Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blurb #3

Robert Brewer, Editor of Poet’s Market and writer of Poetic Asides, the Writer’s Digest online poetry blog, has one of the most helpful online poetry blogs, stimulating us with prompts and challenges constantly, while participating himself, and raising four kids. Amazing.

Last year, I participated in his November Poem A Day Challenge : write a poem a day for the month of November, clean 'em up in December, Create a chapbook in January, and enter a competition. I actually managed to do it last year, and enjoyed it thoroughly, but no, didn't win that competition. Finishing Line Press was more than a consolation prize.

So, since publishing with them was the challenge this year, I had to forego
Robert's challenge, and asked him instead for an endorsement. He was kind enough to write the following:

"Poems from the Boatyard is a wonderful collection that often provides the reader with a nice combination of sounds and structure in poetry. This collection reads like a postcard from the sea written by a girl who’s been paying attention to every heartbeat that surrounds her and is not afraid to point out the contradictions of living. I can’t wait to see where Pat Butler will be traveling next.”

Thank you Robert!

This will be my last shameless promotion...until I get a good book review :)

Thanks for following along!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I don't even know Travis Wayne Denton, who wrote an endorsement for me, but I did at least meet him after the favor was turned in--at Poetry@Tech, one of the more incredible cultural finds here in Atlanta. Poetry@Tech was the brainchild of two men who wanted to ensure that "in a highly specialized and technological environment, students' aptitudes in the humanities are nurtured and supported as a foundation for life-long learning" (from the website).

In addition to poetry classes on campus, Thomas Lux (a major poet in his own right) hosts poetry readings about four times a year, bringing in some of the hotshots, mixing it up with emerging poets, from all over the United States and beyond. Rebecca and I got up there last month, and so I got to meet Travis and thank him personally for an amazing endorsement:

"In Poems from the Boatyard, Pat Butler, poet, is our tour guide, leading us via stark, concise images through a past as vivid as right now. Butler weaves her narrative in verse, honestly, like one whose life depends on it. These poems hit hard, get straight to the point and you’ll want to experience them again and again. Just listen to this as Butler writes in 'Riptides,'

“they go straight through you, and hold you down that one second longer
than lungs can hold air. The sand scrapes your knees, sears the skin
off knuckles and nose, and fills your bathing suit, teeth and ears.
You get pounded up the beach, legs over head, to surface with sand
in your mouth and salt in your eyes.”

Travis Wayne Denton, Author of The Burden of Speech

Thank you Travis!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It’s time to create buzz…you know, that low, vibrating, humming sound, as of bees, machinery, or people talking, a rumor spreading, a report coming, the sound of whispering, gossip, a feeling of intense enthusiasm, excitement, or exhilaration, dizziness, a slight intoxication, to tell or spread the news, secretively, conspiratorially, then going viral, linked it, with tweets, Mail Chimp (if I ever figure it out) and FB.


I’m not sure that’s my personality, but let me throw you a bone or two in the next few days…blurbs and excerpts for your amazement and edification...starting with my writer friend Rebecca, who until recently ran our writer's group here in Peachtree City, and kicked me in the butt last year to submit this manuscript:

"Patricia Butler’s poetry tells beautiful stories—whether the setting is the seashore, the city dump, or a dentist’s office. Quiet contemplation and spiritual connection undergird her witty and sometimes disquieting observations of the world at large."

I owe you one at Thai Isan, Rebecca! Thanks!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guerilla Marketing

I am reading “The Frugal Book Promoter” and “Guerilla Marketing.” In case you don’t know this about the publishing world, the author is responsible for most of the marketing of his or her book. So I am doing a crash course in marketing and book promotion, looking up websites, collecting email addresses, picking up local newspapers to collect editors’ names, and exploring Mail Chimp.

I have updated my profile on Linked In. I’ve got Twitter and my Facebook page ready to go, and of course the blog is up and running. I’m sure I’m probably missing 12 forms for social media, but that’ll do for now.

February 15 still looks like the official launch date, and I am most eagerly looking forward to crawling around the coastal cafes and bookstores of New England and Long Island, birthplace of these poems, hopefully with my brother Pete in tow. And no doubt be inspired with new poems…

In the meantime, I have a postcard and a bookmark to create…

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hoops & Bananas

Well, after a sharp learning curve, with deadlines compressed because of travel, I have finished jumping through all the publishing hoops necessary to bring this chapbook to press! I have January ‘off’ to study marketing, and get my social media up to snuff. The Media Release Kit is ready, as are the bios, short and long, with author photos, table of contents, a manuscript in txt, pdf and Word format, cover art, permissions, all in hard copy as well as CD ( why did my DVD player decide to stop working now?!? Flash drives to the rescue…)

I have until approximately Feb. 15, when the prepublication (advance sales) period begins. That means six weeks of sell sell sell, because based on sales, the print quantity is determined. My first goal is 205, which will earn me 100 free copies, which I can then sell at retail.

So, from now until Feb. 15, I will be studying “Guerrilla Marketing for Writers” by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman and Michael Larsen and “The Frugal Book Promoter” by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.

And figuring out Mail Chimp…oy…pass me a banana!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Far, Far Away

I left the island as a young adult, but the island has not left me. I still live for summer, even after many landlocked summers, or depressing northern European summers, or insanely long Southern summers.

In northern France, where I spent 12 pseudo-summers, one waits patiently for the one rainless day warm enough to go to the beach (I have been known to go in jacket and jeans anyway, just because). When that day comes, life stops. Everyone goes to the beach. And it is understood as a survival mechanism, not moral deficiency, irresponsibility or playing hooky.

I mourned the short summer dresses and tank tops languishing in drawers for years. I missed going barefoot, sweating, and staying up late during nights too hot to sleep in, watching reruns on late-night TV, discovering Johnny Carson, and slapping mosquitoes.

Then I traded in drippy northern France summers for “Hotlanna” and was pleased to discover my first dose of Southern hospitality: for one whole year it did not rain. Not a drop. Nothing but pure, unadulterated sunshine. Can you fathom the depths of my gratitude, you who have not lived in northern Europe, the United Kingdom or Ireland? I had come to the Promised Land.

With deep sensitivity to the ecological disaster this was, I soaked up every ray, making up for all those 12 years in France, reliving my childhood. I wondered where the nearest beach was , and how many hours I’d need to drive. I twitched a bit when it did finally rain, which indicated a less-than-complete recovery, but I have at least adjusted to the fact that rain one day does not mean rain for 12, 16 or 24 weeks.

We had the first white Christmas in over 100 years here—a dusting of a couple of inches—while up north, friends weathered a blizzard leaving four feet of snow in its wake, followed by one leaving two more feet.

But I am far, far away, south of Hotlanna, writing on my laptop from a very comfortable L-shaped sofa, feet up, coffee to the left, candle flickering to the right. We are nowhere near summer; in the dead of winter, barely recovered from holiday hangover, we hunkered down after an historic ice storm, and had an official ‘snow day’ if you can believe that.

But today I could take that cup of coffee out on the terrace and watch the sunset. In my shirtsleeves. Jan. 16. YES!!!

I am weirdly torn between nostalgia for those impossible deep snow dumps, stopping life for hot chocolate, a roaring fire and a blanket on the couch, and incredibly relieved to be here. My inner beach bum longs for the ocean, but will settle for 60 degrees in January.

I am far from my roots. But my roots are never far from me.