We Had a Publishing Dream


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Who doesn’t dream of freedom?

Though no dream of freedom may be more famous than the one by Martin Luther King, Jr.

With no intention of taking away from the holiday related to King’s famous dream, I wanted to write a humble poem about another kind of freedom that has come about recently.

We had a dream of writing,

Of putting pen to paper,

Of sharing our written words with others,

Of publishing.

We had a dream of publishing,

Without fear of rejection,

Without jumping through hoops,

Without knowing the right people,

Without wasting energy on queries and proposals.

We had a dream of publishing freedom,

Where all books are given opportunity,

Where all authors have potential,

Where readers decide what is or isn’t worthy.

And then one day, several years ago,

I was shopping at Amazon,

I discovered a link to CreateSpace,

I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing,

I tried out self-publishing,

And I found that some dreams do come true.

Self-publishing brings authors together,

Connects readers with authors.

Self-publishing is open to everyone,

No matter who you are.

(And if you don’t want to publicize who you are,

You can even hide behind a pen name.)


Copyright © 2015 Chris McMullen

One Muse Is not Enough


So you found a muse. Good for you.

She’ll help you string ideas together,

But one’s not enough. Sad, but true!

Writing’s not the only storm you’ll weather.

With the story, your muse is great,

But editing is a different beast.

Your muse won’t help; you’re filled with hate

‘Til a new muse makes this worry your least.

A poor cover won’t sell your book.

So next you must summon a design muse

To help achieve just the right look.

But you will still need yet another ruse.

Your story muse won’t craft your blurb;

This requires a muse of another kind.

So important to find the perfect verb.

Without this muse you’d be in a bad bind.

When you must design the book’s inside,

Not one of these muses will help. No fun!

Muse five joins the publishing ride.

Your book’s design’s now beautifully done.

Still nobody will read a word:

You lack the most important muse of all.

Marketing muse helps you get heard.

Without her help your sales would surely stall.

You’ve one more problem to solve yet.

It’s the toughest challenge that you will face:

All six muses play hard to get;

You can never find two in the same place.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Oh Precious Hour


Everyone is so busy and stressed these days,

One hour is a highly prized commodity.

Already feeling a dollar short and a day late,

We’re now another hour behind our deadlines.

Are we really saving daylight with this?

Will our energy use be slightly reduced?

Do people exercise more with daylight savings?

Shall we enjoy more sunsets this way?

Or will the cons outweigh the pros:

Do we get more stressed, anxious, frustrated, and depressed?

Will increased stress lead to more health problems?

Would keeping our hour leave us happier?

Time seems greener on the other side:

Arizona and Hawaii, oh how I envy you,

Rebeling against the pains of daylight savings.

Enjoy your extra sixty minutes today.

They tax us when we make our money.

They tax us when we spend our money.

They even tax our time by stealing our hours.

Why not just take the whole day away?

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen




for traffic to slowly clear up.

for the light to turn green.

for the car ahead to run a red light because you will too.

for others to get out of your way.


for the line to move.

for some sign that you won’t stand still for an eternity.

for the person at the front to hurry up.

for the wonderful privilege of being next.


for your next break to come.

for your work day to end.

to finally get home.

to be even more bored at home than you are at work.


for the weekend to arrive.

to party Friday night.

to sleep in on Saturday.

to do work at home that you couldn’t finish during the week.


for an opportunity to present itself.

for luck to pay you a visit.

for special treatment.

for your dreams to come true instead of going after them.


for this poem to reach its end.

to move onto another blog.

to finish your daily reading.

to express your thoughts in the comments.


to meet the perfect someone, who doesn’t exist.

to live your life once you find someone to share it with.

for an external force to pull you away from the wrong someone.

for a reason to make a change.


for life to come to an end?

to discover you’ve wasted much of your life waiting?

to regret not making better use of time spent waiting?

for tomorrow to come? Yet it will always be today.

(You could read several good books in the time spent waiting…)

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Counting with Clichés (a Poem)


Counting with Clichés (a Poem)

  1. When the fair maiden, Belle, laid eyes on the tall, dark, and handsome stranger, Beau, it was love at first sight.
  2. The more they got to know each other, the more the happy couple realized they were two peas in a pod.
  3. Although things were rough at times—leading to two separations—the third time was a charm.
  4. Their passion for one another was the one constant to persist through all four seasons.
  5. One day, when Belle found the scent of another woman on her man and questioned him, Beau pleaded the fifth.
  6. Beau was lucky Belle chose to bury the hatchet and not plant him six feet under.
  7. So grateful, Beau sailed all seven seas with Belle; they were in seventh heaven.
  8. The stork delivered several babies, until they decided that eight was enough.
  9. Although they went the whole nine yards for their kids, for every inch they gave, the kids demanded a mile.
  10. Their eldest daughter, Fair, was a perfect ten, but more spoiled than their youngest child.
  11. In every argument, Fair would hold out until the eleventh hour.
  12. Eager to get Fair betrothed—and out of their hair—they invited suitors to meet and greet her with a dozen roses.
  13. The thirteenth suitor, Jinx, finally agreed, but it proved to be an unlucky number.
  14. He literally broke a leg, had to put in his two weeks’ notice at work, and called the engagement off.
  15. The next thing they knew, Fair was fifteen and pregnant.
  16. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), it wasn’t a very sweet sixteen for Fair.
  17. To make matters worse, Fair’s seventeen weeks ultrasound revealed triplets.
  18. Her parents fought with her like cats and dogs; it sounded like the War of Eighteen Twelve.
  19. Fair wanted an abortion, but her parents refused; she cursed them for living in the nineteenth century.
  20. Each of Fair’s brothers and sisters played twenty questions with her.
  21. Fair was one girl who was not hoping to be forever twenty-one.
  22. Then one day, Jinx showed up on her doorstep and proposed with a twenty-two karat diamond ring.
  23. Suddenly, Fair felt not twice, but three times a lady.
  24. The triplets made more work than there were hours in a day, yet Fair loved every minute of it.
  25. Of course, everyone lived happily ever after.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Powerful Words


Twenty-six different symbols arranged in different combinations.

Forty-five different sounds put together in different ways.

That’s all they are.

Yet, when we see these words or hear these words, they can be so much more.


String three ordinary words together and they can cut like a knife.

“How could you?”

Add in an accusatory tone; one that you’d never heard before.

Introduce them in the right context.

They can etch into your mind. Torture you.

Powerful words.


When three ordinary words slip out they can ruin your life.

These words weren’t even on your mind.

They were buried deep down in your subconscious.

“I don’t care!”

But you do care. You didn’t mean to say them.

You can take back money, possessions, almost everything.

But you can’t take back the words.

Powerful words.


Three ordinary words can bring peace.

They can save a world on the brink of war.

“I promise you.”

It’s a simple vow. But it carries much honor.

You give your word.

It can be the greatest thing you ever give.

And when you keep it, it can be the greatest thing you ever have.

Powerful words.


Three ordinary words can give your life meaning.

When you say them with passion.

When you realize you’ve met your other half.

“I love you.”

They might be the hardest words you ever utter.

But if they’re reciprocated, they might be the best words you ever hear.

Powerful words.


Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Go, Indies, Go!

Three Cheers

Look at that indie author go!

She’s writing chapter thirty-four.

See how wonderfully her words flow,

So motivated to write more.


Look at that indie author go!

His cover is quite fantastic.

He went the extra mile, you know,

To get a cover that would click.


Look at that indie author go!

Three editors have had a hand

In shaping her story just so.

Now her writing is truly grand.


Look at that indie author go!

This is the tenth book he’s published.

He has a lot of sales to show,

Approaching what he had once wished.


Look at that indie author go!

She has written a top seller.

Although things began very slow,

They turned into something stellar.


Look at that indie author go!

He wrote a book straight from his heart,

Not concerned about making dough.

Readers called it a piece of art.


Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen



Many indie authors are doing great things.

I’ve seen some of the most amazing covers on indie books. Those authors clearly believe in their books and have invested to give their books an edge. Not all indie books have great covers, but those with fantastic covers are worthy of our cheers.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few very well-written, well-edited, and well-formatted indie books. These authors didn’t have the benefit of a publisher’s editing team; they recruited several readers or hired editors. When the result shows high quality, the effort is quite commendable.

I see many diligent, self-motivated indie authors undertaking a wide variety of creative marketing strategies. Many of these authors show much passion for their books, and market their books to share their passion. It’s a wonderful sight to see.

I hear about indie authors with excellent sales ranks, hundreds of reviews, winning awards, and otherwise succeeding in the publishing business. Go, indies, go!

It’s quite a challenge to perfect every aspect of book publishing. When an indie author does something splendid, it merits our applause.

You can find books with lousy qualities and focus on those if that’s what you wish to look for. Or you can choose to find features that are remarkable; indie authors who made the right choices to do something above and beyond. Personally, I prefer to think of the positives.

Go, Authors, Go!

I have nothing against traditionally published authors. I support authorship, in general; I support good books. The indie author doesn’t have the benefit of a publishing team, but any author who achieves something great deserves recognition for it. Go, authors, go!

Publishing Resources

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comma Chameleon


Comma, comma, comma, chameleon.

Such a subtle separator can disguise meaning.

“Let’s eat, everyone,” sounds rather inviting.

“Let’s eat everyone,” sounds cannibalistic.

, , , , ,

Comma, comma, comma, chameleon.

Such a subtle mark can affect the pace.

“The rabbit with broken legs limped home,” sounds quick.

“The rabbit, with broken legs, limped home,” sounds slow.

, , , , ,

Comma, comma, comma, chameleon.

Such a subtle mark can hold so much power.

“My mom said her husband is crazy,” means one thing.

“My mom, said her husband, is crazy,” means another.

, , , , ,

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

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Related articles:

Why Do You Write?



Is your writing fueled by passion?

Is it a hobby that’s much fun?


Do you possess knowledge to share?

Do you give help because you care?


Perhaps you write to entertain.

Maybe you do it to heal pain.


Please don’t say you write for money,

Although sales are sweet as honey.


Are you just a muse’s vessel?

Are you writing to soothe your soul?


Could your books be your legacy?

Could they be art for all to see?


Copyright © 2013 Chris McMullen