Writing Process – The First Chapter

I will, to the hour of my death, stand by the belief that the hardest part of writing any book, of any genre, is the very first thing you have to write. There’s a volume of quotes about this issue said by authors and public speakers throughout the years, and with reason. I’ve been toying around with a trio of novels in the time when I’m not working on cleaning up and publishing what poetry I’ve finished, and I’ll just level with you.

There is absolutely NO guaranteed way to make the first chapter easy on yourself. It’s going to be doubtful, aggravating and you’ll likely have more drafts of that chapter than any other in the book. Unless, that is, you just have years of experience under your belt already, but even then, a lot of highly-regarded writers still get “brain farts” when it comes to beginning a new project.

Something I’ve tried, and it seems, for some reason I can’t quite configure into an explanation, to make the first chapter flow easier is writing it down by hand. Isn’t that strange? For some reason, it’s easy to type out the rest of the story but the first chapter benefits from a sketchy draft on paper. You can try it if you want, see if it works for you. It’s not much to write, in any case, if it doesn’t work out. Everyone goes about the process in different (and often very eccentric) ways. I have tried and gleaned little else that helps, even having plenty of inspiration and reading about writing and reading books. None of that seems to mollify the beast that is Chapter One, at least not for myself.

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Are Young Adult Books More Progressive?

Just some random musings on a positive and surprising trend I’ve noticed recently. There’s been much turmoil in recent years over diversity in literature. It’s misunderstood that the conflict comes from people thinking that every young adult book should be inclusive of every group, ever, and that’s not the case. The argument comes mostly from authors trying to portray a group, but not doing it accurately or with sensitivity to their issues.

Even if that is true in some cases, the fact that there is such a massive variety of diverse books in young adult that you can compare and contrast them easily is uplifting. For example, YA books with LGBT+ protagonists, that are neither pandering nor exploitative, are quite easy to find with a few searches. Novels for adults in the same vein… a wee bit trickier. And there’s not, stylistically speaking, that rigid of a difference between adult and young adult books. One could argue that the slowness to change is because of the more restrictive nature of the publishing industry when it comes to adult fiction. Continue reading “Are Young Adult Books More Progressive?”

Two New Featured Poems

My poems “Hidden in a False Sun” and “In the Land of Rust” were featured in the latest issue of Radium Piano Band, an avant-garde magazine you should totally follow. Some great up-and-coming writers here. Consider this a sample of Cosmic Love, a poetry collection that’s been completely reworked and arrives in about a week. My estimate is that it’ll be out on April 23rd. Both of these poems will be in the collection.

Radium Piano Band – Issue #14

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Book Formats by Difficulty

This week I’ve had to reacquaint myself with digital book formatting for the upcoming Absolute Heaven and Cosmic Love, which ought to be out in at least their eBook formats by next week. If this helps anybody at all in deciding to publish their own book, these are in my own experience, the difficulty levels of designing each format yourself. Guides to these are available on Amazon, Smashwords, and a handful of other booksellers’ websites.

Easiest – Paperback, Hardback and Print

Print versions are the simplest because all it takes is typing out a good-looking PDF. There are a plethora of templates available to find the exact size you need for your book as well. You know exactly what it will look like without having to guess about much.

Moderate – Kindle

Kindle formatting has a steep learning curve, but once you’ve got it, it becomes very simple. It takes slightly longer than designing a print copy, but half the time of formatting an ePub. Kindle Create is a very useful program that takes most of the stress out of wondering what your book will look and behave like, so I’d recommend downloading that as well. The only tricky parts of Kindle formatting involve images and centering text, which a Kindle reader is somewhat touchy about. Kindle is very flexible and lenient on the author in general, hence why it’s so popular.

Hardest – ePub

Oh my God. Where to begin? Formatting an ePub book is nothing but raw hell. There’s just so many things that can completely ruin your work. If you have this format down pat, you should reward yourself somehow. I don’t even like the ePub format in general, nor do I own an ePub reader, but trying to work arounds its limitations is rigid, user-unfriendly and often a misery. And that’s for a basic book! Nevermind if it’s image-heavy or requires tricky text.
It’s Smashwords that burnt me out on wanting to push my ePub copies. It seems like nothing I tried could make the ePub versions I published with them look decent. Sometimes they came out damaged and smushed to bits, despite following the guidelines. Anyway, screw ePub. Kindle master race forever.

 

7 Hardest Types of Books to Review

I like to read pretty much anything that looks remotely interesting, I don’t care what genre, who wrote it, or the hows and whys of them pulling it out of their brain onto paper. As long as it’s decently-written and valuable in some way, that’s all that matters. That being said, when it comes down to reviewing it, that’s another matter entirely. Some reviews I absolutely hate writing, but still feel compelled to just because I took the time to read it. Comprehensive reviews even written for fun aren’t always easy. These are the categories that I still have difficulty reviewing after three years of practice. Have one of your own? Feel free to leave a comment below!

7. Poetry and Art

I adore reviewing poetry, as you’ll know. I’m actually a little proud of the fact that my most frequented review genre is one that’s considered among the most complicated to review. ARC reviewers often won’t accept poetry because it’s just that hard to articulate. Especially if it’s good or middling. Poetry isn’t visual exactly, but it’s an abstract, psychological feeling than a novel can’t provide in the same way.
Art and graphic novels are also difficult because they are more visual than writing. The review ends up being a lot of descriptive words, and reviewing several at one time makes it clear how same-y it can be. I don’t typically review every volume of a graphic novel or manga series for this reason, when it can be summed up in a few of its entries.

6. Indie Books, Especially Bad Ones

If you ever review indie books, the author will read it eventually. I find this kind of nerve-wracking, even though I value indie books and am lenient on their faults, if they have any. It’s awkward even to have an author “like” your gushing, positive review of their work, and I try to evade being trapped into writing negative ones if at all possible.
I enjoy neither dishonesty nor ripping on someone’s personal work, and those who do enjoy tearing apart indie ARCs ought to re-examine their relationship with books. You have to consider it’s one person doing a team’s job. If the book is genuinely bad and you’re still stuck with reviewing it, it’s better to be critical in a helpful way than critical for laughs. Continue reading “7 Hardest Types of Books to Review”

Some News on Upcoming Books

So, I’ve finally got somewhat of a clear idea on when all those books listed on the bookshelf are going to be published. Only took like six months, right!? It feels like it’s been 2019 for decades…

I’ll be doing an eBook giveaway on my entire body of work when the first three in the S.M. Shuford Poetry Collection are out, so be on the lookout if you want to get the whole lot for free. A rough schedule I’ve got mapped out for the time being. The first four books (not counting Absolute Heaven) will be free in their digital formats indefinitely. #5 might be free too, though #6 will cost a dollar. It was more of a challenge than the others, is the only reason. I don’t feel that’s outrageous.

#0 Absolute Heaven – A version of this is already out on Amazon, but a newer one with slight cosmetic and editing changes will be out around April 15-April 20.
#1 Cosmic Love – The old version, which is just haiku and the initial introduction, will be compiled in Absolute Heaven. It’s also in the archives of this blog, as I’ve noted before. The new version, a more realized book, will come out in ePub, Kindle and print sometime around April 16-May 1, around the same time as AH.
#2-#4 – These will probably be finished about April 21-May 5, but may not come out until later in May because poems in them might be featured in other publications first.
#5-#6 – #6 is more or less finished now, but again, there is a wait time, and #5 has to come out first, so these will be out between June and August.
#7-#12 – No idea. These are basically on concept levels only right now. There might be a #13 if I feel like writing it by then.

In other news, I have a traditionally published book of poems and one of short stories coming out in 2020, as well as two novels. But I’m not going to hype those up until their time. There’s not much point right now.

National Library Week – 5 Ways to Support Your Local Library!

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National Library Week runs in 2019 from April 7th to April 13th. This movement began in the United States, but I don’t see why it can’t be celebrated elsewhere as well. Libraries are vital for much longer than a week! These are five ways you can, very easily, support your local library.

1. Be a Frequent Patron

This is the simplest way. Borrow lots of books. Just having a heavy patronage supports a library more than anything. This seems obvious, but many public libraries have shut down, if not due to financial upkeep, then lack of patrons.

2. Donate Money and Volunteer

Whether you have a massive, metropolitan library or a remote one with a modest choice of books, many libraries will accept and are in need of donations. It can’t hurt, in any case. Depending on what country you’re in, your library system will still likely have some kind of group, such as the Friends of the Library Society, that support libraries through charities and volunteer work.

3. Recommending and Donating Books

Donate books that you don’t read anymore that are still in good shape to your local library. If you think your library does not offer enough of a certain type of book that there’s a demand for, say for example, science fiction, then you can donate books of that sort or personally recommend them for purchase. Continue reading “National Library Week – 5 Ways to Support Your Local Library!”

Musings on Dreams and Classic Monsters

Dracula movie poster Style F.jpg

This is peculiar and specific, but it’s something I’ve noticed with hearing people’s dreams, what they often have nightmares about. I’ve noticed there’s always a certain monster that’s prevalent to that particular person’s nightmares. It’s usually a classic one, like vampires or werewolves, I think because there’s a form of those in most cultures, and a lot of this century’s generations have grown up around horror movies. Even if they never watched them, they saw horror movies everywhere in posters and references, and now online. Vampires seem to be really common. I have had some insane dreams that I recall having some kind of vampire before.

Everyone has their individual classic monster. My personal one is actually zombies. If there’s a threat or presence I recognize in a dream, it’s often zombies or mummy-like humans. No clue why. I don’t recall ever being scared of zombies. Mummies, yes, at least as a kid. But it’s more frequently zombies, and I used to think zombies were like an ideal beauty standard or something.

Okay, maybe not that far, but I did love the way zombies looked. Continue reading “Musings on Dreams and Classic Monsters”

Upcoming Reviews & Books

I’ve been working more on professional book reviews for Realistic Poetry International than the ones I do for pleasure lately. (They are amazing people to work with, by the way, and very welcoming towards indie creators – something truly valuable given the current state of the publishing world!) I haven’t been in much of a spirit to write any reviews for books I’ve read. I don’t feel like there’s been much demand to necessitate rushing them out or anything. But, I’ve finally got a few of them stored up, so here are some to expect.

  •  Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
  • No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige
  • More Lovecraft Reviews, including The Colour Out of Space
  • The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette

And a handful of others I haven’t decided on. But, since we’re on a roll with listing things, I have updated this blog’s bookshelf to include all thirteen entries in my upcoming poetry series. #0 through #4 are more or less finished, they only lack covers and well, being properly published. I have rough versions of #5 and #6, but are not sure of their titles or official content or genre. All of the entries fall into either contemporary or experimental poetry, that could be considered darker or lighter. Anyway, here is the upcoming list for those.

  • #0 – Absolute Heaven – A newer edition and paperback should arrive in April. There is a Kindle version on Amazon that won’t change much, save for a better cover.
  • #1 – Cosmic Love – In eBook formats around April 16th-21st, a print version slightly after.
  • #2 – Blood Ballet – Will likely come out around the same time in both formats.
  • #3 – Infinite Summer – Estimated publication April 16th-May 1st.
  • #4 – MHz – Estimated publication April 21st-May 8th.

Thoughts on What Holds Us Back

Completionism, procrastination and lack of confidence, I can tell you right now are the unholy triad of offenders that keep us from achieving more. The last one is not as much of a worry for me as the first two, but a lack of confidence in a particular project can damper it to the point where it stays in hiatus hell for a long time. Until a couple of months ago, that’s where most of my writing was.

I don’t have any clear-cut, good advice that works for every individual when it comes to completionism and procrastination, as they are much, much trickier to overcome. The former is responsible for the hiatus on posting my artwork, because I’ve been set in this mindset that I realize is absolutely the stupidest, that I need to finish every piece I’ve begun before I can post any of it because it should all be posted together.
Yes, it is ridiculous, but when you are a perfectionist these little things will drive you mad while nobody else notices! It’s the key reason I wanted to redo those chapbooks so badly, because I can’t stand to have anything that seems unfinished or flawed. Even though they weren’t – to me they could have more and better content, so that’s what they’re getting.

Procrastination is a matter of breaking habits, namely avoidance and laziness. Procrastination is kind of like a very persistent and needy phantom that clings to you whenever you have the time and need to work. Like I said, I have no advice for this, it’s just something you’re going to have to decide to stop when you’ve had enough of it. No motivation in the world is going to work if you don’t really want to change. Some personal ambition grown from your own heart is necessary.
What I find squashes the want to procrastinate quicker than anything is thinking of what you won’t have in the years to come if you don’t do it while you can. You may miss your opportunity to write anything if you don’t seize them while they’re there. I have finished more in this month than the entirety of last fall and winter by keeping this in mind, so if it helps. It’s probably not too healthy to panic under time, but considering how little there is in our lives does make one want to live for more, I believe.

Some Underrated Classics

Rummaging through vintage books and the public domain, I feel a lot like the hoarder goblin from Labyrinth, wanting to just keep all of them and somehow read them all simultaneously. I mean, you’ve got the quintessentials – Poe, Austen, Tolstoy, etc. but I kind of favour the lesser-loved. They haven’t been talked about to the extent that you already know the spoilers long before you’ve read it. These are a few pretty solid, varying shades of obscure books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading recently. Maybe they’ll get a full review one day (if they’re lucky).

Darkness Visible by William Golding

Golding is one of my favourite authors, but the bane of high schoolers. I think why so many of his other novels get overlooked is because of people who hated reading Lord of the Flies while they were pretty much living it out in school. That’s fair, but I think in some aspects, his later novels are better. A little more polished, if also much darker. Darkness Visible is about a man who was severely burned as a child during the Blitz, and becomes this sort of bizarre messianic figure. It’s written as a dreamlike occurrence, and is overall a very difficult book to describe, but I would recommend it for those with the stomach.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Maybe not super obscure, but so many people are traumatized by forcing themselves through Atlas Shrugged that they forget Anthem. I’m teasing, but I don’t know that I’d ever be brave enough to attempt Atlas. I really did enjoy Anthem, as a dystopian work. It’s a strange story about thought police defeating the individual personality – a world where everyone is a hive mind who have never seen their own faces. An interesting fact about why it’s now in the public domain is that whoever owned the copyright kind of… forgot about it, apparently, and it never got renewed. Continue reading “Some Underrated Classics”

Thoughts on a Poetry Series

I’ve been at odds with myself over what to do with these volumes of poetry that I seem to have amassed. The only complete, inerrant one at this point, out of like, eight or so compilations’ worth, is Loverboy. So I’m going to leave that one be, and when I re-release the chapbooks, I’m going to restart them as a series! Just, it’s so much easier! And they’ll be very collectible with matching covers, inspired by the NYRB Classics (whose covers I love – and are mostly made from classic paintings). It’ll be lovely. Or well, lovely in their gruesome way.

I mostly want to gain credit and legitimacy as a self-published author with this collection, even though I will be trying for traditional publishing for certain other works if I can. But poetry I feel should be lending-friendly. It’s like music, it ought to be available to anyone who can benefit from it. It’s not quite the same as novels, and vital in a different way. Am I repeating myself?
Well, anyway, there’s going to be about twelve books + a rerelease of Absolute Heaven as a “book zero” of cut material and best-of poems. I know it’s likely not super-interesting to you before they’re released, but humor me. I like to throw ideas around. They’ll all have different themes, some dark, some not. One in particular warrants a legitimate trigger warning, and I don’t give those out lightly.

I’ll be releasing them randomly, in little sprinkles of beauty throughout the next two years in-between working on larger projects. I want to get into fiction full-time so badly, but poetry just happens! You can’t stop it! So something ought to be done with it all, in any case!

Some Unexpected Progress

Some fortunate news at last! The four chapbooks I’ve been talking about and revamping are currently being primed for publication! To my own surprise after the fact, I was hit with a sudden surge of productivity last week and wrote all four of them from Tuesday to Friday morning. This work needs to be edited, obviously, but barring the completion of illustrations and covers, they’re pretty much done. I expected that to eat up at least another three weeks. The only solution to feeling incredibly tired with having nothing done by the end of the day, apparently, is to do EVERYTHING in a few days.

That being said, I am rather proud of this incarnation. They are cleaner, richer and more resembling legitimate poetry compilations rather than some blog freebies. I ought to get news back soon of a much darker series of poems in the works and when it might be published as well. I don’t want to talk about that one yet, but I genuinely think it was the darkest thing I have or ever will write, and honestly never expected something like that to get picked up for publication.

Cosmic Love, MHz, Blood Ballet and Infinite Summer will return sometime between April 5th and April 25th. They’re going to be free in all eBook formats, but might also be in paperback if they add up to at least 50 pages apiece. I’d rather offer much of my poetry for free, as that’s kind of the nature poetry has always had. It opens it to more readers. I guess the larger ones or ones I’m not in charge of pricing will still cost something, but it’s something I post pretty much every week publicly, so I don’t see the point for the smaller ones. Anyway, I hope you love them and it’s something you anticipate, I promise they far outdo the first (which are still posted back in the archives starting here if you’re curious).

Phantom Mechanism – Rebooting MHz

I don’t think I’ve ever even talked much about the original MHz that came out last May. I made it and still never knew what to think of it, was the problem. It also had a strange, rather off-putting cover which I suspect is why it didn’t get the views the others did. That, and MHz is also the only one of the chapbooks whose haiku I never posted episodically on this blog.
I guess it doesn’t matter because the series was initially an experiment in the first place, and just now are being revived as actual, tangible books, and no one in particular has nitpicked it except for me… but something about this one always made me feel peculiar. Bashful about it, even, from square one. I never wanted to promote it. MHz has the most interesting potential and yet I feel will always be damned, because how do you recommend a surreal mashup of sci-fi and Japanese horror inspirations, but in a poetry format?

MHz will definitely be the most entertaining and reigns-free to reboot. There are less rules or direction necessary (not that there was a plethora with the other three, exactly). And yet, I think it will always be the least popular. I might be wrong, but we’ll see in May or April.

The new MHz, and to a lesser extension the old MHz and the touched-up segments that showed up in Absolute Heaven (which I still need to prepare a print book for, as grueling as it will be), are loosely based around the imagery found in the filmography of Shinya Tsukamoto. If you have zero idea who that is, you absolutely need to look it up right now.
The colour-cast look to Tsukamoto’s films is entirely dreamlike – to the point of them feeling like re-watching some of your weirdest dreams that you recall pieces of at random times. I love that aesthetic dearly, and several of those movies. They’re not really story-heavy, relying more on personal interpretation and just good old-fashioned entertainment for your visual cortex. Tsukamoto, in general, is sort of the “anti” pretentious art film. His movies are artsy, but like a painting, not a philosophy thesis that the director is intent on shoving down your throat.

Am I getting off-topic? Okay, well, MHz is set to be the last redone chapbook at this point. I’ve entertained doing a fifth one just because they’re fun and relatively easy to write and I think people will like reading them, but I’m afraid attempting storytelling is taking a precedent over my poetry right now, and probably still will be when these come out. I have the date April 21st in mind for the first two (Infinite Summer and Blood Ballet), and the second half should come right behind. I know I keep talking about them but they will actually be in print soon. Promise.

Loss and Returning to Blogging

There’s been a very brief span of dead air over the past two weeks. I realize I didn’t get around to some things I had promised, but I have recently had to trudge through a painful tragedy. These days have been one drawn-out night that will not pass into morning for me. It’s not really something that would be cathartic to discuss or that I’m prepared to discuss publicly – it was an absolutely horrible loss of somebody that I’ve known all of my life. To cope, and this may be the only remote positive that could’ve come out of it, I will be writing a lot more. More than my usual obsession with it compels me to. So, starting this Monday, I’ll likely be posting daily for a long while. I have some articles on writing tropes, a couple of poems, and some mixed-genre reviews in no particular fashion or order.

Unfortunately, given the circumstances, I’ve found a wealth of time for reading. But at a cost that was certainly not worth that. I do look forward to the next month or two at least, and I ought to know soon when I’ll have some more books out, so that will be something pleasant, at least. A series of reviews on the H. P. Lovecraft catalogue is coming up on the horizon throughout the rest of spring, which should be… a colourful ride. A colour out of space, you might even name it.

I should just tell you now that I hate early spring, and thought it fitting to focus on an author whose primary settings are flooded, moldy semi-sentient swamplands, which is the image I automatically get in my head when I think of the first half of spring. Others may see in pink and blue, but I see in grey and green, and not pretty shades of them either.

Woodland Dreams – Rebooting Infinite Summer

The Infinite Summer reboot is actually on the verge of being finished. All it lacks is a final edit and a cover, so it ought to be out first, I suspect around March. Infinite Summer was my favourite one, and that remains true. This is the “lightest” one thematically, having a ghostly, romantic fairytale vibe. Probably should’ve spent the time I spent on the original on useful literature, but hey, it was pretty fun.

At the risk of deflating my own update post, I honestly don’t have as much to say about it as I imagined I would. I have fewer aspirations with its makeover than the others, I guess. The old versions of the haiku are still posted starting here. I don’t think I’ll remove these, even though they’ve gone through variable changes. There’s not really a reason to. It could be quite fascinating to see the improvements, or disagree with them if you thought the old were better.

If you’ve ever thought about trying your hand at fantasy poetry, you ought to. Don’t be shy about displaying it, either, there needs to be more genre poetry in the world. Fantasy is general is a sort of imagination exercise, but fantasy with the loose non-limits of lyricism is even more so. Not too many publish their fantasy poetry, it seems. Continue reading “Woodland Dreams – Rebooting Infinite Summer”

Bookshelf and Review Update

Just your run-of-the-mill improvements. I’ve renovated the bookshelf on here to include most of the self-published books I’ve written or that are coming out within the next year. I am less certain about ones that may be traditionally published, so they are not listed. Loverboy and the Kindle edition of Absolute Heaven are the only ones out right now. The reason AH doesn’t have a paperback is because I didn’t like the cover and the art will have to be re-scanned to a sharper quality specifically for that. At least if I want it to look good, it will.

Anyway, the reviews I wanted to do for Women in Horror, I really got bored with both of those books so I’ll be doing reviews for two different ones. It was going to be Thicker Than Blood and Alice in Zombieland, but now it will be Rebecca, Dolly by Susan Hill, and The Unfleshed by Lisa Vasquez. I have been extremely busy writing my own work, and was ill-prepared for a theme this month. No real blood lost, I guess.
Some other reviews coming up soon are Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century, and No Place Like Oz by Danielle Page, so stay tuned for those.

Hearts + Thorns

This poem, “Hearts + Thorns”, was featured in the twelfth issue of Radium Piano Band, an awesome newer blog dedicated to experimental writing. “Hearts + Thorns” is from and will be one of the early pieces in an upcoming poetry book that was picked up for publication, that will likely come out next year or late in this year. “Hearts + Thorns” is pretty reflective of the collection, which deals heavily with occultism and the weight of suicide.
Interestingly, the collection ties in with a novella that I’m on the second draft of. They are perfectly reasonable separate, of course, but share a lot of imagery. Anyway, enjoy!

Radium Piano Band – Issue #12

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Bleak Feminine – Rebooting Blood Ballet

Oh, Blood Ballet. You… I really don’t like you, Blood Ballet. But we’re going to remedy this. The anodyne for this chapbook being, well, kind of terrible, is completely redoing it in the way I should’ve done it initially.
The Blood Ballet that is available as part of Absolute Heaven is more what I wanted it to be, but still not exactly. I wanted it to portray a “feminine gruesomeness” with a horror-movie aesthetic. This go around with the full book, I want it to be somewhat more feminist. Not in an overbearing way, just through dealing with more women’s issues. That’s what it was supposed to be but ended up being like, gross-out junk and surrealist nonsense.

Without going into a tangent, and believe me it would be the god emperor of tangents, I think that just the female experience in general lends itself to a lot of horror – biological, psychological, you name it. Yet rather than mollify unpleasant experiences by discussing them openly, many would rather put up a very thin façade that all women are happy all the time, no matter the circumstance.
I actually received that message, more or less, with a rejection letter for a poem once that works revolving around the problems of women should only be more “empowering” or “inspirational”, that what I wanted to say was too dark for mainstream consumption. They could’ve just said “your writing straight-up sucks” and it would’ve been less offensive than that.

I don’t even care about the poem but I will never let that comment go, because that is not reality. You cannot keep only the good and snuff out the negative if you want someone’s real experiences in a book. Continue reading “Bleak Feminine – Rebooting Blood Ballet”

Intergalactic Romantic – Rebooting Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love is the most popular book on my Goodreads page. It’s out of print! On purpose! I was originally going to keep it out of print and direct interested readers to Absolute Heaven, which still includes the original content, but I think the idea of Cosmic Love deserves a makeover as a real book instead of a half-assed freebie.
The cover was more work than the insides on the first run. The cover took around three weeks whereas the poems took about three to four days to write and revise. I’m painting the cover digitally or using stock photos this time, so the work will actually go towards the sustenance of the chapbook rather than solely the cover.

Besides the technicalities, though, the four upcoming chapbooks have individual themes that I feel reflect four different layers of darkness. Kind of like Dante’s Inferno but entertaining instead of you know, taking you through eternal torment. Hopefully.

Cosmic Love began with the idea of “romantic parasitism” and a lot of surrealist sci-fi imagery. Some was good and some read kind of drunkenly – I had to edit the second half much more heavily than the first. Out of the four, it’s the second-lightest in terms of content. The level of grotesque and dark themes is apparent but still pretty low and with a basis in fantastical, more delicate prose.

If you want a copy, it’ll probably be free in eBook. Don’t know if I’ll attempt a paperback or not, that’ll depend on how many pages it ends up being. If it’s under 50, then probably not.