Poem – Life of a Writer

Life of a Writer

Penning works of fiction or prose
So the life of a writer goes
Seeking out the darkest truth
Leftover from our own youth
But what we seek we don’t always find
For there are many corners within the mind
A treasure trove of ideas to pursue
Like blades of grass covered in morning dew
Snatch them quick and pen your verse
Lest you fall prey to the common curse
Oh I’ll get to this
I’ll write that later too
You just might miss
The Muse that favors you
Once it’s down, your fervor exhausted
Sharing brings its own troubles
Critics can make you feel assaulted
Self Doubt growing until it doubles
Then there comes the sunny day
When someone comes along to say

“Your words touched my trouble heart
Expressing what I dared not start
Thank you for sharing what I could not
And easing the pain not quite forgot
For in your words I finally knew
I was no longer all alone
Before I thought there was nothing to do
But bear what I could not condone”

The greatest praise a writer could see
Is to hear from readers like you and me
So don’t be shy with critique or praise
By both a writer’s skill you can raise
Steady on Writer of fiction or prose
Or poetry if that’s how your talent shows
Though you may face some abuse
Trust in your personal Muse

A three year itch…

I have come to a realization in the last couple days. I am approaching a milestone in my professional life where I have held the EXACT same position/job title for the longest in my life. I started my professional career as an Internet Tech Support at the tender age of 17. While my role expanded to include server admin, webmaster, sales, and hardware repair/installation, I was only with the small company 2.5 years before I was laid off. 8 months later the company went under. My next job was a temp at a cold rolled steel plant performing quality auditing and maintaining records for ISO standards. I was there a year before I moved from Ohio to Wisconsin. I enjoyed the job, but I could not spend my entire life as a temp. They would not hire me on as a real employee and give me proper benefits, so I had to move on. I did some customer service at one of those big office complexes before landing a job with a national trucking company. I went from being the one that the drivers called for assistance, to dispatching the trucks during my 4 year tenure there. Again, a lay off ended that job. I have been with my current employer almost 6 years now. The first few years though, I bounced around a lot. I started on night shift, went into a pseudo leadership role on night shift, before coming to day shift in one region. I have been a lead dispatch in my current region since August of 2011. This marks the longest I have been settled anywhere in my entire life.

I don’t know exactly why I am writing this, but I am hoping that by putting it down it will stop swirling in my head so I can get back to my novella and novels I am working on. Or some poetry. I might have a few lines of verse hiding in the dark corners, waiting to come out and play. I do know that I am finding annoyance with many things in my current role. Doesn’t mean I am going to be changing jobs or anything, just that little things are starting to bother me a little and I am speaking out more about these items. Change is good, and my region that I cover needs some changes, needs to grow and become better. We have been mired in a rut for years before I came to the area and those mentalities need to change. I have been trying to influence where I can, but when you are not the sole person in charge, it takes longer than it should to modify the attitude and climate.

Anyway, I don’t think this is a post anyone will really care about, but I had to put it down to get it out of my head. Almost like the therapy of writing a journal. Keep fighting the fight friends.

Writing Prompt: Specific 8 words, 15 min, Less than 500 Words

So I joined a few new groups on Facebook for writers and one of them had a Monday Challenge Writing Prompt. You had 15 minutes to write something (short story/poem/whatever), less than 500 words. You were to use the following 8 words: pizza, summon, rigid, rose, evaluate, shallow, cap, beg.

I rose from my slumber
Rigid joints crack as I walk
What to eat, I ponder
I calmly evaluate my options
The shallow cupboard holds little
An idea strikes me in the head
I grab my phone elated
Using it to summon pizza on the double
Impatiently I await the delivery
I beg time to fly
The man arrives and doffs his cap
I pay him quickly and that is that
I eat it all in ten minutes flat

I look forward to more of these prompts. It was fun.

Amazon Author Central Page

It’s live. My Amazon Author Central page is live.

http://www.amazon.com/author/andrewmferrell

It isn’t much to look at right now, but I have a teaser video for my book, as well as an image and link to this blog coming. Just seems to take awhile for Amazon to approve anything. Anyway, I just had to throw this out there because I was excited.

Ten Top Tips to Instantly Improve Your Writing

Need to keep this close myself I think.

Julie Lawford

pencil-sharpener-390609_1280 - 2A ‘Happy Sunday’ quickie – and a chance to catch some old posts too. A few ideas on sharpening up your writing – great tips and snippets of advice I’ve received over the last four years.

  1. Learn how apostrophes work; and semi-colons.
  2. Well, it’s really rather important that you just do this. Run search and delete on every instance of the following words: really, just,quite, rather, very, oh, so, well and suddenly. Check out my post ‘One Word At A Time’ for this and other editing tips.
  3. Practise Show vs Tell the Anton Chekhov way: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
  4. Take a chunk of back-story or exposition and rewrite it into a dialogue. Then repeat. Then repeat again. Dialogue is much more engaging than flat-text exposition and a page of conversation is…

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Pay it Forward – Beta Reading

Good tips in here. I haven’t done any beta reading, but I have done a few reviews for writers I have met since I started my own journey into the published world.

Suffolk Scribblings

Pay it forward

There are many ways an author can Pay it Forward to the writing community. The regular followers of this blog know I like to but books from fellow self-published authors and promote those I’ve most enjoyed via my Recommended Reads. This is a great way of giving something back to those who’ve supported you as a writer, either directly or indirectly, but I understand it can be cost prohibitive to some. However, there is another way authors can support authors, and that’s through beta reading.

The more eagle-eyed of you will have spotted I’ve not posted a new recommendation recently. This isn’t because I’ve been slacking with my reading but because I’ve taken the opportunity while my current WIP is resting to beta read for a couple of authors.

What is beta reading?

Beta reading is where you read an early version of a manuscript in order to identify…

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“To the person going through our trash, please come in for a sandwich”

“To the person going through our trash, please come in for a sandwich”

This woman deserves an award. This is what America and helping your fellow humans should be about. Can’t hit like enough on this one.

Kindness Blog

Ashley Jiron, is the owner of P.B. Jams in Warr Acres in Oklahoma. She noticed someone had been looking through her bins for food and decided to post a lovely note on her diner window inviting them in for a free meal.

Ashley Jiron Kindness

A customer called Greg King noticed the message and posted a picture of it on his Instagram page with the hashtag #thatswhatlovelookslike – within a couple of days it had been shared thousands of times on social media.

Ashley told Channel 4 News that she hadn’t expected it to receive such a huge response and was just trying to do the right thing.

Ashley Jiron KindnessAshley Jiron, owner of P.B. Jams in Warr Acres, Oklahoma

She said:

‘Last week, I had noticed some bags, when I had taken out the trash, were torn open and some of the food was taken out,’

‘That really, it hurt me that someone had…

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Looking for help with Book Reviews…

Beginnings (Family Heritage Vol. 1) - Andrew M Ferrell

Looking for help from all my blogger friends out there. I am looking for people willing to read my book and post honest reviews to Amazon/Goodreads/Their Blog. Wherever, especially Amazon. I am planning some advertising in the next few months and want to try and get some more opinions out there that are more current than the two reviews I currently have. If you are interested just email me at andrewmferrell@gmail.com with what format you need it in. I can either gift you an ebook for your Kindle direct from Amazon, or I can try my hand at converting it into Epub/Mobi. So far the program I have has been non-cooperative. I do have a PDF copy available if that works for you. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Any reblogs or sharing of this post would have my never ending gratitude.

Poem – A Life Half-Lived

Sometimes I hear a song or a comment and my muse decides, “Hey buddy, you are going to write about this whether you want to or not.” Thankfully, what I consider some of my best work is because of this.

A Life Half-Lived

Who would regret the Life half-lived?
Would you know what you missed?
The things you could see
The person you could be
The tastes you didn’t try
Experiences let pass by
All the people you could meet
If only you would stop and greet
Each day as if it was your last

Think of me not as a saint
For I too know regret’s foul taint
I am just like you
I knew not what to do
There are days I lost
Never learning the cost
Of failing to seize the day
So in the end I could say
I lived as if each day was my last

Don’t make this mistake
The sands of Time do not wait
For us to decide

Poem – American Heart (Unfollowed my first blog today)

I have had many many positive experiences discovering blogs since I joined WordPress a year ago. This morning I had to unfollow a blog for the first time. I consider myself very open to criticism, as I know that none of us are perfect. However, a nerve was touched when this person said that American poetry was dead. I did some looking around on their blog and from what I can tell this person has never lived in the United States. I have read many wonderful works of wordsmithery (I am sure that is not a word, but I heard it somewhere and think it is fitting) on other blogs and I think this person just has no clue. You cannot judge the heart and soul of a country’s literary works by the loudest voices. You have to listen for the small still voice that is closest to the heartbeat. I have read and met many wonderful people on here from America and other countries. I hope you will forgive me for this little bit of pride in my country. Anyway, I ended up writing something poetic about it. Enjoy my friends.

American Heart

I read somewhere someone said
That American poetry is dead
No leader or soul to speak of
How dare you judge as if above
The struggles and triumphs of our heart

You who sit in a foreign land
Feeling superior with your pen in hand
Speaking of things you can’t experience
Go on living in your gross ignorance
of the power in an American heart

Each culture has its own outcasts
The voices loudest that always lasts
Loud and proud these voices can be
But some don’t speak for us all you see
For there is beautiful diversity in our heart

So throw your stones from your glass house
And think us mild and meek as a mouse
But when you poke this sleeping bear
Be prepared to face us once we are aware
Of your insults to our American Heart