Words thrown out
And float into the sky
Or, as lead balloons, die.
Words thrown out
Words thrown out
And float into the sky
Or, as lead balloons, die.
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!
“The Bright Side of Darkness” is my award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
The paperback version of my novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
Please see my author page on Facebook here:
Please see my author blog, “Looking on the Bright Side,” on Goodreads here:
To read guest posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
To read guest posts on a variety of topics, please click here:
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.
As a poet (or writer/author of any description), the most important activity is, to state the blatantly obvious that of writing. Its tempting to regard promoting one’s work as a chore. So far as my poetry is concerned, most of my promoting consists of posting examples of my work on this site (kmorrispoet.com) and, by so doing bringing my writing to the attention of a wider audience.
Notwithstanding the publication of examples of my poetry on this site (which provides me with pleasure as I know that my readers enjoy reading my work), I fall into the category of those who do, in general find self-promotion somewhat tedious. I am, however aware of its importance and recently kicked myself (metaphorically speaking of course) when I had no business card to give to a lady who indicated to me that she derives pleasure from reading poetry. While I did give the lady the address of this site (kmorrispoet.com), given that she was on her way to the office and doubtless had many things on her mind (the impending working day being formost amongst them), I suspect that she will have forgotten the address of this site.
The above is a lesson to me to order more business cards, and I will perform this chore over the coming weekend. In my experience, one can go for weeks without handing out a card (obviously you should not foist them willy-nilly on members of the public)! However (when people express an interest in your work) they are a good means of jogging memories. “Who was that chap who writes poetry? Ah I have his card here. I will take a look at his site”. Of course some cards will be lost or deliberately filed in the dustbin, but others will be used to find out more about the author/poet/writer in question. So obtaining business cards is in my view a chore worth performing.
On local radio today I learned that November 1st is National Author’s Day, https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/authors-day/. I must confess to not having heard of this celebration until early this morning and being intrigued did a little digging which turned up the above link.
From the above, it appears that Author’s Day is an American celebration (it was certainly started in the USA). However given that it was mentioned on a (UK) local radio station, this celebration would appear to have crossed the Atlantic.
I would be interested to know whether any of my readers has any additional information regarding Author’s Day?
A blog is not a democracy, by which I mean that the blog owner has a right to determine it’s content, including whether to approve comments or whether to allow comments at all. As with one’s home, bloggers have the right to decide what is and is not acceptable. The home owner can decide that a guest expressing racist views should leave immediately, as, indeed can the website owner.
As a blog owner I endorse the right of site owners to run their sites as they see fit. If you don’t like the views being expressed and/or the other content of a blog (and the blog owner refuses to publish your perspective) you are at liberty to start your own site on which you can express whatever opinions you like (providing that you do not break the law by so doing). Having said that, I have always operated on the basis that a comment will be approved on my blog irrespective of whether or not the person commenting agrees with me on a given matter, provided that such disagreement is expressed in polite and measured terms. I don’t want newauthoronline.com to become an echo chamber in which only voices which mirror my own are heard. Such a place would lack vibrancy and I would not be comfortable running my blog on this basis. We can all learn from others perspectives and not permitting differing views leads, very quickly to a sterile environment. I won’t allow comments of a hateful nature (for example anyone who wishes to justify the Third Reich will find himself in my spam folder). However, other than such extreme instances I will publish all comments unless they are spammy in nature.
Some six months or so ago I commented on a post. My comment was not approved and the matter slipped to the back of my mind. I was therefore surprised on opening WordPress earlier today to see a response to my comment (the response not appearing on the site but being sent direct to me), in which I was accused of being “ignorant” and my comment having the potential to “hurt” the site’s readership. My comment was measured and politely expressed and so far as I can see the site owner’s refusal to publish it flowed entirely from the fact that they disagreed with my perspective. I am confirmed in this view by the fact that while the post in question had many comments, all of these where in total agreement with the views of the blog owner, in other words an echo chamber. As I say above, bloggers have the right to determine content, including whether or not to approve comments. However by only allowing comments which slavishly agree with their perspectives the site owner risks creating a tedious echo chamber. This maybe good for their ego but it is not good for free and open debate.
The aim of Murky Books is to help young writers to get published in a variety of genres, fiction, sci-fi and poetry.
To find out more please visit this link, https://news.sky.com/story/stormzy-to-help-young-writers-become-published-authors-with-penguin-11427689