A Poem by Daniel Kemp

A While ago I read this in a twittering by Daniel Kemp and it struck me as one of those tweets you remember among the slush easily skimmed over.

Daniel Kemp

Take your petty criticism

Take away your disdain.

Live your life removed from me,

As I quickly forget your name.

***

Daniel Kemp is the author of 

THE DESOLATE GARDEN

Cover Desolate Garden

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September Again by Hunter S. Jones and …

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What I hoped for happened, and sooner than expected!

I am proud, happy, no thrilled to present to you the second book in the September Series

SEPTEMBER AGAIN

According to Cherokee beliefs, opportunity will bless you twice.

September Again, second in the series, September Stories, is the follow up to the hugely popular indie sensation, September Ends. September Again finds Liz Snow Savage leaving England. She follows her daughter Zelda Savage back to America after Zelda’s betrayal of her. More drama ensues as Liz looks for meaning in life while Zelda finds her direction after the tragedy of losing Jack O. Savage, The Poet. Set mainly in Chattanooga, Tennessee, September Again chronicles the rhythm of life’s cycles. The ebb and flow of love unravel the mystery of Liz’s past. September Again allows a further glimpse into the intricate web of passion and desire which have entangled Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage for years. Will a chance encounter finally reveal the truth? What act will change the destiny of Liz and Zelda forever? The story of sin, salvation and redemption continues in Book 2 of the September Stories, told through a mosaic of prose with a smattering poetry.

Magic happens when you least expect it. 

Available now at Amazon

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If you haven’t read the first book September Ends, hop on over to my review of it and see why you should really, really read September Ends.

Review – September Ends by Hunter S. Jones

This book is one of the few that classify as a true gem! Read my review below and then run to the store to get your copy. Heck, why not? it’s FREE today!Sept Ends NEW

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Have you ever read a book you had to put down, because it affected you too much? Have you ever really felt the story touching something deep within you? Has a book ever made you cry, actually cry, I mean sobbing tears, and a band around your heart wrenching inner pain cry? This book had that effect on me. I had to wait a few days after finishing September Ends for the fifth time in two weeks because every time I thought about the book I cried and was at a loss for words. I still can’t seem to find the right words to convey how good this book is. How real, how … basal. It’s more than fiction, poetry, or prose, or even literature. This book is us, it’s you, it is your friend, your enemy. It is humanity shown through words.

Right, enough with the excitement. The cold hard facts? Plot, rock solid with well foreshadowed events, and a proper arc. Characters, fully fleshed out with an emotional growth that is utterly real. Scene setting, well researched and realistic. Dialogue, realistic with a natural flow. Sentence structure, very fitted to the part of the book it is used.

There were a few typos, and by a few I mean I found two, but only during the last reading my eyes spotted those.

So there you have it. This is a book that either turns me into a sobbing, highly emotional blob of a woman, or a removed, analytic, fact scooper. Would I recommend it? Shoot! Yes!I would even say like Venice it’s something you must have ‘seen’ before you die.

(I received no compensation for this review)

How to Honour the Heroes of 9/11 by Alan Jankowski

At the time of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I was driving North on the Garden State Parkway here in New Jersey. I lived in Parlin at the time, and scheduled to start a new job at 10:00AM that morning, up by Exit 156. I distinctly recall the initial radio reports, speculating that perhaps a small plane had accidently hit the tower after taking off from one of the local airports. Though I didn’t see the actual hit, I could clearly see the smoke rising from the towers through my windshield. When I arrived at the new job, there were people huddled around a small TV crying, and I recall one worker there who was an EMT saying he had been called in to report to the scene. Needless to say, that when I got there, I was sent back home for the day.

Back then I had yet to take up writing. My first short story was written and published April 21, 2009 on an erotic story site, and my first attempt at poetry followed several days later. Though my first poems were rather humor based, with an “adult” theme, throughout 2009 my poetry gradually became romantic rather than humorous, and love poems were not unusual, though all were publishable on the erotic story sites I started on. By early 2010 though, I had discovered dedicated poetry sites, and this opened up new possibilities for me. So, when I saw a thread in the forum over on erotic story site Lush Stories titled “September 11. Nine years later.” it wasn’t out of character for me to come up with the idea of writing a poem about 9/11, since I had already found places to publish poems that were neither erotic nor love poems.

At first, nothing immediately popped into my head. Then a couple of days later, on September 13, my netbook got stolen from the Somerville, NJ library. I was living in Somerville at the time, and spent a fair amount of time at the library. For the next three months after my computer got stolen, my writing became limited to writing poems on paper, usually on the back of library flyers. I would maximize my time on public computers by going to both the Somerville library, and the nearby Raritan library, which is only a short ten minute walk. One day, while walking back from the Raritan library, I got the idea of writing a poem honoring the heroes of 9/11. That day was September 29, 2010. I grabbed a library flyer, sat down at a table and wrote the lines “Heroes that would not turn their back, With determination that would not crack.” That whole first draft took me about four hours, to the best of my recollection. This is what it looks like. Note that I use parentheses around words I’m not sure I want to use, and underscore words I’m considering changing. The diagonal lines mean I used those lines in the next draft. It appears I used all the lines in the first draft except for “Who walked among us standing tall” which is probably a good thing.

first draft

Here is the opposite side btw…

first draft 1

The second draft was apparently done the next day, as is dated on the bottom. Note that it is missing a verse. I can’t recall the exact reason for that, but I do remember I spent a significant amount of time, at least an hour, finding a replacement for the word “source” since I had originally written one of the lines as “A source of goodness on that day” and was not happy with that at all. If you look at the upper right corner of the first draft, you’ll see “embodiment/essence.” It took me a while to decide on “embodiment” but I believe it’s the most appropriate word.

2nd draft

The third draft includes the missing verse, with the finalized line “An embodiment of goodness on a day” as well as the poem finally getting a title. I believe “We Shall Never Forget” seems most appropriate.

3rd draft

I posted the poem on a few poetry sites that day, September 30, 2010. The first it would have appeared on would be Got Poetry, and someone there commented that it focused on the better aspects of that day, which I believe is a big part of its widespread appeal. I went the extra step that day, and did a search to see if there were any dedicated 9/11 poetry sites, and the first that appeared was a site called “9-11 Heroes.” I posted the poem on that site as well, which I believe to be a contributing factor in its widespread use.

One day in the summer of 2011, I happened to notice a comment left on the poem over on Poetry Craze, which is the most viewed poetry site. The comment read “I would like to use this poem for my church’s 9/11 dedication. It is one of the better 9/11 poems/tributes that I’ve read.”

I was so impressed that someone would actually want to use my poem in their church’s 9/11 ceremony, that I attempted to contact the author of the comment by sending him a message through Facebook. I wanted to thank him, as well as being curious as to which church it was and the like. Since I still hadn’t heard back from him by September 11 of that year, I decided to do a quick Google search out of curiosity, just to see if anything might turn up. What did turn up went way beyond anything I could have possibly imagined, and it literally took me four days to go through all the Google results. I did a public forum post that year, the tenth anniversary, of some of the highlights, mostly print stuff, police, military and school uses, and ceremonies. There was even more, but I had to remove a couple links as they became “archived.” Here is the post.

http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst538_My-911-Tribute-poem-has-been-in-print-at-least-fourteen-times-in-2011.aspx

Anyway, that’s the story of my 9/11 tribute poem, and I’m continually amazed at the extent of its use since. Let me leave you with my poem btw…thanks, Alan (09-10-13).

Recalling the better aspects of humanity on that day…the heroes…

We Shall Never Forget (9-11 Tribute)

Let the world always remember,
That fateful day in September,
And the ones who answered duty’s call,
Should be remembered by us all.

Who left the comfort of their home,
To face perils as yet unknown,
An embodiment of goodness on a day,
When men’s hearts had gone astray.

Sons and daughters like me and you,
Who never questioned what they had to do,
Who by example, were a source of hope,
And strength to others who could not cope.

Heroes that would not turn their back,
With determination that would not crack,
Who bound together in their ranks,
And asking not a word of thanks.

Men who bravely gave their lives,
Whose orphaned kids and widowed wives,
Can proudly look back on their dad,
Who gave this country all they had.

Actions taken without regret,
Heroisms we shall never forget,
The ones who paid the ultimate price,
Let’s never forget their sacrifice.

And never forget the ones no longer here,
Who fought for the freedoms we all hold dear,
And may their memory never wane,
Lest their sacrifices be in vain.

09-30-10b. 

Featured Author – Alan Jankowski

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Hi Alan, I’m so glad you’re finally here! 🙂 

People let me introduce to you Alan Jankowski! Poet, lover of the Exakta, and penguins, but first and foremost a fantastic guy and author.

Alan W. Jankowski is the award winning author of well over one hundred short stories, plays and poems. His stories have been published online, and in various journals including Oysters & Chocolate, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, eFiction Magazine, Zouch, The Rusty Nail, and a few others he can’t remember at the moment.

When he is not writing, which is not often, his hobbies include music and camera collecting. He currently resides in New Jersey. He always appreciates feedback of any kind on his work, and can be reached by e-mail at: Exakta66@gmail.com

With the official introduction out off the way allow me to give you this dirty Martini and offer you a seat, because the grilling hour is here. 

Comfortable? Okay, lets get on with it then.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

Oh, I only write one paragraph at a time anyway. I usually write one paragraph, then go off and have a cigarette or something while thinking about the next paragraph. I come back to the computer and type it out. I just keep doing this, and by the end of the night, or early morning, I have a whole story. So, I guess the answer to your question would be having a cigarette. Sorry I couldn’t come up with anything more festive than that.

It’s okay, still sounds like you know how to party. But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?

I’m one of those people that doesn’t always feel like they have to be writing. In fact, the last year or so have been relatively unproductive for me, as far as actual writing goes anyway. I did put out a book last year though, and it seems I get involved in writing related stuff a lot even during the times I’m not actually writing. So, it really don’t bother me if the muse isn’t around. Don’t get me wrong btw…I can be very prolific at times. For instance, I wrote 41 short stories in the first three months I started writing, and have been known to crank out a 6700 word short story in a night. So, even if I don’t pound on the keys for a while, I make up for it when I actually do.

Right, you might just have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

I Often Wonder: A collection of poetry and prose.” On Inner Child Press.

324-Final Mock 5

I love that cover! It is actually entered in a cover contest and currently leading if I’m not mistaken. Check it out once you’ve read the full interview.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No. It’s a book of 78 poems and 4 short stories. I just used the title of one of the poems.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

The book is poetry and short stories. There was a concious effort to keep the book relatively G-rated because of the extensive use of my work, notably one poem, in schools, church bulletins, military, police and other assorted service publications…that sort of thing. I wouldn’t really call it a genre change, but I definitely was keenly aware that I had to conform to certain accepted “standards” so to speak.

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing.

Having to actually type stuff out can really suck sometimes.

Voice control? They say it only takes about six months to teach it to understand you. 🙂

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Well, I really only have one book out. It came out this past September, 2012 and I have to admit I haven’t done a huge amount yet to market it, for various reasons. My first real author event will be this coming September at the local library here in South Amboy, NJ. The library director, Elaine Gaber, has me scheduled for Tuesday night September 10, so it will be a bit of a 9/11 related thing, with me reading the poem I’m most famous for, as well as other things from the book. After that, the library will be selling the book at the counter, with a portion of the proceeds going to the library itself. I need to do more events like this, and not just every September, but I’ve had some transportation issues for one thing, which hopefully will be resolved in the next couple of months. In other words, I need a car.

Btw, for those reading who may not be aware, I became rather well known for one poem I wrote honoring the heroes of 9/11. I created this post in a public forum following the tenth anniversary, which is the first 9/11 my poem was out for btw. This link will give you some idea, but even this is just a tip of the iceburg, so to speak…

http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst538_My-911-Tribute-poem-has-been-in-print-at-least-fourteen-times-in-2011.aspx

So, I kinda have that advantage of having my name come up every year, and in a good way I might add. I think it’s fairly safe to say that nothing I do in life, writing or otherwise, will ever generate quite as much publicity as far as getting my name out there as that one poem. And I have a hunch it will get quite huge as time goes on, the trick being to connect the publicity generated by that with anything else I may put out in the future…and without being percieved as trying to profit off of 9/11. I think I’m in an unusual situation in that respect, with the guaranteed publicity every year, and no doubt one that most authors would be glad to be in. I just have to make it work, though I have a feeling that as time goes on, that won’t be a big problem.

I think you might be right. With the right people working for you, and I don’t mean for money but simply because they want the poem to get national coverage, you have the chance to become huge!

Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Oh, some stressful, unexpected event will drive old Musy away every time.

What does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?

I’d like to think my muse is a rather hot looking brunette, but I could be wrong. Actually, almost anything could be my muse at times, so that’s sort of a loaded question.

Ooohhh, Alan it could even be a bit saucy. Hahahaha

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I tend to write mostly in the first person, so essentially I would be talking to myself. You’re asking if I talk to myself? I beg your pardon…go ask one of my imaginary friends, they’re not speaking to me at the moment btw.

Hahahaha.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Lol…if it wasn’t for coffee, I’m quite sure I’d never write anything.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

Oh yeah, well…as I said earlier, I’m not one of those people that feels they have to always be writing. I’m not really sure if you’ll belive that, but I believe it.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I had no idea I wanted to do this until about four years ago when I stumbled upon a writing site on the internet. Believe it or not, I had never even thought about being a writer, or even writing anything, until I was 48 years old. I still really consider myself the “accidental writer.”

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Damn, no cats, dogs, or children? How about penguins? Only kidding…jeez, something that hasn’t been heard before eh? That’s probably nothing nowadays, thanks to the internet and social media sites, and btw…don’t believe everything you hear. Here’s something I hate to admit, but I seriously need to get back to writing. I had started a novel back in 2010, and my progress got cut short rather abruptly when my computer got stolen from the local library back in September of that year. I lost all my notes, which amounted to about fifteen pages. Since then, I’ve sort of been dragging my feet about getting back to it. I admittedly dread the thought of rebuilding all the notes again, and I hate doing “double work” so to speak as it is. I like to think things happen for a reason, though we don’t always see it at the time, and a lot of events in my life have proven that to be true. I’d like to think I’m a better writer than I was three years ago, so perhaps in the long run I’ll be better off.

But, I really do need to get back to it. Short stories can be fun, and poetry can give you a warm fuzzy feeling, and do a lot towards name recognition, but it’s never been known to pay the bills. And it would be nice to see some real book sales, and novels are the inevitable next step for me anyway. I have ideas for at least three, it’s just a matter of putting fingers to keys…or something like that.

And right you are Alan. I’m very glad you took this much time for my interview. Have a penguin, take care and success with the September reading. We’ll be speaking soon again.

For now I’d like to tell the people they can find you on Facebook, Goodreads, Google+AuthorsdB, and on Twitter.