New poem: Ghosts of the Past

Ghosts of the past

Haunt me

I can’t sleep

You were here

Once

Now we’re worlds apart

Your choice

Not mine

Never mine.

Ghost of the past

Like a mystic dream

Sorrowful, mournful, bittersweet

I think about that place

Where we used to be…

And all I can see…

Is your eyes.

And, I wanted to say sorry

But why should I be?

Sorry we’re not

Even friends

I guess.

And I wanted to say “Miss You”

But do I really?

Were you ever who

I thought you were…?

You said you had tried

Tried to be the man I deserved…

But that wasn’t you…

Took me a while to realize….

What you said…

Almost all of it

Was true.

Still love, but not

In love with you.

Still miss you,

But don’t miss

The pain.

Still, haunted

By you and

Our memories

Faded…

Just like ghosts

From the past.

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Best Writing Advice

I find that people are asking me about my writing quite often, and people who are just starting to write and discover their hidden talent are asking me for advice. Not that I am the greatest writer in the world—or any sort of an expert. But I have been writing for almost 20 years and publishing (for myself and others) for over 6. I think we all have a little bit of advice to give regardless of level of expertise. So here is my best (and most general) advice for anyone, young and old, who is embarking on their writing career:

  • Don’t let anyone tell you what to write. I’ve been saying this for years, now. I’ve had people tell me “oh you should right paranormal romance because that’s what’s in right now,”or “you should write mysteries, because I only read mysteries,” and so forth.
    • Don’t worry about what’s out or in. Write what’s in you. As with any trend, what’s popular now might not be popular within the next year or so. Trends change all the time. Don’t worry about keeping up with them.
    • Write your story your way. A lot of friends and family, and even teachers might mean well, but they are not your muse. Listen to what’s inside you—what you love—and write that. Sure you can always write a side story for aunt Jane who loves mysteries, and give her a POD copy for her birthday, but don’t cater to everyone’s whims. You’ll find yourself spread thin, and never find out what genre is for you, to tap into…and grow as an author.
  • Choose critique groups and critique partners wisely. Give each group/partner a “Trial run” first by submitting something short; not your full novel manuscript. Preferably something that you’re newly working on, maybe a first or second draft. If you have a bad feeling about a crit group, go with your gut. Try another group. Be comfortable. Not all crit groups are great, some are overly harsh, some full of amatuers who just write for fun (not that there’s anything wrong with that), some are too strict in their rules of submission, others not strict enough. And, some tend to become “mutual back patting society” while others are full of “crit vipers” and passive-aggressive types. I actually prefer a well-trusted crit partner rather than the “mixed bag” you often find with online crit groups. Sure, they’re great when you’re just starting to write…but be wary of “crit group vipers” and well-intended group members who tend to give out bad advice, (usually because they are just starting out too.)
  • Show and Tell. For years, people have been advising us to “show don’t tell.” However, I have observed that all of the best stories have the right mixture of showing and telling. Case in point: The Lord of the Rings.
  • Have a writing schedule, and keep it flexible. Start by setting a small block of time aside each day for writing, even if it’s just an hour or two. Preferably, when you’re the most creative and inspired. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for an hour or two. If something comes up (like a family function, emergency, or change in your day job schedule) you can always move it to another time (for example: right before bedtime, or after dinner). Some writers prefer to have a word goal each day; for instance 2,000 words a day minimum. They’ll create or download a NaNoWriMo inspired spread sheet or status bar to update regularly. This keeps them accountable and productive. Again, whichever works best for you.
  • Read every day. Even if it’s just the newspaper or a blog post. Read everything, especially in the genre that you write. I prefer to read at least 3 pages of nonfiction, and 3-5 pages of fiction each day. Also, it really helps to read and re-read any books on writing, craft oriented or otherwise. Read about self-publishing, read about traditional and commercial publishing. Stay informed. Which leads to my next piece of advice…
  • Chose the path that is right for you. People are always inquiring about whether or not they should submit to “big 5,” small press, or self-publish. At one time I was die-hard indie authorship, at another I was die-hard hybrid authorship. But now, my standard advice is this: Only you can decide which path is best for you. As you work on your new project keep an open mind. Look at all options both critically and objectively. Weigh the pros and cons. Not every project is suitable for traditional publishing; not every project is suitable for self-publishing. The same applies to authors. And, of course you could always try both paths, and see what works best for you. There are die-hards in each camp, and they will try to convince you that their way is the right way. There is also the advice that many give: That you should try the large commercial publishing houses first, then small/medium presses, then uber-small indie presses, and then and only then as a last resort should you self-publish. To me, this was the wrong way to go. However, there may be some that had luck traveling that path. And, several self-publishers who I am acquainted with became so successful as an indie author that they gained recognition of traditional presses, and were offered contracts. You see, there is no right or wrong path to success; and many forks in the road. My favorite motto “To each his own” applies here. However, you can only find out what is right by researching, and trying out as many options as possible. There’s no “set order” and certainly no “set method” for authors today.
  • Never give up. That’s the most important piece of advice I can give anyone, about any goal or dream that they have. Never give up on yourself, or your dreams. Sure, goals may change. And, it’s okay to take a break from it for a while, like a hiatus from the hamster wheel of “write, re-write, edit, proofread, submit…” A vacation may be needed, on occasion. But, don’t waste too much time licking your wounds after a harsh crit, slump in sales, or rejection letter. Have some R&R, have some chocolate, take some time to think, and then press on with new determination. Persistence pays.
  • Confidence is the key. No matter what anyone says, no matter how many rejections, no matter how miniscule your sales are, no matter how harsh your crit group/beta reader/teacher can be…never, ever lose confidence in yourself. Believe in yourself, your talents, and abilities. Let your self-esteem be a mountain, not a small tree that can be shaken or blown over in harsh weather. Or, cut down by the envy or nastiness in others. In all things, be confident that you are equipped with what you need to succeed, and know that you can and will prevail against all odds.

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Wednesday Poetry: Friends

Friends

We were so much more once

But I remember

How we began

We were surreal

Two artists discussing

Our respective crafts

We became more

We fell in love

We went around

Around the Emotional

Roller Coaster…

Then you fell out

Of love

Shock, disbelief, devastated

I felt such pain

Reacted with rage, sorrow, jealousy, ire…

As you

Simply ignored me

Walked away

One year has passed

It all sinks in…

I rehabilitate my heart

My life…

Now I turn back

Remember what we had

Remember how

We began…

And I wish

We could be

Just

Friends

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New Years Resolutions 2014

klcrumley:

I shall do my best to abide by these same resolutions this coming year. (since I fell short a little bit…) Here’s to a great 2015 in writing, and to keep on working towards new and old goals alike. :)

Originally posted on K. Crumley rambles on...:

1. Write one full poem per day, any style any subject.
2. Read at least 5 pages per day, fiction.
3. Read at least 5 pages per day non-fiction.
4. Apply for at least one freelance job per day.
5. Write at least 2,000 words a day of fiction.
6. Complete all unfinished writing projects.
7. Publish a new ebook (poetry or fiction) every 2-3 months.
8. Submit something to a trad pub (maybe small press), agent, or contest every 6 months.
9. Have a full day write-in (or write-a-thon) one day per month.
10. Stick to all my deadlines, no matter what.

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Wednesday Poetry: TV

~TV~

It used to be that

We could tune in to watch

Old friends,

Like Lucy, The Kramdens, Lassie…

We solved crimes

With Rockford,

And Columbo…

Then the new wave

Of feminism brought us

Mary, Jamie Summers,

And of course

The Angels.

The wave of crime dramas

Evolved from the Metro Glam

Of Magnum PI and Miami Vice

Into Forensics,

NCIS and CSI

Criminal Minds…

Today the glorious

Old days

Are gone, and

We are force-fed

False advertising

And an often feigned

Reality.

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Nanowrimo: Ten Things I will do to ensure success next year.

Alas, NaNoWriMo has ended, and for the second consecutive year I did not win.  While my lack of success could be attributed to circumstances beyond my control (The flu, a computer virus, recurring migraines) there are some things I could have done to help me finish on time.  I vow to do these things next year, when I once again participate in the annual writing challenge.

1. I will write every day.  There were several days I did skip, especially due to the flu…needless to say that didn’t help me at all.

2. I will write MORE than 1,667 a day.  To insure that I would finish on time–if not early–I will do more than the daily word count requirement to ensure an early finish.

3.  Stream of consciousness writing. Fighting through writing block with stream of consciousness writing, even if it’s something I need to omit later…at least I got words in print, and sometimes the best stuff comes when you just let your mind flow…

4. Focus on that one story.  I won’t be distracted by anything else,  and start working on another project–unless you’ve already written more than 1,667 on the NaNoWriMo story.

5. Start with an outline.  This will help me avoid feeling “stuck” and at a  loss as far as the plot direction.  That really slowed me down in my writing process this year.

6. stick to a writing schedule, preferably when I am home alone and nothing is going on at the house…no phone ringing, etc…

7. Include long descriptive passages.  This will help to take up the word count, and I can always trim it down when I revise/edit.

8.  Repeat a sentence or two…by that I mean I can write a sentence two different ways, and when I go through and edit I can just delete which one doesn’t work as well.  Or white a completely new one.

9. I won’t worry about being sloppy, or typos.  after all, Jan-feb is for cleaning up all those errors.

10.  Don’t rely just on MSWord.  Keeping in mind that I can use my cellphone, tablet, and even my journal and a pen to jot down parts of the story, and then transcribe it later.

There it is.  Ten rules to write by next year…well then again most of it can apply now, as well. :)

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~Stay~

He lays still
Beside me
A Golden Statue
Adonis.

Eyes closed,
He drifts to sleep.

I lay beside him,
Gently snuggling.
So afraid of disturbing
The journey into his dreams…

Yet wonder if I am there.
Eyes flicker, and then open
I wonder what
He is thinking.

Groggy, he speaks
To me
Inquiring something…
And drifts again,
Into a dream.

I wonder again
If I am there,
And how he feels,
And what will be…

I wonder if
He will
Stay.

~K. Crumley, 9/1/2014

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~Pain~

I’ve recovered from
The pain
Buried the grief,
And shame…
Of settling,
and letting you
Treat me
That way.

Yet there’s
So much more to say…
But sometimes words unsaid
Are better off
Left
That way.

~~~

KLC ~ 5/9/2014

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Impromptu Poem: Lost You

Woke up from a dream
Another dream
About you
Just a dream
But it felt
Like I lost you
All over
Again.

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Little Tolkienesque montage to demonstrate a current event…

klcrumley:

Art imitates life once again…some interesting stories coming soon, reflecting my recent breakup. Here’s a little doll montage representing us. I like how he kind of looks like Snape and I kind of look like Sansa Stark. LOL

Originally posted on My Dolls And Doll Memes:

What has become of us?  What happened?  We had meant so much to each other? What has become of us? What happened? We had meant so much to each other?

The ultimate betrayal.  He should have never listened to Gollum! The ultimate betrayal. He should have never listened to Gollum!

So it's come to this?  Enguarde!  So it’s come to this? En guarde!

Truce!  I throw down my sword and surrender! Truce! I throw down my sword and surrender!

Forgiven, but not forgotten...you shall still pay for this deception! Forgiven, but not forgotten…you shall still pay for this deception!

The Quill is mightier than the sword. The Quill is mightier than the sword.

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