Friday, April 29, 2016

#Read a #poem #Friday

The Colossus

Related Poem Content Details

I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It’s worse than a barnyard.
Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,
Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.
Thirty years now I have labored
To dredge the silt from your throat.
I am none the wiser.
Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol
I crawl like an ant in mourning
Over the weedy acres of your brow
To mend the immense skull plates and clear
The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.
A blue sky out of the Oresteia
Arches above us. O father, all by yourself
You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum.
I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.
Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered
In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.
It would take more than a lightning-stroke
To create such a ruin.
Nights, I squat in the cornucopia
Of your left ear, out of the wind,
Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.
The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.
My hours are married to shadow.
No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel
On the blank stones of the landing.

Learn more about this poet and poem here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#Book #Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Kory's thoughts: 
I want to say 4.5 out of 5, because I'm trying to be a rational person here, and the logical side of my brain says this book isn't perfect. But I'm so *^%#%^ emotional over it right now I don't feel like I can be so clear-headed. The beginning was slow--nothing is really fun until Baz shows up in Chapter 29, and it was bewildering trying to figure out the connection between this book and Fangirl (if you don't know what is going on, your first thought will likely be "Cheap Harry Potter Knockoff") but by the time I figured out who was falling in love with who, I was totally hooked. I binged it to the end and then I spent the morning crying and eating chocolate like someone dumped me. I recommend the audiobook, as everything is more fun with cute British boy accents, but reading the book was nice too (yes, I bought the hardcover and the audiobook--STOP JUDGING ME).

Bottomline--Four words: Simon and Baz forever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cover Reveal #amwriting for a good cause

Knowing what you know now of writing, publishing, and putting your art out into the world, if you could go back to the day you sat down to start typing in your very first manuscript, what words would you offer to yourself? Words of encouragement? Words of advice? Caution against certain pitfalls? Would you change anything about how you got to where you are today? The publishing community is so much bigger than it was before the self-publishing boom and it continues to grow exponentially every day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a handbook or support group. The book is to provide words of encouragement or advice to those just starting out or those who have become discouraged in their art. 

At Pure Textuality PR, we believe in supporting each other as a community, and we felt this project would be a good way to bring writers together and maybe give some new artists just the right nudge to keep going. 100% of the net proceeds of #amwriting will go to benefit The Wayne Foundation, a charity dedicated to offering aid and services to young women victimized by illegal sexual exploitation and the sexual trafficking of minors.


Monday, April 25, 2016

#Mondayblogs: Call for Bloggers! #Giftcard #giveaway

Hi everyone:

It's that time again. I'm dropping a book on Monday, May 2 and as always, I rely on my blogger friends to help me spread the word. So here is a giveaway just for you guys. If you have a blog/website that talks about fantasy/paranormal/suspense books, and are interested in hosting me sometime in May, interact with the rafflecopter below. I want to giveaway a giftcard and swag, showing appreciation for the cool stuff that you do.

I can provide ARCs for review requests, do interviews, write guest posts, throw giveaways, or whatever you think suits your blog best. This girl will trying anything once. Maybe even twice ;)

If you're new here and want to know more about this series and what you're getting yourself into, start here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 22, 2016

#Read a #poem #Friday #Earthday

Rock Me, Mercy

Related Poem Content Details

The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods
has gone dumb. It looks like rain
because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you're hiding,
we know you can't be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild
horses? The memory of ants asleep
in daylilies, roses, holly, & larkspur.
The magpies gaze at us, still
waiting. River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is,
Mercy, please, rock me.

Learn more about this poem and poet here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

#Read a #poem Friday

Consolation by Wislawa Szymborska

as translated by CLARE CAVANAGH AND STANISŁAW BARAŃCZAK (visit links for translators' notes)

They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.   

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.

Scanning in his mind so many times and places,
he’d had enough of dying species,
the triumphs of the strong over the weak,
the endless struggles to survive,
all doomed sooner or later.
He’d earned the right to happy endings,
at least in fiction
with its diminutions.

Hence the indispensable
silver lining,
the lovers reunited, the families reconciled,
the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded,
fortunes regained, treasures uncovered,
stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways,
good names restored, greed daunted,
old maids married off to worthy parsons,
troublemakers banished to other hemispheres,
forgers of documents tossed down the stairs,   
seducers scurrying to the altar,
orphans sheltered, widows comforted,
pride humbled, wounds healed over,
prodigal sons summoned home,
cups of sorrow thrown into the ocean,   
hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation,
general merriment and celebration,
and the dog Fido,
gone astray in the first chapter,
turns up barking gladly
in the last.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Congratulations audiobook winners!

Congratulations to the winners of my audiobook giveaway! These lucky people won not one but THREE audiobooks:

Christopher B.
Shaya C.
Brittany H.
Mai T.
Mike W.
Lisa M.
Kaie H.

Thank you to everyone who played! If you didn't win, don't worry. Because I have a new book coming out in a couple of weeks (May 2!), there will be plenty of chances to win prizes this month, starting with a Facebook event on April 24th.

If Amazon giftcards and free books sound like your thing, you can join the party here.

If you want a direct link to the three-book audiobook, click here.

Monday, April 11, 2016

#Mondayblogs: Facebook #ARC Party

Author Angela Roquet and I both have book babies coming the first week of May. So we decided to team up and celebrate the release--double the fun!

In addition to free ARCs (advanced reader ecopies) for 22 lucky peeps, we are giving away two $25 Amazon giftcards and an assortment of swag.

So if you're free Sunday the 24th, for any or all of the party, we would love the chance to hang out with you. So stop by and say hi! :)

You can join the event here.

Friday, April 8, 2016

#Read a #poem #Friday

April Midnight

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.
Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day’s work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!
Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing,
After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.
Good it is to be here together,
Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight,
Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.
You the dancer and I the dreamer,
Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Last Call! #Giveaway #amreading

It's still happening! The giveaway for my boxset audiobook (as well as some ebooks) ends this weekend.

The Dying for a Living boxset is now available as an audible audiobook. Audible users can now get 3 audiobooks for one credit. And if you aren't an audible user and you don't want to be, good news! I'm going to give away several copies of the audiobook and you don't have to have an audible account to listen to it :)

For your chance to win free audiobooks and ebooks, interact with the rafflecopter below. And as always, thanks for playing! :)

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#Book #Review: Bird by Bird -Anne Lamott

4 out of 5 stars

Good for: Writers and people who teach writing. It had a lot of sage advice, was very funny, and the chapter topics would work well for teachers who want to address certain common writing topics and techniques.

Not good for: People offended by inappropriate humor...enough said

Some gems:

Write the same time every day.

A writer is...equal parts hideous conceit and low self-esteem.

At times when you’re working, you’ll sit there feeling hung over and bored, you may or may not be able to pull yourself up out of it that day. But it is a fantasy to think that successful writers have never had these bored, defeated hours, these hours of deep insecurity when one feels as small and as jumpy as a water bug.

Almost everything you think publication will do for you is a fantasy, a hologram—

In writing and in life… “Driving a car at night, you can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” (E.L. Doctorow)

Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong. It is no wonder if we sometimes tend to take ourselves perhaps a bit too seriously. Kory adds: and why we find the task goddamn exhausting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

3 ways to Nurture Positive Views (of yourself) #bethechange

No one likes a Debby Downer.

But even those of us who work hard not to be a nagging, whining, pessimist around others, fail to be as upbeat and positive with ourselves. Sure I might sweeten my tone when asking my love to please clean up after herself—and yet when I speak to myself, I’m never as gentle or considerate. God, Kory! You still haven't finished this blog post? What a lazy *&%^# you are!

Often we are ruthless with ourselves. We make demands, fret, worry, etc. without offering any of the gentle kindness that we would readily give to another person.

Why is that?

Do we not love ourselves more than other people? Do we not care about our own feelings more? Or is it simply that we cannot expend the energy needed to be nice to ourselves…if you think this last one is the case, then I ask you how much energy do you think you use beating yourself up? You can do the math and see where I’m going here.

But how to nurture positive views of oneself? Here are three suggestions:

*Make a list of accomplishments.
It is hard to think you suck at everything if you have a list of all the things you were able to do and the context and difficulty of each task. And YES small accomplishments count too. Maybe you suffer from depression and getting up and brushing your teeth is a major accomplishment. Don’t demean that experience. Celebrate it.

*Accept praise
This is something I tend to be very bad at. I’m getting better, but once upon a time if someone paid me a compliment of any kind, my reaction was always, “Oh no….<insert reason they must be mistaken>. Later this habit became “Thank you, but…” Here’s an example:

I loved your latest book, Kory! It was so exciting! 

“Thank you, but it's far from perfect. There’s this chapter that’s just horrible because…” and I go on and on about my imperfections.

Now most people would think that I’m looking to have the person heap on more praise. But honestly, no matter what they said the belief that something actually sucked for X, Y, or Z would not change, no matter what they said to the contrary.

Nowadays I've managed to let most of this habit go and when I’m paid a compliment, I just say “Thank you!”

*Focus on the positive
Most situations are a mix of positive and negative. The problem is that most people obsess about the negative and disregard the positive. If I receive a book critique that is 99% praise with 1% suggested corrections, you better believe that I will have the 1% memorized by the end of the day but would be unable to tell you one thing my beta readers loved. 

And this isn’t just a phenomenon that plagues writers. The majority of people (at least the ones I know) zoom in on the bad stuff and completely overlook the good. The next time something happens, try to change this habit. Look at the positive. Give yourself credit for what is good or what you did right.

Mr. Roger's said that when he would see horrifying things on television (like a bombing, for example), that his mother would say "look at all the helpers".

That's "focusing on the positive" in a nutshell. Even when a bomb goes off, see all the helpers. See how brave, compassionate, kind, and courageous people can be.

Including you.

Monday, April 4, 2016

#Mondayblogs: The #Power of Believing in Yourself

For April’s challenge, I chose to explore the power of belief. Many people might already agree that belief in something is essential to its power or success. After all, there are books and lectures and podcasts and so on about how to creatively visualize an object or circumstance into existence. If you want your life to change, envision a different one. If you want something good to happen “put it out there in the universe” as some would say.

If you want a dream to come true, you believe it will happen—this somehow increases the chances that it will.

But there is a particular type of belief that I am interested in: Belief in oneself.

This is often an overlooked or neglected aspect of the power of belief. It seems more acceptable to most that the world may change in our favor. That we can will circumstances or situations to change.

However, I argue that believing in oneself is more important. By believing you in yourself, you are acknowledging and accepting the power you have over your own life. You think: I want things to change and I believe I can change them. There’s a lot of power in approaching life this way because in addition to believing, you accept responsibility of the situation.

But does one simply wake and say: “I believe in myself! I can do anything!”

There are opposing forces to believing in oneself, of course.

*Negative self-talk
*residual bad experiences (from the past)
*low self-esteem/confidence

I’ll explore each in this week’s posts. And I've made a few resolutions that will help me explore this type of power too:

*Nurture positive views
*Eliminate negative self-talk
*Appreciate past accomplishments
*Do something hard
*Set goals and meet them

So here we go! 

Have a great week everybody J


Friday, April 1, 2016

#Read a #poem Friday: blessing the boats

blessing the boats

                                    (at St. Mary's)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
Lucille Clifton, "blessing the boats" from Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000. Copyright © 2000 by Lucille Clifton.