The Run Down

Friday, August 31, 2007


We as writers don't live in a vacum either. With that said read. Read often.

On the poetry side I am reading 'Call Me Ishmael Tonight' by Agha Shahid Ali and 'The First Hay (na)ku Anthology' edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young.

On the sci-fi side I am reading 'The Phoenix Exultant' by John C. Wright.

Make sure that you keep reading because that extra stimuli opens up new channels in your thinking and can cause you to go in direction that you wouldn't have thought of on your own.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Links

I added a new list dealing with links connecting to poetry forms to the right. I will update the list everytime I overview a new form in my blog. At present I have a link to THE Hay(na)ku blog (the blog of the creator of the form) and a link to a great Haibun journal. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Poetry Form: The Haibun

The Haibun is a Japanese form often used in a travelogue form. It is another brief form (lately I've been experimenting with brief forms). It consists of one or more paragraphs with one or more embedded haiku. The prose is often poetic in and of itself. It lends itself to reveal a special moment. The haiku amplify the prose by illustrating a direct or subtle relationship to the moment. Basho, a traveling zen monk is the originator of this form circa 1650. As he wrote them while he was traveling the same subject matter permeates modern Haibun.

I have a lot of travels that I have taken (and continue to take). I find it a great meditative form to use in my travel journals. I also lean toward poetic prose so this form allows me to explore that particular strength. Try it out.

*Poets and Writers has just updated their contests and residencies area. Check it out.
*In the future I will link some poetry form sites to my blog. Stay tuned

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You are not an island

Writers are a community. We do not exist on an island nowadays. Make sure that you are a part of this community. There are so many ways that youu can become a part. You can join a writer's workshop in your area. You can join one of the the billions of online writer's forums out there. You can subscribe to one of the many magazines or journals. It is just important that you become a part so that you first have a group of people supporting you who respect the written word. For me, this group was essential in getting me through the 'dark night of the soul' that many of us go through in terms of judging our own work.

Being around other writers also enables you to recieve new stiumuli in the form of their writings. When I am writing I tend to shut my self off to mine the resources within my own self. It is important to stay organically connected to the world though. The works of other writers is a great way to do this.

So don't flee the people who probably understand you the most.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get an Editor

Get an Editor

If you are working on a large project like a novel or a book of poetry or even a short story get an editor. In terms of your shorter pieces you should always have someone look them over. You should get use to someone critiquing your work. A once read over with a fresh eye will bring out the luster of your piece, clean up any loose ends, and make sure that your works are always presented in the best light.

Use all of the benefits of computer writing programs such as grammar/spelling check. If you have a friend who is an English major let them take a crack at your work. Editing is part of the process of writing. It is the final polish. In some cases editing may cause you to smash the whole project and start over again. That's alright. Don't become attatched to a single point in time of your creation. Allow your creation to grow and develop. Be in tune with every stage.

You may be perfect, yet your piece is not ;-) Let others point you toward perfection

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Writer Write

You have to keep writing.

It seems the most simple element yet it is the one that people ignore all of the time. Writers write. Runners don't get better by sitting around. Musicians don't get better by staying in bed all day. That 'i'm not inspired' is some porkshit that needs to be dismissed. You don't write always to turn out masterpieces. You write to become better at your craft. Even if you are inspired if you haven't perfected your skill then it isn't going to come out or it will come out as crap or you'll just be damn constipated.

*You will become better at grammar

*You will start to produce a volume of work to select from

*You will start to see things clearer

*You will be productive

*You will REALLY be a writer.

Don't set out to always write a whole poem, essay, book, short story, etc. Sometimes you just need to skroodle (skribble+doodle). That tightens up those writer muscles and every so often a beautiful piece emerges.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What is unique about you?

That is the most important jewel that you can discover. What sets you apart from 101 other writers out there? Why should I listen to you vs the next guy? Do you have anything important to say? Do you have a unique way of saying the same thing that everyone else is saying? Where are your works? What are you known for? Who is paying attention to you? What are you trying to do with your words?

When writing you have to sell yourself. The key is to get in the door. It isn't easy in this day of every type of media. Once you are in though you have to continue to make noise. You have to continue to innovate.

I haven't fully laid out what makes me unique yet I won't be content until the whole world knows my name.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Writer's Take Note

I have some new updates in here. I have a link to Asiatic Light Publishing which is the imprint through which I published my book. Check the RSS feed to the blog that will let you know what is going on there.

I have a link to Winning Writers which is another excellent poetry one stop site for contests, residencies, etc.

I also have a link to book summaries that I have done at Shvoong. Check it out

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Filter and Flood

If you aren't a full time writer you must balance your time. You have to discover the formula to write AND be productive on your quest to generate more of an income from writing. I haven't found the 'perfect' formula yet though I have seen some results.

Right now I am following a method I call 'Filter and Flood'. Basically each day I take a portion of time to see what new writing opportunities are out there from basically 4-5 search engines. I usually pull a good 15-20. From there I start to filter. I take out anything I can't write, anything that I ain't really feeling, and anything that doesn't meet my general standard (which is that there must be adequate payment for what is being requested). When I have my core left I then flood. This means that everything that is left I write. It may be some things that I ain't really THAT interested in yet the payment is good. It may be something that I have to do a little research on. I take all of that into account. The purpose though is getting my work out there. There will be rejections. Some of my work will not be up to par. The key though is to get my work out there so that I can get as many positive returns as possible.

If you are a writer then write. It is that simple.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Freelance Writer?

"That swift writer with a pen for hire"

How the Hell does one become a freelance writer? To be honest, I have no clue. The first thing I did I realized was the most IMPORTANT thing. I DECLARED myself a freelance writer. As soon as I put out that declaration I started to focus on things.

My first accomplishment was writing and publishing my book of poetry, Perihelion Baby (if you don't have it you can just click to get it in the top right hand corner..thank you very much). When I had that finished AND started getting feedback from people who had read it I was comfortable with saying that I was an author.

The second thing that I did was I started entering poetry contest. I even won a few (I am still waiting to win a 5 G That gave me the confidence that my writing could stand the test in any arena. I check out Poets and Writers magazine for the latest contests out there.

The third thing that I did was I started to dive into the internet. Through the internet I found several sites that listed daily freelance jobs from copy editing, blogging, online/offline magazines, etc. I am now learning how to filter through all of these and in time I will be able to draw up the best part. I have already found fruit. Several of my essays have been accepted for various periodicals and I have a regular blogging job at BlueBlack Atlantis.

I know it is only the beginning yet I am finally seeing that it is possible to make money off of something that I do all of the time and that I enjoy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The First Poem to Bless the Spot

In addition to all that I laid out in my intro this will also be a sort of workshop for me. I'll drop some poems that I'm working on (constantly writing) and maybe an essay here and there.

Pinky Rings and Pulpits

the preacher's son
the pusher's daughter

poppa was a stone rolling
following Domi trails
nomadic tents in random states
static still
black, white, grey
twilight zone
sometimes beautiful
sometimes terrible

naps in after hour clubs while daddy and the house band played
his friends whose golden arms flowing with itchy blood
spoiled acupuncture
nodding jack-in-the-box heads on springs
pipes with thin stems
small buds

the pusher's daughter
the preachers son

father was in heaven
final suppers of cannibal cuisine
slaughtering endless armies with kindness

surrounded by familial benedictions
king james hebrew
elderly and young testaments
reveled in prayer while bloodied cheeks turned

daughter of man grew jaded through project survival
son of god grew skeptical through religious ascension

fell for each other
without a dope fiend lean
strictly enamored
no saint no sinner
eulogy serenades
Curtis Mayfield crooning Fredy's death
Lazarus rising due to anointed voices

enclaves of needle groves in junkie paradises
across from
circus tents of small town revivals peppered with prayer benches
staring at each other across the tracks
finger painting in orange apple sherbert

©2007 by C'BS ALife

Thursday, August 9, 2007


In my never ending quest to become the writer that I already am I am everwhere. Sometimes I even loose track where I am at. I am posting here. I am submitting there. There are alot of people who have been very supportive of my work. There is another group, which I thought I would never get, who are my fan club. In deference to both groups I made the one stop author shop where you can get all of the writing of C'BS ALife in one place. You can find out where I am going to read. You can find out where I am going to sign my book. You can find out where my new writings are appearing. You can hear me as I work on making writing more of my lively-hood and that whole journey.

At the date of this writing the blog space has RSS feeds (meaning you going to get the up to second post) to two of my other blog sites, it has a link to my writings on, it has a link to my book, it has a link to my author page on myspace, and resources for writers। Keep in tune!