The Countdown Has Begun!

Share the News – Spread the Word – Tell the World!

I know this is not news to some of you, but some may have yet to hear that my first book Dreaming in Darkness, will hit the world in March. The book will be available in ebook (available through all major retailers) and paperback (at a later date after the ebook is released;) published through Willow Moon Publishing.  Dreaming in Darkness is a collection of poetry and prose.  Each piece is unique in its inspiration and flow.  Most are free form, while several take on rhyming – but each tells a story. The book will also contain prose poetry, which uses the format of such pieces as Everybody’s Fool.  My second book, which is almost completed, will be all prose poetry.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the outstanding support of my publisher through the process.  I feel grateful to have gotten my feet wet with such a great group of people.  I want to give a special shout out to my amazing editor for her support, thank you.  ♥

I am blessed to have this opportunity, and I know I will not be able to spread the word without your help!  I have created a PR & Marketing plan and would love your participation.

Here is the plan:

-Interviews, reviews and guest posts on blogs: If you have a blog and would like to participate, please contact me immediately for scheduling.  I would like to spread out the publicity, so I need to have a basic schedule.

-Media: If you or anyone you know is involved in the media (radio, TV, newspaper or magazine) and would like to do an interview, or review the book, let me know!

-Book Signings: I will be scheduling book signings all throughout the year.  They will be in my general area but I would like, with your help, to include your area! This will take some major planning and support from you.  If it is something you would like to consider, please contact me to go over details.  I would like to travel all over, but due to budget restrictions – this venture will be limited.

-Donations: If you are willing to donate please see the button to your right.  I will need funds for book signings, marketing & PR.  Any help is appreciated.

One thing you ALL can do is share my blog, twitter, and facebook with your friends!

I can’t give enough thanks for all the loving support and encouragement you all have given.  I am happy just to be able to bring this book to you, and it is only the beginning.  I have a few more projects that I plan on getting out in the next several years.  I hope you all read and enjoy when this little piece of my heart finally makes its way to reality.

My book cover is now complete and approved! Want to see it? Check it out here! I have also contracted with a very talented company to do my book trailer! I am extremely excited and will post it as soon as it is complete.

Go to Connect to contact me.

Thank you for everything and I look forward to hearing from you!

♥ Jessica

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Empty

I wish the moon would bring light through the window.  Tonight, like so many nights before, just darkness.  It is too dark to see even shadows, and the blackness seems to consume me like an overgrown coat.  It does not speak — and it will not listen.  The quiet burns, and I so desperately want to be heard.  I want tomorrow to be different, but I know there is nothing about this evening that hints of impending change.  Little feet will still need shoes and my cupboards will still be bare.

When I get up from this bed – all the pain,
it will,

still be there.

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Artist Feature – Tom Breazeale, Photographer

Welcome to my first monthly installment of artist features! You can be featured by submitting HERE. The first of each month I will be highlighting writers, poets, photographers, artists, and their works.

Tom Breazeale Photography

Today’s feature is highlighting fine arts photographer, Tom Breazeale.  Tom was originally  a golf course photographer who has spent the last 25 years either building or photographing courses throughout the world.  His reputation was first established as one of the best shapers in the industry but his passion for photography has taken him full time into the realm of a full service Fine Art photographer.   Tom is well published in most all of the major golf publications around the world and has had his work featured in coffee table books and magazines such as Links, Golf Magazine, Golf Vacations, China Golf, The Asian Golfer and even had several pictures in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Golf Course Calendar and is Jack Nicklaus’s (famous golfer) exclusive overseas photographer.

Over the last ten years Tom has ventured away from golf and began focusing on landscapes, people, and architecture.  His photos go beyond just a person or building,  but capture emotion and beauty with each of his shoots.  His photos are sometimes eerie and sometimes bold – but always gorgeous.

Take a moment to view his truly amazing Travelscapes, Portraits, Weddings, and some of his Interiors/Exteriors, used often for marketing purposes. You will find many other gems on his website Tom Breazeale Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom is a full service photographer with the ability to adapt and capture stunning images through his well trained eye and natural gifts.  You can reach him for all of your photography needs at: tom46ph(at)yahoo.com

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Ever Changing

jessica kristieI have had so many changes I thought it was time for a quick update.

Some things I want you to check out:

  • One Stop Poetry! I am so honored to be a part of this fantastic team.  One Stop is growing, changing and produces quality day after day.  They are famous for their One Shot Wednesdays.  If you don’t know about One Stop you can read the article I did on them awhile back. If you are a writer, artist, supporter of the arts – GET INVOLVED!

Vote now through 2/11 @ONESTOPPOETRY in #ART  for a ShortyAward — because they advocate for Youth Writing & Community http://bit.ly/zaC4 Thank You!!!

  • I created my very own line of merchandise in support of my upcoming book and marketing efforts.  If you haven’t looked yet, look NOW!
  • I will be featuring the work of other writers/artists once a month! I get a lot of requests for this,  so I thought I would dedicate a post to you each month. I am very excited and would love for you to submit your work or feature request.
  • I am happy to announce I will be editing for the wonderful site, Indie Ink.  Indie Ink features and highlights all types of art and artists. They are a wonderful platform to get your work out there. You can submit your work to them HERE.

Vote now through 2/11 @indieink in #culturalinstitution for a ShortyAward  – http://shortyawards.com/category/culturalinstitution

  • Keep a look out for more information on my upcoming Poetry Compilation, to be released in March.  I have some big things brewing and will need your support! More to come on this VERY soon.

That is it for now! Thank you for all your support and watch for my first artist feature this Wednesday.

XO~Jessica

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SHE

Secret’s silence told, in a rhythmic drum to my ear. A gorgeousness she would hold, for the rest of her years. Moon’s replaced her eyes and stars made up her voice.

Making flowers no one could ever deny.

Melodies from her lips, made horizons fiery gold. Laying ground for future beauty, with the truths that she told.

Her touch healed my skin. I watched my scars disappear. The glow from within – subsided each of my fears. There was magic in her soul. God had given her many gifts.

When she used them, she was full.

And in crowds of thousands, her presence – could never be missed. Her body exuded fire and her soul… only bled, bliss.

She.
A miracle to me.


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More Fire – Less Smoke

I miss you sometimes.  It lasts for several minutes – then I fight off your ghosts, and put to sleep your echoes.  It gets easier, as I am reminded of your miscarriage of my heart. You abused a gift, while using smoke and mirrors for a clean retreat.  I give you credit for the game you played, but I hope you know I won.  I slipped out with minimal bruising, though I must admit my head was not held high. I felt foolish for a long time. I am mostly now – just filled with apathy.  Your repetitive cries laminate my champion’s certificate.  I will make a copy for you.

Your reflection is beaten.  Look again and see it this time.

Sometimes I want to stab you with relentless truths, but I pull back my tongue and lay to rest my hand.  It is the right thing to do.  I will give you this failure. I can’t bring to light what is already shining for all to see.

I hope your words will soon become your own.  And the echoes I hear won’t just be ripped from another’s pages.  Maybe because you know that your own tongue – melts to the touch and ripples with the wind.  Failing in its intended purpose… and so painfully repetitive.

My next step crackles like a fire and shapes a new legacy.  This was not just another broken heart. Destruction for a better reconstruction.  I see much clearer – now that there is so much more fire… and far less, bullshit smoke.

 

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Author – Mike Bailey

I would like to introduce you to Mike Bailey, Author of What Have We Done?-The Dragon Chronicles. I met Mike recently and was intrigued by his drive for his novel.  Once finished with a novel, writers are then faced with the scary question “Now What?”  We are blessed now with much more opportunities then we have had in the past.  Self publishing is a real option for many.  Especially those who have written content that may not fall into the realm of “mainstream”. Mike was determined to get his book out there; for that I commend and support him.  Take a moment to read up on his journey. He has a lot to teach those who are looking into Self Publishing.

This was quite an original concept for a novel. Where did you get your inspiration, and how easily did the work flow once you knew your plotline?

Well thank you for the compliment Jessica.

I believe my inspiration came from my intense love of science fiction, fantasy, space opera and horror.  I especially love both zombie  and post apocalyptic movies and books. Some of my favorites are Resident Evil, Jurassic Park, Reign of Fire and Cherry 2000.

I was actually working as a night time security guard at the time with 45 minutes of free time every hour.  One night I wrote down every thought, concept and idea that I had for the book.  The next night I organized it all into a list in order of what would happen in the story.  On the third night I went through each bullet point and added any sub-notes I could think of for each.  I actually began to write the novel on the fourth night and finished the first draft in less than a month.  After that I went through the whole manuscript and rewrote it, clarify certain passages and improve story flow.

As I was writing I was continually adding thoughts and ideas to the list of notes I already had.  Each time a thought popped into my head I would read through the notes and jot it in where it seemed to make the most sense.  This sometimes required me to rearrange the order of events.  Often this meant adding to or completely re-writing portions of what I had already written.

All in all the whole process lasted less than three months and seemed to just flow out of me like I was pouring water from a pitcher.  It amazed me at the time and it still amazes me how easily the whole thing went from thoughts to a story on paper.  I sure wish the second book flowed as easily as the first one did.

As a writer many times a storyline will shift, and emphasis will change as you get deeper into your process. Did you experience much of that with this novel or were you pretty focused from inception to publication?

I did experience some, yes.  As I said above, I was continually adding to my notes as I went.  This often resulted in the story taking a somewhat different direction or a character developing somewhat differently than I had originally intended.  For example, the original concept was to have a government cover-up and secret government “black ops” type group working to keep the survivors from going public.  However, as I got into the story things just seemed to flow towards a more “total annihilation” kind of theme.

I also didn’t originally intend for Misha to fall in love with SyAnne.  In fact, originally there was no love interest after the Professor.  From there it evolved to SyAnne being the quiet, shy, introvert with a secret crush on Misha but that quickly developed into the both of them falling in love with each other.

What made you decide to self-publish? Can you briefly describe the process and the pros and cons?

My decision to self publish was made almost entirely on my own personal lack of patience.  I spent several months trying to find an agent, crafting introduction and proposal letters specifically for each one.  Once I did finally get an agent I was ecstatic.  Then came a year and half of waiting for her to find an interested publisher.  There were a few interested publishers but they all wanted me to spend thousands of dollars up front to share the cost of publishing.  This may well be the normal way of things with traditional publishing but it wasn’t for me.  So, after waiting so long with no results I started researching self publishing avenues.

My final decision was Lulu.com.  Once you have the manuscript finished and fully edited and formatted properly (their site tells you how to do every step) you upload it to their website and its converted into a PDF, print ready, format.  Then from there you place an order for one preview copy.  You pay only the cost of printing the book which for me was a whopping seven dollars and change.  When you have received the first copy and verified that it is the way you want it to be you go back on the site and approve it.  At that point their site sets up a “storefront” web page for you and your book is for sale.  It takes several weeks but they even get your book listed on Amazon and in the book database that all the major book sellers have access to.  Lulu.com has many different kinds of books, layouts, binding options and even an online cover designer.

The pros to self publishing are that your book is in print and ready for marketing and advertising without a lot of red tape.  The process is simple and fairly quick.  Lulu.com had answers for every question, most of which were already posted in their FAQs and the whole process only took about 5 weeks or so.  There is only one con that I’ve seen yet.  You basically do ALL the marketing and promoting yourself.  I’ve done some research and found that in a lot of cases this is becoming true of traditional publishers too, although I couldn’t say to what extent.  I have found Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to be invaluable for promotions.  After all, that is how I met you Jessica.  There is a huge amount of information on using social media for promotions and a ton of applications and websites that help you track all the important statistics of your activities on these social media sites.

My apologies for being so long winded there.  I know you specifically said to be brief, but it is so difficult when discussing something I am passionate about.

Did you discover anything about yourself as a writer while completing this book?

I learned many things about myself, both as a writer and not as a writer, during the process.  One is that I am a perfectionist when it comes to telling a story.  Another is that patience is NOT my best strength.  I definitely learned that editing, re-editing, proofreading and re-proofreading is an absolute must.  No matter what your agent, editor or anyone else tells you.

I also learned that my passion for writing goes much deeper than I had thought.  Once I began the process I simply could not stop until it was finished.  It was the first major project I had ever undertaken.  I have written many short stories, some poetry, etc. but this was my first full length, fictional novel.  Since writing this book I find myself constantly jotting down thoughts and ideas for other stories.

I can honestly say that I had NO idea what I was in for.  I didn’t have a clue what the whole writing process would entail or what the publishing and promoting processes would be like.  It was, and still is a real eye opener, but I consider every step of the process to be a learning experience and an opportunity to improve for the next book in the trilogy, which I am currently working on.

Your character Bailey Michaels is angry to say the least. You can see how he got that way due to his childhood. Did those emotions or any characters come from real life inspiration?

Actually Jessica, you hit the nail on the head right there, so to speak.

Most people don’t catch it but Bailey Michaels is actually based on myself (Mike Bailey … Bailey Michaels).  The anger and bitterness I tried to convey with his character was both a reflection on my past self and an outlet for me personally.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not typically an angry or bitter person, however, growing up I struggled with both.  I was well into my adult years before I finally overcame that part of myself and took ownership of the path my life had been on.  Bailey Michaels represents that part of my life.  Also, the character is based on what I wanted to grow up to be when I was a child, a private detective.  I also wanted to be a vampire but obviously I didn’t go into either of those occupations as an adult.

The canine character in the story, Cujo, was based on my own pet at the time.  I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that Chihuahuas are ego maniacal little bullies.  They have the most personality I have ever seen in a dog so I just had to put him in the story.  Yes, I know I ripped off Stephen King for the dog’s name but I just couldn’t resist the irony of a Chihuahua named Cujo.

Thank you Mike for sharing your journey.  The best of luck to you and your book!

Find out more about Mike and his book:
What Have We Done?  The Dragon Chronicles
Dragon Bound The Dragon Chronicles
Wild Side Of Writing (blog)

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Undecided

When the sun creeps down
Behind the Willow Tree
And your heart sinks
To the darkest deep

Choose me

When hands reach
To pull you near
And lips tempt
From word to ear

Choose me

Choose me to hear

When pavement cracks
Bringing belly aches
Tempting lies
And levee breaks

Palms up
Head down
Eyes closed
Ear to the ground

Let it go
Let all of it be
Then open your eyes and

Choose me

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Everybody’s Fool

I have seen this before… so many times.  You speak of grandeur while acting in angst.  Pleading and begging to be loved. You deserve to be loved, I would never deny that.  It just hurts to watch you swoon with twisted self loathing clouding your judgment.  You are not the friend you claim to be – so far from it.  That is simply more justification, for your failing grip on what lies beneath.

It breaks me to see the truth.  I wish I could continue like everyone else, believing your bantering lies of prosperity.  I want to fix you – but my love, you are not mine to fix.  You are your own, beautiful in your own right. Not beyond repair or reproach.  A blessing to many, and even a Band-Aid to some.  I don’t discount your effect, and reach to those you have made a connection with.

I, one of the many who love you deeply…
I, one of the few who seem to see your bitter breath

You are full of little jabs and stings. Acting out with jealousy and plaguing yourself with distant walls.  I reach out but am denied.  You see me as an unjustifiable threat; belittling only you in the process.

I love when your sweetness comes through; I hang on and humbly take the bones you throw. I tread lightly knowing the ice is thin. I still venture out…and I still wait for you. You want to bust out of your bondage; I see that with every word…and I wait.

I admire your strength. You always move forward, part with pride and part with fear. I feel your desire to be safe. To search for shelter beneath your fiery throws and poisoned lashings.

You need destruction. You need to break completely so you can come back together – better… stronger.  With all of my heart I wish you stillness long enough to let go of YOU.  Long enough to see beyond that selfish, insecure grasp, which seems to rule – your all too often… pathetic actions.

It is hard to be still
In shifting sand
Hard to breathe
Being dealt this hand
Hard to heal when troubles brew
Hard to love

Being you

Crossroads haunt
But you will be strong tomorrow
See another day

Another chance to start again

Breathe deeply
Take my hand
No need to sit here
In sinking sand

I’m here… and I won’t let you go

 

 

Visit: One Stop Poetry

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A Day Like Any Other

Another reset in the universal button
It all still feels the same
Change becomes the expectation
When reality plays out

It is only the exception

Three.  Six.  Five.
To start again
To make new
Initiate amends
Reaching out
Reaching in

A great truth revealed
And Lessons learned
In natures field
While each blade of grass
Continues

As the day before

No Less
No more

I still have
The same eyes
To see

And I still use
Oxygen
As my means
To breathe

I am still doing my best

No more
No less

Check out One Stop Poetry

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