How to Help Your Indie Writer Friends

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This topic spills buckets and buckets of online ink. But it provides an excellent place for writers to communicate important needs to their unique audiences. Let’s face it, the average indie writer starts with a base of family and friends. Of course that is okay. The fact that anyone buys a book at all is a major accomplishment considering the near infinite choices of reading material on the web. If you want your burgeoning writer buddies find a wider group, there are some very important things you can do to provide a wider megaphone.

 

  1. Write a review

 

I can’t state this enough. Even BAD reviews are good because it provides evidence that people have purchased and read the book. Reviews on amazon or any other online retail space lend an important legitimacy to a work. It is a grand compliment to take time out of a busy day to sit and respond to writing. As you consider writing a review, don’t include personal information or discussion of your relationship with the author. The appearance that a reader came to the book blind lends even more credence to the book’s value outside of the friend/family connections, and make it’s that much more enticing.

 

  1. Discuss the book with friends, especially those who may have interest in the topic

 

Readers have more power than ever to influence the market. Each one of you is a walking ad agency that can influence the decisions of others. So many people have already made great use of this with Social Media like instagram and facebook, but even casual conversations are a great place to bring up a friend’s work. Every sale is cherished, and the likelihood of that new reader sharing the book with others is worth more than its weight in gold. Think about who in your friend circle may enjoy the book or has a vested interest in the topic it discusses.

 

  1. Bring up the work to book clubs, request at libraries and local bookstores

 

These can be tricky as you certainly don’t want to make yourself into a nuisance. Book clubs, library requests and local bookstores are chance to give your indie writer buddies a huge boost in sales. Taking time to make one simple suggestion or request won’t take up too much of your time and certainly don’t feel bad if the suggestion doesn’t result in a sale. Think instead that your discussion has spread word of the writing. Hopefully another will follow up on this request and organizations will soon take notice.

 

  1. Create a post on social media and tag anyone who may be interested

 

This is another item to put into the “nuisance” category. But one quick post on social media has so much potential. If the author has a website consider posting a link with a few comments about their work. Consider friends who do not live in the author’s area as a way to spread their audience geographically. Post a favorite quote, or even a short review. One post is certainly enough. No author wants to be treated like Amway or a MLM marketing scam. Sincere, concise posts take an author farther than most people realize.

 

At the end of the day, being a reader is more than enough, as being read is the single greatest gift we can give to our burgeoning authors! These suggestions are just a way to go the extra mile in a world where viral marketing is beast so few will ever tame.

 

Thanks for reading!

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The Cathedral in Rain

 

 

Her bells ring within our minds,

Slow, long, heavy thuds against

Some mystery bronze as if Tibet

Itself has lent the sound. Sorrow

Within cracks upon the drone,

A way…a path back to light

And strength upon her spires.

There are few instances where

One longs to drown. The constant

Echo of gunfire, concussions

From grenades, and the eternal

Wringing of withered, pious hands

Fade to silence in the pure orange

Flames feasting on ancient oak.

But somewhere, in a forgotten

Pocket of being, she stands still

In a cool, unending rain.

Lost in a sopping wood where

Men cannot scar her tranquil

Shade. Those bells from legends

Past ring though no hand pulls

Their ropes. If one stops,

Turns to the north and clears

The mind, their resonance cuts

Clear to the spine, tying us all

Into one healing flame.

 

I had a dream a few months ago of a majestic Cathedral in rain with bronze, thundering bells. It gave me the deepest sense of peace I have ever felt. When I saw Notre Dame burning, I could hear those bells ringing in the distance. I have been avoiding publishing poetry on this blog due to a new attempt to submit to publications. But I really wanted to share this.

If you would like to read more of my poetry, check out my works on Amazon.

https://totaltext.wordpress.com/poetry/cathedral-notre-dame-in-reims

Crush the Patriarchy: A Love Poem

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In the book of Genesis, God makes Eve from the flesh

Of Adam. He names her, describes her with the hebrew

Phrase Ezer Kenegdo. The wise ones who translated

The book had no words in English to equal Eve’s description.

 

In their foolishness, they picked “helpmate.”

That is not what this phrase means.

The closest anyone has come is “She who is over

And against me.” Ezer is a name of God as one

 

Commands and protects. Kenegdo is one who rises

Up against and meets another where they stand, equal.

There is a hint of threat and dominance to Eve

The ancients twisted the words to hide.

 

I understand them. Eve was the rock Adam would break

Himself against. The one, who digging for his strength

Would break his arms and legs while he laid tied,

Helpless to a wheel. In the depths of his pain

 

She would command him to stand, and he would.

My Eve.

My love.

My one who stands over and against me.

 

You are the chisel to my bare stone, cutting

Away what hides my truth. You hold my greatest

Fears and deepest agonies within your delicate,

Fickle hands.

 

Fickle. Fickle in the way a child holds a moth.

My love for you is the love that moth holds

For the light that sets its wings aflame

And burns its fragile frame to dust.

 

You break me. Shatter me like glass

And expect my parts to reassemble

Themselves. In this way, my Ezer,

You find the strength I hide even

 

From myself.

Argument for Book II of Lucifer Triumphant

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I always loved Milton’s use of an argument to provide a quick view of the events in a section of his epic poems. It’s easy to get lost in verse, and the argument allows a reader a chance to get their bearings.

 

The loyalist angels awaken to find themselves in Hell. Their memories are fragmented and unclear. They lament for what feels like eternity. The cries of despair fill the caverns. Michael the Archangel manages to rise from the fire and make his way to shore. He attempts a speech to rally his brothers in hope that some remnant of Yahweh’s forces remain in Heaven, and that Yahweh himself could yet live. Sandalphon responds to him with a recanting of Yahweh’s death, assuring the once heavenly host that the Lord of all is surely lost. The laments rise again and Michael tears the wings from his back in grief. The others follow, and for the first time since Yahweh laid their foundations, the fires of hell cool just enough to allow the lost angels a chance to properly grieve. 

 

Support the poet in his labor! Buy one of my collections of Gothic Southern Verse.

https://totaltext.wordpress.com/poetry/

I also have essays on religion and philosophy. More to come soon!

https://totaltext.wordpress.com/essays-and-philosophical-writing/

First Look: The Triumph of Lucifer

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I have always admired Dante and Milton, poets whose works come right up to the face of Blasphemy. The only way to walk among them may lie upon crossing that very line of decency. I worry hell awaits me for writing this very political, very protest-oriented piece where all of morality is drowned in Yeats’ famous ceremony of innocence.

 

The only hope we have is what we create. More to come.

 

The Argument

The treacherous host stands victorious in Heaven. Lucifer, now basking in the glory of the divine throne, holds aloft the severed head of Yahweh. The blood stains and seers all it touches, but the angels are suddenly possessed with horror at their success. A debate ensues amongst the seraphim as to whether they are capable of ruling heaven and the newly laid foundations of Earth. Lucifer berates the doubtful, outright destroying the most vocal in their fear. After a furious tirade, he thrusts the head of Yahweh upon a stake and commands the angels to drink the blood cascading from it’s neck. Newly energized, the sons of the divine form warbands to eradicate any remaining loyalists to Yahweh. Lucifer turns to the holy palace of Kether to claim his rightful place as Heaven’s King. There he learns of the Christ and Yahweh’s machinations for a new race.

 

For death’s flower to bloom in such stark

Image, for Yahweh’s blood to flow where some

Assumed no blood haunted divine form, the weight

Felt upon the chests of traitorous children crushed

And wracked their eternal sinew. The bated breaths

And visions of glory driving their lances rushed

At the knowing, instinctual assumption their violence

Would end in hell’s maw. The fire’s awaited poisoned

Minds to met justice in Yahweh’s assured victory.

Glory spoiled, all sense of place and center

Rotting in the divine eyes staring hopeless-

To heaven’s horizon, mouth agape and sunken

Teeth tinged with holy crimson. The triumphant

Fingers of Lucifer’s hand rip the follicles from

Their roots. His laugh, deep within a hollow

Chest echoes past the ivory gates, chasing

The shattered remnants of Yahweh’s loyal

Band.

“Why fret? Why tremble in terror at what

Our struggle has birthed upon the heavens?

Be ye but men? Or the foul scratching in sand

Sprinkled haphazard upon the seas ever
Shifting borders?” Lucifer brings the holy

Visage to his own and stares into the vacant

Eyes. “What fear have we now? We shall

Restore greatness to the seraphim, heaven

Will close its doors and prosper, a beacon

We build higher and higher to the very zenith

Of our ambition!”

The Fountain

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I recently found myself in Ana Ruby Falls in North Georgia near the Hellishly Kitsch town of Helen. I am a big fan of Kitsch, so I managed to enjoy myself. Walking around this park is a tourist must do, and I remembered seeing pictures of the Falls from my parents Mountain souvenirs they collected over the years. They visited the place on their honeymoon.

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Since dad died, those memories are hard to revisit. Finding myself in north Georgia amongst even slightly familiar locales was like smelling a ghost. I felt his footsteps behind me and walked with somber steps up the paved hiking trail. Mom frequents the park and spends hours haunting the falls, listening to the whispering waters and mindless twittering of birds in the oak canopies.

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The falls usually whisper, but today they raged with rare passion. A tropical storm had recently moved through, flooding the basin at the top of the mountain and dumping a torrent down the mountain side. Mom’s description of the falls were somewhat inaccurate. The wind twisting through the trees and the wet, cold mists wrapped around me. The smells of ozone and earth took me, lifted me to a place of long buried memory. I couldn’t shake the feeling I had been here before, though I was sure I never had.

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The trees laid scattered like a child’s blocks, the earth had twisted and piled in odd clumps as small pools leaked from the now furious river on it’s mad dash down the mountain. What shocked me the most about this sight was not the white water rapids tearing through rocks, but rather the sheer height visible through the green leaves. The fall usually trickles down, and the split where two creeks merge to form the main stream almost always drips from the right while the one on the left flows gently.

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Both torrents screamed with primal force. Above them, so far up as to dizzy my brain, was the main fall obscured through the forest canopy. I could not fathom the altitude, that the beauty and savagery of this place started from such a precipice. It made me feel small. I contemplated all the places in this world I could never reach. What remains inaccessible to me. There are mysteries left still. Our hubris can always be dulled with the sight nature’s cruelty and grace.

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I have struggled to find words. I spend many hours pouring ink onto a page no reader will ever see. I lament my inability to write and fear my fountain has run dry. Could my brain simply empty? Could my words stifle and drip with impotent whispers? For now, I have hope that my words and my writing cycle with seasons, that now is a time of calm and whispering echoes. What storm must rage to set my river to madness again? For now I hope and wait…and prepare.

No Sense of Self or Place: Life in the Corridors of South Georgia

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Effingham County is a land of no distinction. Virtually no hills dot it’s acres and a homogeneity of slash pines arranged in neat, over planted-plots lulls the brain into a sleepy, meandering labyrinth. There is history here, but it scrawls on rusty plaques funded by the state. Almost every historical marker goes on and on about the specific locations of Sherman’s troops on certain dates. The Salzburgers landed at Ebenezer and nearly everyone can trace an ancestor to them. The occasional town stalks the winding roads and if you’re lucky, there is a semi-decent Barbecue restaurant lurking there.  

I grew up driving on the roads of Effingham and Bulloch county. Dirt was a friend to us because police rarely patrolled the more isolated areas lacking pavement. We could pick up absurd speed on the red paths, dodging oak trees and spinning out at the hairpin turn on Go-Kart Road. No story to that name, there was literally a karting supply shop and go-kart track among the mossy limbs and cow pastures.

It was just land. People lived there. Before those people, others lived there before them. They left nothing but foundations where some kept the home, but others let the pines surround their rotting husks to lurk as black shadows in the gathering heaps of straw. I always wanted to call the place ghostly, but ghosts have more presence and one can usually find out from whence a ghost has come. This place was haunted by the fragmented remains of memory, dissipating in neurons long dead and only held together by the degrading filaments of protein in a corpse.

Ebenezer Road was supposedly the origin of my family. Neidlinger, Bailey, Grovenstein, and something else. Grandfather was adopted. Grandma was a bastard daughter likely born to a carpet bagger or God-forbid a cousin. It was better for us to not dig to deep into our past. Ebenezer, the retreat built around the historical landing of the Salzburger clans. It had a pool, tennis courts, trails, and a pavilion where family reunions boiled in Georgia shade. Paddle boats dotted the tiny dock where a gator once attacked a cousin fishing from the bank. That was the same spot my foot sank into sopping wet moss and I ruined my new dress shoes.

I never felt that connection to Ebenezer. It was a place like any other. It could have been the lonely isolation of Low-Ground road which flooded with even a light sprinkling of spring rain. It could have been Courthouse road where the mobile homes huddled in the clay, grassless patches. It could even have been Grovenstein lane, the two ruts named out of our county’s necessity to label all paths between property, no matter how unused or remote. Nothing dwelled on those roads except an occasional hunting club and more corridors of pine. We were left permanently lost, unable to draw a distinction between our here and our there. The past and the future mingled in an unending procession of turns and returns. The pines swallow all, plows, bullet shells, the remains of a pug that never did anything but annoy the neighbor, our wrestling action figures, love notes never exchanged, stumps dad always promised to pull up, rabbit cages, christmas lights, golf cart batteries, and the graves of infants at the feet of their mother who died giving birth to them.

On these roads, you will lose your sense of self, and learn that there was nothing there to begin with.