Smashwords Interview 2019

The updated interview for my Smashwords profile. I answered one last year around January. So many things have changed with my work, so it was high time for a fresh one, now that I have actual books on there.

Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?
A: Ah, this question is something of a paradox. A variable and yet also a constant.
I will say that as of this interview, I’m currently working on the S.M. Shuford Poetry Collection, an ongoing saga that compiles most of my poetry and is to some degree autobiographical, hence the blatant narcissism of the title. There is set to be thirteen to fifteen books in total in that series. After that, in 2020 I’ll have another handful of large-scale poetry compilations, similar to 2018’s Loverboy, a short story collection and slowly eke my way into writing novels on a regular basis.

Q: How do you discover the eBooks you read?
A: It’s a smoothie of recommendations, avid hunting for new things to read, and random chance. Book-seeking is one of the few things that’s better if you’re pretty much careless in how you go about it.

Q: What is your writing process?
A: Vomit a mass of something vaguely interesting. Rinse the excess words off. Polish them. Publish it. Kill the thing you bore and rebuild it Frankenstein-style when you decide it wasn’t good enough the first time. You know, the usual way. Continue reading “Smashwords Interview 2019”

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.

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?”

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.

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”

“The Dominant” Featured in Infernal Ink

A poem of mine, “The Dominant”, was featured in the Spring-Summer 2019 edition of indie magazine Infernal Ink, if you’d like to check it out. Not a collection for the youngsters, obviously, not with that tagline. Some pretty sultry and gruesome themes. This poem will probably also appear in another compilation of mine that I’ve got planned for this summer.
To be honest, I don’t remember when, why or where I wrote “The Dominant”. I think it was circa 2014 or so, maybe later. It’s one of my numerous, numerous writings about the disturbing sensuality of food and hedonism. This is the Kindle edition, there are also paperbacks available on Lulu if that’s more your style.

Infernal Ink Spring-Summer 2019

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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.

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”

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.

Musings on Explicit Content

The term “explicit” in the context of something that is not suitable for younger or more sensitive audiences is an interesting, and extremely loose term. One individual may think that a picture of a woman in a bikini is explicit, while another may think that only the most heinous, taboo acts of violence and sexuality are explicit. Judgment of the term varies heavily across a spectrum from mild to graphic to “why would a human make this” levels when it comes to art and writing.

Personally, I consider “explicit” content to have material that may be extremely upsetting, somewhat tasteless but not promoting harm, or has enough nudity that you couldn’t look at it at work. I agree… somewhat begrudgingly… to websites mandating an explicit filter, such as DeviantArt. Anyone who doesn’t have an issue with possibly explicit content can just turn the filter off.
However, if the website is for adults and older teens, there is no purpose in being childish like Tumblr and outright banning anything that might be explicit, even if most people would not agree that it is. I have difficulty using Tumblr that often anymore because their new filtering system seems to have broken my tag system, and little that I write shows up on the search anymore. But that’s a rant I’ve already gone through.

When does someone consider a piece they’ve done explicit? It’s a pretty different experience between visual media and writing. Most writers are very aware that their content might be inappropriate for some, seeing as they usually have a clear audience in mind, but what about art?
Artists usually don’t think of their work, at least I don’t think of mine, as something that would bother somebody else, because it just kind of happens for us without there being much thought. Nudity is natural to art, and has been since cave drawings. The beloved classics of art can get quite raunchy for their day, as well, though this doesn’t keep photos of them out of textbooks, as it shouldn’t! Continue reading “Musings on Explicit Content”

Writing a Book in a Month

Some methods to write a book in a month without losing your mind. Maybe just a smidge of the prefrontal cortex, but not the whole brain. These are just some of my working habits and tips that I’ve been perfecting recently during my personal attempts to accomplish THE NOVEL. Of course you can alter them as needed, but hopefully these ideas may help to encourage you with your goals.
This type of self-challenge is best for novellas, average length novels, or compilations. Epics and doorstoppers, I would not attempt in a month unless you genuinely are some sort of linguistic masochist who never sleeps or eats at all.

The golden key to completing any piece of writing is persistence. A book written in a month will probably not be very great, honestly, but you will at least have a complete book, which there will be plenty of time afterward to revise. Worry more about getting from beginning to end, with anything you need to guide you – checklists and outlines to mark your progress, word counters, even reading your freshly written chapters to your friends as you go. You have to want that book to exist, and whatever helps to keep that emotion rolling, do it. Don’t get caught up in the chaos of details until the editing stage. You can also hire professional editors and proofreaders to do this for you, but it is best to at least redo your book once by yourself, with great carefulness. Continue reading “Writing a Book in a Month”

Censorship and the Modern Blog

Recently, Tumblr disappointed the blogging world by banning all adult content from their website, in a catastrophic combination of censorship, laziness and idealism.
It’s lazy censorship because it’s cutting out blogs which seriously deal with mature topics, as well as erotic art and book blogs, while completely ignoring the rampant bots and actual problematic material that the ban was supposed to get rid of.

I had developed an art blog several months ago in June that I’ve not used, I was meaning to have it take off next month but now I think I’ll just be deleting it. There’s no point, thanks to the childish ban most art’s out of the question. It doesn’t really matter if it’s explicit, apparently, as art has been getting flagged like mad.

I’ll still be updating my poetry blog, and I’ll instead be using DeviantArt and Twitter to post artwork in the new year. I’ll have to back up my poetry here though in case there’s any naughty prose, according to their automated censor, or whatever. I am very disappointed in Tumblr, to say the least. None of the problems were solved, but some fresh new ones were born and a lot of bloggers’ hard work was basically flushed down the toilet. Disastrous.

Transition to Fiction

I think there is nothing crueler than having the ambition and physical ability to do something but the arbitrary always seeming to eat away the time needed to perfect it. But fortunately, there are little ways to force change when it’s necessary, and mostly it’s careful planning. It is the hour of renovation and it will be half-hideous and half-beautiful.

I threw down a list of “official” books I wanted to create in the next few years, “official” meaning plots or poetry concepts developed and interesting enough to want to see through to the end. I’m going to condemn myself to a year-long NaNoWriMo-type experiment in 2019 and I will never want to write anything ever again by the end of it, but if I don’t this year, I won’t have the time later.

I want to get all of my poetry done and transition to fiction… eventually. Not crystal clear on the publisher or date of anything more, but I have at least seven by my own hand that need finalizing. Loverboy is already out in Kindle (and Unlimited for a time), if interested. I dread publishing Absolute Heaven near the end of month, but maybe you’ll enjoy it. The early reviewers seemed to love it, so that’s uplifitng. It’s… unusually large and weighty and artsy for a poem book, though, and that means a lot of tedious formatting fixes, I’m sure.
If nothing more at least I can say by the end of 2019 I will have held a book of my own in my hands, and I think that’s worth a lot.

If you want to join me in the horror and blood-curdling distress, my goal is 80 pages a month. Marginally less stressful than 100, that’s only 2 and a half pages a day. (Which, by the way, also translates to a slightly larger number of pages in print than on-screen but nevermind the page count. Just write like a madman who hasn’t seen a keyboard in years.)

Poetry Chapbooks Remixed

I’ve been dead sick for the past week, you know, the usual sabotage of my writing, so I haven’t got to post any updates or much of anything that I desired. But, a while back I had posted that I was taking my free haiku chapbooks out of print.
I want to thank everyone who read those, as haphazard as they were, as they all had over 230 downloads since April! How embarrassing! But I’m at least appreciative there was an interest in such an unconventional series! (I was going to insert a poor joke here that there wasn’t even a shirtless muscular man on the cover, but there actually was on MHz’s cover. Haha.)
I did leave the old edition of Infinite Summer up just so I would have a publication and keep my authorship on Smashwords.

What I’m digressing from, though, is that I’m re-releasing all four of them in early 2019 as full-length chapbooks. The haiku, title poems and original introductions will be included in a mega-compilation at the end of this year also, so they will be widely available in old and new form.

I don’t want to risk going on like a long-winded advertisement, so I’ll just say these have become rather personal to me. No, I really don’t like how they initially turned out, but I will like what they metamorphose into. I feel like you should make something you’re proud of, and it’s never too late to transform work to its full luster.

Visit Smashwords using this link and I’ll make a small commission. 🙂

Inspirations From the Void

Or at least it seems they come from a mystery universe somewhere out there where we can never reach. What is the strangest place you’ve been at the time inspiration hits? Some of the most unexpected things I’ve gleaned a poem from, that I can think of, are the novel Dune, a suspicious insect I didn’t know the name of struggling between two windowpanes, a historic photo of a cannibal, and a haunted house themed level in a video game.

Well, Dune isn’t so oddball. I’m willing to bet there’s more writing out there based on Dune than you’d reckon there was. I know that there is a concept album on it, anyway.

One of my favourites is a poem called “Lorenzo” that showed up in my recent book Loverboy. It’s an agonized, romantic piece that came out of the first time I heard Liszt’s “Liebestraume Notturno No. 3”. “Lorenzo” was a rare exception for me – I don’t normally love my poetry pieces as much as I love that one, and I have to wonder if Liszt was more fond of that particular song than usual?
Either way, I’ve never been able to write anything else with “Liebestraume” as a background, it just doesn’t work for me now like it did to begin. So strange how it all unfolds then diminishes, to never happen again.

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