Recently I discovered Elfchen poems, which are 5-line poems that follow this pattern:
Line 1 – 1 word
Line 2 – 2 words
Line 3 – 3 words
Line 4 – 4 words
Line 5 – 1 word (different than the first line word)
It is also common to take the last word of someone else’s Elfchen poem to start off your own new one.
Here are several of my first tries with this poetic genre:
when you live
in an unstable world,
weakness creeps in
settles on the edge,
lie firmly under
your tongue in cheek,
Today was a rather stressful day since I had an appointment with my lawyer for my SSDI hearing next week, so I didn’t have time to plan a full post, but I did want to participate again in the Twittering Tales picture prompt by Kat Myrman. As I explained last week, this writing challenge is to simply write a short story, or poem, or whatever you want as long as it is under 280 characters (the length of a tweet).
Here is this week’s picture prompt and my entry for this week below (photo from Pixabay):
My mother considered naming me Candy, but worried that if I turned out to be fat, it would be more ammunition for the bullies to use against me.
I didn’t turn out to be fat, but I did turn out to love candy – except for those little Valentine’s hearts.
Yesterday I published a new illustrated children’s short story ebook on Amazon! It is called “No More Grumpies!“, and is a fun story about a little boy who just can’t shake the grumpies.
Here is the official book description:
Michael is having a very grumpy day. His mother keeps warning him that there will be “trouble” if the grumpies keep making an appearance, but what will happen if Michael can’t get rid of the grumpies? What kind of “trouble” is he heading into?
From multi-award-winning author and artist Maranda Russell, this illustrated short story is funny, cute, and sure to help get rid of the most stubborn grumpies!
I came across these “Twittering Tales” writing prompts yesterday and thought it looked like a lot of fun. The challenge is to take a photo prompt and write a short story, poem, or whatever comes to mind, but you have to keep it under 280 characters, just like a tweet on Twitter. I decided to go ahead and write a twittering tale for last week’s prompt as well as this week’s prompt.
Here is the one I came up with for last week’s prompt (photo from Pixabay):
Hearts and stars. Hearts and stars. Simple shapes that any preschool child could identify, but symbolic of so much more.
The heart…love, obsession, passion, heartwarming, heartbreaking, blood pumping. The star…cosmic, mysticism, alchemy, popularity, holidays, holy days.
And here is the second prompt (photo also from Pixabay). This one took a bit of a dark turn, but it was what came to mind for some reason:
It starts with one word:
Helium. A harmless word? Parties. Balloons floating around the room. Rough, gruff voices becoming chipmunk squeaks.
Or do you picture tragedy? Helium tanks hooked up to hoses. Bodies lying still with bags over their heads. Voluntary euthanasia. The end.
Let me know if you guys enjoyed these. Maybe I’ll do more!
I collect too many things. I collect tons of toys/action figures/dolls/squishies/stuffed animals/minifigures (Barbie, My Little Pony, Sesame Street, Looney Tunes, Lego, Nickelodeon, Disney, Schleich, Funko Pops, Reborns, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Coraline, etc.) I have an entire room for all my toys and collectibles. I collect books, especially children’s books and books about subjects I am obsessed with, ranging from Michael Jackson, Nirvana, and Dance Moms, to art/artists, writing/writers, poetry, comics/manga, and antique books. The books also have a room of their own, which they share with my husband’s smaller but still sizable book collection (mostly history, true crime, and science fiction grace his shelves).
I have a huge collection of art supplies and stickers (which also get shoved into my extra “toy room”). I have a large collection of cds, especially from my favorite artists (MJ again, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Enya, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, 60’s 70’s & 90’s hits, Disney soundtracks, etc.)
I have an entire dresser drawer full of bookmarks, a wide selection of cute or nerdy notebooks/journals/stationery and a cabinet full of magickal/pagan themed objects I use for my little ritual altar. I also have a large collection of sentimental items I have saved ranging from photos to cards to letters to objects from loved ones who have passed on.
I am emotionally connected to many of the things I collect and the idea of parting with them is traumatic. I figure this need to collect things is part of the autistic side of me, but sometimes I become overwhelmed by the size of my own collections!
You ever go to a doctor’s appointment and feel like you somehow disappointed them? That’s how I’m feeling today. I went to see my psychiatrist and while he didn’t say anything overly negative or mean, I just left with the feeling that somehow he was a little disappointed in me.
Perhaps I am projecting here, but I kind of feel like he isn’t quite as supportive as my other doctors about my going on SSDI. Not because he doesn’t think I have real problems and medical conditions, but because he seems to think I have a lot of potential and maybe he thinks if I get disability I’m just going to sit around and do nothing the rest of my life.
This may be partly my fault if he has that impression. After all, I don’t normally talk about all the stuff I do enjoy doing while there. I only see him every couple months for a short visit, so I tend to focus on what is going wrong, not what is going right. I don’t talk about all the art I make and sell or the books I write and sell. I don’t talk about my blogging. I don’t talk about all the people I correspond with on social media. I didn’t mention that I was recently made a board member on the International Board of Sensory Accessibility. I didn’t tell him about the art contest I submitted three artworks to this month. I don’t tell him about the online communities for chronic illness, chronic pain, autism, and other conditions that have given me a chance to support others and receive support myself.
I kind of wish I had mentioned some of those things now. Maybe next time.
This little poem was inspired by a middle grade book series called “Malice” by Chris Wooding. I liked the world that was created, and decided to capture just a bit of it in poetry (my favorite line is the “mushroom lamps” one):
By: Maranda Russell
Take the evening train
into the cavernous abyss.
Light up the darkness
with your mushroom lamps
and a fist full
of round trip tickets.
Yesterday I logged into my Kindle Direct Publishing account on Amazon and while looking at the reports, noticed there is a new “beta” reporting program they are working on that I could test (the picture above shows the new graphing, with part of the book breakdown below). I checked it out and it is WAY better than their old reporting program! It uses color coded graphs to plainly show which books you are selling, when you are selling them, and also easily separates books sold from “free” promotions vs. paid sales.
I am thrilled they are updating their system, because what they have had the last few years sucks in my opinion. It was hard to even tell which books sold! In other good news, while checking out the new system, I looked at my overall numbers from the last quarter and was pleasantly surprised to see that all together I’ve sold more than 230 ebooks (including promotions) during the last 90 days! Not bad for an indie author!!! It makes my heart happy to know that many people are reading my books!
If you use KDP publishing, I would recommend checking out the new program if you are able to under your own reports! By the way, if you want to check out my Amazon Author Page and maybe give it a follow, that would be awesome! I also have a FREE ebook promotion running today through Monday for my art ebook, “Stories Behind My Art” (if you like it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon!)
Lastly, a few years back, I published a little short story/spiritual ebook called “Jesus, Mohammed, and Abraham – A Parable about Love and Peace” under the name M.N. Russell ($0.99, FREE for Kindle Unlimited) . I decided to add that to my Amazon author bibliography, so you can check that out if you think it sounds interesting!
I don’t set personal resolutions for New Years, but I do try to set some goals to try to reach the coming year, especially for my blog/social media, writing, and art. I did meet and even surpass some of the goals I set for 2018. For instance, I hoped to have 500 Instagram followers by the end of this year, and I’m already over 1,400!
When setting these goals, I try to be realistic but shoot a bit high. I figure even if I miss, at least I dreamed big and tried my best. I try to not beat myself up if I don’t meet a goal by the end of the year, I just set my sights on the next year.
So without further ado, here are my goals for 2019:
Blog – 1,500 followers
Instagram – 5,000 followers (dream big!)
Write/publish 2 new books/ebooks
Sell 300+ copies of my books
Sell to 2 new countries (would love to add Ireland, Germany, Japan, China, or India!)
Countries I have already sold art to: USA, Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Norway, United Arab Emirates