Colleen Hoover Tribute/ Inside Back Cover of Embrace The Geek Chapbook edition. My first chapbook and book #1 in my writing career.

My friend Colleen Hoover started her writer’s journey with me as a self-published author in January, 2012. I was one of the first people to read her amazing debut novel “Slammed”. She is a major tribute of my first book. Here it is as part of book #0 of my poetry writing career to 100 copy limited edition chapbook of “Embracing the Geek: A Writer’s Journey Selected Poems 2010-2013″. A better edited true bound edition of the work that will probably be around 75 pages (chapbook is only 45) will be coming out near the end of the month details on that soon. Here is my tribute to Colleen and buy her book, please. The poem “Write Poorly” is previously published in Colleen Hoover’s book “Point of Retreat” that was both self published in e-version through Kindle and other e-readers. It is also published by Atria publishing, and imprint of Simon and Schuster. I encourage everyone who loves poetry and a good story to read Colleen Hoover’s “Slammed” series. The first book is Slammed, second book is Point of Retreat, and the third book “This Girl: A Novel” is due out in ebook form on April 30th and print form on August 13th.
Colleen Hoover’s story of a social worker getting by, who writes a book after hours is inspiring. She lost sleep in order to write “Slammed” a young adult romance novel that involves slam poetry, and released it on eBook in January, 2012. And a few months later she was able to buy her first house, and become a New York Times Best Selling author. It’s the American dream and it happened because of the eBook. Although eBooks are still not great for poetry. You can’t keep the line formatting when you expand the text.
Thank you for buying my book, and I hope you enjoy it. You can contact me via, Facebook, Twitter, or my e-mail address. Let me know you bought my book and would love to friend you on Facebook at Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn. My twitter is @rurugby. And you can reach me by e-mail at edquinn@gmail.com. I would love any feedback and thank you so, so much for enjoying my writing, my poetry and my art. Make art, it’s good for the soul.
Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn
Westbrook, ME
April 11th, 2013.

Embracing the Geek: A Writers Journey Selected Poems 2010-2013. My first book.

My first book called “Embracing the Geek: A Writers Journey Selected Poems 2010-2013″ is almost ready to be available in PDF tonight.

I need to type in one poem that is still in journal, and then do formatting with my wife tonight.

The goal of the book is in the wonderful quote by Kurt Vonnegut in my 2nd favorite book of his (to Slaughterhouse-Five) “A Man Without a Country”:

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

So make something, anything. A pot at a pottery store, it may not be symettrical, it may crack, it may not hold water and need to be used for pens, but it will be your cup, that you made, with your hands. And it will be art.

Or like me and Lanna Lee you could blog every day. If you average 100 words a day it’s a novella, 250 words a day a full modern novel (365 pages). And the post can simply be “today f**king sucks. Ow!” That’s a blogpost you kept up your writing journey. And you will keep improving and if you use a blogging program like WordPress easily archive your work.

It’s also about gratitude to my writer’s journey. From 2nd to 4th grade I wanted to be a writer. I learned to create my work on a computer and let it flow. Then in 5th grade, I had a terrible, horrendous, not very good English teacher that thought me being on a computer was an abomination of his narrow worldview. These terrible teachers have tenure, and continue to infect students for decades. Meanwhile the amazing, creative teachers who inspire art, creativity and writing are on 1 year contracts and not hired on. There is both my amazing 4th grade Language Arts/English teacher and some of my friends I am thinking of here.

The book starts with the Vonnegut quote and then has a very long acknowledgment. If you are listed on it, congratulations! You have earned a free PDF copy of the book. I only have 100 copies of the book, signed and numbered so if you want one assigned (there are about 35/100 books unclaimed before even PDF release) please let me know on the blog, or my e-mail address edquinn at gmail dot com (to avoid spam), my Twitter feed at @rurugby or my Facebook at Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn.

Here is the acknowledgment:

This limited edition chapbook is designed for all the people who have helped me in my writing and poetry journey. So if you have made this list of people who are awesome, you have earned a free chapbook. I would love to do trade for the poets in the room, and to pass the gratitude forward for those who are not. And maybe even inspire you to write.
I first want to dedicate this chapbook to the love of my life, the wonderful, fabulous and amazing Lanna Lee Maheux. She is my rock, my partner, and makes me life immensely richer. I love you.
Next I want to dedicate this book to the radically inclusive and safe space, Rhythmic Cypher. The 2nd poetry slam from the amazing small city of Portland, Maine. This was a dream and vision of my good friend Tina “T Love” Smith, and had a difficult birth in an imperfect space. Now that it has found its true home at the amazing Dobra Teahouse in Portland, Maine at 7pm on Sundays, it’s one of the best poetry slams in America. A place where genderqueers, gays, lesbians, freaks of all size, shapes and colors, and those afflicted with madness can feel safe. Where a 16 year old with panic disorder can read a beautiful and amazing poem about her condition and feel safe. Where Toben Tilgenman can make an amazing poem about what it means to be a man who was born in a woman’s body. Where music backs the poets, and the poets back each other. It is a spectacular success and I am so happy it is part of my community.
Next I want to thank New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover for first creating her wonderful young adult romance “Slammed” that used the power of the poetry slam to make the beautiful story of woman loses dad, woman loves boy across the street, boy across the street has no parents so transcendant, thank you. My friend Gennyfer Hanley sent me a link with the free eBook of slammed, and I loved it wrote a positive review on Amazon saying I was a slam poet and how much I love the book. She followed my blog at ed2dq.com and we became friends.
While Colleen was writing the follow-up to Slammed this time ahead in the story and from Wil (the boy’s perspective) called “Point of Retreat” she happened to see my blogpost/poem “Write Poorly” about simply writing and turning off the editor. She printed it off, put it up by her computer and looked at it whenever she felt discouraged or needed to remember to just write. I plan to make my second chapbook called “Write Poorly” with 500 copies. It is amazing to me that my little poem on my often not that read blogpost that often gets less than 10 pageviews a day inspired an author so much. So much that she put it in her book “Point of Retreat” that is a bestseller that has been read and loved by hundreds of thousands of people. Her 3rd book “Hopeless” is the number two eBook on Amazon so far in 2013, behind only behind Nicholas Sparks’ “Safe House”. Bemazing. That fact is surreal and amazing, that I may have more page reads in 2013 than the absolutely incredible and amazing Andrea Gibson who was the number one seller of the best slam poetry publishing house in America, Write Bloody Publications in 2012. Just ridiculous, if you haven’t read Andrea Gibson’s work yet and live in Portland, Maine go to Longfellow books and get a copy of her work, it’s outstanding.
Next I want to thank the Port Veritas writing, slam and poetry community for showing me love, giving me a place to read, and encouragement. Wil Gibson is a force of nature, and him saying “Write Poorly” is the best thing I ever read meant a lot. I have seen Port Veritas go from Acoustic Coffee, to the much beloved North Star Café, to Wil’s House, to the Mayo Street Arts Center, to Blue, to the wonderful restaurant Local Sprouts, and to it’s current location at Bull Feeney’s upstairs every Tuesday at 7:30pm.
I would be incomplete without talking about the amazing contributions of Tricia Hanley to Portland’s poetry scene and craft beer community. Her little bar, Mama’s Crowbar in Munjoy Hill, has some of the best craft beer you will ever drink in a wonderful small place. It would be my regular if I lived on the hill, but alas I live in Westbrook. They also host a reading hosted by Ryan McLellan that is unmiked, and at 9pm on Mondays. I do wish the reading is earlier so I can attend more. Unfortunately, I wake up at 4am most Mondays. It’s a great place to read.
Next I want to thank the heroes, friends, and compatriots of my journey towards embracing my inner geek. My recently departed father, Henry Edmunds Davis who passed away very recently on April 1, 2013 at 66 years old to brain cancer. You are one of the nicest men and fathers any son could wish for. I expected you to live so much longer, as did my wonderful mom Christine Davis. Their marriage is the great love I have seen through my life and it’s so sad it’s over after 42 years. Mom, I love you.
I also want to thank my wonderful and insanely intelligent sister, Melinda Davis Layten, who is ABD (all but dissertation) in computational biology and SUNY – Stony Brook. Dad’s illness I think took a lot out of my sister and brother-in-law Robert Layten, and I hope my dad’s journey away from pain, suffering and cancer allows her to become the brilliant scientist she is meant to be.
Next I want to thank the people who I have known the longest growing up in Montgomery Township, New Jersey north of Princeton. This chapbook may have the longest acknowledgements ever and I will just name some of my good friends that made feeling like an outcast in school easier: Greg Seidel, Bill Dyer, Conrad Saam, Anthony Schubert, Ben Dalbey, Eva Hanna, Kayt Sukel (who has an amazing book called “Dirty Minds” about the neuroscience of sex and love), Beth Cooper, Laura Hahn, Susan Flora …
Teachers including: Cheryl Watson, Jay Prag, Mr. Juliano, Mr. Harry Brobst, Ms. Williams and so many others.
And of course fellow poets including, who are mostly performance poets. I am about 20% a performance poet, and 80% a writer. Many of these excel at both and include: Heidi Therrien, Greg McKillop, Beau Williams, Jen Jacques, Toben, Emma Bovril, Paulie Lipman, Rachel McKibbens, Andrea Gibson, Billy Tuggle, Ryk McIntyre, Tony Brown, Melissa May, Sam Sax, Denise Jolly, Zanne Langlois, Robin Merrill and the fabulous Nancy Henry.
There are so many others I can mention but this is already an over 1,000 word acknowledgement to a chapbook. To all the friends I have made in the amazing city of Portland, Maine. Twitter has been an amazing way for this geek to meet people so I must thank Chyrstie Corns, and .. for creating them.
Also want to thank my Twitter heroes and friends like Alex Steed, Alexis Lyon, Keith Luke and so many others who make Portland a jewel of American cities.
I can’t name all the people who are part of my journey towards acceptance, but thank you all so much.

The last line of the book is “Make art, it’s good for the soul.” And it is so true.

Thank you and with much love,
Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

Blessed be.
Make art! Suck!

Books You Like That Others Love

Just finished two books today that judging from Goodreads others loved that I merely liked.

Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel of memories you can’t shake “Underwater Welder” and Kurt Vonnegut’s classic “Mother Night.

I give them both 3 stars.

In reading the Goodreads for each book, it’s clear that both books deeply affected people. For me the ending in “Welder” was all too sudden, and I wanted more.

“Mother Night” was a slow, awkward read for me. I just don’t really like Howard Campbell Jr. very much. He isn’t very sympathetic to me. And frankly being a Nazi propagandist is something that is awkward to read about even in fiction.

But, like other things it’s okay to like or not like something others love.

For instance I saw “Cloud Atlas” which to me seemed long, and disjointed. My wife and her friend both adored the movie. To me it was kind of a mess.

And I really don’t like the big hipster literary fiction. I can’t get into David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest”, or most of Dave Eggers (although I loved “Zeitoun), and a lot of the other leading literary lights of our day.

It’s perfectly okay to like what you like.

But, there are times I wish I loved a book or movie or any art as much as others do. To each their own.

Read. Just Read.

Read. Just read.

Why, because.
Why, because, because, because.

Read graphic novels,
Read romances, mysteries, historical fiction.

Read for fun,
read to learn
read for diversion.

Read. Just read.

You don’t have to finish the book!
No, seriously, if you don’t want to read it right now put it away.

You are allowed not to like it.
I keep thinking I will like hipster and literary fiction.

Guess what.
I don’t.

Read children’s books,
read young adult,
read picture books. There is a reason you loved them as a kid.

Read aloud,
read to someone,
see the magic in a child’s eye or an adults.

Read. Just read.

Ramble through library stacks, looking at random books.

Try out some poetry, some plays, some prose. You can always put it back.

Go to Goodwill, buy a few books. Go the library, buy at the booksale.
If you have a Kindle buy with that. It’s all there for you.

Read. Just read.

Remember it’s not an assignment, you don’t have to finish it. You don’t have to like the book.

Or you can like the book, but it’s not the book for you now.

Because reading is fun. Even FUN-da-mental.

Read. Just read.

The words are there, you’re eyes or ears await.
Read. Just read.

And yes audiobooks count. Listening to podcasts counts, the radio.
Stories are good.

Read. Just read. Or listen if that’s your thing.

And have fun.

Goodwill

I love the idea of Goodwill.

I give a lot to it. Mainly XXL stuff that is closer to XL now. And I do need more tall shirts my mother in law is right.

And I would love to find good hunting. Here is the thing though. I am an XXL guy 6’4″ 250 lbs plus. When clothes shrink and go to Goodwill they won’t fit me.

So what do I get there? A lot of books, some games, sometimes other things.

Today went to look at coats since my zipper is pretty much broken on my winter coat. (Not so good when it’s 14F/-10C out there in Maine tonight). And nothing came close to fitting. I don’t really relish the hunt enough to find something. And at $5 frankly a lot the shirts and stuff are pretty pricey.

But, I do love it. I love that it helps people. I love that it inspires people like my friend Allie of the @broke207 blog and Twitter. And I do find good books.

Today it was “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby, “The Men Who Stare at Goats”, a poetry book and another poetry book “Nine Horses” by the wonderful Billy Collins.

I like Goodwill. I would like to love it but I am too big, and probably inpatient.

Hunt on!

Edmund

Essex County ****

Wonderful graphic novel trilogy about life on the farm near Windsor, Ontario by Jeff Lemire (across the Detroit River from Detroit, Michigan).

This is a graphic novel that says a lot in spare passages on the farm. It’s about lost ambitions, death, loss, family, hockey and heartbreak.

The spareness of it is what stands out to me. Interconnected stories mainly in one small town by the farm, and 2 family trees.

Highly recommended. I read good books.

Firehouse ***1/2

September 11, 2001 is now over 11 years ago, but still feels fresh.

Especially to anyone who grew up in greater New York City.

I grew up in Montgomery Township, New Jersey just north of Princeton, and from the top of Grandview Hill on a clear day, I could see the World Trade Center 50 miles away (could see the Turnpike Towers of East Brunswick much better about 20 miles away).

The World Trade Center was always the building I saw that let me New York City is coming as we approached the Newark Airport area on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Going to New York often meant going to places like the American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side at 81st and Central Park West, where we were long term members.

Not that far from the museum is Lincoln Center, and near that on 66th and Amsterdam Avenue and is the firehouse for Engine 40, Ladder 35. On 9/11 the house had one of the toughest days of any firehouse. 12 went down to the World Trade Center and only 1 returned, and he barely survived.

This is a book about these men, about their house, and about the camaraderie of firemen. They are all truly brothers. They live together, cook together, eat together, laugh together, sleep together, even do projects off hours together and look out for each other.

It’s a proud group of men. Proud of their job, proud of their children, proud of their wives, and generally very happy.

The experience made me think of the laughter, friendship and ribbing of the excellent drama “Rescue Me,” one of my favorite all time shows.

The book is devastating though. Eleven good men, with great lives and families crushed by the towers on that faithful day.

It’s a slow read, it’s an emotional read and I recommend it. Excellent reporting by David Halberstam.
***1/2

113 Books in 2013

I read 181 books last year according to Goodreads. This probably skipped so re-reads and there was a few that were done twice with multiple editions like Guy Delisle’s “Jersualem.” And it was a heck of a lot more than the 66 I read in 2011 (goal was only 40).

But, I decided this year to start with my goal to be 113 books. Why 113? Pretty simple, 100 + 13 for 2013. And I much prefer to increase my goal then decrease the goal.

So far I am up to 2. I have re-read the amazing “Pyongyang” by Guy Delisle for at least the 8th time. It’s one of my top ten books of all time. *****

And I read the interesting, but a little thin “The Great Catsby Volume 1.” *** I want to like Catsby more, I like the style of it, and I feel like it might be better if I read it in it’s original Korean. But, “Pyongyang” was written originally in French, and is just outstanding in English. So, maybe that’s not a fair downgrade.

That being said I do want to read the Great Catsby Volume 2, and check out the web comic at netcomics.com. On second thought, I think I will just check it out of the library, since it charges per chapter. So it goes.

Looking forward to what surprises 2013 brings in my reading. There was so many in 2012. From loving “Slammed”, and being part of “Point of Retreat.” To be blown away by the honesty of Nancy Henry’s poetry in “Who You Are”. To finding out why Lawrence Ferlinghetti is beloved in “A Coney Island of the Mind.” To the just wonder of the amazing graphic novel “Daytripper.

May 2013 be another great year of reading.

2012 – The Best of a Not Good, Very Bad Year

2012 was the toughest year of my life. I lost my wonderful father in law Walter Maheux in March. Seeing my dad’s brain cancer return in August.

But even in a terrible year there are best things.

Best poetry venue move: Rhythmic Cypher to Dobra Tea. The tea house fits it perfectly.

Worst poetry venue move: Port Veritas from Local Sprouts to Bull Feeney’s. There should have been a way to both charge a cover and keep a perfect venue for the place.

Best poetry book: Carl Sandburg’s amazing “Chicago Poems”. This is a reminder that many of these things weren’t produced in 2012.

Best poetry chapbook: Billy Tuggle’s “The Way of the B Boy”, just an amazing Chicago slam poet, and simply an awesome dude and poet.

Movie: Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”. Not even close, Anderson’s best since the fantastic “Rushmore.”

Book 1st Read: “Daytripper”, a graphic novel that goes through life through a series of deaths in important places. Beautiful, poetic and amazing.

Book re-read: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Amazed how well this held up to re-reading. So it goes.

CD: Fiddler on the Roof – Original Broadway Recording. I love Zero Mostel and Fiddler together.

Hot Mess: Cloud Atlas — Lanna and @gennyfer both loved this. I like the modern tale, but a lot of it was just a mess. From the jub jub sounds of the primitive future, to some of the worst Korean makeup ever in the New Seoul scene. It’s a mess. **

Podcast: Lounging with LannaLee. Proud of Lanna doing this every week. Really, really good. It’s an adventure in conversation.

Discovery: How much I love golf. I am really shocked about it.

New Restaurant: The Dancing Elephant in Westbrook. Yummy Indian food a few blocks from my house, I do miss the lunch buffet though.

Ice Cream Sandwich: Catbird Creamery in Westbrook. Always good, but favorite was snickerdoodles with brown sugar ice cream.

Go to restaurant, great service: Saigon. Pretty much universally loved. Just excellent.

Beer: Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale. Just an amazing barleywine. Great balance and just amazing with a beef roast.

Brewery: Bell’s (Michigan). Not available in Maine but pretty much getting a case every time I visit my parents in Allentown, PA from Shangy’s in Emmaus, PA.

Blogpost: Write Poorly. Can’t believe this little poem inspired Colleen Hoover enough that it’s in the New York Times best selling book “Point of Retreat.”

Accomplishment: Seeing “Write Poorly” in “Point of Retreat” and being in the acknowledgments. Makes me super happy.

2nd Accomplishment: Blogging every day on this site in 2012 and completing a National Blogging Year (not even totally sure that exists.)

Most spiritual moment: Being in the room when my father in law spirit passed from the realm of the living to the realm of the dead. Feel blessed to be there.

Tap Water: Sebago Lake/Portland Water District. It takes going to Allentown to appreciate how great the tap water tastes in greater Portland.

Website: Goodreads. Just loved that it let me know I read 182 books in 2012. And of course that I can see how others love the books that I love.

Blog: Margaret Miller Finch’s Stationary Unicycle. I think Ms. Finch should make sure to blog more this year and not listen to her critics.

Best Local Brewery: Bunker brewing. Still at only a 1 barrel system. I hope this changes soon. Their beer is seriously amazing, if only available a few places in Portland, Maine. Ie Mama’s Crowbar, Sonny’s, Local 188 and the Great Lost Bear. I have loved every beer I have tried from Bunker.

To buy wines: Trader Joe’s and it’s not close.

To buy liquor in Maine: New Hampshire.

Best/worst website discovery: Dominion Online. Great in that it’s really Dominion and that’s awesome. Bad in it’s really Dominion and I want to keep playing. Even already spent $10 in real money to buy some sets and plan to get more. Warning addictive.

Journalism ***1/2

Good and often difficult reporting.

I do think Sacco is at his best with book length journalism but a very solid work.

The story about poverty in India, refugees in Chechnya, and about African immigrants in Malta were particularly good.

Joe Sacco is one of the best journalists working in the world today. I wish more journalists were able to show themselves in their work, it leads to richer journalism.

I would recommend strongest his 3 major works: Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza, and Safe Area Goradze which are all amazing. Do expect with Joe Sacco’s works though that they will hit you in the gut. And frankly in the United States especially it is important to hear the Palestian view of things. The West Bank is an apartheid state as I talked about in an earlier blog post talking about Palestine and Guy Delisle’s “Jerusalem” and the “Politics of Palestine in Graphic Novels.”