Tag Archives: Writing Contest

“A Hundred Different Skies” Preorder Update

“A Hundred Different Skies”? What’s that?

It’s a poetry collection I’ve been working on since 2007. I initially published it in 2008, then pulled it immediately after receiving the proof copy. This time I’m trying to do it right. I have beta readers, I’m editing my poetry, and I’m getting a proper cover designed by a childhood friend.

I promised my grandmother I would properly publish the collection at one point. While I still plan to publish one off poems on occasion, I’m not sure I plan to publish another poetry collection for another 12 years or more.

What Kinds Of Poetry?

My poetry is influenced heavily by the works of Billy Collins, e.e. cummings, Allen Ginsberg, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson, Esther Popel, Philip K Dick (yes he wrote poetry too), Sylvia Path, and probably any other poet I learned about.

An incomplete list of the styles of poetry include:

  • avant garde
  • free verse
  • blank verse
  • tanka
  • cinquain
  • sestina
  • free verse – word art

For more information on types of poetry, Writer’s Digest has a great list here.

Do You Consider Yourself A Poet?

Kind of? I used to consider myself primarily a poet, but over the past 10 years I have found myself more drawn toward writing. I’ve been writing non-fiction for quite some time and then switched to writing fiction. I tend to isolate my poetry to specific places, such as my author page on Curensea. They even interviewed me back in 2019.

What Publishing Method Do You Plan To Use?

Initially I had planned to publish through Inkshares. This meant that even though I said “Coming Summer 2020” that was for preorder.

2020 has thrown curve balls for us all. If I wanted to increase turn around time I would self publish instead of going through a hybrid publisher, but I am notoriously an overachiever in most aspects of my life if I’m in complete control of the deadlines. I’m considering what other options there are and am also considering completing the manuscript and submitting for traditional publication given that many of these poems are submitted for publication elsewhere.

Part of why I’m reconsidering using Inkshares? Inkshares is a hybrid publisher that requires authors to achieve a minimum number of preorders for the book to go to press.

Is This Why You’ve Been On Hiatus From Reviews?

Partially. Some of the hiatus has been related to other aspects of life as some people may have gathered. Some of the hiatus has been related to focusing on my writing because creating has been more helpful for sanity than consuming media.

Some of it has also been avoidance to see if a separation period improves this automatic response I keep having. When I try to write a review or read a book with the intention to review, my heart races and my mind clouds. Taking a break has been essential to review books fairly and honestly.

I have been constantly afraid of encountering more authors that aren’t looking for honest reviews from people that use their own money to buy their books. Or ask for honest reviews from people they send books to.

Perhaps I do not have the spine needed to write book reviews. I have a commitment to finish the books I currently have. This was never meant to be a source of stress or anxiety – it was meant to be a source of interaction with a community I love.

Other Projects

There are other projects in the works besides “A Hundred Different Skies”:

  • Additional chapbooks
  • Short story collections
  • A biography
  • 4-6 shelved novels
  • The “descendants project” – the digitizing of old photographs with names and evidence associated with them used to archive it to allow those searching to see the faces of their great-great-great grandparents for the first time as I come across these photos in my historic photograph projects
  • A book on historic photography techniques and the link between photography and American religious/spiritual movements (as well as the earliest examples of the American manufacturing of false evidence).
  • An ever growing personal photography portfolio that needs to be curated and shared in a gallery show. I recently obtained my first set of prints for framing.
  • Gluten free recipe development
  • Two “toy” / “art” manufacturing projects (I will be running contests for giving away prototypes as I perfect the process).

Not to mention Jacob and I are landscaping the yard and redecorating the house.

If you are interested in supporting or following any of my other projects please let me know which of the above interests you most. I’m happy to post more information and updates. I’m curious what formats people would prefer these updates in, so please include that information in comments below. Liking and sharing helps to get the word out about the upcoming release of A Hundred Different Skies as well as my other projects, but this post is mostly for the people who already read this.

Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this. It really does mean the world to me.

Quarantine Writer’s Block Short Story by L.H. Westerlund

I’m excited to share the winning short story composed by L.H. Westerlund written for the contest associated with Quarantine Writer’s Block: Exercise 1. This short story seized an every day object sitting on the desk and turned it into a curiosity adventure. Enjoy!

Image by L.H. Westerlund

It looked inconspicuous. It looked like a hair accessory, that was the only way to put it. A soft fabric circle curled around an elastic, meant to be used to tie your hair up. It was made with half grey, half pink but in matching white-plaited fabrics and it stretched readily around the cord inside if pulled at.

But it lay on the working desk of the single most prized student of the greatest crafts magician of all time – well, excepting the mentioned disciple if the master was to be believed. And perhaps he unceremoniously should be.

The delicate, almost invisible white pattern going across the two colours, the gentle curve of the fabric and the hidden stitches from where it had been sewn together told nothing about the power it might hide within. The fabric was soft and felt maybe slightly warm to the touch, but was it all a trick of the mind? Was this merely something the crafter had left behind, dislodged accidentally by a hand running through her long hair as she worked?

Or was it the product of some new spell? An artifact of unspeakable power using magic most mortals could only dream of wistfully? Who knew what magic it could contain!

The fabric item lay there peacefully, mocking with its secrets. There was no way to tell. None at all… except perhaps… A shout.

“Kiera! What’s that on your desk?!”


L.H. Westerlund

L. H. Westerlund is a Nordic author, engineer and playwright living in London. She is currently working on several new novels, including “The End of Elena Heart” which will be available at the end of the summer, and a sequel to the children’s-series “The Truth About Monsters”.

Her author website is The Literature Goddess. You can also connect with her via Twitter or Smashwords.

Her first book, University Strange or My Strange Life Amongst Academics is available for purchase now. If you would like a preview, the first chapter is available through the publisher’s website here.

So… Where am I? What’s Next?

Update: 11 May 2020

I’ve been trying to write this update for days. Every time I get a chance to sit down at the computer to try to write it I am called away from the computer because life is hectic for everyone right now. I finally wrote the first draft using my phone and many days later this is finally posted.

I had to take a step back for a bit. I have a box of books and I’m going to focus all review related efforts on until further notice. My schedule for 2020 has been taken down for this reason. Once I have figured it back out I will post a new, revised schedule.

I’m not accepting any new book submissions officially until I have 2021’s structure figured out – I’m working on getting that up. I am working on updating the website to reflect this as well.

I’m sorry to anyone whose books I haven’t ordered yet or hadn’t received yet. Though your book is not here, your books are next. I will be prioritizing books as I receive them and working through them as I have the energy.

Contest Updates

Later this month I will be posting the winning story from the writing contest. The winner is LHWesterlund. She wrote this awesome piece that I can’t wait for everyone to read 🙂

Writing Updates

What else is going on? I’m writing short stories. If I work my butt off I might finish 2 WIPs by end of 2020 instead of only 1. Woo! As always, check out my work over at Coffee House Writers. I have a serial going called ”Waking Up” currently discussing the main character waking up from a coma. The main character has to piece back together who they are, but nothing they’re being told is adding up. Check out: part 1 | part 2 | part 3

What Should You Expect?

  1. I’m going to start writing more often, possibly daily. These may be in the form of short blog style posts for my own sanity. You will see a new category called “Personal Blog”
  2. I will be trying to get back on track with the book reviews
  3. You will see a new category pop up for “Works By Guest Authors” – this will be where you can expect to see writing contest winners’ works.

Thank you for reading. Without you this would be words sent out into the void.

Quarantine Writing T-Shirts Prize Discussion

In my previous post I created a writing contest. I decided to make t-shirts because I wanted t-shirts for me. I want to be able to offer a prize (the t-shirt or something with funds raised with them) to authors that submit amazing stories. There’s a poll about that here. There are three campaigns and none of them have a minimum purchase to print.

Writing in Quarantine

Not everyone is writing during Stay At Home Orders. Reading and Editing are important parts of the writing process.

Editing in Quarantine

Reading In Quarantine

I’m not interested in making money off of these t-shirts. I wanted 3 t-shirts, then realized they might make good prizes or help fund cool prizes. What do you want in exchange for writing short stories using my weird methods for navigating writer’s block that I’d post on here? Don’t forget to vote in that poll re: t-shirts.

I can also design tote bags, hats, mugs, and face masks according to Bonfire’s website, so there’s some flexibility on what I can make as a prize.

Other items I can throw in for cool prizes: random second hand copies of books I think every person should read. Porcelain teeth. A 100% unique handmade item that may or may not be pretty.

I’m bored and craving human connection. This contest is giving me human connection. Thank you.