that someone is a failure because of their past and will never become anything but a failure do not be shocked when I blackball you. Even if this lit agent contacted me today with a contract, I would refuse it. I am not desperate nor do a desire to be in a business relationship with someone who has no hope, vision, or passion for making tomorrow more successful than today.

          Writers, authors, and those who desire success don’t forget the part personal growth plays in making best seller books happen. If we stay the same and never grow ourselves as industry professionals, then success will never happen. Also, without risk success will not come to us. You must start somewhere, and that place doesn’t represent your end. Surround yourself with confident professionals who promote bettering your skills as a writer. Remember your literary agent cannot make your book something great. You as the writer must develop that greatness, and that doesn’t happen without hard work and a lot of personal growth.

Your Favorite Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

           

February Spotlight Author Negeen Papehn


 

Author Negeen Papehn writes Romance Fiction suited for ages 18+

Negeen Papehn was born and raised in southern California, where she currently lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. She wasn’t always a writer. A graduate of USC dental school, Negeen spends half of her week with patients and the other half in front of her laptop. In the little time she finds in between, she loves to play with her boys, go wine tasting with her friends, throw parties, and relax with her family.

Her debut novel FORBIDDEN BY FAITH will be out with City Owl Press February 20, 2018

For more information visit:

http://www.negeenpapehn.com

When asked about her struggles with writing and how she plans to overcome them Author Negeen Papehn had this to say:

My biggest struggle with writing is juggling life along with it. I am a wife, mom of two, dentist, and a writer. I have one son with Crohn’s disease and another that battles anxiety. My book launch is in two months, and I’m clueless about marketing! A technical aspect of writing that I struggle with would be Grammar. I am not strong in the technicalities of writing, I don’t have time to hone my talent like I should. I just write and somehow it works. When I find myself struggling I turn my time towards research.  I try to find the answers I need to help with the technical crafting of my manuscript. This does slow me down as I am writing. So right now I am struggling to fit it all in, which is driving me crazy and stressing me out.

The Writing Life 1/29/18


Just another day in the life of a writer.

I have been plugging along trying to get myself moving forward. My goals are small but powerful ones. Every little step leads to something bigger. My primary goal is to be able to support myself financially as a writer. This is not a career for the faint of heart. I just spent many hours today writing, editing, and submitting various different types of work. I know the rejections will follow soon.

            You can’t measure success as a writer in dollar signs. If I was doing that I would have quit many a year ago. I now measure my success in how much I have grown as a career writer. What I learn and how I develop my writing style has become my new gage for success. Yes, my bills need paying too, but sometimes the hours you work at your writing don’t measure up to the small amount of payout you gain from it.

            One of the funniest things I did this week was to actually buy two of my books in Kindle format. I wanted, needed, to know how they look to my readers. I admit it felt just like voting for myself in a school election. I was glad I did it though. I found that I do have a serious issue with one of them. There is nothing I can do at the moment about the problems. I finally have reached the point of maybe it is time to just create a whole new version and republish that one with a new cover and better set up. It is a lot like buying proof copies of your physical books. You merely need to see what is wrong with it.

Oops, what did I do?

            I took a hard look at my past writings and realized I have come a long way. I see real issues that I need to correct as a professional Indie writer. Sometimes when you look back, you realize you shot yourself in the foot with bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and formatting issues. If that is the case, then you must up your game. Fix those past releases and move forward!

            Same can be said about manuscripts. If you look at what you have been submitting and see it has problems, then you must stop and fix those. Do not continue trying to push a manuscript that doesn’t represent the best you can do. It will keep being rejected and paint a poor picture of the quality of your writing. When your skills grow then it is time to really assess your past work and bring it up to the new standard you have. Put your best writing forward! Trust me it makes a difference.

The world distracts me.

            I have had a really crap week. I won’t lie about it either just because it is only Monday. I ended last week roughly, and it carried over into this week. When you have to deal with family, friends, and yourself too things can get hard. My ex-husband is now out of jail. You all can guess how much turmoil that can cause. You get used to a routine and being able to work within it. Small things can rock your boat, and big things can sink it. Sometimes you just have to learn to let the anger go.

            Angry is my new happy, or so it seems. I get into writing and doing my daily workload then buzz. Buzz, Buzz, Buzz, ring, ring, knock, knock, and people chatting with me. I can’t handle the distractions. I try hard not to explode and scream at them all. Even if I had an office with a locking door that phone would still be there taunting me. I admit I filed it in a drawer this past week. I even said to it just shut up!

            How do you focus in a world filled with distractions? No, I am not going to tell you a secret to this. I am asking how do you do it? I just about go crazy when I get my writing groove murdered and buried by the drama of the real world. How do you explain your love of torturing yourself on paper to everyone around you?

            High drama here at my keyboard as my nerves almost snap and the plot thickens. Trying to push through and remind myself that success can’t be measured by the dollar amount. The $3 royalty check that I will get for the years of my bleeding onto the blank page reminds me of this. You can look at that small amount and say it wasn’t worth it. I look at it and say to myself people are reading my books. MY BOOKS ARE BEING READ. Is a small royalty check really impressive? No, I won’t lie and say it is, but I will say that being daring enough to publish then having royalties that prove your books are being read is very impressive!

            Don’t get discouraged and try to not to let life and all the drama it involves get to you. Keep on writing and remember even a small royalty check is better than having never become an author! Keep on writing my dear friends and when you think of my family and me say a few prayers. We really need them.

                                                                                     

Your Favorite Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

 

The Lonely Writer


Only The Lonely 

I have been toiling away this week at several projects. I managed to get my goal of being more organized met along with the goal of changing all my passwords. Organization and security is a wonderful thing.

            While I am happy to meet my goals for this year I am also finding out how lonely I really am. It is good to have friends to talk to for hours and hours. I miss having those chats in person though. I admit my closest friends are too far away for us to get together. I am glad to have at least one close to me now.

            Last Sunday we made it out to church after being gone for two Sundays, and I admit to realizing how little I even know the people I have spent the last eleven years worshiping God with. I sat there looking around at them and realized the only one I ever talk to about personal life wasn’t there! Yes, I have shared bits and pieces with the others, but nothing like what I share with my sister in Christ.

Can you be lonely in a crowd?

Looking at the people around me I realized that you can be lonely in a crowd. You can feel out of place and even unwanted or not needed. It happens to everyone, and it is okay. I love to chit chat and cut up like we are in an episode of I love Lucy, but I also can be very organized and in need of instruction. Others around me seem to be just getting by. Some look sad, some look exhausted, and some just seem to exist but not really be there at all. They are lonely too.

            I still do not know what to do about the long hours I spend typing away here on my keyboard. I can’t just stop my work to try to fit in. I often wonder if they feel as trapped by their jobs as I do mine. It doesn’t help that I have zero in common with the members of my church. I have realized over the years they enjoy things I really could care less about. I don’t care for sports and have honestly never liked going to concerts. I don’t enjoy traveling, and it is hard on me with my health issues. What I love is writing, watercolor painting, graphite artwork, sewing, crochet, and knitting. That doesn’t seem to be anything they care to do with me. The friends I call every week, and text message enjoys those things. We try to steal minutes to just feel connected as the days fly by.

The Social Media Trap

We can be tricked into thinking we have a large number of friends when we look at the number of social media contacts we have. The truth is we know them, but they are not as close to us as we think. I found myself asking if I actually know what is going on in their lives or do I only know what the news feed says. I have tried harder to really pick out the ones that I feel connected to and just show up for them.

            It can be hard to let go of your spot in a place to finally reach out to those who you connect with. You feel lost when you come back and really see how little you are plugged into the people around you there. Writing can be a job that isolates and not being able to get close to those around you is often hard.

The mindset of the hive

            I have heard so much political propaganda this past year that I am now becoming more aware of how much religious propaganda comes out of our Christian mouths. I think the real issue is we tend to lean towards public opinions and not the actual gospel. I was shocked to hear some of the thoughts on a passage of scripture this past Sunday. Not just because they had nothing to do with the scripture itself, but because it all sounded like a sound bite for Christ.

            We tend to fall into the mindset of those around us. I am trying hard in 2018 not to do that. I want to fall into Christ! It is hard to be a hive worker that belongs to someone other than the hive. If you don’t believe me, then try it sometime. Instead of riding the popular opinion train actually look at what you are discussing and try to point out a different viewpoint to the group. It is not fun and won’t make you their friend.

Are we honest with ourselves?

            I am sitting here feeling a bit stressed out today. I am a people pleaser and problem fixer. The fear of people being unhappy drives me. After losing my father to suicide, I have become afraid of losing more people I love too. I often feel guilty for the unhappiness of those around me. I take it personally when they reject me or each other. I try to love them, but I am afraid of loving them too. People die, and it hurts. People are cruel to you, and it hurts. Just living hurts.

            The written page never truly fails you. As a writer, I come back to the place of my joy. When you write a story, you can fix what is wrong with the characters in it. Even the one that is you. The world you craft can have the resolve and find a peaceful solution. That isn’t always the case in real life. Right now my ex-husband is flying to his parent’s home. He was just released from jail after eleven years. I still love him, but I just can’t make him happy. I pray for his success and that he never places himself back in a jail cell. You can’t get happily ever after in real life. We break each other, and our brokenness just will not allow that to happen.

The Joy of the Lord is our Strength

            Can you really know joy? I think we can when we focus on the character of God. God is not in the business of creating misery. When our world first began he filled it with everything we would need to be joyful. He gave us a start which would sustain us. So how did we get to be so miserable? It was our own creation.

       You only find joy in what is given if you choose too. You have to make an effort to gain the blessing God has for you. Each day we must remember to tend the garden we have been given and to really see what lives inside it. We must use our eyes. We must have faith that God is greater than our need.

            I know this post seems a bit hit and miss today. That is my whole world in one sentence. How about your world? Is it often hit and miss too? Let me know in the comments below and remember it is okay to be lonely. Everyone is lonely sometimes.

 

Your Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

 

Writing Tips 1/15/18


Parts of a whole

I have been looking through the notes I took on rejected books from 2017 that I had read, attempted to read, or almost finished reading. I admit that I have been searching for books to review, but also looking at what I see other writers doing wrong.

          When you write a manuscript, you need to really visualize the finished piece. I have made mistakes in the past too and probably will make more in my writing career future. The point of today’s post isn’t to discourage any of the writers out there, but to point out places we all can improve.

          The finished product is a book, but we start with a manuscript. Manuscripts go through many phases. The first draft to final piece requires effort on the writer’s part. We can’t just write it once and publish it. That is not realistic!

          Here are some of the tips I have gained from looking through the list I made of why I rejected books for my blog review posts. I want to put these out here so you can see the mistakes and like I plan to do correct them in your own work.

 

The List of Writing Transgressions

  1. Where is the plot? I have done this one recently myself. You write an excellent dialogue and some description, but you forget to give your story a reason to be happening. Even if you developed your characters and their personalities without the purpose for their journey, you leave your readers unhappy.
  2. Characters that have nothing to like about them. I have written flat, one-dimensional characters too. Sometimes you put so much into your plot and the setup of the world you forget to give your characters personalities and make them each different. (I suggest Debbie Burns Character Deep Dive Workshop that helps you with this issue! She has a wonderful easy to follow writing workshops. Look her up on Facebook.)
  3. If you don’t know your genre and are unsure of the age range, then you must take time to figure both out. You can’t market a book efficiently if you do not understand who it is written for. If you wrote it for you, then that is fine, but to be a successful author, you must take your clients into consideration. If you have graphic sexual content and foul language galore, I suggest you make it clear that the book you just wrote is only for adults. Marketing that type of material to young adults is not acceptable and will get you the wrong kind of public recognition.
  4. Thinking cover artwork and back blurb alone will make your readers happy. I must address this idea because I have junked over 500 books now into my reject pile. I would say about 400 of these books had well-done covers and back blurbs. I do not shop for books to read based on either of those. I hate to pop the bubble of many of these author’s but if the outside is the best you can do when the inside screams edit me… you understand what I am getting at. Do not think that a reader will be satisfied without the inner content being the best part. A friend once said to me that society can dip a dog turd in gold and call it art, but that doesn’t make it desirable art. Some of my favorite five-star books don’t even have cover art associated with their Kindle They are rereleased classics that literally have a bland title and author name only front cover. Readers want quality writing, and once they find it, you can package it however you wish, and they will read it anyway. Set out to make your name the standard for excellent writing.
  5. Forgetting who you wrote the book for halfway through. I can not tell you how many books I got through the first half then suddenly they changed the style of writing and targeted age range. Whatever you start with remembering to keep it throughout the whole book. Same with series. If you start your book series for a specific age range, then follow that throughout. Changing it halfway through or jumping back and forth as you do each book is not going to bring you success.
  6. Misspelling or changing character names all throughout your book. Typos happen. I’ve suffered from my fair share of them too. I would say at least 200 of the books I tossed had this issue in them. The writer got caught up in writing what the characters said to each other (most of the time foul language) and forgot who was saying what or just randomly changed a character’s name. Listen you can drop the cuss words, and no one will care, trust me. Stop focusing on the use of inflammatory language and really look at the development of your characters. Make sure you keep their names and personalities true to your original story idea. If you get caught up in how many times you can drop the F-bomb in your writing, you’ll miss critical mistakes such as changing names and misspelling them too. As a writer, you need to focus on the essentials and remember that the reader needs to understand the what and why behind the dialogue not just be shocked by the content of it. Here is a good rule of thumb, if you can delete all the foul language and any unsavory written sense from a 50k novel and it leaves you with 10k of words that do not express any idea of what your plot is, then you need to trim the fat and focus on your plot more. Do not let colorful words or scenes take away from the actual story you are writing. Everything that you put into the manuscript needs to fill the purpose of making your readers understand what your characters are facing. The plot must be easily seen and followed. (There are exemptions to this rule, but I as a reader would love to see less of those.)
  7. Rushing your ending. I did this in my first book in the Louise Green series. I admit it was just one of my earlier manuscript mistakes. You should take time to really develop our story and then put it out there. I have learned from my past mistake and will be taking my time working to make sure my writing flows and ends at a good pace.
  8. Formatting your manuscripts for self-publishing. I did this poorly the first few books. I am still learning to do the set up of manuscripts for different types of books. Some of the mistakes I now see in my books really cause me to cringe. I do plan to go back and fix some of these issues. I suggest you grab a traditionally published book in your genre and take a look at the formatting inside of it. Look at typeface, headings, chapters, title page, copyright page, and so on. Really look at how it is presented. Not the actual story, but the layout of the book. This is one of the hardest parts of self-publishing because you are responsible for those essential elements as well as your story.

I think I will stop right there for today. You can see why I now have a new outlook on writing for 2018. My goal is to learn to craft better quality manuscripts and produce the best quality books I can. Sometimes it is hard to let go of our bad habits and really do the hard work of developing our writing style. One of my goals for this year is to take at least one educational course relevant to my writing career to help me grow as a writer. I would encourage you to do the same.

 

Your Small Town Writer,

Deedra Mosley

         

It’s a writing extravaganza!


2018 is the year of the Writer! 

I have dedicated myself to making sure my goals are reached this year! I have started my once a day Facebook check and have been forcing myself to finish what I had left over from 2017.

       Sometimes you just have to make yourself do the hard work needed to push forward. That is where I have found myself starting this year. I must finish what was left to do than tackle my new project list. There is no room for wasting time doing nothing but scrolling through posts on social media.

So what does my year goal list look like?

Here are my goals for 2018! If you want to share your own list drop a link to it in the comments section below. I would be glad to give you some encouragement.

  • Stop wasting time on social media. Make every minute on my personal and public accounts worth it.
  • Finish up the last projects I started in 2017 and submit them to traditional publication houses or self-publish
  • Develop plot and character worksheets for new materials. Really put effort into writing well developed manuscripts.
  • Start entering more contests with poems, artwork, and short stories.
  • Reflect back on the previously published works and see how I can clean them up and make them more marketable.
  • Take educational courses relevant to my work.

           Those are just a few of my current goals. Here is to making 2018 the year of the writer! I know I have tried before to really become dedicated to my writing business, but this year I feel like I will achieve my goals.

          Writing is a hard business to break into. It takes hard work and dedication as well as an openness to learning new things. I’ve started 2018 off with some good progress. Now to keep this momentum going and see the fruit of my efforts.

          The journey is an interesting one, and I am glad you are joining me as I undertake it! You will be seeing some different types of posts coming this year. I will be spotlighting authors and doing more posts on my writing journey. I do hope you enjoy the new continent.

Thank you for joining my journey!

Deedra Mosley

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