Archive | March 2016

Poetry efforts so far…

For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to learn poetry. My editor thought it would be a good homework assignment for me, to teach me “how to get emotion in a single line,” and branch out a little more. That’s fine. I’m geeky, I like assignments.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been struggling with this. Not with writing the poem. That comes pretty quickly. I look at the photo prompt on Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam (the Facebook site I’ve been asked to look at on Saturdays where they put up a new picture prompt to give you some ideas for the week), and then think about it and write whatever comes to mind. I spend a little bit of time on it, but not more than ten minutes. You see, I don’t quite know what makes up a poem. There are so many kinds. Haikus, ones that rhyme, those with rhythm and cadence, some that, to me, make no sense at all, yet are still considered poems.

This is a really cute site because they are so supportive – they just want to spread the love of poetry, so I’ll continue the exercise each week, but at some point I’d like to actually understand what I’m doing.

This week’s photo prompt had a gothic looking woman standing on a ceremonial platform with fire, symbols and all these mystical things around her. Go to the site here and you’ll see it…

So, this is what I came up with:

I dance around the firelight,
And move along the wind.

I’ve heard the names, the uttered cries,
But none can see within.

Sybil, enchantress, witch and shrew
Are names spit out with hate.
Their fear so deep, it stalls their hearts
Against nature’s untainted plate.

But I am of the earthly realm
Mother’s lifeblood seeps through my veins
Her beauty calls and takes me home
And Wicca is my name.

Is this a poem? Is it written correctly? I have no idea. I’m a fiction writer, so to me, I just write a story around the prompt. At some point I’d love some technical advice about the above. If any of you would like to chime in, by all means!

And come over to the site here: and like the page. There’s quite a few of us that leave poems each week. On Saturdays they post the prompt, people post their poetry all week, then the admins choose one on Thursdays and Friday discuss it. It’s not a popularity contest, or a win/lose scenario and you can comment on all of them.

I will say, I am seeing the connection with emotion. Some have given me chills, so I know that’s the feeling I need to impart with each poem. A way to create an emotional response.

Do you like poetry? Do you write it? Come on over!

The Launch of Book #3 in the Kelsey Porter Series: The Call of Mount Sumeru

THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU FINALThat’s right folks! Kelsey Porter is back with a vengeance and Book #3 has officially launched!

Kelsey Porter returns to NYC with her world turned upside down. Her brother has betrayed her, her boyfriend is missing, and she’s left with a mysterious manuscript no one can decipher. It’s not until she goes searching for the elusive legend of Bigfoot at a Buddhist Monastery in Alaska that she finds herself, yet again, thrust into situations that are seemingly beyond her control. Why are children suddenly missing across the Pacific Northwest? Where is Desmond? Are these mysterious creatures in the woods really Yetis? It’s these questions she pursues and they bring her full circle back to Buddhist spiritual mysteries, and this time it’s not her life that hangs in the balance, but the lives of an entire civilization.

This has been a huge labor of love and so many people have told me how much they’ve enjoyed the novels. Please feel free to grab your copy. I am doing an EARLY BIRD SPECIAL for BOOK #3 for JUST $0.99 for this week, so please enjoy!

UK Amazon:

Here’s a review for Book #1 from the esteemed author Douglas Preston!

The Hunt for Xanadu by Elyse Salpeter is a remarkable novel, a fascinating and fantastical journey in time and space, and one of the most gripping novels I’ve read in a long time. It flies along at the pace of a thriller, with plenty of murder and mayhem along the way. But behind the thrill-ride is a spiritual story, an archetypal tale of mystery and darkness, riddled with fascinating and esoteric concepts in Tibetan Buddhism. Vivid characters, a truly appealing protagonist, unexpected twists, and crisp writing complete this unforgettable book. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

–Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author and co-creator, with Lincoln Child, of the Pendergast series



FB cover series

And if you have read any of these novels, would you be so kind as to leave an honest review? Good or bad. It would be so appreciated. I’d love to hear what you think. Thank you all so much!

Why Fiction Writers Should Write Poetry

I’m going to start by saying that I don’t really consider myself a poet. I’ve never quite understood it, I never caught on to the rhyming and cadence. I just didn’t get it. I thought you were either a good fiction writer or poet, much like people say you’re either a good baker or cook. I’m learning that neither are mutually exclusive.

About two weeks ago, my editor suggested I start writing poetry. Now, you need to understand “her suggestions” are never just light suggestions. They mean something… and it usually means work on my end. She’s not your typical editor. She’s also a teacher and when she sees something in your writing she thinks you could use to improve yourself to become a better writer, well, she tells you. (if you’re interested in this type of editor who teaches as well as edits, check Denise Vitola out here) Anyway, she suggested I go to this new Facebook page called Peanut Butter & Poetry Jam and look at the image prompt they put up on Saturdays. The concept is you write a poem in the comments and then on Thursdays they pick a poem to discuss on Fridays. She said this would be a good exercise for me and “it was suggested” I do this each Saturday. (hmm…suggested, ordered, take your pick).

Created by Beth Ann Ryden

Created by Beth Ann Ryden

But I did. Strangely, my poem got chosen the first week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. Nor my entry for the second week. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. Normally I agonize over work that goes public, but I have no real idea of what I’m doing, nor any idea of what I should even agonize about. But, while I’m self-conscious and it feels like my entries are lame, I’m trying. And apparently, they seem to be passable and getting some nice feedback. Come on over and like the page and put in a poem. No cost, no competition, just feedback. Please don’t be fearful. I’ve talked to people who want to do it, but get scared they will be judged. I promise you, this isn’t that kind of place. If I can do it, by all means you can. Here was my entry last week with the gorgeous photo prompt created by Beth Ann Ryden.

My Entry:

“How often does the sea meet the sky, papa?”
“As often as the sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, and the tides flows in and out. As often as the dolphin breaks the surface to breathe, the fish swim in schools and the earth spins. The sea meets the sky from the moment you wake, to the moment you sleep. Rise up, dear daughter and meet the sky, for wonders will be met and joy will be felt when your face touches the sun.”

So I started thinking… am I a poet? Have I ever been? I was in the attic last night and I actually found this poem I wrote when I was about twelve. I remember thinking back then I still had no idea what I was doing, but you can see the joy in it. The way I circled the “dots above my “i’s,” the little doodle drawings on the margins like kids do.

One of my earlier efforts - might have been 12 yrs old?

One of my earlier efforts – might have been 12 yrs old?

Do you write poetry? How do you feel about it? Love to hear!