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Full Poetry Launch

The title of this post makes it sound a little more exciting than it probably is. The introduction period of my poetry sales on Etsy is now over so I’ve launched the final type of poems and have a full set of listing up. I’ll be adding new combinations and making sure that my poetry is in all the right categories but most of the work is done. This means two things: one that the prices are now up at their fixed retail rates and two I can start promoting seriously.

This post is also an explanation of why I’ve not been on the blog much the past couple of weeks – I’ve been staring at the screen so much for Etsy and marketing that everything else has had to go. My mind is incredibly full of ideas and can’t seem to take much extra.

I now have three types of poetry up on Etsy.

A haiku, a standard poem and an ‘after’ poem. All customized, personalized, unique and written by little old me.
Lots and LOTS of work is going into Etsy at the moment, into the listings and marketing my new line. It is work that I enjoy but it’s still hard work and takes a lot of time.

I have actually had a much more positive response than I was expecting, which is lovely. I didn’t think I would even get a sale in the first few weeks but I’ve had great feedback and most people I have spoken to seem to think it’s an idea that can go places.

The other quick mention here is that I am working on a new business plan to integrate the different facets of my business more smoothly so there might be more of a cross-over on here with my business and on my business site with my personal opinions. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. It’s an exciting time, a busy time and lots of fun.

Hope everyone is keeping well!


This Week

This week (and a bit) I have been without my computer. Not a lot of fun. Most of the things I need I can access apart from my bookmarks which has been annoying but it could have been much worse.

I’ve been playing around with all of the photographs that I took on my trip to Wales recently but I hadn’t realised just how long it takes to sort through them all! Will be a while before they are all finished and organised.

Over here in England we’ve had a sudden upswing in temperatures. Now, for most people this is great news. Me – not so much. Warm weather makes me feel sick, lose my appetite and have an almost constant headache. I have the summer version of SAD! So I’ve been grumpy, complaining and hankering for frozen yoghurt almost constantly. I have developed a new way of looking at this though; many of my friends love the heat and are very happy so I’m trying to see it as something that makes them feel better than something that makes me feel worse!

I’ve been focusing on my new line of custom poetry on Etsy as well so a lot of other things have been put to one side for the week. I’m hoping to be able to get through a lot of work this weekend and make sure things start leveling out next week.

One of my biggest projects at the moment is working out how to merge my Jackdaw 19 business with my V.C. Linde business. One of the things that I have done is to start merging my boards on Pinterest. I’ve joined up my business and Etsy ones but for the moment I am leaving my art ones alone. Eventually I’ll also try and link blogs through to Pinterest as well but that will take a little longer and I don’t want to try and do it all at once.

I’ve been reading ‘City of Lost Souls’ by Cassandra Clare. Finally. I love her books, all of them and I made myself wait until I had finished launching my poetry until I bought the new one. I have to admit to savoring it a little as well because I could easily have read it in a day. The other main bulk of my reading is poetry, I’m working really hard on developing my style and keeping on top of practicing and re-defining my own poetry and reading as much as possible is key to that. I’m switching between some great anthologies and some individual collections. The anthologies I usually read are chronologically organised so I can see how periods of history affected the writers.

Today I am working on my poetry, finding new areas to promote and seeing who might be interested in it all. That and reading through some more cookbooks!


Custom Written Poetry

For a very long time now I have been looking for a new, fun and innovative way of selling my poetry. And I have finally found one. I am now selling custom written poetry on Etsy where people can specify exactly what they want in a poem and I will write it for them. For those of you who follow along with this blog please forgive me giving a little background.

I started writing poetry when I was very young and just kept going. When I was a teenager I wrote an awful lot of awful poetry and then finally emerged the other side. Once at university I began to research and write more clearly, I developed a lot and settled into my own style. I also wanted to have the words I wrote visible and so I began to design collages to frame my poetry and had these all around my walls. I ended up enjoying the collage so much that I formed a small business making and selling collage artwork and cards alongside the jewellery I already sold. The remains of these can still be seen in my Etsy shop. A move out of London and with the support of a fantastic new network of friends I have spent the last couple of years really working on my poetry.

The major project that I worked on was my ‘Three Random Words’ collection where I asked for three words from 100 different people and wrote a poem that had to contain those words. I had huge amounts of fun with this, I loved connecting with people and seeing which words mattered to them. My poetry came on very quickly with so much practice and such a disciplined work style. The most unexpected and wonderful side effect was the inclusion of one of these poems in the beautiful anthology, ‘Dark Currents’ from NewCon Press.

After the end of the Three Random Words project I tried to find something new to keep working on and I tried a few different ideas – I tried writing a poem a day, I tried free writing as well as my current ‘After Poetry’ project. The After Poetry collection is a series of poems inspired by a poem that I admire where I take the rhythm and theme and re-work the idea in my own voice.

I read as much as I can get my hands on and find inspiration from art and music, mythology, film, theatre, people, locations, travel and all of life itself. I use a lot of word play and all of my poetry is designed to be read rather than performed. I utilise punctuation and line breaks to play with concepts and mixed meanings. This is partly influenced by the poetry that I read but also by the technical structure of how some poetry is created. I’ve been a fan of traditional and English haiku poems for a long time. The haikus that I write (and will be writing on Etsy) are English styled but I am practicing and try to keep as true to the original form as possible.

One of the huge downsides to blogging is once you have shown a piece of poetry on a blog or website it is no longer eligible for entry into almost all competitions or magazine/book submissions. I have spent the last six months trying to come up with a way to share, promote and sell my poetry. I have been looking at non-traditional paths, a way to allow my poetry to fit around my business. Finally I settled on this, and I really think it will suit me very well.

I love to write poetry for people. This is the main thing I realised during my Three Random Words project and I wanted to combine this with my knowledge and love of Etsy. All of this tied into my decision to sell individual, personalised poems on Etsy.

My whole Etsy shop runs in US dollars and so I will be charging $25 for a haiku and $50 for a longer form poem. Haiku poems can be on on a specific theme, location, topic or including a particular word. Longer poems can also be on any theme, topic or including several words. There is clearly more scope the longer the poem is.

As the poet, the main problem that arises for this sort of arrangement would be the copyright of the poem. I would keep copyright but give up the right to share, distribute, broadcast or publish the poem either in print or online for twelve months from when the poem was handed over to the customer. This may sound a little odd but is the standard arrangement that is entered into when you submit poems to a competition (only if they win though!)

I’ll be popping up some of my poetry on the blog here so that people can see examples of my writing before they buy one of them. I’ll be including a mixture of poetry from various collections, some of my earlier works, a few from the Three Random Words project and some of the latest pieces I have been working on. There is already a larger selection in the poetry section than before.

Please do pop over to Etsy and have a look at some of the listings. While you are there have a wander around the site, there is a lot to see!


This Week

This weekend I am at Alt.Fiction in Leicester. I love Alt Fiction which balances out having to be back in Leicester! To this end I spent Friday with friends putting things into goodie bags and generally being friendly.

This week I have read the complete Walter De La Mare poetry collection, Bloodaxe’s collection of 20th Century poetry, an awful lot of NYT articles, and ‘The Atlantis Code’ by Charles Brokaw.

I posted a review of ‘Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy‘ by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo on the Huff Post blog as well as a whole bunch of pictures of squirrels on here.

Everything was a little delayed by Easter but also things have been quieter here because my big branding series is happening over at Jackdaw 19 with blogs and links to sites that can help creative and small businesses brand and market themselves. Lots of things to read and exercises to do.

I hope everyone has a fab weekend,

Jewellery and Art

I have made jewellery since I was 16 and collage pieces since I was 20 but recently I no longer have time to sell my wares. I don’t have the resources at the moment to find craft fairs, to promote my Etsy shop and to source new shops to sell in. I have pulled my jewellery from most of the places it was selling and my art & cards are now only available on Etsy.

I am trying to decide what to do with the stock I have and this blog is, as much as being an update for those interested, a plea for ideas. I am more interested in finding something to do with them rather than making a lot of money – although I won’t say no to the money, it always helps. I hate the idea of them sitting in a drawer or ending up in a rubbish bin somewhere.

If anyone in the past has liked something I’ve made and would like to make an offer on a piece, or pieces then please do get in touch. I am also very willing to sell wholesale. I’m not looking to sell on consignment at the moment as I don’t want to be tied into contracts. As far as costs go I want to cover my costs and a little profit would be great.

Everything can go as far as I am concerned. All of the jewellery, the art and the cards are available. The only thing I am not selling are the prints of my collage pieces, which were only ever available as cards anyway. If you read this and would like something I can arrange details over email or through Etsy for any/all products.

If anyone hosts jewellery parties and wants some extra handmade bracelets then I have a ready made set of stock. If there is someone who wants interesting pieces to compliment their picture frames then I have a ready supply of 5×7 collage pieces.

I feel obliged to point out that I poured a lot of time, energy and creativity into these pieces and it has not been an easy decision to stop selling them.

I’ll include pictures of some of the collage pieces, either A4, Cards or 5×7 prints. Frames can be included or left out. I’ve not put pictures of the jewellery in here because, well frankly there are more than enough pictures and I have got hundreds of different styles of bracelets. Anyone interested should drop me a line and I’ll happily share photographs.


p.s. Sorry if this is more business-like than usual on here but I’m trying to remain detached, selling off so much work and a lot of it that is very personal is a little wrenching!