Friday, February 21, 2020

Wild Fridays #7: Roving the Web

‘Words Have Power’ 

We knew that, didn't we? So does Amber Lee Starfire, who elaborates on it at her Writing Through Life blog, in ways I found interesting.

What to do with that

Amber writes and runs courses on the art of memoir, but this blog post applies to any kind of writer. Indeed, it could apply to anyone at all, but she makes the point that, because words have power, we writers have a great responsibility and great opportunity in using them.

How it works

As to the specific ways in which words have power, she quotes a New York Times article on language and gender by Jessica Barnett, as well as ‘George Lakoff’s seminal work, Metaphors We Live By’ –  clearly very thoughtful pieces of writing. I found even her brief summaries illuminating.

The Value of Creativity

KEYUDOS is a new site hosted by Anthony North.  Anthony was one of our earliest participants at Poets United. He took time off to deal with health problems, and is now more active online again. KEYUDOS is like his very own ‘Roving the Web’, featuring places where writers can share their work, as well as writing tips, discussions of storytelling, and more.

What’s in it for us

He has recently featured Poets and Storytellers United there, and says he will be featuring our posts regularly on social media. This is particularly welcome news as facebook currently won’t let us link our posts on the grounds that we have ‘breached community standards’. We haven’t of course; we suspect some algorithm has misinterpreted some set of words (no idea what). And there’s no recourse, as facebook does not have human beings receiving complaints! Anthony may well strike the same problems with fb, but will also be promoting our posts on twitter.

He says: ‘This is part of my new project to popularize short form literature on Twitter, etc, through my #PopLitChallenge.  I thought some of your participants may fancy a go.’

Check him out. And if you’re on twitter, there is a link to his twitter feed at KEYUDOS.

Do you have a book in you?

Or maybe several already out, at places like Lulu or Amazon? And how can you promote it / them to your fellow members of this community?

Advertising ban

In our ‘About this community’ statement, we say: ‘Please keep in mind that we are not a place for advertisement.’ This is largely to discourage the kind of people who ‘hit and run’ by dropping ads for their books (or even other products) in the comments to any post and never coming back to participate in the community. (It happens now and then, despite our veto; we just keep weeding them out.)

How about self-promotion?

This veto also means that we ourselves, the community members, don't spam the opportunities to share poems and stories by posting links to our publications instead.

It’s fine if we mention a new book, as a note, on a piece of writing we're sharing here. It’s also fine if a blog post directs readers to an online journal or anthology where they can see that blogger's poems or stories. It’s not OK if we expect, in good faith, to read a response to a prompt, and instead are presented with ‘buy my book’.

A better way

But, hey – what if we do want to buy each other’s books? As, indeed, we surely would like each other to buy them! It seems only fair that we have the opportunity to support each other if we wish. So, our team has thought up a way to promote ourselves to each other, not once but continually (as needed).

[We don't promise it will generate many sales; after all, we can already read each other’s poems at our respective blogs. On the other hand, we may well have favourite poets here whose work we’d adore to hold in our hands and enjoy as a collection … or give to someone we love as a gift ... or recommend to the world.... 

And btw, I’ll tell you right now: my bookshelves are overflowing. (This, pictured, is only the one in the bedroom. There are more in the living room, the spare bedroom, and lining the walls of the garage.) Also my eyesight’s not what it once was, so I now love expandable fonts and back-lit screens. For both reasons, the first pre-requisite for me to consider buying your book is that I can get it as an ebook. Just saying.]

So – how are we going to make this possibility available without cluttering up our prompts and comments? After conferring, the team decided the best way is for me to sometimes use my ‘Roving the Web’ feature to direct us to our community members’ publications and where to buy them online.

This means you'll need to let me know.

Whenever you have a new book happening, please contact me at rosemary dot lifemagic at gmail dot com with a brief description of said book and details of where to get it. Please keep descriptions factual ('X's latest poetry collection'; 'A new novel in the Y series'; 'Poems on the theme of Z'). This will be an information service, not a review opportunity; I just don't have the time to spare for that. Hopefully, individuals who go on to read your work after seeing it listed here may like to drop a quick review at appropriate online places such as Amazon or Goodreads, or at their own websites, or as comments at yours.

At this point, as we're just beginning this service, do let me know too about any previous publications still available to buy.

And also …

Please tell me about any other successes you have – such as prizes and awards, inclusion in journals, etc. – if these involve an online link which we could list. Your community would love to rejoice with you. Do feel free to use the Writers’ Pantry to link us to the actual poems in such cases. And you’re definitely allowed to do a bit of bragging at your blog as well!

The nitty-gritty (coming later)

If you'd like to self-publish but don’t know how to go about it – stick around, we’ll have a look at that on a future Wild Friday.

Photo of bookshelf Copyright © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2019. Not to be used without permission.


  1. Hi Rosemary, many thanks for the plug. Very kind. I've just posted a UK writers site that features all the competitions, lit events, etc. I'm hoping I can get them to feature Keyudos, and thus yourselves, hopefully bringing more contributors. If any participants know of any such sites in their respective countries, I'd be happy to try to do the same with them. See you Sunday.

    1. Many thanks to you, Anthony, for what you're doing – great to have all this information gathered in one place.

    2. You're welcome. One thing I didn't point out is that you can tweet yourselves on #PopLitChallenge too.
      And if I'm successful in getting writers sites like Short Stops on board the message spreads wider.
      I began it but it's an open meme so anyone can use it - within Twitter rules, of course.
      If you do all I ask is you put a haiku, micro or quote, etc, alongside your link (I've already done some tweets to set a style) -
      oh, and it would be good if people followed me @ChallengeLit and liked my tweets.
      That way the Twitter account with the keyudos link on it will stay near the top of the people section, increasing coverage for you all.

  2. LOL, I may have several bookcases in my house that look like that too. :D I've been better about re-homing books I've enjoyed to friends who I know will appreciate them (to make room for more books) and making better use of my kindle and library services.

    My short story collection, The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales, is very much still available for purchase (I have a physical book tour planned locally with another author friend of mine). And I hope to be able to share news about an upcoming poetry collection in the next few months. :)

    1. Ha ha, my trouble is I see books I know I want to read, but in such quantities that finding time to actually read them is a problem. I am gradually giving them away, and if unread replacing them with ebook editions. But then there are those physical books I've treasured for decades; I feel as though those particular copies are my personal friends and loved ones, who cannot be discarded.
      The book tour sounds cool! Photos on Instagram / fb / your blog, please.

    2. Oh there are some things I HAVE to have physical copies cherished favorite fiction, some special witchy books, poetry I keep returning to.

  3. A very cool share, Rosemary. Thanks for keeping our community of 'Poets and Storytellers United … united.

  4. Replies
    1. Glad you think so, Yvonne. But, ha ha, which one? Or roving the web in general? (Hopefully, all of the above.)

  5. You must have been reading my mind, Rosemary. There's something about holding paper in one's hands and it would be special to have words written by someone that I've exchanged with.
    The question remain is how to get published once one gets past the doubt of "are my words worthy." Any help to get there would be valuable and appreciated but many.
    Personally, I keep missing deadlines for contests. We shall see what the future has for us, eh?

    1. I am very good at missing those deadlines, too!

    2. It would seem I need a proofreader as well, Rosemary. Ha!

    3. Joel and Rosemary, you are so not alone in the missing deadline club.

  6. As always, thank you for all this work! I will check out "Writing Through Life" tomorrow. I've been on a bit of a break as I've been organizing and purging and getting a whole new desk and shelves. I'll be back writing poetry soon!

  7. Rosemary, thank you for the links, and for the photo of your bathroom bookcase. I've always kept a book (or three) in the bathroom. But I like your whole bookcase approach so much better!

  8. Thank you so much for the links! I have bookcases full of books and books piled here and there..I don't feel bad about it either. :)


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