Tag Archives: literature

Kevin Morris reading his poems ‘Will Spring come again’ and ‘An owl hunting’ on Soundcloud.

Me reading my poems ‘Will Spring come again’ and ‘An owl hunting’ on Soundcloud.

 

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The Bright Side of Darkness – Guest Post by Jo Elizabeth Pinto


I’ve known I was destined to write even before I learned to read. I remember cuddling with my dad on the high-backed couch in our living room, feeling safe and loved, while he read aloud a library book about Osceola. The brave Seminole Indian chief fought the brutal attempts by the U.S. government to remove his people from Florida during the early 1800’s.

When my dad finished the book, I said sadly, “It’s all gone.”

“It’s not gone,” he told me, laying the book in my hands. “We can turn it around and start over at the beginning. Not tonight, though.”

From that moment on, when I discovered that words could be written down in books, captured and stored to be enjoyed over and over again, I knew I wanted to write stories of my own. Many times in school, when I was supposed to be solving math problems or studying spelling words, I’d be busy composing poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing. My first poem was printed in “Jack and Jill”—a popular magazine for kids—when I was eleven years old—and after that, I caught an incurable case of author fever.

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the scrappy, loyal, smart-mouthed teenagers who came to life in my imagination.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, in order to learn how to use a word processor, I dragged out that old short story and typed it into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years as life happened. I took advice and editing from countless people. I attended writing workshops and joined critique groups to hone my craft, and I never gave up on my dream. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

In junior high, I interviewed a local author as part of an independent study project. Her advice has stuck with me for 35 years.

“When you write, think of yourself as a bird building a nest,” she said. “Your life gives you the materials for your stories. You take a twig from here, a tuft of grass from there, a bit of string from somewhere else. Keep living a life full of experiences so you never run out of building materials.”

I usually write fiction, so my characters and what happens to them is all made up. But some of the experiences and a whole lot of the underlying emotions come from what I know, what I’ve lived through, like that bird making a nest.

As a writer, I realize the importance of entertaining my readers while giving them something to think about. I want to empower my readers so they will know the deeds of one person can make a difference in the world. Drawing inspiration from my own experiences, I try to show everyday people that hope is always just an action away.

I wish writing full-time would pay my bills, but that’s not my reality yet. So till my novel hits the bestseller list, I freelance from home as a textbook proofreader. I’m also the mom of an eleven-year-old daughter–the greatest job ever!

Author Links:

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is my award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

The paperback version of my novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bright-side-of-darkness-j-e-pinto/1122183259?ean=9781512344943

Please see my author page on Facebook here:
https://m.facebook.com/authorjepinto/?ref=Footer

Please see my author blog, “Looking on the Bright Side,” on Goodreads here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14120336.J_E_Pinto/blog

To read guest posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
https://blindmotherhood.com/?s=Jo+Pinto

To read guest posts on a variety of topics, please click here:
https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/

Guest Posting On kmorrispoet.com

I welcome guest posts from poets and authors. If you are interested in guest posting on kmorrispoet.com, please read the below prior to getting in touch.

1. Posts should be on a literary and/or writing theme.
2. Please get in touch prior to submitting a post. Please don’t submit without having first discussed your article with me.
3. Posts should be submitted as Microsoft Word attachments (or similar formats). Please do not send the text of your article in the body of an email.
4. Please do include links to your books, social media etc.
5. I welcome photographs. However please note that I am visually impaired and use screen reading software which converts text into speech and Braille enabling
me to use a Windows computer. Jaws can read text based formats but can not interpret pictures. Consequently articles which are entirely text based will
be posted quickly while those containing pictures will take longer to post, (I rely on sighted assistance to post the latter).
6. Queries regarding guest posts should be sent to kmorrispoet at gmail dot com, (the email address is rendered thus to defeat spammers). Please put “guest post” in the subject line.
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Andrew Motion’s Top 10 Tips For Being A Successful Poet

A very good piece by Sir Andrew Motion, former UK Poet Laureate, in which he gives his top 10 tips for being a successful poet. I particularly agree with his view that poets should not cut themselves off from the world or, as he puts it “live in an ivory tower”. I also agree with Motion that its important to read lots. For the article please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-29538180.

A Review of My book, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems” of

I was delighted to receive a review, on Ink Pantry of my book, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”.

For the review please follow this link, http://www.inkpantry.com/books-from-the-pantry-the-writers-pen-and-other-poems-by-kevin-morris-reviewed-by-giles-l-turnbull/

Kevin

Is there a difference as regards “reading” and “listening” to a book?

I was somewhat taken back when, several weeks ago, I heard an item on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme concerning reading. This short piece (which I have, unfortunately been unable to find online), consisted of a series of viewpoints as to what constitutes reading and, in particular whether listening to audio books can be construed as reading in the true sense of the word. One listener expressed the view that listening to audio books was not reading, and that anyone who said that they had read a book (when they had, in fact listened to it being read) was “lieing”. Now “lieing” is a very strong word and to my mind was misused by the person who employed it here.

There is, of course a difference (technically speaking) between reading and listening to a book and one may enter into a debate as to whether someone listening to a book has the same experience as the person who turns pages and absorbs the book in print or ebook format.

I, personally feel that there is something very special about handling and reading a book. I also find that my mind is more inclined to wander when listening to (rather than physically turning the pages of) a book. I will sometimes go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea while listening, miss a short segment and not go back as (in my view) I haven’t missed anything of significance. In contrast I will put a physical book down, go and make my tea and return to the bookmarked page ensuring that I have missed nothing of the plot.

Having said the above, I am a huge fan of audio books and believe that to listen to a well narrated book is, in effect to read it. So while the person who described those who say they have “read” a book (when, in fact they have listened to it being read), is technically correct. He is, in point of fact splitting hairs as to concentrate on a book being read is, to all intents and purposes to read it.

So far as my own books are concerned, I must confess that I like the idea of people possessing a physical copy of my work. I see it sitting amongst other books and the feeling of my book being enjoyed, then going to join a library of much loved books to be re-read at a later stage gives me pleasure. I am, however delighted that my latest collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems” is available in paperback, Kindle and audio formats. Ultimately what matters is that my readers enjoy my work in the format that is most convenient/best suited to their needs and I certainly wouldn’t quibble where a reader to inform me that she had “read” my book when, in fact she had listened to the excellent audio narration of Alex Lee.

As ever, I would welcome the views of my readers. Do you feel that there is a difference between reading and listening to a book? And, if so in what lies that difference?

(For links to all of my books, including the print, Kindle and audio versions of “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems” please visit my “About” page, https://newauthoronline.com/about/).