Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Poetic Defense

 Commas Are People Too

Recently my friend and fellow author Erika Szabo wrote a blog post about the correct usage for commas in writing. Of course, I felt the need to come to the defense of this abused form of punctuation.  So I wrote this in response:


"Commas, commas everywhere
This really has to end
You even have them in the air"
"But are my friends!"

"Commas are not people
Now look me straight in the eye
Repeat: The more the merrier
To commas does not apply!"

Editors are no fun
They'll never understand
That commas are perfect
And friend to poet and man!

Much to my surprise, Erika wrote a second piece on the subject!  Oh my!  What to do!!  Well, I had no choice but come to defend my friends from this new assault.


Oh, maligned comma
So misunderstood
Despite that you're always
Trying to do good
Offering yourself
With no thought or care
Then an editor spies you
Questions why you are there
It is no wonder
You feel such despair

Oh, gentle comma
See how your hopes fly
A delicate apostrophe
Soaring up high
Against gravity's pull
You give it your all
'Til the proofreader's frowns
Put an end to it all
Joy dissolves as
To despair's depths you fall

Oh, distraught comma
Your uncertainty I feel
Semicolon is your blending
As you decide what is real
Unsure whether to pause
Or let it finally end
Then the editor shows up
With her eraser and red pen
Unfortunately all writers
To their will do bend

Oh, defenseless comma
Which never does harm
So few will acknowledge
Your plenteous charm
Be assured you're important
Not a punctuation waste
Though publishers view you
With scorn and distaste
Eradicating your presence
In death-defying haste

Oh, precious comma
Your kindness does show
Despite everything
We are friends, you know
Editors do their best
To remove you from our world
I promise that as an author
Your curls to unfurl
May be a thorn irritating editors
But that's how oysters make pearls

Hope you enjoyed my poems.  Please click on the links within the story above to find her and her very informative pieces.  Happy Writing!

Erika is also a wonderful publisher,

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Marketing Experiment

Rhymes Through Time

I was getting frustrated trying to figure out how to market poetry books.  I had two out, Voices In My Head and They Won't Shut Up but sales were flat-lined. Those that had the first two wanted me to publish again, but I really could not find a legitimate reason to pour more money down this seemingly bottomless pit. 

Cost was not my only deterrent. I had the poems, I had more than enough of them to publish another book.  The problem was I could not find a cover that would connect to the first two books.  I figured I would wait it out and see if a solution would come to me.

Suddenly an idea light-bulb had appeared inside my head!  Amazon had Kindle Unlimited!  I could have a small book with samples of the first two and some new stuff and offer it there!  I would be letting people see what I do and advertising all three books at the same time!

A dear friend, Wren Liddle, created a beautiful cover for me and I set about deciding how to do the interior.  Since it was a sample book, I decided not to sort the poems into sections like I had the first two. Instead, I decided it would be completely random. I selected poems from each book and from those unused on my computer by pulling their titles out of a hat.  Then I placed all the selected titles in the hat and picked the order they would appear.

I published Rhymes Through Time only as an e-book and submitted it to Kindle Unlimited.  Unfortunately, by the time I decided to play with KU, the rules had changed and not in a way that benefited a poetry book.  I removed it from the service but left it available as an e-book.  I assumed that since it had poems already available in print no one would care to have it in paperback. It was several years later that I was talked into having a print version created.  With a back cover poem already written, and the help of my friend Erika Szabo,, I quickly had my third book in print.

It has been a while but, Rhymes Through Time is again being used as an experiment.  At the suggestion of Erika, I submitted it to be formatted as an audio book.  It is being narrated by Linda A. Hynson and will soon be available on ACX!  In fact, I just listened to the first 15 minutes and accepted it!  To hear my poems read by such a talented woman is a surreal experience.  I am beyond excited!  Erika again came to my rescue when she informed me a new cover would be needed for the audio book as it had to be designed as a square.  This is the gorgeous cover she created for me!


I  am looking forward to hearing the completed book!  Will more audio books be coming?  I am not sure.
Find Cindy on her:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Kindness comes in all shapes

Gifts Of Love

Created for me by Martha Perez


I write poems, that is basically the extent of my talents.  My abilities to create promotional material is very limited.  I had begun to figure out PicMonkey and Animoto then they both became paid sites so that ended my attempts at mastering anything.  My internet is flaky at home because I live in the middle of nowhere (and Verizon cannot even decide which state I live in so it jumps towers).  As a truck driver, it jumps towers so much I lose most of what I am trying to upload.  So I basically gave up.


As you can see from the above picture, I did not give up much!
Lucky for me I have friends who are kindhearted and create stuff for me.  Jessica House has created numerous pictures for my poems and even created the cover design for Words On The Wind!  


 Other friends created my videos and other promotional pictures.  Barbie Liddle, Jenny Bynum,  Karina Kantas ,  Aileen Aroma and  M.C.V. Egan to name a few.


Erika M Szabo  is another dear friend who has done so much for me.  She has created a gif for me of all my books, reformatted and uploaded them all to D2D.  My latest books which make up a 4 book collection, she enhanced creating visual masterpieces.  Her tender heart found a way to honor my daughter even more in the section of her poems.

I wish to thank them all.  Their generous offerings are so appreciated. They were not obligated to do anything for me, it was just their kindness, pure and simple.

So, when you read about "authors" who send "trolls" out to defile someone's name and talent, consider these wonderful people and know the bad apples are not in the majority!

Find Me:


Sunday, April 7, 2019

My Awesome Gang

I belong to this cool author gang

Talented, kindhearted people 

Sharing knowledge and experience

With each other and the world

Come on over and meet us 

Watch our video

 Mandy Eve-Barnett
Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA and adult books. Every story has a basis of love, magic and mystery. Her passion for writing emerged later in life and she is making up for lost time. With seven books published since 2011 and two more launching 2019 and another two in progress, she indulges her Muse in creative as well as freelance writing.  Mandy regularly blogs at where she encourages support and networking of all writers.

Cindy J. Smith
Cindy has written poetry, and with every experience in life, she has found inspiration. Wife, Mother and Grandmother, she has a myriad of beautiful memories to draw from. Never having been good at playing the part of "starving artist", she has had many careers, but her current one, an over-the-road truck driver with her husband, Dave, has provided amazing opportunities for inspiration in her later years. Currently, Cindy is working on the follow up to the Caesar book and a "real novel" that she started in November when she participated in NANO.

Erika M Szabo
The founder of OAG
?I became an avid reader at a very early age, thanks to my dad who introduced me to many great books. The writing bug bit me much later, on a rainy afternoon, when I couldn’t find any new book to read. My daughter had enough of my moping around and snapped at me, “Mom, stop whining! If you haven’t a book to read, then write one.” Her challenge shocked me, but I started playing with the idea and I’ve been writing stories, that I like to read, ever since. I write speculative alternate history fiction, romantic urban fantasy, historical suspense novels as well as fun, educational, and bilingual books for children ages 2-14

Christina Weigand
Where dragons, princes and princesses find the magic
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of four grown children. She is also Nana to five granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington. She has three published YA Christian Fantasy novels; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One, Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. She also has a woman’s Bible study Women of the Bible: A Study published. Recently the first two books in a MG Fantasy series were published, Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully and Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective with the remaining four to be published the near future. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

Darlene Foster
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children's adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places.  Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Rick Haynes
Humour, fantasy and love have been my precious life companions for over fifty years. But writing about my experiences never occurred to me.
Yet fate is inexorable. Due to illness, I was house bound and bored. My wife suggested I write about my feelings. Within a few weeks, I was hooked. My new drug took over my life, urging me on, demanding my attention.
Drabbles, short stories, collections and novels, I’ve written many, and been proud of my achievements. And when folk enjoy my work all the effort is worthwhile.

Eric Klein
Eric is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy reader who has always enjoyed those stories that show how the science and technology can affect people’s lives. By day he works in hi-tech, lecturing on telecom security.
As he has done quite a bit of travel for fun and business, he has included events in the story that are based on personal experiences. For example, several years ago he accompanied his wife to an International Scientific Congress in Montreal. That particular week had several major events going on in the city. Other than the congress, there was a weeklong comedy street fair (Think jugglers, mimes, other performers, shows, and street art like a tree made out of circuit boards,), and the North American Gay and Lesbian Choir competition. As you can see it was a very mixed crowd. Some of those events have been recreated in the story.

Rebecca Tran
I am a mother, author, and pharmacist. I love all things fantasy and science fiction. I write paranormal romance, sci-fi, and fantasy with a brief venture into horror. If you asked me to choose between Star Wars and Star Trek, I can't, but the original 3 movies were the best and Next Generation is still great. I am currently working my way through Naruto Shippuden (only 400 episodes to go) so you can add anime fan to the list of my nerdy qualities. When all of my other activities don’t take up my time I bicycle, quilt or shop antique stores to add to my teapot collection.

Molly Neely
Molly Neely is the author of the Paranormal novel, The Sand Dweller, as well as a contributor to the anthology, Fall into Fantasy 2017. Her short story, An Heirloom Spirit, is one of 108 stories in the collection, CEA Greatest Anthology Written, which is currently a contender for a Guinness Book of Worlds Records title. Molly lives in Fresno Ca with her husband, Lyle and their Whippet, Devo.

Eva Pasco
On the road, as in life—I accelerate!
My writing career accelerated after retiring from teaching inside the third grade trenches, whereby midlife restlessness prompted me to rekindle my passion for storytelling. Although I’ve published a nonfiction memoir collection, my preferred genre to roll up my sleeves is that of Contemporary Women's Fiction, distinguished for its character-driven plots which feature flawed and feisty female protagonists over forty.

Patty MacFarlane
Patty MacFarlane is an author of love stories from the heart. She writes tender and funny stories, some of which are based on her own life experiences. Others are totally fictional.
Patty expresses her thoughts on her about me page which can be found here: and offers "A True Story About Angels" which can be read here:

Lorraine Carey
Lorraine is a retired children's reading specialist, and an International Award-Winning Author. She has taught in the US and also the Caribbean. She was a city gal living in Orange County, California, until fate whisked her off to Grand Cayman where life was very different from the one she was accustomed to. Trading in her fashionable heels for flip-flops was quite a change, but led to a lifestyle that allowed for a writing career to flourish.
As of July 2018 she has moved back to the states and residing in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Her love for paranormal stories and urban legends began at a young age, when staying up all night to watch spooky movies or reading a scary book started a lifelong passion.
Lorraine is no stranger to the paranormal, as she has encountered many unexplainable events during her lifetime. Many of those events have been woven into her fiction tales.

Karina Kantas
Karina is a prolific author and writes in the genres of romance, YA, thriller, fantasy, horror, erotica, just to name a few. She lives on the Island of Corfu with her family and warped imagination.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
Mary has lived her entire life within five miles of the Missouri River. She and her husband of 38 years have lived 35 of those years on a farm that has been consistently owned and operated by his family for five generations. A graduate of the Writer's Institute of America and a member of the Heartland Writers Guild, she has published a number of articles in various forums and magazines and is a prolific ghost writer. Her stories, based in rural mid-western areas, concern the unique but quickly vanishing way of life on the family farm as well as other mysterious intricacies that evolve life from generation to generation. Romance is her preferred genre.

PJ Mann
Travel inspires my writing. That's why I keep myself on the go.
"According to my internet search history, either I am a writer or I am a serial killer."
genres: Crime/thriller
I am first of all a traveler who cannot live without having a flight ticket to the next destination. Traveling is an important part, not only of my writing life, as a source of inspiration, but also as a mean of personal growth. I enjoy writing thrillers to which I add my personal touch of introspection. From the misfit, to the hero, to the villain and the stand-byer, I feel like there is a bit of me in everyone. I tend to become very fond of my characters, although, some of them will be the next victim.
I live in Finland working as a geologist during the day and writing during the evenings/nights. I love photography and walking in the nature. I have big dreams, and one day I will catch them all."

Keith Forsythe
Keith Forsythe had an early love of writing. While in high school, he had several poems published through local media. Then life got in the way. He enlisted in the US Navy and proudly served on the submarine “USS Tinosa”. He returned home, raised a family, worked hard, and forgot the catharsis and joy writing had brought him. Things went downhill for Keith. Slowly and surely. He battled depression and darkness until a car accident shook him from his apathy. Now he has moved to Canada. Married a very sexy librarian. And most importantly, reconnected with his love of the written word. His poems have frequently been featured on “The Dear John Show” and are being reposted throughout social media. His first published collection, Affection After Affliction, explores the darkness of his past and the love and happiness he has now found.

Alan Zacher
After many years of being a "struggling" actor in LA, I turned to writing. I have had two novels published: "I'm No P. I." and "A Ghoulish Good Time." I have had MS for serval years now; I know physical and mental pain; so I need much laughter to endure it. Hopefully, my novels do just that--give much laughter.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pet Peeves


Case Scenerio:
You just finished reading the newest book by your favorite author.  It was amazing! Your BFF loves the same author and you really want to talk about it with her.  So, you let her borrow your beautiful new book. Two days later, she excitedly tells you she is finished and proceeds to remove your new book from her purse.

Speechless you stare at her.  Your  mind starts to question if this person should really have the status of BFF.  Your book has been damaged beyond repair. She has bent the pages down!  It's once perfect shape is now deformed as the corners refuse to lay smoothly.  How can she live with herself! With distaste, you gingerly grab your book and tenderly set it down.  Your mind is now lost in a sea of disbelief, barely cognizant of the fact she is talking to you.

You have been there, I know you have.  It is so frustrating! Couldn't she find a piece of paper anywhere to mark her place?  A piece of tissue, note pad, or even a business card would work if no actual bookmark is available!  She could have even torn a small piece off her shirt instead of bending down the pages!! 

To keep from ever being in this horrifying predicament yourself, you can always buy a deck of cards and keep them in your purse!  They make tiny ones so they won't take up too much room.  This will provide you with 52 handy bookmarks (54 if the deck came with Jokers and you did not send them to me)!  You could even tear them in half and have 108!!  (actually you should only end up with 104 as the Jokers really should be sent to me) No need to ever deface a book again!  

Let us finally end the abuse of books and leave dog ears where they belong--ON DOGS!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

How It Came To Be

Words On The Wind

I decided to have all the new poems I had written since Rhymes Through Time edited.  QUIET! Please? was to be my next published book, but I could not find anyone who could make a cover that would connect to the first two. (To be honest, after seeing how easy it was to just randomly select poems instead of sorting them, I was not looking very hard.) Several Facebook friends who had been reading my poems as I wrote them kept asking me to publish another collection.  So, I made a poll and asked, "If I were to publish another book using randomly selected poems, what would you name it?"  Several people offered suggestions.  One, Jessica House, not only suggested a title, she actually created a cover for the book!  How could I possibly ignore such love and support? I let them decide how many should be included then set about choosing. I pulled out my trusty hat, put all the titles in and picked poems.  The order is the way their titles were picked.


You feel the rhythm
And also the words
Mind creates a path
Where once all was blurred
The voice you're hearing
Is really your soul
Listen, it can heal
Your heart, make it whole
This poem is all you
The words and the rhyme
See thoughts you've hidden
Deep down in your mind
If you see nothing
You must be afraid
To let the real you
Escape from the shade

Find Cindy on her:


Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Taste of Poetry


A wrinkle in time
That's what it is
Just a bump in the road
A blip in life's continuum
Hands of a clock sticking
Popping backwards a little
Pausing for a moment
Before moving forward
Reflecting what was
What could have been
Then it rushes onward
Ticking away the years
Striving, reaching out
Stretching towards the future
Until it pauses once again
Allowing the past to return
Become real again
Another memory relived
Heartache or happiness
Either way it is the past
Wrinkling the fabric of time

© Cindy J. Smith