Poetry Files. Standing on the Threshold of Madness. Benjamin Blake. Porchlight

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Standing on the Threshold of Madness
Benjamin Blake
Porchlight
Sometimes the night stands dead still
Those rare silent moments
That are only broken by the hoot of an owl
Or the rustling of some other nocturnal creature

The kind of night where the smoke from your cigarette
Carries in the chill of the air
Drifting no which way in particular
Seclusion makes the utmost sense at times like these
And sleep will come easy
When it is time


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Four Questions with Kristin Garth ( @lolaandjolie )

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Kristin Garth

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Four Questions with Linda Crate ( @thysilverdoe )

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Linda Crate

 

  1. Tell us about you, your writing (themes, influences, etc.)

I am the oldest of two children. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA USA but I grew up in a rural town called Conneautville. I graduated from Linesville High School in 2005. I went on to college, and graduated in December 2009 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature.

Thematically, I write about a bunch of topics: how I was bullied as a girl,  about how I have been used and abused by so called friend or people who were supposed to care, sexual assault, about finding my voice and how I refuse to surrender it, self-love, politics, feminism, nature, and even the things that haunt and scare me among other things. I write fantasy, I write horror, and I write the weird. Almost everything I write fiction wise has a genre.

As far as my influences go everyone and everything I have ever read can inspire poems. The biggest players in the writing field that have done this are: Edgar Allan Poe, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, J.K. Rowling, Emily Dickinson, Anne Rice, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I am one of those writers that is inspired by mostly anything: nature, music, other books, other writers, etc. I think I am lucky in that way that inspiration can strike me anywhere and at any time.

2. What are some of the ways you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

Promoting is always the hardest part for me. I don’t want to be overly zealous and promote too much because there are some writers that irritate me with how much they are constantly promoting, and I automatically tune them out. I don’t want people to do that to me.

So I post when the work comes out, obviously, and I periodically post to remind people that the book is still available or if there are any sales going on.

I find that these posts tend to eat into my writing time as I work a 40 hr job, as well, but I understand the necessity and need for it. If no one knows about your work, how will you be found? I just find it frustrating, that’s all. Especially when people refuse to help you promote and share.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

I’m currently working on a fantasy novel centering around a black female protagonist who happens to be an elf and a chapbook that I was going to call Reviled or Entitled, but I think will instead call by one of the names of another poems in the book: “even ugly girls are pretty”. Even Ugly Girls Are Pretty is a chapbook centered around the concept of body image, owning one’s body, and how frustrating it is that sometimes people feel “entitled” to one’s body when it is not their own. I’m also going to be submitting to presses where I could be published both online and in print for my poetry, short stories, essays, etc.

4. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry has always been very meaningful to me. It is a way of making a statement without being interrupted. It is a way to find out about one’s self in relationship to the world. It is a way of telling someone something without being too in their face, just giving them another perspective or point of view they may not have otherwise considered. It is also a way to call attention to matters that are important that people don’t always like to talk about.

I like poetry because to me it is like music lyrics. It can be deep and meaningful or playful and immature, but there is always a statement to be made regardless of the format. The most important thing is being heard in a world that is sometimes too full of noise for my liking.

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The chapbook My Wing Were Made to Fly is about the difficulties that sometimes arise in loving one’s self, pressing through fears and doubts to accomplish dreams, the importance of loving one’s self, of how one can only be themselves and to be anyone else would be a waste of who they are, the power and importance of dreams, how one must prove themselves to be of worth to themselves before they can convince anyone else they are worth it, of how sensitivity and kindness aren’t weaknesses but rather strengths, and how one cannot be caught up in comparisons or the negativity opinions of others if they wish to press on with their dreams.


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The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor My Thoughts.

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Genre Horror/ Suspense

Pages 342

Publisher Penguin

Release Date January eleventh 2018

Average Rating  4.3 / 5 🌟 

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There are a number of incidents in this book and, like dust, the narrative settles around them. Not one of the characters are innocent, and has had a part in the narrative, and in the consequences of their actions. I was gripped twice by this book, the rest I meandered through. It’s psychological more than a thriller.

The Chalkman is set in the past, and present. The past follows the friendship group of twelve year olds. I did like that this was almost like Stephen King’s Stand by Me. The kids use nicknames for each other, and simple dialogue that’s effective. The present day narrative of our protagonist felt by the by, and as if I was reading The Regrets of an Old Man. The writing is clinical. It became a murder mystery towards the finish, I expected Morse to show up.

There is also a sexual incident in this book, which I definitely could have done with a trigger warning on.

The Chalkman I could have put down and not been too invested in picking it back up again. There’s too much in the pot. Who was murdered, where’s the head, what do the Chalk Men have to do with anything (very little, as it turns out). etc.

A decent debut.

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Never assume. Question everything. Always look beyond the obvious.

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