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How to Make a Million Dollars Writing Poetry (The Self Publishing Show, episode 228)
What’s your creative approach to writing?
I treat it like a job, these days. It may sound unromantic, but writing one or two novels a year takes discipline. I tend to research, write and edit for eight hours, every week day.
Outlining or pantsing?
I like to outline, but always veer away from my plan! I wish I could stick to my blueprint, but I get distracted by better ideas, or juicier characters, so my plans are constantly changing.
When you write crime fiction what comes first? The crime, character, idea?
First the location, then the theme. I fell in love with the Isles of Scilly as a child, for their wild remoteness and knew I had to set a series there.
How do you get to know your characters?
I write detailed profiles, so I know all of their quirks.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Lack of confidence. It doesn’t matter how many books I write, I always reach a point, midway through the writing when my belief takes a nosedive. It takes one heck of a lot of stamina and a robust ego to stay in the writing game.
How has your writing process changed over the years and books written?
I began life as a poet, writing longhand, but now use my computer for pretty much everything. With poetry you have to agonise over every word because the form is so precise, but prose is much more discursive.
Did you write poetry before novels?
I surely did. Two collections, Reversal and The Alice Trap, both published by wonderful London press, Enitharmon.
What do you enjoy most about poetry?
Its impact. If a poem is doing its job well, it can be like a bullet of truth, straight to the heart.
Can you share one of your poems?
Not right now, I’m afraid, I’m deep in the middle of a crime novel, but my poems are floating around on the net if you go looking for them.
What next for you?
Two more books in my Hell Bay series, published by Simon and Schuster, which I’m enjoying enormously.
KATE RHODES is a full-time crime writer, living in Cambridge with her husband, a writer and film maker. Kate used to be an English teacher and has published two award winning collections of poetry. In 2015 she won the Ruth Rendell short story prize. Kate is the author of the acclaimed ALICE QUENTIN series, with the fifth book, BLOOD SYMMETRY published in 2016.
In January 2018 Kate will publish the first novel in a new series, HELL BAY, a crime novel set on the remote Cornish island of Bryher, featuring DI Ben Kitto.
They bound me without consent.
I moved with the weight of the world upon my shoulders,
each extremity shackled like a slave.
Hunched like a frail elderly man; I attempted to move about,
all the while under the suppression of guilt,
shame, and condemnation.
Shackled by wounds, I writhed in agony
as they brought me down to the pits of darkness, a land of creeping shadow.
It was there where I was blind to their desire to devour me.
Fallen prey to the animalistic appetite to consume every shred of hope—
Until I came into the light.
Under the shining of the light, I was appalled at their stronghold against me.
The illumination of their strength was all too unsettling.
I couldn’t bear the sight of them.
They surrounded me like a wild forest of Oaks, mocking my every step.
A multitude of tears sought urgent release, to spring forth,
evade the depth of my unconsciousness–but I could not allow them.
Yet there in the light was my salvation.
There in the light, their power over me would heal.
It was there I welcomed glorious liberty.
One like I’ve never experienced before.
The rays of jubilee were before me.
No wild forests to cast a shadow,
pits of darkness of oppression.
No shackles, bonds, or crushing burden.
Only life, light and liberty.
A DANCE WITH THE DAWN
The soul of the oppressed can rest against the dawning
of the new day. For as sure is the rising of the sun amidst
the celestial crowds, the pains of the former day dissipate
into distant shadow.
Hope is set upon the steady train of her golden rays,
as they dress and display those famished of her
A golden touch penetrates deep beyond the former
ephemeral skins of superficiality. Her touch is warmth;
dazzling the coldest of heart, adamant glacial minds,
and illest of will.
Dance in the buoyant embrace of her comforting wings
and pleasure in the majestic breadth of her expanse, as she lends
transcendent song against belligerent earthly pangs.
What is within a tear?
And from whence does it truly flow?
It hails from hidden abodes of heart,
sprung apart from embattled depths below.
What is within a tear?
And how significant is its worth?
How heavy the burden escapes unweighed;
in dimensions of pain, unknown girth.
What is within a tear, you say?
Only the bearer truly knows.
Hearken that tune when it’s wrought.
As pain grows wings, let them flow.
Don’t catch that urban sprawl
free-for-all, where every tom dick and harry in town is lookin to lay his eggs in the hive. That busy Queen bee is meant to be in the concrete jungle, but not this here joe. Ain’t no pleasure of mine neither, but a recipe for disaster if you ask me. I’d much rather fly the coop; set my boots in manure, tend to the cows and saddle ma’tractor. A real man, at least, tills the land he treads on and eats the fruit of his own labor. Not herded about like sheep in the endless streets without a shepherd. But I reckon all that pollutin’ is a turnin’ their minds to some kinda mush. Kinda like them zombie folk–the walking dead. Er, somethin’ rather. Road rage, shootin’n robbin’and a hoopin’n hollerin’ at one another. Killin’ one another. Quite the crooked circus don’t ya think? Don’t be goin’ around catchin’that urbanitis you hear? Cause its a gettin’ around pretty good.
Writers Digest April poem a day challenge day 7
Shall I share my demons with another?
With stranger, friend, lover or brother?
Permissbly plunge into dark canyons of despair? Cut asunder as targeted prey in the open wild? As food for the fowl and mockery of the enemy? Shall I bear them in flawed strength and weakness? There is no weakness in the vitality amongst companions. Let them bear me on fortitude of eagles wings; laying hold of the breath of vigorous winds, ascending to the height. For two are better than one.
Writers Digest Aril poem a day challenge day 6
I hate the pained breath that is my life
worn on wearied shoulders.
The weighty grief residing in my chest,
like a pair of ten ton boulders.
Should I entertain shades of dreadful thought? Once interwoven fabric sours, stains, a twisted mind? Reflect a stolen image wrongly wrought, then refuse the true and greater kind?
His eyes uttered ardent desires
Her countenance replied in like kind
His heart fluttered in boiled frenzy
Her thoughts happily screamed he’s mine
His lips quivered a weighty “I do”
Her ring glimmered wet with shine
His hands were faithful and steady too
Her affection kept him in line
In time their love played a different tune
His eyes betrayed him for her friend
She sang a broken wretched dirge
with unknown words stark and grim
Her squelched love well spent sang
What the hell is wrong with men?
I am the way and the reality and the life...John 14:6
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