Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, October 07, 2012

October 7: Mermaids for free

ALERT: Just for today, October 7, my collection of short stories, The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales, is FREE on Amazon (KINDLE only) at   I'm hoping for a few reader reviews. Shameless self-promotion I know, but I'm trying to learn about marketing. Slowly!

Now for today's poem. The prompt comes from Octpowrimo (click to read other writers) and asks us to write a poem about friendship.

My Best Friend

Our daughters played together first.
Your slashing New York wit scared me, but
I found you work editing a hundred-page
horror of a manual on springs and coils.
It paid well. When a teaching job opened,
I spoke for you. You already had a reputation.
Our offices were next to each other. At coffee time,
one of us would thump the wall.
At department meetings, I kicked your shins
when it was time to be quiet.
You taught me how to argue.
Our daughters grew up, each finding haven in our houses.
We live in different states now, sisters still. 
One day we will sit on the porch
of a run-down retirement cottage facing the sea,
aging mermaids with ear buds tuned to Mick Jagger.

SUNDAY ROW80 UPDATE. Slow going this week, but the 40-page program for the Quilt Show is done! Only the proof on Monday, then 4,000 copies. Now to my 'real' goals:  

WRITING: So far, so good on writing a poem a day. Best is earlier in the day before reality intercedes. I feel a bit scrambled on my main wip, though. I circle what must be done. Am I ready for true revision, this being my third time through? I work on writing exercises and am seduced by research. I did find a new way to get into the imagery of places I have not visited. I make a table in Word with images on the left and my comments (and source) on the right. When I slow down and really look at the image, I learn about what my characters might see close up. Birds, kelp on rocks, the slant of a wave. I still need to diagnose what's missing -- plot holes, character flaws. But my progress here is nothing measurable.

READING: OK slow going here, but I did read one magazine. Not good enough. Finished a novel (JANE by Robin Maxwell) and another for review (SECRETS by Rick Bylina). Also pulled down several more books to review from Review Seekers on Facebook. Now to write Rick's review -- and at least two crits for writers on NOVELS-L on the Internet Writing Workshop.

MARKETING. I really don't like this part, but I will persevere. Some successes to report. I'm more comfortable on Twitter, following the mantra of reading and posting 2x a day. It's kind of exciting to find writing-related articles so easily. Most say limit the time (and I agree). 10 minutes. If the articles are really worthwhile, I return to them . . . later.  

I actually lost my draft marketing plan somewhere. Is that a joke? But I've started a new one AND because of what folks online have said about reviews being important, I took the plunge and signed up The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales for a free day, just for today, October 7. Already, by 8:30 am, I've "sold" 34 books. Maybe someone will post a review (that's my goal). I learned you can't be picked up by Kboards (a marketing goal of mine) unless you have at least 5 reviews. Aargh, what writers have to do!

May your week go well.


  1. Oh! This is wonderful. Friends like her are priceless.

  2. Anonymous11:31 AM

    SO SO SO sweet.

  3. I've been reading your great poetry every day. Thank you for the free ebook on Amazon UK as well.

  4. If you put book up on smashwords also the rest of us could read it as well - I'm a sony reader myself - reading a book on the computer is not a good experience so I miss out on the only kindle ones - still wish you all the best with it - it's terrible when the computer eats things I had simiar experience this week - ugh machines eh! all the best this coming week:)

  5. That's what I get for always being behind... sorry to have missed picking up your short stories for free! Loved your poem, and wishing you success this round.

    Marketing is hard, but I must admit the more I do it, the more it starts to feel natural. Well, not natural, but less painful. ;-)