I’m looking forward to participating in an author’s fair at the Bartholomew County Public Library in Columbus, Indiana, this Saturday! Authors will give readings from their works, whether prose or poetry, every 15-20 minutes. I’ll be reading from 12:15-12:30 p.m. Stop by if you can!
I am honored to have been chosen as the featured author for the March/April 2015 issue of Pen It! Magazine. The magazine is in its sixth year and is produced by Debi Stanton, based in southern Indiana. Debi recently invited me to speak on researching for nonfiction books at her Spring Writers Conference, conducted at the Yes Cinema in Columbus, Indiana. I had a blast doing that. It was the second time Debi asked me to speak at one of her writer’s conferences; the first time, I spoke on newspaper reporting. In addition to publishing my bio in her most recent magazine, Debi also published a recent poem of mine, “One Tree and Me.” I hadn’t written a lot of poetry lately, but got inspired one day to write that one.
If anyone is interested in subscribing to Pen It! contact Debi at firstname.lastname@example.org for one free issue.
Over the course of the past 51-plus years, I’ve done a lot of writing. Much of it has come in the course of my 30 years in journalism. I’ve also authored a book, transcribed whatever I could recall from my dreams for a period of about 3 years or so, and written poetry and song lyrics with varying degrees of competence.
About a year ago, I sat alone in a wooded area and cleared my mind from all of life’s little annoyances. I soaked in a cool breeze on the sunny afternoon and found myself mesmerized by a tree standing before me.
As I looked at the tree, really looked at it, and thought about how what function each part of the tree had, and how each part reacted to its surroundings, I started thinking about the different aspects of my personality and being, and what functions those performed. I also considered how I react to my surroundings, or perhaps I should react.
Those thoughts got pushed to the back of my mind until a recent trip to a local writers club meeting, where one of the writers read a poem she wrote where a tree was a central theme. It reminded me of the spring day nearly a year previous when I had the aforementioned epiphany. I was motivated to try to describe the event in a poem.
Below is the result of that effort. I am pleased to say that a friend of mine has planned on using the poem in her homeschooling curriculum. What an honor!
One Tree and Me
Me, I sit, a cool breeze it spits
Winsome on my face
Wisdom in my soul
My gaze, it stares, intense, in glare
At the rebirth of my earth
A time of joy, a time of mirth
Like a camera on a tripod
My head, it turns, it nods
Eyes, ears, nose and mouth are trained
But other senses not easily explained
One tree, and me, so ordinary
So plain, so same
But for one moment not
Invisible roots dig deep
They creep and they seek
To provide life, liberty
And the pursuit of soul spirit to the perimeter
Green ground ‘round a plucky trunk
Weather worn and hen-pecked
Slightly knotty, not overripe or rotted
It oozes spunk, no stupid junk
It is what it stands for
Fractal branches random radiate
Biceps, triceps, elbows grate
Forearms quiver, shiver, shake
When air affronts, grunts and quakes
Sway and swing with the rhyme of the season
Holding up hands of twigs and leaves
Reaching for light with heavenly heaves
Vulnerable like little children
Smug in their ignorance
A benign breeze, agitated
Provides contrary evidence
And gusts with such lust
That leaves from stems
Stems from twigs
Twigs from branches
Have their bodies plundered
On damp lightning nights
Rumbling with thunder
And the fragile fragments
Of my maturing mind
Unaware the crime of destined time
Like a tot’s tiny vice grip on mama’s hand
Have no choice but to let loose
Either to decompose and die
Or to spread their wings and fly
We are strong
We are sturdy
We are broken and bent
Knobby and gnarled
Bound by our foundations
Yet more free than we can see
It takes much to cut us down
To kill us from the outside
It takes little to slowly ruin us from within
Self-doubt, pout and fear
The tiny termites who live near
By Paul J. Hoffman
I picked up a few marketing items the other day.
Ordered myself a couple of stress balls that are really more of rounded-off stress cubes featuring the cover of my book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher,” on one face.
Also got some bottle openers emblazoned with my website, http://www.PaulHoffmanAuthor.com.
And finally, some can/bottle cooler-like cozies with the book cover and my website printed on them.
I haven’t figured out what all I’m going to do with them yet. I might offer them for sale, might do some giveaways. I’ve only ordered a few of each right now. I’ll probably get more later.
Earlier, I got myself a mouse pad and T-shirt with the book cover on them. Those were for my own use, although I could certainly order more. I also gave my mom a coffee mug with the book cover on it.
It’s pretty neat all the cool stuff you can get.
If you were me, what would you do with them? Post a message here, go to my Facebook author page and post a note there or email me at email@example.com.
I’m thrilled to have been asked to give a presentation at the Spring Writers in Columbus, Indiana, on April 25. The conference will be held at the YES Cinema, 328 Jackson St., and will feature four speakers. Besides my talk, entitled “Researching Non-Fiction: From personal interviews to document discovery,” the other topics presented will be “Breathing Life into Characters,” “Query Letters and the Novel Pitch,” and “Getting Published at Little or No Cost.”
The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I’ll be presenting from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Click here for all the details, including agenda, presenting author biographies and more: Writers Conf 2015 Yes Cinema Flyer
Hope to see you there!
Are you interested in a Christmas book giveaway?
My friend and fellow author, Michael John Sullivan, is conducting one such animal.
All you have to do is leave a comment below the story at his website to be eligible.My book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher” is one of the books you could win.
Mike says: “There are books available from these talented writers — Selena Robins, Maddie Ryan, Paul Hoffman, Barbara Robinson, Kathy Boyd Fellure, Kyrian Lyndon, Laurie Kozlowski, Susan Ricci, Jenn Nixon, and Michael John Sullivan. There are books available from many genres, too. Have some fun reading up on these talented writers.”
Even if you don’t win a free book, you may find some good ideas for Christmas presents … I’m just sayin’ …
And you thought your favorite author couldn’t put a personalized message on the e-book you bought! Don’t feel bad; I didn’t either.
Authorgraph makes it possible for authors to sign e-books for their readers. Really!
Getting an Authorgraph is easy:
- Search or browse for your favorite authors or books
- Click “Request Authorgraph” (you can include a short message to the author)
- Receive an email when the author has signed your Authorgraph
- View your Authorgraph in your favorite reading apps and devices
This is pretty cool.
Want to get a personally autographed copy of “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher” directly from the author, but you can’t manage the $20?
Well, you’re in luck!
For a limited time, I’ve cut the price to $15. That’s right, just $15!
And that even includes postage and handling.
Here’s all you have to do:
- Send me $15 per book (yes, you are allowed to buy more than one!)
- Send me your name and address.
- Tell me to whom to address my signature.
- Send payment via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org OR send a check made payable to Paul Hoffman to me at P.O. Box 2611, Columbus, IN 47201.
- If you see me in person, I probably have a book nearby. Just ask. And as long as I have my cell phone and Square reader with me, I’ll be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
It is also possible to get the book in e-book format or through Amazon or Barnes & Noble or at your local bookstore. If they don’t have it in stock, just ask them to order it.
Don’t delay. Order today! Supplies aren’t limited yet, but they could be if I get a nice holiday rush.
Oh, and tell every single one of your friends about this fantastic offer, as well as 3 or 4 other people. It’s good for the planet probably.
I finished reading Syd Field’s book, “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting,” yesterday.
This was the first big step for me in writing a screenplay based on my book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher.”
The book explains how to go about writing a Hollywood-type script. All the nuts and bolts. Hopefully, I learned enough to put it into practice.
I plan to do a bit more research, as well as some planning of how the main characters will interact, how they will change throughout the script before I chart out the basics on 4×5 index cards.
There is a long way to go before I actually open up the scriptwriting software and start in earnest. But I’m on my way, and that’s more than I could say a few months ago.