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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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

January Spotlight Author Chelsea Moye


 

Author Chelsea Moye writes YA Fantasy Series and Mysteries for ages 15+

Chelsea Moye is a wife, mother, pet parent, and an Independent Author. She has an AS in General Studies from Faulkner State Community College and a BS in English from Troy University. She minored in creative writing.

For more information about her upcoming release visit:

Chelsea Moye

When asked about her struggles as a writer and how she plans to overcome them Author Chelsea Moye had this to say:

My struggle as a writer? I have DOZENS. My biggest one is not knowing how to market.  I didn’t do enough pre-release marketing for my books to get a solid start in the competitive writing market at first. I put out my first book release without an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) team, no street team, no newsletter subscribers, no knowledge of how to use keywords properly, and I vastly underestimated every aspect of marketing that is necessary to writing. I’m now taking courses through OTOH Books and Writer’s Digest to help me improve on my weak areas before my next book release.

A word from Author Chelsea Moye        

Hey, Y’all! I’m Chelsea Moye a native of Bay Minette, Alabama. I married the love of my life, Lake Moye, on July 11, 2015. We had our first child in May of 2017. His name is River, and he’s the most amazing thing ever. We also have a black and tan coonhound named Doc Holliday, two rescue mutts named Charli and Sirius, a largemouth bass named Bubba, and an American shorthair tabby named Anastasia. We enjoy fishing together, spending time with our families and friends.  I love to watch Lake drag race in his ’67 Camaro. I also read, play video games, drink coffee, and enjoy a good cup of hot tea any chance I get.

 

I am a lifelong bibliophile thanks to my mother, Betty Clemmons, who is an English teacher. She instilled a passionate love of literature in me. I’ve also been playing around with computers since I was old enough to sit up on my own, thanks to my father, David Clemmons, who worked for IBM for almost 36 years.

 I review books on my blog, as well as Goodreads. I am an author of several published works available for sale on Amazon.com. I self-published my first novel, Frost: An Otherworld Tale through Amazon KDP in January of 2017.  

 

I’m addicted to school supplies, stationery, and journals in particular. My journal addiction has recently expanded into designing them, too. I encourage you to check out The Book Reviewer’s Journal and Story Ideas: A Journal for Writers when you have a minute.

Eclipse & Life Goes On 


I did not find the eclipse exciting here in my part of Kentucky. We did not experience the full eclipse. To me what we had was like a storm cloud rolling through. I did not even go outside for it. My teenage daughters and a few of our family members did go out and observe it. I stayed in and watched the YouTube live feed.

Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely fantastic, and we were blessed to be living in a time to experience it happening. I am just not one to get overly excited by the hype that goes with stuff like that.

Today I am trying to balance out my writing career and my art career. I am starting out with some writing work then on to watercolor painting. I am excited about the opportunity to have my work displayed for sale at the local art center. After so many years of having my artwork tucked away only for sale or give it away to just close friends and family members, this will be a fantastic fun experience.

Let the balancing act begin. I will be glad to take breaks from my writing each day to practice painting. I find it relaxing and a great way to let your mind roam. I really do love literature and art.

Your favorite small town author and artist,

Deedra Mosley
Here is a concept piece I will be adding watercolor to later. 

Morgana Concept Sketch
Morgana Pencil Sketch

The Short of Short Stories


I spent most of today trying to get paperwork done so I can focus on my writing. Last night I spent time reading up on the art of crafting short stories which intrigue me. After today’s crazy running around and paperwork insanity, I can now see why a quick fun story would be something most readers would enjoy.

If you spend any amount of time waiting to be seen a five-minute read can sound good. You know you will be held hostage for at least five minutes if not 15. You cannot enjoy a massive long read in that amount of time, but something short is perfect to help you be patient.

Standing to wait at a window today for a good 10 minutes I did some brainstorming. Characters greeted me while I stood there. A man who was covered in coal dust and sporting tired eyes. A lady who could not speak well, dressed in her comfy clothes holding handwritten notes for someone else. Delightful people who had such kind natures just below the window banging they did in impatience.

When there is nothing but a wait, you can get up to all kinds of imaginary troubles. As a writer I find myself writing stories inside my mind to help keep myself from being impatient. The problem is having the story inside of my mind isn’t enough to make it pay my bills! Now to write it down. If you think I’ve forgotten most the story you are right.

I had great ideas float out of my head today! To the point I’m here writing a short story about my short story. Is it even a story? At this point I doubt it.

Your Favorite Small Town Writer, 

Deedra Mosley

Art of Appalachia 


My two teenage daughters and I had a wonderful trip to our local art center. It was our first field trip of the year.

The Appalachian Artisan Center is host to some beautiful items from our local artists. It is located in Hindman, Kentucky which isn’t far from where I live.

I enjoyed seeing the mix of items. You can find everything from photography to crochet items! It is open to the general public, and most of the things inside are for sale.

It is two floors, and the first floor sports the above majestic elk sculpture. There are several of these elk sculptures that can be found throughout the Hindman area too.

It is fun to hunt them down and take photos with them! If you are in that area, I would recommend doing so. It is a beautiful memory to have.

This elk had a secret message in his mouth! Take a look at this photo I took of it. Can you hear me?


I also took a close up of the chest area of this one too.

The Appalachian Artisan Center is a ton of fun, and they have some wonderful programs you can participate in. I highly recommend paying it a visit!

Your favorite small town writer,

Deedra Mosley
   

Stealing Appalachia


We are immoral good people.

   Here in the backwoods of Eastern Kentucky we tend to play favorites. I admit I’m guilty of it too! Growing up belonging to the families of this area I’ve been accustomed to being known everywhere I go. Let’s just be honest about it, we play favorites! We do make a big difference in our local generational families and the families of outsiders. We want our family to think well of us and we want their love.

How is being so good to our own people immoral?

   Anytime you have double standards you have a moral deficit. There is nothing wrong with loving your family, but letting yourself treat others poorly in order to heap favor on your family is wrong. That wall we toss up in the face of outsiders speaks against us. The fact we call them outsiders speaks against us. It makes it easier to justify bad behavior. When we set out to draw a defining line between us and them it sets the stage for the destruction of our communities.

Stealing Appalachia

   We have seen several situations over the years which have set in motion the crippling of this area. One that’s happening right now is the escape of Eric Conn. His admittance to criminal acts against the social security administration has caused so much harm. People have died because of his wrong doings. He is just one example of what is crippling us here in our area. He did wrong and ran away from the consequences, but we can’t escape his black mark on us. 

   When you have poverty and desperation wicked hearts will come to prey on those who are struggling. In a closed community of close knit families it’s easy to see the damage that comes from these types of wrongs. It is also easy to see why these people were tempted to be dishonest. 

How did we get here? 

   The idea of them against us. Yes, it is that simple. You can talk yourself into immortality by saying to yourself our people deserve better. Once you set yourself up as entitled to something the next step is getting it. The problem comes when we start lying and stealing to get what we feel we deserve. Or looking the other way as others do so.

   The problem with stretching the truth to save a poor man is that your morals stretch too. Once you start down that path you often can’t stop. Then comes the hurt your immoral goodness brings. You go from I want to help my family, to costing those people, your family, their hope. 

The cost of immoral goodness.

   Once you’ve lied and stolen money you can’t change the harm that you have done. You ruin your good name and the people who you represent. 

   Why are we seeing cuts to federal funding? The answer is our own greed coupled with a false justification of our saying it’s for my people. My family deserves this. Our false goodness has cost us our integrity. We are destroying our state with our own greedy prejudice. Perhaps we should ask why should the federal government fund our area’s programs after we have been caught being dishonest?

It’s easier to blame someone else than to blame ourselves.

   We should never let our poverty make us so desperate that we would sacrifice our good name to get what others have. We should never let it become a justification for setting ourselves against the outside world either. At the end of the day we must let go of our prejudices and stop taking our own people for granted. We can’t present ourselves as good to those we claim as ours, while using them to get what we want, from the outsiders we refuse to accept. 

   In the end it is us who are stealing Appalachia. Our own prejudice and desperate desires are causing the good names to disappear. Poverty didn’t make us immoral, it was our own behavior that did so. 

   I love being able to say my family helped start several of our small towns, but I hate admitting that it is me letting them die out. From playing favorites, to over looking the wrongs done to gain access to help for this area, to putting up walls to make outsiders who move here feel less than valued, we have all played a part in this area’s decline. What we need to do is stop wanting the best for just our family members and really look at the new face of our communities. No more setting ourselves up to be tempted to justify our secret wrongs by saying it’s for my poor family. 

   When it feels like most people in Kentucky are your family it can be hard to give up that family discount! Even harder to let that same grace cover those who are not yours. If we lose our culture and heritage it will be our own fault. It will be because we used poverty and desperation of our families as an excuse to turn a blind eye to our own bad behavior. 

Your favorite small town writer,

Deedra Mosley

Writing Tips – The Review


   How to write a simple book review.

Most people struggle with writing reviews of products. If you ask them to read a book and do a review, they often are happy to read the book but decline to write a review. What is it about those few words of expression that cause us to balk at writing a review? I am going to cover a simple method that helps me when I write reviews.

    I will give you some simple steps to help guide you through the process and ensure you don’t find yourself at a loss for what to say. 

 

  1.    Read the book. Remember you can’t review something you haven’t read. If you should dislike the book and not finish it be sure to tell where and why you stopped reading. That is only fair.
  2. After you finish reading the book write three things you really liked about the book. It can be the title, cover art, a specific character, setting or anything that made you enjoy the book.
  3. Write three things you did not enjoy the book. Maybe you did not like a specific character, or you did not like certain words. You don’t have to use this in your review, but if you do make sure you tell the why behind your dislike.
  4. Now take the above likes and dislikes and start writing them into a paragraph. If you really hate the book feel free to focus on the why you dislike it. If you really enjoy the book focus on your likes. You do not have to have both in your review, but if you want to really be helpful, it is good to give constructive criticism. That is when you give in site into what you liked and why as well as telling what you disliked and why. You are not complaining, you are focused on saying where improvement could be made and showing how that development would cause you to enjoy the book more.

 

Here is an example of a poorly written review:

I hate this book. It is vulgar, and I wish I had not read it!

Here is an example of a well-written review:

   I didn’t enjoy this book because of the vulgar language. The content made me uncomfortable, and I regret my choice to read it. I liked the cover art and the title of this book, but the way the subject matter was presented left me unsatisfied as a reader. I would not recommend this book to those who dislike vulgarity and immoral actions.

Here is another poorly written review:

I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down!

Here is another well-written review:

   I loved this book! The main character is a lot like me, and I could relate to his struggles. The small town where this book is set is described well, and I felt like I had lived there myself. I think the title is brilliant and the opening chapter really grabbed my interest. I would recommend this book to those who like living in a small town.

Here is an example of a balanced review:

   I love this book, it had me from the first paragraph with the description of the small town. The main character was easy for me to relate to and I found myself captivated by his struggles to overcome poverty. I think the title is perfect for this book, but I really don’t like the cover art. Something about the cover made me feel this book would be terrifying, but it is not a horror book at all! It is a sweet romance between two people who fight their way out of the poverty that is destroying their small town. I would like to see the cover reflect their journey more. I also didn’t really like the ending. I was left wondering what happened to them. I hope this is going to be a series and I can get answers as to what happens to them! If it is, I would have liked to see an advertisement telling me to look for book two at the end. As it is, I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. It is perfect for those who love romantic coming of age stories!

That was easy! 

   There you have it! That my dear reader is how easy a review can be. You do not have to do a lengthy in-depth review to do a good one. You don’t have to love or hate a book to do one either. It is okay to write a review just to practice. Remember those reviews tell others if they will like the book, but most importantly the reviews give us as writers a gage as to what we need to improve on or what you want to see more of! If you liked something specifically tell us so we can keep more of it coming!

Your favorite small town writer,

Deedra Mosley

Critics & Criticism


July 29th, 2017

I had someone a while back call me a self-proclaimed author and artist. My response was to brush off the obvious troll and point out that on a daily basis I get hated on by all types of people. Even people who don’t read. Why didn’t I bother setting the record straight about my status? It didn’t matter what that person thought about who I really am. That’s why! 

I know I’ve sold artwork and books internationally and I don’t need anyone else to validate my work other than my customers. I understand my work, and it is worth, and so do they.

Now let’s talk about the three types of criticism you will find tossed at you and the critics they belong to.

  • Bullying critics – those who are insecure and want to build themselves up destroying others.
  • Troll critics – those who are looking to smash and destroy confidant people for fun.
  • Constructive criticism critics – those who give you real feedback to help you grow and genuinely care about you as a person and artist.

The first two you just ignore. Don’t provoke those bullies! Understand that they are only interested in killing the dreams, belittling, and arguing with others. Write them off as useless attention-grabbing pukes and move on.

Now the third one you need to cherish! Critics who give you real honest feedback which can be used to grow yourself and your craft are priceless! Take what they say and see how you can improve yourself. Their criticism isn’t to hurt you, but to help you better understand what needs working on.

The first two make personal attacks with no value in them. They are purely trying to smash and destroy someone who makes them feel inferior. The third one is not focused on destruction, but centered on the construction of character and craft! 

Remember, while there are three types of critics in this world, only one of them really matters!

Your favorite small town author and artist,

Deedra Mosley

 

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