So you can read my books

Friday, January 20, 2012


{"Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man."
~Emily Dickinson.}

That fabulous scamp of a gentlemen, Samuel Clemens, asked me to write in this "computer newspaper," as he calls it.

The dear somehow knew this date was important to me.

“Success is counted sweetest” was published anonymously in an anthology titled A Masque of Poets on this day in 1878,

the last of the handful of my poems published in my lifetime.

Though I remained firm in my decision that “My Barefoot-Rank is better,” this poem does reflect my continued mixed feelings about publishing:

Success is counted sweetest By those who ne'er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host Who took the flag to-day Can tell the definition, So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying,On whose forbidden earThe distant strains of triumphBurst agonized and clear!
I wonder, struggling souls, what would it mean to you if you were never published?

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -
True Poems flee.***
How long would you continue to write should publication elude you? Are the words burning within you to find life on the page?

For me, I never stopped writing :

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Will you stop writing if the years pass, leaving you unpublished? Why? And if you would continue, why? This tender spirit would like to know.

Just walk out into the sable night, look up into the listening stars, and whisper your answer to the wayfaring winds. I am a ghost. I shall hear.


  1. I can't honestly say if I'd still be writing if I never got anything published. I've been working on short stories because they get noticed.

    But I've always had a passion for short stories; loved them since I was old enough to read. I'm not sure my novel ideas are unique enough to sell.

    I don't know; but I'm enjoying the couple stories that have done well. It does make me more dedicated to the ideas still in process :)


  2. Being published is the icing but it shouldn't be the cake.

  3. Donna :
    I am glad your short stories are gaining you the attention you deserve. It is a hard market -- especially if you are Emily Dickinson, who is writing other than the cookie-cutter style that is currently popular.

    Toja :
    You and me both. Most people feel that my Kindle publishing is not being published at all. Still I will persevere with you!

    Alex :
    Yes, the writing to me was the fun. Still to be printed in print would be truly icing. Twenty years is a long time to have only one short story published! :-)

  4. I'd always be writing, whether or not I'd ever gotten anywhere with it. I have to do it, it's too much a part of me not to.

  5. I have dropped my writing for a time due to life's demands, but I have always returned. Like you, it is a part of me. Enjoy your weekend and sleeeeep. Roland

  6. So beautiful, and so true. It is sweetest to those of us who strive the hardest for it. What an elegant, beautiful way to say it.

  7. Nah, I've been writing since the way back in the 20th century, and I only in the past few years decided to see about getting published.

    It's a different thing, to write for yourself v. others.

    - Eric

  8. Thanks for your message of hope, Roland. As writers we write what we like - not everyone will like it, especially if it's not mainstream. Thankfully we have other publishing options these days. I will be published one way or another! (If I can ever finish editing, lol!).

  9. I think I'll write forever, no matter the outcome, it's an addicting outlet for me. And for my name's sake, I'll always have Hope :)

  10. Even after six books, it's not the joy of having them published. It's the knowledge that they touched someone's life. And for a writer, that can be done through many venues.

  11. I will definitely keep writing, if no one other than myself (and those who will rummage through my things after I am gone...)

  12. I hope if I never get published I will still write. Even if its just for me. Being published is always on our minds as writers. But we just can't let it consume us and take over to where writing becomes a chore. I write because I enjoy it. And yes, it'd be awesome to be published one day. But just to say I finished a book and am starting a new one is huge for me.

  13. Heather :
    Isn't it true? Goals easily obtained are cheaply held. I still remember fondly a cracked cat's eye marble I won after a furiously hard fought game of marbles! That was yesterday. LOL. No, I was seven and it still is with me. Isn't that something?

    Eric :
    Yes, writing for ourselves is better in some ways, for we aim only to please ourselves, not an editor!

    Lady Gwen :
    As for editing : sometimes you just have to let your children go into the world even though you know they are not perfect!

    John Locke writes for a particular audience and does well. But I am not tempted to read any of his work since I feel it has to be mechanical without much heart. Your writing and mine will at least have heart for it springs from our dreams and our hearts!

    Hope :
    Yes, exactly. I've been feeling down lately. But there I was today, waiting for a blood hand-off, writing a rough prologue to Victor's 3rd novel, imagining a 7 year old boy's confusion over the workings of females' mind : his mother and two girls he met in a zombie-infested playground. The hour flew by because I was enjoying myself so!

    Diane :
    Yes, you're right. The six books I wrote for a young girl undergoing painful medical treatment are the books that still mean the most to me -- and they had an audience of one, and probably will never be published.

    E.D. :
    That is how Emily Dickinson became famous : her sister searching her papers, then publishing her beloved sister's poems as is.

    There's hope for us, too!

    Abby :
    I am with you. To finish a book, totally, editing and poslishing is such a great feeling. A dream has taken form if only on a computer screen. May all our dreams expressed here come true and we also become published authors!

  14. Hi Roland .. the interesting thing is - we are already published .. as Clarissa reminded me recently - even if we never get into print or ebook as such .. our blog could be re-discovered years hence ... who knows!

    Cheers - Hilary