Category Archives: Poetry Book

Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

Marje J Mallon has written a warm and thoughtful review of my poetry collection. Please head over to read the complete review. While there, check out her blog and her books with a new release This is Lockdown on pre-order.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica

Synopsis:

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships. The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

My review:

What a lovely collection of poetry, photography and paintings. I really enjoyed this poetry collection. Songs of Heartstrings tells the story of the author’s life and the many difficulties she has overcome. It is heartfelt and personal.

Continue to read……

 

Author Spotlight: Miriam Hurdle (w/ GIVEAWAY Contest) at This Is My Truth Now

Today I am honored to be featured on the Author Spotlight at James J. Cudney’s beautiful blog This is My Truth Now. He asked me interesting questions in this interview. I invite you to head over to read this interview and you may be surprised with some answers.

James J. Cudney

Today’s post is an author spotlight. You’ll get to know the author and the author’s books, view book covers and marketing campaigns, read an interview between the author and me, and discover where to learn more about the author’s work, including social media contact links. Let’s meet…

Miriam and I met a couple of years ago through our blogs. After chatting about books, life, and poetry, we began following one another and became friends. I thoroughly loved her book, as you’ll see below. I’m thrilled share more about her now…

About the Author

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

She is passionate about poetry and her favorite poets are Robert Frost with his poems “The Road Not Taken,” and Linda Pastan with her poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home.”

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

She took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were also fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California. She makes frequent visit to her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters in Portland, Oregon.

……

Interview Q&A

Hi Jay, thank you for your inviting me to appear on your blog for the Author Spotlight. It’s a privilege to share with you and your readers something about me.

  • What are your real, author, and/or pen names? What is your location?
    • Miriam Hurdle is my real name. I grew up in Hong Kong where I finished college and worked for several years before coming to the United States. While in Hong Kong, I taught Chinese as a Second Language in the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I was also a Director of Children’s Department for Asian Outreach. At 26-years-old, I published four Children’s books. My boss was the editor. I worked closely with two in-house artists who designed the book covers and did the illustrations. I got in trouble once when I went into the darkroom to watch them developed the films of the photos for the books. My boss said I should be doing my job.
    • In the 1970s, I came to the United States for my graduate studies in the universities on the west coast and started working in 1980. After working for two years as a rehabilitation counselor, fifteen years as a teacher and ten years as a school district administrator, I retired. I have been living and working in southern California until now.
  •  How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
    • I published my poetry in October 2018. It was a memoir in poetic form. I underwent cancer treatment in 2009 and took several years to regain the momentum of life. In 2014, I started volunteer counseling, taking classes in watercolor painting, poetry, publishing, and chorale at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI offers non-credit courses with no assignments or grades to adults over age 50. Since 2001, Bernard Osher Foundation launched OLLI programs at 120 universities and colleges throughout the United States. Many of the instructors are retired professionals.
    • I also started a blog in 2014 but it didn’t take off until 2016. For the following two years, I wrote poems and posted on my blog almost every day. Come to think of it, during the 27 years of working, life was a clock perpetuated the clicking. Retirement allowed me to review, reflect, and reevaluate. My poems were overflowing as the results of thoughts and feelings touching many parts of my life. Nothing agreed with my heart better than choosing the title: Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude for my book.
    • In early 2018, I thought of publishing a poetry book. I had heard of the rough road of traditional publishing. One author made a presentation about going through ten years of submitting manuscripts to the publishers but received nothing but rejections. By the end of the tenth year, a publisher approached her and wanted her to write a book on Autism of which she had no knowledge. She did a lot of research for that book which got her foot into publishing. She continued to do traditional publishing for many years until people recognized her name. She then republished all her books by self-publishing. I didn’t want to go through that route but checked out some publishers who charge fees to publish. One publisher would cost about $7,500 for publishing plus royalty for the life of the book. Recently, an acquaintance took a $10,000 loan to go with this publisher for her first book!
    • I wanted to learn about self-publishing. I purchased a “How to” package and studied for many months. By October 2018, I had designed the book cover, formatted the book and uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing. That was the year Amazon transferred from Crate Space to KDP. It was a lot of work, but I had fun learning the process. I published the eBook and paperback. I uploaded the Word Document for the eBook many times, but my formatting got all messed up. Eventually I used Kindle Create to format and upload the eBook. It’s easier for paperback because I uploaded the PDF file. If I publish again, I will trust the professionals to have the job done faster.
  • Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
    • I will continue to write in many more years to come. There are two members in their 80s in my poetry class at OLLI. They are my inspiration because they still write new poems.
    • Publishing four children’s books in Hong Kong was an enjoyable experience, and it is still my passion. I took a children’s writing course 15 years ago to learn how to get into the children literature market. My full-time job as a school district administrator didn’t allow me to go too far with that. Recently, I uncovered some stories and started to revise them. I also have several WIP writing projects, but it’s too early to reveal them. These projects will keep me busy for many years.
  • Do you belong to any writing group? Which one?
    • The first year at OLLI, I took a Life Story writing class with about twenty members divided into small groups of five to read and provide feedback to each other. This year I’m in a Writing for Feedback class with members writing in different genres.
  • Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)?   Who designs your book covers?
    • I believe the book cover plays an important part to catch the eyes of a prospective reader. Once the cover catches the reader’s attention, the book has a chance to invite the reader to delve into the content. I received comments about my book cover long after the book was published. I designed my book cover by obtaining a free image and did some work to extend to image to the back of the paperback, also designed the front and back text. I played with the title and changed the wording many times before the final decision. Once the title was in a final stage, I searched the image that agreed with the title.
  • What is the craziest/funniest/most enjoyable thing you’re ever done in the name of research?
    • When I did the dissertation for my Doctor of Education, the research professor drew a big circle representing the scope of the research. Then he made a bunch of doodling and dots outside of the circle. He warned us to stay focus on our research. I remember that circle vividly whenever doing the research for my writing and tried not to get distracted. But when I researched again for another subject, I remembered certain information came across my mind in the previous research but was not saved in any folders. Subsequently, I created many subfolders and bookmarked a long list of links which may never be visited again.
  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
    • I do not write full time. I have many interests, such as painting, singing, photography, gardening and traveling. At OLLI, I joined a chorale group which performs three or four times a year. I inherited my dad’s green thumb. My two plum trees produced 1,100 plums last year There are twenty-four rose bushes plus other flowers. Many real estate agents approached us to list our home on the market because of the attractive presentation of the front yard. The photography and painting serve as illustrations for the poems in the poetry book.
  • What advice would you give to your younger and/or older self?
    • My personality is such that I keep looking forward. I reflect on the past but do not regret. Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken influenced me. Here are the first and last stanzas:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

*

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

  • I believe who I am and what I have become are the accumulations of the past events, decisions, and experiences. Therefore, I could only give advice to my older self. I would tell myself to treasure my family and friends. Right now, I have the freedom to prioritize my life. I no longer need to build my career, so I should spend more time with them with people to build relationship. I don’t need any more fortune so I should focus on giving and not to expect anything in return. I want my family to remember me as someone who loves them and puts them first over myself as long as I could.

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude in Spanish and Portuguese

I’m excited to announce that Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude is translated into Spanish and Portuguese. They are available on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Kobo, Tolino, and other channels.

Here are the book covers of the translated versions, Spanish & Portuguese, in that order:

I would like to share with you the process I took to have the book translated.

Selling my book globally and in many languages

I wanted to have my poetry book translated into different languages. This idea came to me before the book was published in October 2018. One member in my Poetry for Pleasure class had her poetry book published in English-Spanish duel languages side-by-side. The formatting was a little tricky because she wanted to have the entire English poem, even the long ones, on the even number page so the Spanish translation would be on the odd number page. At the time of publishing my book, I just wanted to focus on getting it done.

Six months after the publication, I saw the Spanish translation and the Chinese translation of one of Olga Nunez Miret’s books. After the inquiry, she introduced me to Babelcube: Taking Books Global. https://www.babelcube.com I started to study their services and the process of book translation.

This is the Home page screenshot:Bbc Home page

I clicked Learn More… and got the following page:

How it works

By clicking How It Works, it takes me to the steps:

  1. Ensure you hold the rights for translated versions of your book

Make sure that you hold the rights for the translated work. If you have signed a contract with a publishing house or if you represent an author, make sure that you hold the rights to publish a translated version of the work and which territories these rights apply to.

  1. Create an account, including your profile

Create an account at Babelcube, if you have not already done so. Provide as much detail as possible, as this will let translators get to know you, including your writing career and past successes. This will be your “business card” to help translators find you.

  1. Post profiles of books you want translated

Post a book profile for every book that you want translated. Be sure to include information about its sales potential, including track record such as sales figures, sales ranks, reviews, customer comments, prizes won, and other useful information. You can also submit a short (2,000 character maximum) sample text from your book, which translators can use to provide a sample translation.

  1. Select translation offers, then initiate the translation process

You will receive offers from translators. Often translators will work as a team, one being the primary translator, the other being the editor and proofreader. Each offer will tell you the destination language and estimated time for the translation. If you included a sample text from your book, a sample translation will typically be included to help you gauge the quality of the translator(s) (if you don´t speak the destination language, you may have a friend who can help).

Pick an offer. Browse through offers you receive and profiles of the translators. Once you find an offer that you like, review and accept the Translation and Distribution Agreement so that translation work can start. You will now need to upload your book and any additional material that needs translating.

  1. Review the first pages translated

When the first ten pages have been translated, you will have the opportunity to review them and make suggestions to the translator. If at this point you feel that the quality of the translation is poor and you cannot get the translator to improve it, you can cancel the project with no penalty.

  1. Review the final translation

Once the translation is complete, you will have the opportunity to review it and ask for changes. If you wish, you can use a professional proofreader to assist you. If you decide you don´t like the translation and can´t reach an agreement with the translator, you may cancel the assignment, but a cancellation fee may apply.

  1. Prepare your book for distribution

Babelcube will enable you to convert the book into the different file formats for the various sales channels, publish it, and update things like pricing. Babelcube will distribute your book to all its channels that support the book’s language. Babelcube’s 300+ sales channels include the global online retailers, such as Amazon and Apple, and local retailers specializing in regions. You can request assistance from the translator(s), as desired.

  1. Promote your book

Now the fun part! Let everyone know that there is a translated version of your book available. Promote it through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Enlist the help of the translator(s) to help you reach the local media and social networks in the destination language.

You can also use innovative strategies; for example, if you have books in a series, you can use the same translator for the series and offer the first book permanently free, hooked readers will then buy the rest of the series. If you want to follow a strategy like this, include it on your books’ profiles within Babelcube so translators know.

  1. Receive royalties

You can follow your sales at Babelcube. You will receive a royalty statements and payments. Translators will also receive their corresponding share. You can see how the royalties are split on this page.

A few highlights:

On #3 – Post profiles of the books you want translated. This is what it looks like.

Book profile

On this book profile page, I included two poems for the translators to translate as samples when they offer me their services.

On #4 – I didn’t go through 2,000 translators to select one. I let the translators approach me by viewing my author and book profile. After three months, a Spanish translator approached me with the two poems translated into Spanish.

After reviewing the translation and waited for a couple weeks, I decided to confirm his offer. He translated the first 10 pages and sent them to me. After I approved, he took less than a month to finish translating the book.

On #7 – Since my book is a poetry, it took me a while to format the book the way I wanted it plus translated the book cover, and then uploaded to Babelcube. I set the price for them. They then published the book on different channels. If I don’t want to do this part, I could pay for their services to have it done.

These are several of the channels:Sales channels

Amazon link only posting the Spanish version at the moment.  The Portuguese translation is still in the process of posting on Amazon.

This Barn and Noble link has all three languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese (I uploaded the English version myself) :

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Miriam%20Hurdle%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall+rel+exact 

If you’re interested in having your books translated, click the Babelcube link (I do not get commission from referral). ♪♫ ♥♫♪

 

Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 6th March 2020 – #Booktranslations Miriam Hurdle, #Poem Pamela Wight, #BookRecommendations Jacqui Murray

 

Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle on A Better World of Books #bookreviews #poetrybooks

Today I am featured on Alethea Kehas’s blog – A Better World of Books. She wrote a heartwarming article about Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude. I invite you to head over to her blog to read and leave a comment! ♪♫ ♥♫♪

Alethea Kehas features interviews of authors and reviews of their books. She extends the invitation to the authors as followed:

“Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea.”

The Light Behind the Story

front-cover4I have the honor of featuring Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beautitudeon A Better World of BooksThe collection was chosen as the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards. It has also received much praise from its extensive readership.

Although I have never met Miriam, I have followed some of her posts through the world of blogging and had heard of, but had yet to read, her poetry collection. After I downloaded the Kindle version of Songs of Heartstrings, I  hardly put it down. As I read it, in basically one sitting, I felt a deep feeling of kinship and empathy grow within me through the author’s words and images. 55f8192d3ef2a593c5d56cb0286e1655

The reader soon learns Miriam has endured her share of life challenges, which include divorce, estrangement (and later reunion) with her daughter, and surviving cancer…

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2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards Solo “Medalist Winner” – Songs of Heartstrings

It is with great honor and humility to announce that my book ‘Songs of Heartstrings – Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude‘ was chosen as the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards!

http://www.newappleliterary.com/2019ebook/2019ebookCat14.html

 

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Winner

 

About New Apple – Literary Services for Independent Authors

New Apple was born in 2010 to help the growing number of independent authors in the southern Ohio area find their voice. Initially the venture was a support structure of authors, educators and readers pooling their efforts to share their resources and create local grassroots campaigns. Over the last nine years New Apple has grown and is now offering comprehensive marketing solutions to the world of independent authors.
The New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing were created in 2013 to provide self-published and independent authors with a chance to showcase their work. New Apple’s Annual Book Awards were established to honor the creative achievements of the unsung books fighting for their place within the publishing world. Medals and Official Selections are awarded to winners in fiction and non-fiction categories as well as E-Book categories and one designation for Audiobooks.
New Apple continues to provide resources for independent authors attempting to navigate the waters of self-publishing. In 2014, New Apple added Book Reviews and editing services as well as the introduction of tweet blasting book announcements and giveaways. In 2015, New Apple launched their summer book awards program specifically targeted toward digital books.

http://www.newappleliterary.com/about.html

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO THE #RRBC 2019 OCTOBER-WEEN BLOCK PARTY

 

Hello and Welcome to the #RRBC 2019 October-ween Block Party. At each stop on the tour, there will be Daily Giveaway Prizes. At the end of the entire tour, there will be Grand Prize Winners!

Here are the prizes at this stop:

1) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: Beem Week  https://beemweeks.wordpress.com

2) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: James J. Cudney IV https://thisismytruthnow.com

3) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: John W. Howell https://johnwhowell.com

There are 3 gifts for 3 Winners!

All you have to do to enter is leaving a comment below.

~   ~   ~

Here is the topic of the post today

Why do people write poetry?

The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, used as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, and law. Aristotle’s Poetics identified three major genres:

1) The epic poetry is the oldest poetry which is a lengthy narrative poem involving a time beyond living memory of the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women. It described their dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces and gave shape to the moral universe for their descendants.

2) Lyric poetry is a formal poetry which expresses personal emotions or feelings, typically spoken in the first person. The term derives from Ancient Greek literature; the lyric was a musical accompaniment, usually on a stringed instrument known as a lyre.

3) Dramatic poetry or Verse drama is any drama written as verse to be spoken; another possible general term is the poetic drama. For a very long period, the verse drama was the dominant form of drama in Europe. Greek tragedy and Racine’s plays are written in verse, as is almost all of Shakespeare’s drama.

During the 20th-century and 21st-century there are disputes among the traditional forms and structures for poetry and the distinction between poetry and prose. The elements of traditional poetry include prosody, rhythm, meter, metrical patterns and rhyme. The forms of poetry comprise lines, patterns and rhyme. Prose is a natural flow of speech. However, as T. S. Eliot noted, whereas “the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure.” Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern. It follows the rhythm of natural speech. Most free verse maintains the poetic convention of the poetic lines. T. S. Eliot wrote, “No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.”

My favorite lyrics are from hymns and songs. This is one of the songs with the lyrics based on Psalm 8.

 

 

Most of the poems in my poetry collection are in free verse. I also write in various poem forms. Here are some examples of poem forms included in the book.

 

Light and Dark

 

The end of the tunnel was in sight

Travel on a long journey found not in vain

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

The road taken was not one I had chosen

Unexpected trails and body half frozen

The end of the tunnel was in sight

 

Trotting in darkness with heavy feet

Hope, my only strength to pick up the beat

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

Long hall of darkness with pain in veins

Comforting in the heart stopped me from fainting

The end of the tunnel was in sight

 

Throbbing pain head to toes subsided

Medication and nutrition worked two-sided

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

Six months of cancer treatment had completed

Only follow-up appointments needed repetition

The end of the tunnel was in sight

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

The highly structured Villanelle is a 19-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines.  

 

WONDER

 

Whispering into my ear

Of passionate words to hear

Needing me in your life

Day after day, night after night

Embracing me against your chest

Reassuring me for worst or best

 

An acrostic poem is a type of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase.

 

I appreciate your visit and comment!

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

It’s delighted to see the marvelous review of my poetry book from James J Cudney IV. He walked along side with me to recount my journey experience, my reflection on what it meant to endure and trust the process.
Please head over to his blog to read his review and over 900 of his book reviews. You’ll also find out more of his mystery books.

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

Streets Ahead Book Promotion – Miriam Hurdle

Stevie Turner promoted my book on her wonderful blog. She offers Drop and Run on Fridays when you leave a link of your post on her blog. Bloggers share and visit each other. Please head over to visit her blog and her books.

 

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by [Hurdle, Miriam]

Stevie Turner

This week on Streets Ahead we’re promoting Miriam Hurdle’s collection of poetry ‘Songs of Heartstrings’:

Songs of Heartstrings depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache circumstances and an unpredictable cancer. It also celebrates true love and fulfilling relationships.

Miriam Hurdle in her poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience. Many poems are illustrated with her photos and watercolor paintings.

The poems in this collection are inspiring to the mind, heart and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences.

Review:

“A good poetry book that fans of the genre will surely appreciate.” – Readers’ Favorite

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by Miriam Hurdle is a…

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#4 on Amazon Best Sellers

Thank you!

Thank you! Thank you!

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After less than 72 hours of Free promotion on Amazon, my new poetry book “Songs of Heartstrings” is currently #4 on the Top 100 Best Sellers in Kindle eBooks.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Religious-Inspirational-Poetry/zgbs/digital-text/157081011/ref=zg_bs?_encoding=UTF8&tf=1

I want to thank all my friends who have helped me to post my promotion on your blog, Facebook and Twitter. All your support is paid off. It is incredible to get #4 on the Best Seller. I still have two more days of promotion.

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