Showing posts with label poems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poems. Show all posts

Digitize All Your Precious Poems

Guest Post by Samanthi Fernando

How fortunate we are to live in this digital age – to take poetry to the cloud from the page.

Like many Authors, I started writing at a very young age, and most of my early work was handwritten in several notebooks. One of the best decisions I made was to digitize all my precious poems from that era. I carefully typed and saved my work for later use.

Now with all the technology we have available at our fingertips, we can easily put our thoughts directly into digital notes and files. We can take backups and even revert back to previous versions. With several devices, software, search and sort functions to use, we can easily store and keep track of our writing. Thankfully the probability of a poem getting lost now is very low.

How many poetic gems could be forgotten in a pile of paper? Will you remember where to find each masterpiece much later?

When I began to compile Radiant Roses, I was able to search my digital archives for keywords like rose, petal, bud, bloom - to discover old poems that fit my theme. And I was pleasantly surprised to find one I wrote as a teenager that was perfect for this book. Even more pleased when Readers said this was one of their favorites in the book. If I had left my previous work in the old stack of notebooks, and only reviewed my newer work - I may never have thought of including it in this publication.

Inspiration to write a poem can be anytime, anywhere... and sometimes even in our hi-tech environment, we could end up writing the first pass on a piece of paper. Some of us even prefer to use pen and paper to compose. When we create something new – we celebrate an important milestone. If we are planning to publish our best poems, what we do afterwards is as important.

Where are all your poems? Go tech before going to press.

Here are a few tips for Poets planning to publish:

1.    Assess what needs to be digitized – you may need to go through your old journals to find the hidden gold.
2.    Set aside some time to convert content into digital format.
3.    Take regular backups – mirroring your files in the cloud is worth considering.
4.    Test your recovery strategy – don’t wait for a hardware crash to see if your work can be recovered from a remote backup.
5.    Setup a cadence to extract and save new notes.

Sometimes it takes decades for a beautiful poem to see the light. You wrote it during a long-ago chapter in your life, and the source of inspiration is no longer very clear. Yet the words stand out with the ability to touch and inspire others. Looking at it from a new perspective, perhaps on a new application or device… years later – all it may need is a more relevant title to be published. Keep your roses for another season. Digitize all your precious poems – and let the magic unfold.

About the Author

 Samanthi Fernando’s mission of hope is to illuminate and uplift through the Power of Poetry. Her poems celebrate the joys of nature, music, friendship and all life's blessings. In her spiritual compositions, she writes about faith, gratitude and healing love – connecting beautiful colors and positive emotions into poetic delights.

Samanthi is the Author of several Inspirational Poetry Books. She also provides Communications Consulting for a wide range of clients, including fortune 500 companies.

Visit STARSAFIRE POEMS to find Radiant Roses and other inspirational poetry by Samanthi Fernando at

You can get your own copy of Radiant Roses at:


A Critical Skill for Every Writer
More ABCs for New Writers
Online Editors

Presenting: A Title that Sells

You can judge a book by its title, Photo by Linda Wilson
It's true that an intriguing title for your fiction or nonfiction book, article, poem or story is your first pitchperson, designed to interest an agent, editor or publisher to crack the first few paragraphs, even pages. If they like what they find? You're in. Be open, though. Your publisher might surprise you by
wanting to think up a new title, thus opening herself up to the same grueling process you thought you had conquered.

Often, the right title pops in place with little conscious effort. Thank you, Subconscious. However, some titles aren't quite as apparent. That's when you dig. There are many ways to uncover it. But before you start, make sure your title meets certain criteria.

Intriguing Title "Musts"
Your title:
  • is your reader's first impression of your work. It's got to be evocative, unique and precise. (Writer's Relief)
  • is memorable--catchy, short (except in rare workable cases), appropriate, specific and intriguing. (Emma Walton Hamilton)
  • is distinguished by an original title. ( article by Arrie)
  • fits the genre of your book and sets the tone or feeling you want to convey. (Rachelle Gardner)
  • is consistent with the conventions of your genre because "fans of specific genres use titles as a kind of shorthand when they're deciding what to buy." (Writer's Relief)
  • gains acceptability from friends, family and your critique group, opening it up to new perspectives. (Writer's Relief)
  • Adventure: Tends to fit a tale of a journey
  • Humor: Title is odd or quirky
  • Mystery: Lee Wyndam in Writing for Children and Teenagers, revised edition, calls titling a mystery a "baited hook," that contains clue words. She points out that words such as mystery, secret, case, riddle and puzzle were once required. Today for books at the nine-to-twelve level and YA's, titles are more subtle; such as these selections from her list of books nominated for a MWA Edgar:
                                            Bury the Dead (Peter Carter)
                                           The Other Side of Dark (a winner, by Joan Lowry Nixon)
                                           The Twisted Window (Lois Duncan)
Begin by Brainstorming
Rachelle Gardner, in her post "How to Title your Book," offered an idea that sounded so good I tried it and highly recommend it. Not only did the exercise open up new ways for me to view my story, but it was loads of fun. I will summarize her idea here, but recommend that you read her entire post, which includes additional excellent information.
  • To get a feel for your genre, find twenty books titles on Amazon that you like and are in your genre. Write them down. Decide what you like and don't like, then put the list away.
  • Make lists of words in columns that relate to your book: nouns, verbs and adjectives. For a novel, list words that describe the setting, major characters. Nothing is off limits.
    Think of the action in your story and write down words that capture it. For non-fiction, write words that describe what your book is about and how you want your reader to think, feel or do after reading it.
    Think of words that evoke an emotion, a sensation, a location, a question.
    Keep going until you reach 100 words. Write down 20 title ideas from these lists. Then put them away for 24 hours.
  • Time's up: choose three to five possibilities. Run them by some people. Go back to the list from Amazon and make sure your title stands out and is not too similar to the others.
  • Voila! You've come up with the best possible title!
Title and Copyright Law
Titles cannot be copyrighted in the U.S. Writer's Relief says, "we don't recommend using the same title that someone else has previously used. It makes it more difficult for your book to stand out."

Now for my rant: A recent experience prompted me to think more about titling my work than I had in the past. While browsing through a free magazine that I picked up at our local health food store, I ran across an article titled word-for-word the same as a classic children's book (not included are the
names of the magazine, editor or children's book). I immediately thought of copyright infringement and wrote the editor an email to question the use of the title. He wrote back with an inserted document of the copyright law from the U.S. Copyright Office, which I appreciated. I would have let the entire matter rest if it hadn't been for his attitude, which made my blood boil.

"Book titles are not protected under copyright law, especially if a book uses a COMMON PHRASE such as "Title." They can freely be used in various media and formats. This is why so many books and movies share the same title. If we had used the image or the original artwork from the book cover you refer to, we would indeed be in violation. However, book titles fall under no such copyright law."

The attitude so infuriated me that I searched to see if I could find out how the author came up with such a terrific title. This is what I found:

Q: How do you come up with such creative titles for your books? Do you come up with them before or after you write your books?

A: Before, after, during, and I don't think of them all myself. My mother titled [this book]." Titles I came up with the publishers didn't like and the publishers came up with titles I didn't like. "My mother was visiting us and one morning I took her a cup of coffee. She said to me, 'I think I found a title our of your own text . . ."

Bottom line: I personally enjoy titles that are tweaked from common phrases, jokes, movies, etc. as I have attempted to do with the caption under this post's accompanying photo.
End rant!

For so much advice on making titles short, I sure found a lot of information on creating the right title. Next month I'll include the rest of what I found in, "Presenting: A Title that Sells, Part 2."

Sources: Writer's Relief ; Emma Walton Hamilton; Rachelle Gardner; Lulu article by Arrie; Wyndham, Lee, Writing for Children & Teenagers, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1989.

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 40 articles for adults and children and six short stories for children. Recently she completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction and picture book courses. She is currently working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on  Facebook.

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