Bonus Poem of the Week: A Message for All Aspiring Novelists

A Message to All Aspiring Novelists
April 18, 2017

No one likes being rejected and tossed into the muck,
Having noses turn up at him or her and wished “Best of luck.”
No one likes being cast out from where he or she wants to be
Or denied that which he or she’s been fighting for. Believe me.
No one likes to struggle, especially when it comes to
Simply getting through the day. This I can assure you.
Even when there’s a pot of gold at the rainbow’s end,
Crossing said rainbow can be a chore. On that you can depend.
So much of a chore it is, too, that time and time again,
Too many people throw up their arms and walk away in the end,
Never to realize their dream, whether they deserve
To live that dream or not, all because of how their nerves
Have become shot over the course of months or years at a time,
And in the case of the worthy folks, it really is a crime,
For who’ll ever know the stories they could’ve shared with the world?
Certainly not the commonplace man, woman, boy, or girl
Or anyone who’d benefit from the messages within,
Even if said benefit is merely escaping the sin
And vice that’s been gripping the world for far too many years now.
Trust me…we all could use some escapism these days…and how!
We all deserve new stories with each year that passes by.
We all need something new to feed our hungry ears and eyes.
Otherwise, the old tales, good and bad, will grow stale,
And as they do, so will our minds, lest new storytellers prevail
To provide us with new substance with which to enrich our souls
And awaken within us the will to carry on into the fold
And accept each day as it comes, no matter what’ll be in store
When it happens to arrive, so long as it isn’t an utter bore.
After all, life’s one big adventure that we all undertake,
And it’s up to us to make the most of it with what we make
In terms of goals and other decisions and the choices that lead
Us down one path or another, and what better way to heed
This message than gleam inspiration from the stories we learn
To spark our thoughts and ambitions and help our hearts’ fires burn
With the passion that keeps us going every hour of the day.
That being said, why let rejection keep getting in the way?
The dream is still worth having, even though it may not seem so,
So keep your chins up and your noses to the grindstone and tally ho!
Keep your wits about you, too, and learn what makes a sale,
And may courage, creativity, and wisdom help you prevail
In the seemingly never-ending saga of chasing a dream
That might actually be more attainable than it might now seem,
For stories are more important than even you may ever know,
And only a sharp mind and a strong heart will help you see just so.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

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Poem of the Week: Books DON’T Suck

Books DON’T Suck
February 19, 2017

“Screw books! Books suck!” so I hear so many say
From my generation downward since YouTube’s younger days.
It’s all about video games with them and other electronics
Upon which they derive their usual entertainment fix.
Now, sure, I like my V-games every once in a while.
Hell, I used to buy older ones when they were already out of style.
I also like the occasional movie and television show,
But does that mean I hate books or should have to? Hell no!
Sure, they might not be as interactive as games can be,
Nor are their visuals as animated as those from films and TV,
But guess what: My imagination still works and can easily
Visualize any story that one’s written for you or me,
And when I want to put my mind to use during my downtime,
I’d rather spend it reading a book than watching whatever slime
The networks have slapped on my TV, from insipid comedies
And by-the-numbers dramas to artificial “reality”
And have it thrown in my face with all the grace and tact
Like a potty-mouthed “alpha” male bragging ‘bout his soulless sex life, jack.
Let’s not even talk about movies, the gamble that they are,
Which can sometimes be enjoyable, yet other times leave a scar
Based on how poorly written and acted they often can be
With shameless violence, sex, profanity, and nudity
Thrown in for good measure by clueless writers who think
Shock value adds something to bad scripts when it just makes them stink
More than they already do, no matter the topic at hand,
Even though many a trashy movie’s made millions across the land.
Even video games can be a pain in the neck at times
With the many microtransactions, shoddy game designs
And glitches galore that have plagued the industry for so long,
Amongst a slew of other flaws that still need to say “so long.”
Not only that, but books don’t cost any electricity,
Nor do they need a special monitor to read them, you see—
Unless you’re talking e-books, but then again, I like to be
Away from my computer whenever I can, I hope you see.
One especially doesn’t need a special console to read a book.
Just have one in your hand and open it up to take a look
At whatever’s on its pages. Who knows? You just might like
Whatever tale it’s telling and how it takes you from the tripe
Of the cold, harsh reality with which we all must deal.
I can certainly tell you how a good book has often helped me heal
By taking me out of whatever nasty situation I’m in
And giving me someone else to root for whom I hope will win
In his or her own struggles, which might often even parallel
The spot I happen to be in myself—my present private hell.
Even when that’s not the case, a good book can entertain
Me with interesting characters and a moral from which I can gain
Knowledge and wisdom from which I can apply later on in life
To whatever circumstances I might face that bring me strife.
Sure, not every book’s like this, but I could say the same
For anything else out there, be it a film, show, or video game.
Besides, why should I let one crappy book or another
Prevent me from enjoying a different book altogether, brother?
Not every piece of entertainment, no matter the form it takes,
Can live up to our expectations, and I can’t help but want to make
This point real to every person who dares call all books crap,
As that’s not the case at all, for most books don’t deserve such a rap—
Just like not every film or show’s a load of violent smut
That’s aimed to appeal to idiots and leave smart folks in a rut
In their search for honest entertainment that’s been crafted with care,
Which is why folks like me keep searching for whatever’s out there
And never settle for one form of entertainment or another.
Such is the mindset I believe should be adopted by others,
Even if they’ve been forced to read utter crap in school,
Or otherwise came across a book that simply wasn’t cool,
For defecating on literature only cheats one in the end
From options in how to spend one’s time outside the grind, friend.
That being said, no matter what any naysayer might say,
Give books a chance, for you’ll never know how they’ll make your day
‘Til you actually pick one up and give it an honest read.
Who knows? You just might be doing yourself a noble deed.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Talent is NOT Overrated

Talent Is NOT Overrated
February 12, 2017

“Talent is overrated.” Such is what certain insiders say.
“So long as the concept is catchy enough, people will come to pay.
It makes no difference how stupid, forced, contrite, or insincere
A story is, so long as it brings us the dough we hold so dear.”

“I’m sorry…what?” I demand in the face of such BS,
For talent indeed means something, so allow me to address
This point in this poem for the sake of encouraging
Ambitious, intelligent authors to at last seek their chance to sing
As well as publishers everywhere to give these folks the chance
The fame and fortune that others ‘fore them have gotten from the dance,
Be said prize deserved or not, for these days, more than ever,
Folks deserve to read material that’s bound to last forever.

So talent’s overrated? Then what can you really expect
When folks pay for, read, and have their brains befouled by some hack’s dreck
And discover the hard way just how sloppy it’d been thrown together
And that it can’t hold a candle to the greats in any kind of weather?
What do you say when shock value’s the only “merit” upon which
Said story can stand itself? Can you really praise it without a twitch
Of your lips or nose or eyelids, or will you end up giving away
The objective truth that said work never should’ve seen the light of day?

Now let me tell you what you can gain from a book that’s well-written:
A tale that can stand strong ‘gainst the competition and leave folks smitten
With characters worth investing in, a plot that can last through the ages,
And a feeling of satisfaction once one’s done flipping through the pages—
That is until years pass and one feels compelled to read it again
And the tale ends up being every bit as good as it did back then.
Not only that, but word of mouth and recognition can spread
Like wildfire about such genuinely good stuff until it’s been read
By the masses far and wide who, in turn, will sing its praises
Of the work year after year ‘til its legend lasts throughout the ages,
Which eventually leads to more copies sold and hence cash earned
For author, agent, and publisher alike, leaving to be burned
Only the fools who can’t write and any agent dumb enough
To scoff at the one work’s writer and claim it hasn’t the stuff.

Many is, after all, the agent who hasn’t the brains or the spine
To support that which has value in these messy , troubled times
Who’s time and again turned down such stuff for irredeemable crap
To sell to publishers so that said suits could have cash in their laps
From feeding the desperate masses whatever they could shovel out,
Which in turn has dulled the masses’ senses and made them mindless clouts
While those who’ve demanded better for so long have been made to starve
Or to look elsewhere to sate their hunger and avoid the barbs
Of the tainted crap that’s had no talent or love put into it.
Now, tell me: When it comes to change, don’t you see the world as fit?

Because if you ask me, then yes, the industry must change.
For too long have we been fed crap. Things must be rearranged.
Talent is not overrated. Stop shoving that mantra down
Our throats because at this point, we need more talent to go around,
And not just talent, either, but also effort and love—
The kind of passion that fits talent like a hand in a glove
And has made many a classic in every industry you can name.
It’s a tried-and-true method from the past that surely can do the same
In this era, should we all at least try to make the effort to
Promote the works of talented writers to be read by me and you.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Frustration with Critics

Frustration with Critics
January 26, 2017

Not helpful
Not respectful
Respectful of my work
Respectful of the art
Art proven difficult
Art of promotion
Promotion of the future
Promotion of labor
Labor you on with your words
Labor you on with your points
Points poorly worded
Points that are often wrong
Wrong according to the experts
Wrong according to common knowledge
Knowledge you act like you have
Knowledge you actually lack
Lack basic manners
Lack tact
Tact and maturity
Tact and grace
Grace traded in for condescension
Grace traded in for blatant repetition
Repetition out of laziness
Repetition out of ignorance
Ignorance concerning word usage
Ignorance concerning encouragement
Encouragement pointing out perks
Encouragement showing things done right
Right way of critiquing
Right way to advise
Advise you to wise up
Advise you to change
Change for the better
Change to become more helpful
Helpful to those with the backbone
Helpful to those with the ambition
Ambition to seek fortune
Ambition to seek fame
Fame for my work
Fame held by others
Others from long ago
Others from years recent
Recent room for the next big thing
Recent room for improvement
Improvement I know I need
Improvement you’re not helping me with
With that said, goodbye
With that said, see you in Hell
Goodbye
Hell

*****

 
Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Perversion Rises Again

Perversion Rises Again
January 17, 2017

Bad influence,
Bad writing—
Writing so hollow,
Writing so shallow,
Shallow and empty,
Shallow and void,
Void of soul,
Void of sense,
Sense of structure,
Sense of morality—
Morality for the blind,
Morality for the ignorant,
Ignorant of itself,
Ignorant of empowerment,
Empowerment of future generations,
Empowerment of women—
Women who should know better,
Women with low—if any—standards,
Standards for entertainment,
Standards for storytelling,
Storytelling made sloppy,
Storytelling stunted,
Stunted with cheap thrills,
Stunted message,
Message of how love works,
Message of how love should be—
Be for women like them,
Be for people in general.
General tackiness,
General disconnection,
Disconnection from worldly affairs,
Disconnection from reality,
Reality of mockery,
Reality of excess hype,
Hype undeserved,
Hype over mediocrity—
Mediocrity and worse,
Mediocrity typical,
Typical of the 2010s,
Typical of this fallen world,
World where talent struggles,
World where smut shines,
Shines blindingly,
Shines violently,
Violently vexing,
Violently hoping.
Hoping for something good.
Hoping to witness your riddance.
Good…
Riddance!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

A Call for Feedback from My Readers

Hello, readers!

Today, I’m going to withhold posting my usual weekly poetry until either tomorrow or later this evening so that I may first ask you all, subscriber and non-subscriber alike, a particularly crucial question regarding the nature of this blog as a whole:

What kind of material would you like me to provide from hereon out?

This may sound like a particularly insipid thing to ask, but trust me when I say that I do have a good reason for doing so. You see, at the risk of sounding petty and needy, I’ll admit all the same that 2016 has been a relatively unsuccessful year for me in terms of gaining more attention for my literary endeavors, and though I have an idea on what I’ve done wrong in drawing people to this website, I’d nevertheless like to know directly from you folks how I can better appeal to you, my current audience, as well as attract new readers. After all, I’ve had quite a few people subscribe to me over the past eight months who’ve ended up unsubscribing to me after a week or two, and I’m wondering if whether or not their doing so has anything to do with the content I’ve been submitting or perhaps even the activities I’ve performed as this blog’s owner and operator. Additionally, as a writer who’s always willing to grow and expand my abilities, I am always willing to improve my craft so as to better reach the masses, and your feedback means a lot to me.

Take my weekly poetry, for example…are there any specific topics you would like me to cover in future poems? Any particular styles of poetry you’d like me to try my hand at? Do you want more or less poetry posted each week? Are you even interested at all in my Hoedown of the Week series that I’d tried to start up back on December 31, 2015?

How about my “In Relation to My Work” series of editorials? What topics have I talked about in such articles over the years that have appealed to you the most? Which topics would you like me to expand on? What topics would you like me to cover that I haven’t already?

Finally, there’s my work as a novelist. Would you like me to talk more about the projects I’ve worked on or have been working on, such as my novel Dream Weavers? What specifically would you like me to share about my projects?

I know this all sounds desperate on my part, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to build up my fanbase and establish my brand the best I can, and I’ve come to realize (It’s taken me long enough, I know…SMH) that I haven’t done just that. That being said, feel free to leave me your feedback in the comment section below, and I’ll gladly take it into account, as I aim to not only earn more subscribers this year than I have already, but keep said subscribers as well. After all, your support means a lot to an aspiring pro novelist such as myself, whether it’s subscribing to this humble little blog of mine via WordPress or email, hitting the “Like” button on each/any of my posts, sharing my content with others, or even going to my author pages (Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk) and buying any of the ebooks I have for sale there. As such, without further ado, please let me know down below what improvements you’d like to see me make to this blog, and thank you all for your support.

Okay…pity party over! Expect my next Poem of the Week in my next post, and once again, everyone, thanks.

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Poem of the Week: Decisions

Decisions
August 27, 2015

Decisions—not for the weak of mind.
Decisions—not for my dull behind.
Decisions—so many to make,
And I’m not sure how much more my mind can take.

Frustration—feeling so confused.
Frustration—not knowing what to do.
Frustration—so much on my plate
That I need to take care of and just can’t wait.

Organized—what I need to be.
Organized—so my future I can see.
Organized—getting my act together
So I can prepare myself for a change of weather.

Busy—the only way I can last.
Busy—need to stay on task.
Busy—if it’s a future I want
And it’s fame and fortune I want to flaunt.

Focus—what I can’t afford to lack.
Focus—need to stay on track.
Focus—on what I need to get done
If I want to send my troubles on the run.

Impact—what I hope to make.
Impact—even if I break.
Impact—remembered for all time
Along with those who came before me. Is that such a crime?

Icon—what I’m trying to become.
Icon—beloved by most everyone.
Icon—leaving my mark on the biz,
But I’ll never be one with how my work ethic is.

Decision—I’ve finally made one.
Decision—based on what I’ll become.
Decision—now to act it out
So that my dreams will be what my life’s about.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Good Riddance!

Good Riddance!
July 31, 2015

Nagging, petty, nitpicking—that’s all you’re good for.
Honestly, putting up with you is naught but a chore.
You’re a condescending, overbearing, obnoxious pain in the ass,
Talking down to me like I’m stupid and haven’t any class.
I’m not excusing how I’m “only human,” but hell!
The way you treat me day and night, I might as well.
You that that just ‘cause I struggle, I haven’t any sense,
And with that in mind, you feel your jaded wisdom you must dispense.
Well, newsflash, bitch! It’s not helping a single stinking bit.
You’re only berating me with it, and I’ve had enough of it.
You’re not helping me grow at all, only making me feel dumb,
Hopeless, clueless, incapable of evolving, and just plain numb.
You’re not benefitting me at all, much less empowering me.
You’re only putting me down, especially considering
How worthless your advice really is and how much your words sting.
You don’t say anything meaningful but instead prattle on and on
About how stupid you think I am and what you think I’m doing wrong,
And even when you do say something that just might make sense to me,
It’s so deeply tucked within your scolding that it I simply can’t see.
I thus look elsewhere for help, and when I finally do,
I heed the words of the other source and to you say, “Screw you!”
You’re nothing but a piece of trash in love with your own voice,
And since beggars can’t be choosers, I’d rather have the choice
To blow your toxic carcass off once and for freaking all
And hope that your rude belittling will soon lead to your downfall.
I don’t know where you get off thinking you’re so hip
And cute and tough and excellent, but frankly, I think you’re a dip.
You’re just a snobbish lowlife thinking your words are law,
And I’m so done with you, I can’t let out a single guffaw.
I’ll take my chances elsewhere, then, and finally get the respect
That every good writer deserves and not have you further infect
My mind with words so offensive and poisonous to my plight,
And once that’s been taken care of, I can finally sleep at night.
Good riddance, then, self-righteous hag! I’ve finished my rant with you.
Best of luck, as the mockers say, for you and I are through.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: ‘Tis Time!

Hello, readers!

The following poem is dedicated to every talented yet frustrated aspiring author who has yet to have his or her work picked up by a literary agent for representation to a publisher. Hope you enjoy it, and thank you for reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

*****

‘Tis Time!
July 13, 2015

When naught but the old prevails,
When new stuff doesn’t sail,
Interests tire,
Support expires,
And the scene starts to grow stale

Like Kernels of dried popcorn
Uneaten ‘til the next morn:
Stiff texture, dull flavor,
And not much to savor,
Especially on teeth and gums worn—

In short, not much of a feast…
Or very appetizing, at least…
Just enough to fill,
Even if it’s swill,
The hunger pangs of the beast.

Why should one live on such gruel?
Why suffer a fate so cruel?
Is that what to give?
Is that how to live?
Come now! Don’t take me for a fool.

After all, with each passing year
Comes that which most marketers fear:
The time when trends
Come to meet their ends
And part with a bitter tear,

For even great sagas must end.
Such is the beast’s nature, friend,
And the wise know this well
And search Heaven and Hell
For whatever lies ‘round the bend

For a brand new generation
‘Cross each city, state, and nation,
All fresh eyes and ears
With which to see and hear
Pop culture’s new transformation.

It’s not that the old stuff was bad.
In fact, I could say I’m glad
To have seen and heard
Much of the words
Of the artists we’ve all once had.

Sadly, every artist moves on
And is forced to say so long
To audiences dear
From far and near
Who’ve loved his or her songs,
And somehow, in his or her place
Arrives a brand new face
With new tales to share
With those who care
To hold off spraying their mace,

And often, though not quite always,
The new bard makes new “good old days”
For the young at the time
So that down the line,
They can feel nostalgic one day.

How can such memories form, though,
When new stories get no chance to grow
To replace the old,
Which are no longer bold
Like they were many years ago?

How can new voices sing
When forbidden to do their thing
By those in charge
Who dare to barge
In and ruin everything?

“No, I won’t represent you. You suck!
You won’t earn me millions of bucks,
Unlike Ms. Bomball,
Though she’s no skill at all,
So as we say, best of luck!”

It’s all about the green, you see,
Not talent or quality—
Pandering to the masses,
No matter how classless
A given story may be.

Forget about meaningful morals
And heroes who earn their laurels.
If one won’t give in
To greed and other sins,
She’s doomed to lose such a quarrel,

And that’s what especially bites
And has made me lose sleep many nights,
For where went the days
When storytelling paid
And made legends overnight?

What happened to the days of Poe,
Carroll, Dickens, Doyle, and so—
The icons of old
Whose tales have been told
For ages and whose legacies grow

Even now, when those with their gift
Must struggle to set adrift
Ships of their own,
Cutting them to the bone
And leaving them rightfully miffed?

This current trend has to stop
Of keeping talents from the top
While the scum rises
And gathers the prizes
For their reprehensible slop.

Let the lesser-known, gifted folks shine
For their works, al so sublime,
For only they can bring
The age folks will sing
About, should they just have the time.

The smut’s had its day in the sun,
And that moment has been long done.
It’s time to move on
With new, good songs
To replace those of folks who’re done.

Stop claiming you’re being “picky.”
You’re not. You’re just being tricky
‘Cause what’s out there now
Has made folks have cows
On account of how such works are icky.

Stop holding back those with the gift.
Let them set their ships adrift
And sail to the light
And, in turn, make things bright
For those of us who’ve been miffed

At the stale, bitter stuff we’ve had
That has made the scene smell so bad
For years upon years.
Let’s all now see and hear
The stories that will make us glad.

‘Tis time to show some spine
And help talented folks shine.
We’ve suffered long enough
Through so much tacky stuff.
Let’s hail in a new age. ‘Tis time!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Another Poem about a Writer Trying to Get His/Her Act Together

Another Poem about a Writer Trying to Get His/Her Act Together
September 26, 2014

Things should’ve been off and running by now,
But yet I’m so far behind.
I can hear critics scoff
At my slacking off,
Too, as I’m wracking my mind

To figure out how to be less behind
And once and for all send off
This tedious thing
‘Pon which I’ve been working
Before more detractors scoff

And ask me just where the hell I get off
Even trying to heed the calling
When what I’ve got now
Hasn’t earned me a cow
To milk, much less right to sing

That I’m one who’s contributing
To the literary world now,
And with that in mind,
It’s back to the grind
To finish my work…and how!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk