Celebrate: How the writer’s Golden Rule helps your writing career.

Celebrate blog hopThis is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. More information here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/

Do you remember the Golden Rule? Many younger people have never learned it. It goes something like this: Do to others as you would have others do to you. It’s a sort of mathematics of human social behavior. If you don’t like getting insulted, you can guess that other people don’t like getting insulted either, so you shouldn’t do it. If you don’t like having your things stolen, don’t steal from others. That sort of thing.

But how does that apply to writers? Well, imagine this situation. You have a new book coming out. And there are a handful of writers, most a bit more successful than you, who:

1. Go out and buy your book.

2. Write reviews of it,

3. Who post things on their blogs about the book.

4. Who Tweet about it.

5. Who share it on their Facebook pages and in a couple of appropriate Facebook groups.

How could you make that happen in the real world? Well, you take steps 1-5 and do them for other writers. Now, it won’t earn you much gratitude from the big-name writers like Stephen King or even the lesser-selling writers who are published by the big publishers. And even self-published and small press writers might not notice all the help you are giving if you don’t get to know them first. What you need is to develop a circle of just the right kind of writer friends— writers who are at a similar place in their writing lives, for example. Writers who write in the same or similar genres, or at least appreciate your genre as you appreciate theirs. Writers who understand your point of view— an angry atheist writer and a devoutly religious writer are not a good match, or an erotic romance writer with an Amish romance writer.

Here are some steps to finding your circle of writing friends:

  1. Network with other writers. You can do it by blog hops, or by joining FB writing groups that have actual conversations in them. Show interest in other people’s books and book promotion problems, don’t just write about your own. Make sure to join some specialized groups— mystery writers, science fiction writers, writers with Asperger’s Syndrome, feminist writers, women-against-feminism writers… Just make sure that the group is active and the members aren’t 100% absolute writing beginners.
  2. As you network, look for other writers that seem friendly. If they have FB author pages, like the pages. If they seem interested, make a friend request.
  3. Read the books of these writers and review them. Let them know, somehow, that you have done so.
  4.  Periodically share things that they post on their Facebook page.
  5. If you are on Twitter, follow these friends there.
  6. After a while of trying to be friendly and helpful, see if they are responding. Do they ‘like’ or comment on your Facebook posts? Do they ever volunteer to read some of your work? Do they ever share your Facebook posts or retweet your Tweets? If they are becoming responsive friends to you, you can begin considering them as part of your personal circle.
  7. Continue to do steps 1-5 above for all the friends in the circle. Don’t count the things you do for them and the things they do for you.
  8.  When you have done things for your friends, you might, on some occasions, ask them for favors. Make sure you say that you understand if they can’t do it.

After doing something similar to this for some time, even though I am not a person accustomed to having friends, I have a few good author friends that will help me out sometimes as I help them. Having friends like this may seem like a ‘small thing’ to readers out there who don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. But for me, it’s a cause for big celebration.

Blogging ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows’

Today I have started blogging the contents of my first poetry book, ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows.’  I did not know how to promote my book in 2010 when I published it. So I decided to blog about 1/2 of the poems in this book, and see what happens.

jungle spiders

she was raised among the cannibals
in borneo or was it new guinea— no matter
her father was an avid anthropologist
right up to the day he was eaten
the cannibals don’t kill you
of course but if you die
you shan’t go to waste
he always joked &
he was quite right actually

she was raised among the cannibals
and the chief’s chief wife doted on her
taught her all her best recipes
and the secrets of ruling a cannibal husband
she learned her lessons well
all her husbands said so

she was raised among the cannibals
and that could explain
quite a lot

(c) 1990 Nissa Annakindt
Where the Opium Cactus Grows on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Opium-Cactus-Grows-Annakindt/dp/0557939135/


#PoetryPantry 217: Cry of Cicadas


For Poetry Pantry #217 at Poets United

Cry of Cicadas

cry of cicadas

cover the sounds of the knife

slayer in night fog


9/6/2014 – haiku

5-7-5, autumn season words (cicada, night fog)


OK, maybe I shouldn’t write haiku while I’m watching true crime shows on television. Normally I’m not rigid about the 5-7-5 syllable pattern when I write haiku, since the best haiku in English don’t always do so. I’m also not rigid about including a season word— since some of the early Japanese haiku I’m studying (in English translation) are not so rigid about that.

But in this poem I decided to go more traditional. I do that some times.

This is my method for writing haiku (and sijo) lately. I copy a haiku from a book into my notebook as a model. The book I’m using right now is ‘The Classic Tradition of Haiku’ edited by Faubion Bowers, which is very good since it gives the classic haiku in transliterated Japanese as well as in an English translation. For some of the haiku it gives two different English translations.

In some cases writing the classic haiku just serves as a warm-up. In other cases, it’s an influence. Here is the Japanese haiku that served as a model for this poem:

yet even in the sun’s own land

anyone who lives will suffer

Iio Sogi, 1421-1502


I think I detect some slight influence in the mood, but actually the greater influence in this haiku was the list of season-words for autumn in ‘The Haiku Handbook’ by William J. Higginson— which is the best book I’ve found so far on haiku, I’d urge any poet to add the book to their personal library. Not to mention the English teachers and the homeschooling moms.

Poets United is a great way to meet other poets from around the world.

Poets United is a great way to meet other poets from around the world.

My poetry books

I have been working on organizing my poems into a master Scrivener (writing software) file, and also have started a Scrivener project for my next poetry book, ‘Waiting For The Poison Shot’.

I’m also doing a revised edition of my first poetry book, ‘Where The Opium Cactus Grows’. I am revising some poems, and restoring others to an earlier form. I’m adding some bonus material such as my short story ‘The Dust Mouse’. There will also be a preview of ‘Waiting For The Poison Shot’ that will include at least 10 of the poems set aside for that work.


I have a Facebook author page, Nissa Annakindt, poet, Aspie & cat person. If you have a FB author page or poetry page, perhaps you could stop by my page and let me know about yours, so I can like yours?


I have visited 22 other Poetry Pantry blogs so far this Sunday (10:36 am). I dare ya to go to  Poetry Pantry #217 at Poets United and beat that record.

Conversing in Sijo With A Dead Korean Poet

My favorite Korean poetry book.

My favorite Korean poetry book.

One of my favorite forms of poetry is a Korean form known as the sijo. I have written a number of sijo myself. Rather than keeping a list of the rules of the sijo at hand when I begin to write, I copy out one ancient sijo (in English translation) onto my page before I begin to write. Sometimes I only use it to remind me of the syllable count. Other times the ancient poem affects the new one.

Once I had a sort of ‘conversation’ with an ancient unknown Korean poet as I used this sijo-writing method. And so I decided to share the poem with you, my loyal blog audience. If you don’t care for poetry, I intend to close with a Cute Kitty Picture. Everyone needs more Cute Kitty Pictures.

My house is so deep in the woods…

My house is so deep in the woods

That the cuckoo sings in the daytime.

Out here beyond valleys and peaks,

The brushwood gate is pulled shut.


Even the dog, who has forgotten how to bark,

Naps while flowers fall.

anonymous ancient Korean poet

And here is my response:

the dog who forgets barking

what is wrong with that dog

who has forgotten how 2 bark?

in the deep woods there are

no visitors to warn


but surely the dog could bark

at rabbits or birds or moonlight

(c) Feb 2, 2012, Nissa Annakindt




Sijos in Erileth

In my Erileth series, in the North Element of the pangaia-like Important Continent, the people— largely descended from Koreans and other Asians— are expected to be able to write sijo and other poems routinely. In fact, government bureaucrats are required to write all reports in poetry— sijo and certain other forms such as ‘foreign’ haiku and tanka. It tends to encourage brevity in such things.

Where the Opium Cactus Grows

I have a poetry book out, Where the Opium Cactus Grows. It was published in 2010 but since I was too shy to promote the book or my poetry, I only made 8 sales so far. I am putting together a second poetry book, but while the poetry I’ve written since Opium Cactus shows improved poetry skills, there is less of it. I had thought of including the best poems from Opium Cactus in the new volume and discontinuing Opium Cactus. My new book will be called Waiting For the Poison Shot after a line from a prolife poem (a sijo) that will be included in the collection.

If you are one of the 8 that bought Opium Cactus, I’d like your opinion on whether I should discontinue it. Or perhaps I should come out with a revised edition of it? There is a typo in one of the poems that haunts me…. I’d like to make it available in Kindle so the cost will be within the reach of impoverished, disabled poets like me. What do you think?

To buy Where the Opium Cactus Grows ($6.98, Amazon Prime eligible): http://www.amazon.com/Where-The-Opium-Cactus-Grows/dp/0557939135


This is Umberto. She’s a girl kitten.