Calling Authors for Indie Author Day in FWB

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Last Lizard Reading of Summer

Tomorrow I’ll be doing my last reading of The Literary Lizard for the summer at the Fort Walton Beach Public Library at 10:30 a.m. It’s been a busy summer.

Over the past two months Lit and I visited Children in Crisis, Niceville Public Library, Walton County Coastal Branch Library, Robert L. F. Sikes Public Library (aka Crestview Public Library) twice, and Mount Zion AME Church. For many of them, my friend Laura came and helped.

There’s also been a few Business of Creativity workshops mixed in there, one of which I’m teaching tonight at 6 p.m. back at the Walton County Coastal Branch Library followed by the 30A Songwriter Music and Coffee open mic.

That’s 7 Lizard readings, 2 adult workshops and 3 open mics in less than 2 months. If we count traveling, we can add 4 out-of-town trips as well. Then of course there was 1 computer fail while I was putting up 21 Radish episodes and 2 books.

No wonder I’m crazy!

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Learning From Trees

—Tasneem Hameed

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Week #7 Marks 21st Episode on Radish

Yesterday, July 21, I posted my 21st episode on Radish! I didn’t realize it until this morning when I logged on to check my stats. For more details about the Radish serial reading app, read my original blog post on it here.

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Mobile Tech & What Jesus Teaches About Writing

After my recent computer near-disaster, I’ve taken steps and reorganized myself to protect my work.

Now all my work is saved to Google Drive and I use Google Docs. Besides protecting all my work in the cloud, I found flexibility to be another major benefit.

With everything on Drive, I can now access my work from anywhere. It also eliminates my bad habit of keeping 20 different WIP versions of everything scattered between a phone, tablet, laptop, computer and emails.

The value of this hit me a few days ago when I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for someone. I had been in the middle of trying to finish another Bitter Suite episode before deadline when I had to leave my desk.

As I sat there, I looked at my phone which I had recently loaded with Drive and Docs. I opened it all up, found the piece I was working on and had the rest of the story fleshed out before I had to leave. I discovered true mobility. What a beautiful moment that was.

I also found out that with the addition of a mouse, my phone works better than any tablet or laptop for my writing needs. This set up is going to come in handy soon for one of my next projects which involves writing in documented locations of hauntings. Not all of these locations will have a nice desk, WiFi and electricity, so being mobile will be essential.

Earlier today I saw this joke posted by Patrick Freivald on Facebook. Things are funniest when they are painfully true. Given my recent, emotional roller coaster with my computer, this is appropriate:

So Satan challenges Jesus to a novel-writing contest for control of the universe. They have exactly one month to write the best novel ever, and whoever writes the better one wins. Jesus agrees, so they sit down at their computers (in the same room to prevent cheating) and start typing.

Smoke flies from the keys as they work day and night, tirelessly churning out breathtaking prose and the most amazing plots imaginable. As midnight approaches on the thirtieth day God claps his hands and with a thunderbolt the power goes out, flickers, then comes back on.

Satan cries out, “NoooooOOOOOOOooooo!” while Jesus waits for his machine to reboot, opens his document and writes the final paragraph, typing THE END with a divine flourish.

The moral?

Jesus saves.

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Upcoming Event! Meet, Greet & Eat!

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Small Books, Big Impact

Remember my post about the 1×1 inch Poems-For-All project?

I just found out today that two of my poems will be made into PFAs. My Elements will be PFA #1670  and Yin and Yang Hours will be PFA #1671.

The Poems -For-All project seeks to spread poetry and verse “like seeds.” As these tiny chapbooks are carried throughout the world, they have a chance to take root and blossom.

I am so proud to be a part of that project now. I’ll have 30 of each tiny book to plant wisely. Changing lives, and minds, inch by printed inch. Visit the Poems-For-All Project here and consider submitting your own poems to go free as PFAs.

See the video… a labor of love and dedication from Richard Hansen.

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Reviewing Reinhart

Horrific Punctuation (Tiger’s Eye Press)

A short book of poetry, Horrific Punctuation is full of questions. As I read, I felt like Jack Skellington in Nightmare Before Christmas asking “What does it mean? What does it mean?!?

I found myself reading poems two and three times before I could decide what my take on it was. Tantalizing syllables and structure acted as bait, keeping me pinned to the pages as I tried to decipher meanings and secrets.

The most thought provoking poem in this collection, for me, was Lost: Cat, Dead and/or Alive. I’m left with a feeling of indecision, not unlike what I feel as I stand in the store looking at “eighty-five brands of dog tail detergent/shampoo.” It sticks with me, teasing at my brain as my subconscious mind pecks at the deeper meaning.

Then I realize my deep questing feels the same as when I actually stand in an store aisle, trying to decipher which product is best/will save me/change things for the better. I decide that dissecting the meaning from everything is a soul-wilting exercise and I read the poem for the sixth time and just enjoy. I also make a pact with myself just to grab the closest bottle of “dog tail detergent/shampoo” next time I shop and stop deliberating over the trivial.

My favorite poem in this collection was Attack of the Saurus, a hilarious and delicious adventure where a thesaurus goes completely out of control. I was just reading a blog post from Notes from an Alien where Zoltai shares how your thesaurus can be trouble for your work. Perfect timing. Read that post here.

encircled (Prolific Press)

This collection is simply beautiful. It’s a collection of people, memorializing the mundane and elevating the every day. I laughed with poems such as amusement park thrills. Other verse broke my heart. Of those, I’d never noticed and somebody’s father stand out as painful reminders of how alone each of us is. Even surrounded by masses, we each run the risk of being a lonely island.

Reinhart catches the essence of people in this collection and I find myself curious to know these individuals. Who is Jennifer from Jennifer worries? These poems make me wish I were wealthy so I could help her. And that’s what makes this collection a brilliant success in my mind–it elecits emotional response.

broken bottle of time (Alban Lake Publishing)

The darkest of the three collections I read, broken bottle of time is a sharper, darker read. Often from the viewpoint of something alien, one of the poems that particularly stands out to me is payoff, also one of my favorites.

Reinhart looks at our common experiences as an outsider. The familiar passes through him, and like light, is bent until we can see it a new way… or perhaps the way it was all along. I do know that I will never be able to go shopping at the all night grocery without thinking of stardust, supernova spillage and Schrodinger’s puppy.

Three collections of poetry by the same poet, but each stands alone as an individual. While I can see the Reinhart in each of these, the differences are enough that they could be by three different people.

I believe it speaks of the versatility of this writer as one that evolves with his work, adapting to his changing environment, without compromising his own creative essence.

You can read my interview on John Reinhart, Arsonist Under an Ashtray, here.

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Computer is Back!

Just a quick post to say my computer is back and my files are fine. Everything has been recovered. Happy happy joy joy!

I did take one, grumpy day to move all my writing on to Google Drive and made a pact with myself to start working from Google docs.

One of the issues I have is finding the latest version of anything as I complete work from machine to machine. I can work from my phone, tablet, laptop and main computer all during the same day.

Moving everything to Google Drive allows me to keep my gypsy writing habits but maintain consistency. So everything turned out better than fine, even if it wasn’t fun at the time.

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My Cat, Now Fat

“My cat now fat” sits next to my computer to remind me that if I keep writing, I will succeed. It’s from a line in a poem I wrote years ago called—

A Writer’s Wish
If I could pen a scribble here
To readers that would pay me dear
I’d slide up quick off my soft rear
And run to my computer where
My bony cat in basket sits
He eats not fish but old prune pits
For small I’m paid for written wits.
But if, perchance, I could succeed
To get a president to lead
Me through his tale of slippery greed
And naughty things we want to read
I’d see success at my feet laid
My cat now fat, and me well paid.

Here’s to all my writer friends tonight. May we all have “cats now fat.”

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