It was at primary school that I first heard the quote: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’
I believe it refers to King Robert the Bruce of Scotland watching a spider build and rebuild its web while he was hiding in a cave following defeat in a battle against the English.
He watched the spider persevere until it completed the task and determined to do the same, and so did I.
I am now pleased to confirm that a correct and fully working epub version of my new poetry collection Finding Sanctuary is available as a free download through https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudithLesleyMarshall
A Chaos of Delight was the working title for a collection of poems recently published under the title of Finding Sanctuary at Smashwords.com.
The working title refers to Charles Darwin’s description of New Zealand when he briefly stopped there in 1809 and is also referenced in my poem In Godzona.
I am beginning to think that I should have retained the title for the eBook as the publishing of a polished version is proving to be ‘a chaos of delight’.
My fault entirely as I mistakenly uploaded an earlier version of the manuscript which I had spent several hours bookmarking, hyperlinking and linking back to the list of poems in the table of contents.
As soon as I realised the mistake I tried to rectify it by uploading the correct version, which works beautifully as a word document, only to find that it has failed to convert. I am now in the process of trying to find out how to put that right.
The poems and the words are all in the right order even though the technicalities are proving to be more challenging than I remember.
So, in the meantime, if you would like to read the collection and feel you can forgive a few formatting issues, please download a free copy from https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudithLesleyMarshall
I was recently surprised to hear of the film ‘A Quiet Passion’ which portrays the life of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, one of my personal favourites.
Although the film was scheduled for release in the UK in September 2016 it was being reviewed by Mark Kermode when I happened to switch the TV on the other night.
This was the first I had heard of the film, but the timing was serendipitous as I had only just finished rereading my copy of The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson produced by The Wordsworth Poetry Library.
The poems are collected into four ‘books’ on the themes of Life, Love, Nature, Time and Eternity from which come the lines: ‘The world is not conclusion, a sequel stands beyond…’
Very few of the poems were published during her lifetime. In many ways Dickinson was a poet before her time and her work only gained recognition after her death.
One can only hope that in the world beyond she was able to return to the more vivacious, outgoing version of herself as shown by director Terence Davies rather than the reclusive person that she became in later life.
I leave you to ponder what she has to say about a book:
There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away. Nor any coursers like a page Of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears a human soul!
n.b. The unusual placement of the lines is computer generated and something that I seem unable to alter. It does however create an interesting new layout for the original words.
Unlike centuries of poets and painters I was not struck by the muse so much as struck dumb by the view and shaky legs on a recent visit to the limestone pavement above Malham Cove.
Also called the Poet’s pavement after the poet Thomas Gray, and the location for a scene in the Harry Potter films, the area did inspire my husband Ian to take many creative photos such as the one above.
The pavement and cove continue to draw huge numbers of visitors to the area each year, and while not all will find inspiration, it is impossible not to feel a sense of achievement when reaching the top.
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Till Life Do Us Part is the title of a short story I have recently published at Smashwords who are the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks to both retailers and libraries.
Inspired by the idea of an ancient culture arranging for people to be married after death, the story is set in the realm of Death, a dark vacuum in deep space.
At only 700 words long the story is meant to be as mentally portable as a poem and invites the reader to consider the consequences of such a tradition.
It is also my way back into epublishing which I am getting to grips with again with the help of free tools and support provided by the distributor such as Mark Coker’s Style Guide.
I first discovered Smashwords in 2012 and chose them as my edistributor for many reasons including the ethos of the company and the freedom to publish across a number of genres.
To find out more about this eplatform or to read Till Life Do Us Part go to http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudithLesleyMarshall