Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

#WW How To Be The Perfect Writer

7 Oct

The other day, I went to pick up my father at the airport. Knowing it might be a long wait, I decided to listen to NPR, a favorite station of mine. The theme of the day was creativity, and considering how suiting it was, I knew I would love it no matter what, but much to my writer’s delight, the main speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, blew me away.

Sir Ken Robinson actually is a “sir,” knighted by the queen herself due to his contributions in the arts in general and in regards to education. To this day, he’s even the most popular TED talk out there. Naturally, I felt compelled by him, but one quote said during the discussion has not left me, nor do I believe it ever will.

“Practice doesn’t make us perfect, but it helps you realize you don’t have to be.”

The phrase stuck me when he said it, and the phrase strikes me now as I type it out, really feeling the words for what they are. Let them sit with you for a moment if you will.

We, for most of our lives, are pounded with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” We are told failure is more or less the worst thing that can happen to you, and if you fail, it is 100% your fault and something to feel shame from. The concept “practice makes perfect” is disheartening, and at its core, it prevents us from taking risks, from reattempting, and mainly, from growing. Now, I’m not saying that practice isn’t great. Of course it is great. But weighing “practice” against “perfect” is where we go wrong.

No one is perfect. I would have to bet J.K. Rowling even finds spelling errors in her work, especially after sending it off to her editor, but I doubt she tells herself she’ll never try to write again because she forgot the “t” in “the” and Microsoft didn’t catch it because “he” is also a word.

See? Even programs aren’t perfect—and they’re literally designed to be.


A part of art is failure, because a part of the soul is failure.

We seek out imperfections in heroes and heroines because they are flawed just like we are. It is what makes them human, and it also why we find ourselves able to love them.

Practice is vital, continuing to hone your art is necessary, and striving for better is always the ultimate goal. But do not allow yourself to be discouraged by imperfections. Find the beauty in them. Overcome the ones you can. Strive forward knowing you’ve grown from them. And realize, none of us our perfect. I mean…none of us are perfect. ;)

The “perfect” writer is not perfect at all.

And now…a video from Sir Ken Robinson. (It’s his original TED talk that became very popular, and it’s about the education system, so it’s not necessarily about the topic I discussed above, but I thought you all might like to listen to it, since I just talked about him.)


Help me out and vote for Minutes Before Sunset on Dalitopia Media for a chance to win a free book trailer. All you have to do is click this Facebook link and “like” the photo on Facebook. Any and all “likes” are appreciated. :)

I still have 1 Halloween-themed box set of The Timely Death Trilogy available. Each box set includes 3 signed books, a signed bookmark, a bat or spider ring, and a personalized note from me. They cost $40.00 with free shipping in the U.S. Email me at if you’re interested.


Also this October, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases on October 19! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!

bixserMinutes Before Sunset: book 1

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

#SATurday Changes: What I’m Doing

3 Oct

So, honestly, my life is getting really crazy, so I have to adjust my blogging schedule more than I thought I was going to. But I think it’ll be fun! (And hey, this gives me more time to get more novels out to you all, so that’s a plus.) I also think this it will be fun because it’ll be closer to being “live.” Unlike all my other posts that are written two weeks in advance, this one will be ready the night before.

On Saturdays, I’m just going to post what I’m reading, listening to, watching, baking, etc. Starting in November, Mondays will be dedicated to revising old but popular posts you might not have seen before. (After all, I have about 570 posts on this website, and many do need a revision.) On Wednesdays, I’ll have regular blog posts (and I might have blogs posts on Saturdays too. It’ll depend on how crazy the week is), but I might leave Saturdays to just fun. I’d love to hear what you’re reading, watching, doing, too! Feel free to chime in!

(Since I came up with this idea two weeks ago, this one will be longer. I’m including two weeks of info instead of one.)

What I’m Writing:

I’m writing in Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy, and I’m currently in chapter seven. Word count? 10,613. I’m really excited for this sequel, and it feels good to be back in the tomo world. It’s more or less going to go back in time too—hence the “yesterday” part of the title—so expect the sequel to answer all of your wonderful questions, but don’t worry! You’re going to see more of your favorite characters as well as new faces and new places.

What I’m Publishing:

I’m sitting on a finished November Snow. I promise I’m working on publishing it next, but I promised myself I would get the entire trilogy out before moving onto the next piece, so I’m waiting on the paperback release of Death Before Daylight on October 19 before I make a move with November Snow.

What I’m Reading:

I just finished These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and I’m in love. You can read my Goodreads review here. But it’s awesome. Also, the authors tweeted to me and starred my selfie. So, they’re cool in my book.

The Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham: I’m 19% of the way through, and I’m touched by both the voice and the serious topic of suicide being covered in a unique and interesting way.

What I’m Listening To:
Gin Wigmore’s album Gravel & Wine. It was gifted to me by one 51U0MSCcQNL._SY300_of you actually! ;) So, thank you for making me dance. I’m also using it as a soundtrack for writing Take Me Yesterday, along with the previous Take Me Tomorrow influencers, Portishead and Lykke Li.

What I’m Watching:

At the movies, I went to go see Black Mass. You know, because Johnny Depp and his gangster films. Plus, I thought it’d be interesting to see a more modern depiction of government-criminal espionage. (I’m so much a fan of this concept, I use it in Take Me Tomorrow, mainly with Dwayne and Wheston Phelps. I think I fell in love with this after I looked into the ending of Catch Me if You Can and how Frank Abagnale ended up working for the FBI). That being said, Black Mass is about Whitey Bulger, a notorious gangster who worked with the FBI to get rid of an opposing Mafia family. I enjoyed it a lot! It was nice to Benedict Cumberbatch, one of my favorites, and I was surprised (slightly delighted) to see Dakota Johnson in something other than the 50 Shades franchise. Black Mass is a great movie. Not for the lighthearted. Definitely recommend reading up on Whitney beforehand and/or after though.


At home, I watched ten minutes of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles with Megan Fox and had to turn it off. (Sorry, not sorry.) Then, I followed that with When Trumpets Fade (1988), a WWII movie that focuses on the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. It. Is. Sad. (Of course.) Definitely recommended though, if you don’t mind watching graphic war scenes. The character “Sandy” reminded me of an older Piggy from Lord of the Flies. I also saw A Most Violent Year (2014), because I’m in love with Oscar Isaac. Aside from that I watched Lawless, because, you know, Tom Hardy’s grunt. (It’s worth a million dollars.) So, I followed that up with Insidious Chapter Three, because Insidious movies are the best modern scary movies. That is all.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made the best sandwich of my life. Sourdough bread, (my favorite kind of bread), smoked turkey, muenster cheese (my favorite kind of cheese), Swiss cheese (my second favorite), cucumber, mayonnaise, and guacamole spread (including avocados, tomatoes, onion, pepper, and salt). Holy sandwich gods, I love you. 12063851_2997687099876_4506590930120559915_n

Cooking wise, I accidentally bought heavy cream instead of milk, so I asked a bunch of you on my Facebook for your heavy cream recipes, and I decided on scalloped potato gratin. I paired it with lemon chicken and asparagus, and they paired well.


For dessert, I made a Hong Kong Yuan Yang Coffee Tea. It’s basically made out of condensed milk, coffee, and black tea. It was amazing, but it tastes more like tea than coffee to me, so I’d only suggest it if you like black tea as well. Also, the recipe I called for required sugar, but I thought condensed milk made it sweet enough, so I didn’t add any sugar. Beyond that, I paired it with dark chocolate chip cookies. ;)

11896159_906020546111794_3040820971567264057_nWhat I’m Wearing:

My Pikachu shirt and hat. All. The. Time.

What I’m Wanting:

The Conjurer’s Riddle (book 2 of The Inventor’s Secret) by Andrea Cremer. I reviewed the first book, The Inventor’s Secret, here, but it was amazing! I can’t wait until November…

This Shattered World (book 2 of The Starbound Trilogy) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I mean, I just finished the first one. I need the second.

Post-It Pop-Up Note Cat Dispenser: Think of how cute and convenient this would be. Plus, I’m also out of sticky notes. (I live on sticky notes.)


What I’m Dreaming Of:

Dinosaurs. I hate them. They make me cry. I blame Jurassic Park.

I also had a dream that Jackie Chan was trying to kill me with a knife. I actually defended myself pretty well. Kind of proud of Dream Shannon.

What Else Is Going On:

I have a coffee event at Headrush Roasters here in Kansas City on October 21. I’m also thinking about dying my hair black and white like Jessica’s supernatural form for Halloween. So, look out for that.


For October, I’m offering 5 Halloween-themed box sets of The Timely Death Trilogy, and I only have 1 left! Each box set includes 3 signed books, a signed bookmark, a bat or spider ring, and a personalized note from me. They cost $40.00 with free shipping in the U.S. A picture can be found below. Email me at if you’re interested.

Also this October, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases on October 19! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!


Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

September’s Ketchup

30 Sep

September’s Ketchup

And here we are, at the end of September, at the beginning of fall. So much happened this month, the main event being the release of Death Before Daylight, but this post will highlight so much more, just in case you missed it.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up”. At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this September!

Big Moments:

I had my three-year blogiversary, which is crazy surreal, and Death Before Daylight released. Finally. I still can’t quite believe it, but I am super happy that The Timely Death Trilogy finally had a chance to release in full for all the Dark readers out there. On top of that, we had a lot of fun during the Seconds Before Sunrise blog tour. If you missed those interviews, guest posts, and features, they are all listed below. And since we’ve talk about two of the three novels in the trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset hit #12 in overall Free Kindle Store, and it became #1 in science fiction, paranormal, and urban fantasy! (It’s still free, too.)

On top of that, you all pushed the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, into the top 100 of all its categories, including young adult, science fiction, paranormal, and urban fantasy. Death Before Daylight, book 3, hit the top 100 of paranormal books too. I cannot thank you enough.


Thanks for reading, lovelies. I’ll be signing books next month on October 21 at Headrush Roasters Coffee and Tea in Kansas City, Missouri.

#1 Clicked Item was Minutes Before Sunset on Amazon

#1 Clicked Item was Minutes Before Sunset on Amazon

Come out and see me!

Stay Dark,



Top Three Blog Posts:

  1. Deciding to Change my Writing Plan: Marketing and choosing how to market is vital for an author’s business plan. I talk about how I know when to change mine and how to stick with a new route to reach success.
  2. Book Release: Death Before Daylight: Death Before Daylight released, and it was tons of fun! Thanks for reading!
  3. Cartoons Make You a Better Writer Written by author Grant Goodman, this piece channels your inner cartoon lover to be a better writer.
#1 SEO Term was Andrew Vogel from Under the Dome. Here he is reading Minutes Before Sunset's 1st edition.

#1 SEO Term was Andrew Vogel from Under the Dome. Here he is reading Minutes Before Sunset’s 1st edition.

Other Blog Posts:

Things to do when Suffering from Writer’s Block by C.S. Wilde: A great guest post every writer can use when sufferer from dreaded writer’s block.

Three-Year Blogging Anniversary: I’ve been blogging for three years! This is how it changed my life.

Stopping Guest Posts and New Line-Up: I’m changing

The Prose Poem by Ann Howells: A guest post by a great poet about poetry.

Writing in Limbo: Between books I take a break to plan.

Book Releases Explained by Sailor Moon: A great reader asked me to explain all the emotions behind a book release. Sailor Moon is my spirit animal, so I used her to express myself.

Writing Update: Take Me Yesterday: I’m currently writing in the second novel of The Tomo Trilogy.

The Sting of Book Release Day: Release days can be fun but also frightening.

Website Wonders: Monthly classic

Guest Posts:

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Not Just Another Romance: On Mythical Books I wrote about why The Timely Death Trilogy isn’t just another romance, but I mainly focused on how nothing really is.

Favorite Book Covers and Why On LuLo Fangirl I wrote about my favorite book covers and how it affects my reading.

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.


Seconds Before Sunrise: Young Adult Book Madness, Black Words-White Pages, Endless Reading, Books for Thought, Crazy Beautiful, and Fic Gal

Death Before Daylight: The Examiner, Tamara Morning

Interviews: Kelly P’s Blog, Books for Thought, Blacks Words, White Pages

Features: CTP Death Before Daylight Release Party, Forget the Housework, I’m Reading, Dowie’s Place, Happily Ever After Seekers Book Club, One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads, Waiting On Wednesday, Just AmyShelfbuzz.

Calculated on September 26 at 19,887 followers

Calculated on September 26 at 19,887 followers

#SATurday Book Releases explained by Sailor Moon

19 Sep

I love blogging. I love writing articles. I especially love writing articles that readers suggest. That being said, today’s article was inspired by reader, ‪Angela Dellisola‪. Her comment came on the release day of Death Before Daylight…after I made an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies to celebrate. I posted it on my Facebook page, but here was the initial comment: “Congrats! You must be beyond excited! Tired too, maybe, but a good tired…with all the back to back releases? I’d love to read a blog post on your author’s mind right now. J”

First of all, a GIANT thank you goes out to every reader, blogger, follower, writer, and supporter who shared the release. I hope you all are enjoying the finale as well!

But, yes, Angela isn’t wrong. I am exhausted. Beyond exhausted. (Hence all the coffee I was brewing and all the sugar I was baking.) I am thrilled Clean Teen Publishing agreed to release The Timely Death Trilogy back to back like they did, but there was a lot that had to be done to make that happen. Blog posts, guest posts, interviews, teasers, Facebook covers, newsletters, etc., etc. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve left my laptop at all. Even Luna-P is exhausted. (That is my laptop’s name in case you were wondering.)

These moments are rather funny in regards to an author’s life, so I thought I’d explain my time through gifs. Even better, since my laptop endured so much abuse these past three months—and since my laptop is named Luna-P after Luna-P in Sailor Moon—I’m telling my story through Sailor Moon gifs.

This summer and fall, I had three book releases back to back. It was AWESOME, but definitely a lot to keep up with. There’s a lot to do, so you’re always on your laptop. That’s when someone suggests you take a break. You know, go outside. Enjoy the nice weather…

You’re too busy collecting a team anyway. You get your readers, fans, bloggers, and fellow writers together…because it’s time.


But don’t forget the business side of things either. Swag, prizes, booths, etc.

(All worth it too! Which, by the way, I’m going to Penned Con next year in September of 2016!)


So, the book releases and you’re so excited!

And you’re exhausted too. So you sometimes forget silly things….when people are speaking to you.


So you eat. Eating always helps.

giphy-13 That’s when someone congratulates you or posts a review or a number of other wonderful things. It means so much to you.

You actually blush.

You’re kind of glad this wasn’t in public.

Your face looks like a tomato.


And sometimes people say mean things or try to bring you down.

(Crying to your cat helps. This is a fact.)


But that’s what food is for. And friendship. And baths. 

(I made cookies.) 


So, when all the craziness is done and over, you know you had a fun time with readers, writers, and fellow book lovers.


In the end, that’s just how it’s done, and you enjoy it to the end of the world—the good, the bad, the awkward moments and cat-cuddled moments, the emails, the interviews, and the missing reviews. The broken links, the extra posts, the phone calls and texts. The tweets and WordPress friends and loving bookends. The prize giveaways, the winners, the ones who will stick around for a chance to win again. The ones who were always around and still around, and the news faces that have blended in. The newsletter crew, the street team view, and the fellow authors I’ve called friends. A group of people, all together, for one release moment, and you wish it never came to an end.

The book release is a book release, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s a celebration, a moment to be with all my Internet family and friends.


Now for my little Dark announcements.

Poster_Small_V - Book shop signingAll three books in The Timely Death Trilogy are now available! The first book is even up for free. For those of you waiting for the paperback of Death Before Daylight, don’t panic! It releases on October 19. Speaking of October 19, you can expect my newsletter to go out then and from now on every month on the 19th.

On October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!

Last but not least, the Seconds Before Sunrise tour is coming to an end, but here are all the lovely posts you should check out!

Guest post – Not Just Another Romance – on Mythical Books.

Interview with Kelly P’s Blog.

Spotlight on Dowie’s Place and Forget the Housework, I’m Reading

Seconds Before Sunrise Reviews on Black Words-White PagesEndless Reading, and Young Adult Book Madness!

Death Before Daylight Reviews on The Examiner and Tamara Morning.

Stay Dark,


#BookRelease Death Before Daylight!

15 Sep

Before I share a letter, here is where you can find Death Before Daylight:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, KoboGoodreads

Don’t forget! The first book is free. :)

Reviews from lovely bloggers!

Reviews from lovely bloggers!

Letter from the author: (Oh, wait. That’s me.) 

Wow! This is surreal. Just a couple years ago, I thought my publishing journey was over. Then, I signed with one publisher only for it to close down two weeks before the original version of Death Before Daylight was supposed to release. Posting I Lost My Publisher this past January was the hardest article I had to write, but that article was followed up with the best article I ever posted. On February 11, I shared Huzzah! I Have a New Publisher, and now, the journey has reached this point.

Special thanks first goes out to Clean Teen Publishing for taking on The Timely Death Trilogy and making it into something beautiful and real. They’ve been too kind to me these past few months. I’m rather a scatterbrain, and sometimes, I get (honestly) too excited and say really cheesy things. But they’ve helped me, supported me, directed me, and even sent me a birthday card. (Squeee!) I feel truly honored to be supported by such an amazing team, and I am forever grateful for all the CTP authors I’ve been able to befriend, too. I am home.

My next thanks goes out to all those wonderful Members of the Dark helping today: Legends of Windemere, Crazy Beautiful Reads, awkwardMEOW Productions, Just Amy, SDAV Reads, Endless Reading Blog, Ky Grabowski, Chris Pavesic, Mel’s Shelves, and Macy <3 Stories. The winner of the signed paperback is Chris Pavesic! For your chance to win prizes and read first, join the newsletter here.

After all this past year’s craziness, Death Before Daylight is NOW available. (Finally!) As the author, I felt terrible that the last book in The Timely Death Trilogy never reached readers of the first two books. I am a reader, too, after all. I know how much time everyone invested in reading my work, so when I didn’t hold up the end of my bargain, I was…Well, you read all those articles. In fact, you’re the reason my publishing adventure continues, and I could not thank you enough. Even then, I thank you once again for your love and support. I appreciate every last one of you, from the bottom of my writer’s heart.

I know it’s been nearly nine months since you originally expected it, but I’ve finally been able to hold up my end of the author-reader bargain, and I hope you enjoy the conclusion after all this waiting time.

For now and forever,

Stay Dark.

Stay Lovely.


Death Before Daylight

DBDcoverBook 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy

Two eternities. One ending.

“Harmony would only come with destruction.”

The moment Eric and Jessica are reunited, they are torn apart. After the appearance of a new breed of shades and lights, the powers shift for the worse, and all three descendants find themselves face-to-face in the Light realm. When Darthon is in control, the last thing everyone expects is to finally hear the truth.

While Jessica learns the reason of her creation, Darthon’s identity is exposed to Eric—and only Eric—and Eric can no longer defend himself. With the eternities of the Light and the Dark resting on Jessica’s shoulders, she must choose who she will be—a light or a shade.

In the end, someone must die, and the end is near.

Now that I shared the letter, here is where you can find Death Before Daylight (again):

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Happy Reading! 


For those who want the latest news, this post isn’t over yet. ;)

I’ll be giving away TONS of prizes this Friday, September 18, from 7-9 p.m. (EST) on Facebook. Join the CTP Death Before Daylight Release Partyand come have fun with fellow Dark readers. The paperback for Death Before Daylight releases October 19.


In other news, the Seconds Before Sunrise tour is underway, and here are the latest posts: Interview with Books for Thought, guest post – Favorite Book Covers and Why – on Lulo FanGirl, and a spotlight on One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads.

For local fans, I’ll be doing a Halloween book signing and paranormal talk at Headrush Roasters in Gladstone, Missouri on October 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. (CDT).

See you there!

#MondayBlogs: The Prose Poem

14 Sep


Poetry is important to me. When readers ask about my background in writing, they are almost always curious about my education regarding writing. More often than not, readers aren’t surprised to hear I studied creative writing in college, but they are surprised when I clarify I spent most of my time studying poetry. In fact, my poetry professor was one of the most influential people on my life and writing. So, when poet Ann Howells queried me about the importance of the prose poem, I was estatic to share her piece today.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

The Prose Poem by Ann Howells

As a form, the prose poem tests boundaries. It upsets award givers: a singing pig or tap dancing chicken. It defies categories and exists for those fascinated by enigmas. When poetry subverts its dependence on the line of verse for identity it opens new possibilities. Once the amazement of even having a prose poem is past, the poem can be appreciated for its uniqueness and the way in it combines suggestiveness and completeness.

History—Prose poems go back to poetry’s beginnings. Neither the ancient Greeks nor the Anglo-Saxons required line breaks, nor did Old Testament parables which concentrated imagery, symbol and allusion much more than prose. Early traces also appear in the Chinese Fu form, a prose form that includes rhythm and meter. In Fu, word association allows the writer to leap from one word to another, referred to as riding on dragons. This same associative leap is common in prose poems. The poet explores an experience through metaphor, through multiple levels of consciousness, leaping from conscious to unconscious and maintaining a sense of surprise.

The modern day prose poetry began with Symbolists in France and Belgium in the 19th century. The first were by Baudelaire, who praised it, saying, a miracle of poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the jibes of conscience. These prose poems are rich in suggestion and metaphor and tend to have strong lyrical qualities. Other French Symbolists who wrote in his form include Rimbaud, Mallarme, and Valery. From there the prose poem spread in all directions through all major languages of the planet.

It was slowest to catch on in the United States where the first prose poems were journal entries of Hawthorne and Thoreau and newspaper articles by Whitman (under a pseudonym) for the New York Leader (early 1860s). Later, his Specimen Days, built on those articles, became the first book of prose poems published in America. He called for poets to break down the barriers of form between poetry and prose. Few listened.

William Carlos Williams claimed that, while blank verse and free verse were perfect vehicles for English voices with different tones and patterns of stressed syllables, the rhythm and intonations of prose poems were in tune with speech patterns of everyday Americans—a vehicle made for their voices. And, in the first decades of the 20th century, a bunch of little journals began to publish prose poems. (One of these was Poetry.) Yet, critics were hostile. After the publication of Russell Edson’s The Very Thing That Happens in 1964, small journals again began publishing a few prose poems. Robert Alexander (a well-known contemporary prose poet) compares the controversy over the prose poem to the controversy over free verse at the turn of the century. Free verse has dominated for years in this country (though not necessarily elsewhere). It marginalizes the prose poem, as well as formal forms like sonnets and villanelles, even though many, including editors, still think it an inferior prose with no place at all among poetry. The proponents are the poets themselves. Even then, consider the brouhaha surrounding the Pulitzer Prize (1990) given to The World Doesn’t End, a book of prose poems by Charles Simic. It drew an avalanche of protest from poets and reviewers.

What exactly is a prose poem?— Prose poems (sometimes incorrectly called proems, which is not a literary term) are poetry contained in a prose format that utilizes all the devices of poetry except the line break. While the distinction between verse (a poem containing regular meter and formal attributes) and prose is clear, that between poetry (a highly organized, artistic genre that produces a discrete object d’art) and prose is obscure.

Prose poetry can be divided roughly, by subject, into seven categories:

  • The object poem—about an ordinary object seen in a new way—like a mop or a shoe. These poems are usually quite short. See “Shoes” by Warren Lang.
  • The surreal narrative—popular in the 1960s, these often presented a metaphysical conceit, yoking together unexpected elements. They have a dream-like quality. Read Russell Edson’s work; you’ll either love or hate it.  Or see “Un Bruit Qui Court” by Maureen Gibbon.
  • The straight narrative—different than prose in that they emphasize feeling rather than plot. See “Translations” by Michael Carey.
  • The character poem—fleeting impressions rather than fleshed-out descriptions. See “How Grandma and Grandpa Met” by Michael Carey.
  • The landscape or place poem—often arising from journal entries or letters. They tend to be more impression than physical description. See “Icebergs” by Roger K. Blakely.
  • The meditative poem—self-descriptive, but tending to be metaphysical and abstract. See “My Name” by Jack Minezeski.
  • The hyperbolic poem—consists almost entirely of verbal play. See “The Voyage of Self-Discovery” by Michael Benedikt.

Some volumes of prose poetry contain mainly poems written in prose style with regular punctuation and capitalization. Some have paragraphs to parallel the verse structure of lineated poetry, some are written as a single paragraph or verse with regular punctuation and capitalization and some as a single paragraph without any punctuation or capitalization. Some poets have pushed this even further by beginning the poem and sometimes ending it in the middle of a sentence. One rule of poetry has always been, begin in the middle, though perhaps not so conspicuously. It simply means to begin at the heart and eliminate introductory lines giving background or setting up the situation. This is even more so with prose poetry which captures a moment, facet or fleeting emotion. Also, without punctuation, one word can modify the meaning of both the phrase preceding it and the one following it. It works much the same as judicious line breaks which leave a word that belongs with the thought in the following line at the end of the previous line to color its meaning also.

What some poets have to say about Prose Poems:

It explores the ways a story and a poem can spring from the same source. An open and associative form to reach half buried thoughts. (Mark Vinz)

A poem is language presented as an art object—meant to be viewed as a work of art. Prose says: ‘Come listen. I alone have survived to tell this tale.’ But a poem entices us. ‘Come listen. No one else can tell this tale as artfully as I.’ (Robert Alexander)

Prose poems distill and mimic prose. They offer ‘life histories reduced to paragraphs, essays the size of postcards, novels in nutshells, maps on postage stamps, mind-bending laundry lists, theologies scribbled on napkins.’ (David Young)

While poetic prose may use some rhetorical and poetic devices and elements of aesthetic texture (sound, rhythm, imagery, etc.), it does not do so as consistently or as intensely as the prose poem because it is intended to be prose. The prose poem depends upon all the devices of poetry except line break, with no single element being essential. It uses heightened language; metaphorical expression; musical form; structural repetitiveness; prosodic features like meter, alliteration, etc.; and brevity. It has a great deal of internal movement in the rhythm and syntax that replaces the tension otherwise created by contrived line endings, (though in a prose poem the phrase is the smallest unit of rhythm, rather than the syllable or foot of lined poetry). Prose poems often give more significance to the final lines than other poems, which helps add closure. Sometimes merely that can turn a journal entry into a prose poem, i.e. an observation followed by a line or two that adds universality. Voice dominates. Prose poems are trickier to bring off successfully than lineated poems.


Ann-Richardson 2007Ann Howells’s poetry appears in Borderlands, Concho River Review, Crannog (Ire), RiverSedge, Rockhurst Review, San Pedro River Review and Spillway among others. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, and has edited Illya’s Honey Literary Journal, since 1999, recently taking it digital ( and taking on a co-editor with whom she alternates issues. Her chapbooks are, Black Crow in Flight, (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007) and the Rosebud Diaries (Willet Press, 2012). She has been read on NPR, interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television, and been four times nominated for a Pushcart, twice in 2014.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in October/November, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at


#WW Writing in Limbo

9 Sep

This may be personal in regards to my writing life, but I’d be surprised if it were unique to me. During and right after a book release, it’s difficult for me to write. Not because I don’t want to, but because I end up spending hours upon hours on Luna-P (a.k.a. my lappy toppy) for interviews, guest posts, and social media in general (all of which I love, but it results in some sore eyes). So, for a little while after releases, I’m in a limbo period.

What is a limbo period?

Well, for me, it’s just Dante’s way of saying I’m in wait. I’m not writing right now; I’m simply waiting for the right time to write again. I’m resting, so to speak.

I’ve seen a few people call this writer’s block, but I want to clarify that it isn’t writer’s block, because I could write. (And, as you’ll see below when I talk about what I’ve been doing, you’ll see, in fact, I do write sometimes.) But it’s more like a mental vacation to regain energy and focus.

Maybe I’m the only one who does this…but I doubt it. We all need rest, after all, and I’m still productive during this limbo time.

Coffee and chocolate helps limbo too!

Coffee and chocolate helps limbo too!

What do I do during the limbo?

I mainly analyze where I’m at and where I want to go. Ex. What novel do I want to release next? What about books after that? What do I want to do differently with that novel? Covers? Events? Local events? Traveling?

I set goals, and I try to make them realistic, and I tell myself it’s okay if I don’t make them (but how cool would it be if I do?)

I’m currently in this writing limbo phase. Since Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise have released during the past two months—not to mention Death Before Daylight releasing on September 15—I’ve basically been in limbo for a little while now. And I’ve been enjoying it. While I did complete the rewrite of November Snow—See? You can write during limbo—I have focused a lot of my energy on where I’m going next. For instance, I want to release November Snow next. Then, I think I’ll return to The Tomo Trilogy (good news for you Take Me Tomorrow fans!) In fact, I was analyzing the sequel, Take Me Yesterday, just other night. I also want to try to get more swag for readers and hold two to three local events this fall for the paranormal season. I think it’d also be nice to offer signed box sets of The Timely Death Trilogy this October. So, look out for that. I’ve even taken some time to think over my blogging plan, and I might talk about this more in the future, but I’ll probably be ending guest posts in November (so now is the time to submit at I plan on using the Monday slot for old posts (we’re talking two-year-old blog posts) that were really popular, but are in need of a rewrite.

I’m planning and plotting—and not just books—and I’m having a great time.

Limbo doesn’t have to be a scary place, or an unproductive place, or a place of worry. It can be saved. In fact, it can be looked forward to. It can even take you places.


Death Before Daylight, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, releases in six days! That being said, the paperback has been moved to October 19, but I hope you all enjoy the last book of the trilogy! You can pre-order it here:  AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks. (And, of course, the first book is free: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks.)


The latest teaser released

In other news, the Seconds Before Sunrise blog tour is underway. Most recently, we were on Just Amy for a spotlight, but I’ll share more interviews and such soon. If you want to participate in the release day blast for Death Before Daylight, sign up here.

On September 18, Clean Teen Publishing will be hosting an event on Facebook from 7-9 p.m. (EDT) to celebrate the release. I’ll be there and giving away a TON of Dark prizes, so feel free to join us by clicking here.

rp But there are more events to come! Keep an eye out.

Stay Dark,



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,884 other followers

%d bloggers like this: