Poetry without judgement.

Of course, writers are their own worst critics.  To this effect, and perhaps as our own way to fight the inner critique, a few years ago (actually… quite a few years ago, now), the lovely Jennifer Rose, the witty Alex Maki and I decided to embark on a little experiment.

We thought,

“What if we could create a space where people, especially people who perhaps don’t normally write poetry, could try their hand at it?  Without feeling intimidated or judged?  Where all submissions would be welcome, and feedback/critique offered only if invited?  But let’s up the ante, and create this space in an online forum, to connect with others, strangers, who might be looking for the same thing.”

poetryThanks to Blogger, we were able to create this space.  We named it “Terrible Poetry from Terrible People” (and no, the implications of the name are not lost on us; we figured we might as well start at the bottom and work our way up to greatness).

Here’s the thing: ironically, the vast majority of the poems on this site are the opposite of what you’d expect.  They are incredibly GOOD.  Many of them are gorgeous feats of literary art, in all honesty to the point where people should be giving our contributing poets money to read the beautiful words they’ve written.

I went back to the site the other day and browsed through past contributions, and was simply in awe of how well that project worked for awhile.  It has been some time since we’ve had regular postings on it (sadly, we had events and obstacles in our lives that interfered, slowly weaning us away from it), but with all of my recent epiphanies about writing in general – and renewed resolve to hit some benchmarks with my own writing – I realized I’d love to see this blog shine again.

So click here and take a look.  Wander around the site awhile.  See if anything strikes a chord.  Let me know if you’d like to post something of your own.  As I said… write poetry without judgement.  And see what great things can happen.


Good news and more good news!

romantic but impractical

Not conducive to finishing a novel early. Also, not my typewriter.

I am ahead of schedule on ALL fronts this month!  And so, lovely people, I bring you the news that I very well may have not one, but TWO published works circulating out among the masses (at least as far out as a limited local publishing budget can get them to circulate) as early as October!

I’m also extremely happy to report the cover art is finished for both projects; see below for a first look (not bad, eh?), and release details.

Off the Page (a story in poems) off the page (a story in poems).

Target release date: September 15th, 2014 (limited first run)
Format: Chapbook print
Price: $7.99 + s/h
Shipping: USPS
Shipping from: Tempe, AZ


RedEarthFRONTCOVERRedEarthBACKCOVERThe Red Earth Sings Beneath Our Feet: My Journey to Africa and Back

Target release date: October 1st, 2014 (limited first run)
Format: Paperback print
Price: $19.99 + s/h
Shipping: USPS
Shipping from: Tempe, AZ


Honestly, I’m so excited to see my work in physical print form that the first 10 people who place an order will get $5.00 off their purchase.  For no reason, except because.  Did I mention I was excited?

The novel, Tsidyon, is slowly inching forward toward completion.  Or, as complete as I can get it before my inevitable nervous breakdown about it.  In the meantime, I’m working on a few other projects:

  1. Getting hooked up through an online publisher.  I’m not entirely sold on Amazon yet; I hear great things and terrible things (I don’t want to stir up any ire, but most of the terrible things are in articles from the professional publishing camp).  In any case, I want to get my online platform up and running as soon as possible in order to move into the digital ebook market.  Save a tree!  Read my book!
  2. Free goodies!  I’m working on some pieces that I’ll be offering for free, with a subscription to this blog.  More to come on that!
  3. Writing projects in the works.  Out of all the ideas I’ve had over the years, these are the ones I keep returning to.  The constants.  I’ve carried them around with me in various stages of completion for a long time, alternating the time I spend with them and the energies I spend on them, and it’s time to just get serious about doing something with each of them:
    • A prequel to my existing novel is already in the works.  I love the world I created in Tsidyon, and I want to expand on the origin story of the heroic figure who serves as a minor but influential presence in the first novel.
    • Another novel outline, with speculative fiction themes.  I hesitate to call it strictly fantasy, horror, or science fiction; it has elements of all.  This outline is surprisingly well-developed for being my newest tangible long-term writing project, and I’m anxious to see how far the proverbial rabbit hole goes.
    • A series of fictional vignettes centering around a core group of characters that are quickly forming a common theme and story line (it may initially read as a novella).  At heart, it is a coming-of-age story and the protagonist’s point of view is quite heartbreaking, really.  Quickly growing attached.
    • A brief outline that doesn’t have much meat to it, yet.  I wrote a few pages one day right after a horrendous breakup from an emotionally void relationship from which I struggled to extricate myself, and the story has stuck around.  It may turn into a psychological mystery/horror novella.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not exactly autobiographical if there are ghosts in it, right?  Just kidding.  No ghosts.  But definitely horror.
    • Some story notes that center around another speculative fiction/fantastical theme.  Think Watership Down.  Set in Africa.  It could go either way at this point.

Well, that’s about all from me today.  If you are interested in finding out more about my upcoming projects for publication, drop me an email at
jenandersonwritesabook@gmail.com.  Or find me on Facebook or Twitter!

Thanks, amigos.


A memoir, a poetry anthology, and a novel. Oh my.

An update of sorts on a few things that are now closer to being – what every writer simultaneously yearns for and dreads – FINISHED.

"The Red Earth Sings Beneath Our Feet" front cover art. Copyright 2014 by Jen Anderson. All rights reserved.My Tanzania memoir project, “The Red Earth Sings Beneath Our Feet,” is almost press-ready! Cover art is done, table of contents is almost finished, and last read-through for copy editing is about to commence. I’m aiming to have the first run on the press and printed copies available for purchase no later than September 1st. Still working on costs/pricing, but the book will be under $20.00 per copy. The first run will be small, and print only (I’m still working on getting set up for e-book sales). Please contact me here if you’d like to pre-order a copy:

Or you can email me at jenandersonwritesabook@gmail.com.  And visit this post for a sneak preview!

On other creative fronts, the novel is slowly progressing. I will have information on the website as soon as possible. You’d think anything that comes after the completion of the first draft would be smooth sailing, wouldn’t you? Wrong. But I’ll be publishing an anthology of original poetry in the interim; more info on that ASAP, too.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Sleep in, write, be happy!