Be you not the bear?

Be you not the bear
Who comes and snarls and growls and scares
And leaves to where no one dares
Be you not the bear
Who tricks its many fares
Into your darken lair
Upon your deadly wares
Be you not the bear
Hiding skin that’s fair
Hiding eyes that glare
Hiding raven hair
Hidden within the snare
Be you not the bear

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Aaron Ozee has been INTERVIEWED!!!

Book Marketing Buzz Blog Interview (Q & A) – Conducted January 4, 2017

  1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?

In my earlier years, crafting picture books portraying obscure narratives about mythical heroes and talking animals was merely a precursor to my future career as an author. Little did I know that my adventures in writing and publishing would lead me to become a bestselling American poet having published ten books and claimed six world records all before entering my sophomore year at the College of DuPage. And even though my talent for the written word developed around children’s literature, it never seemed logical to simplify my poetry for younger readers, but to my surprise after being influenced by those closest to me, My Darling Child Shiloh emerged from the furthest reaches of my creativity. The basis for my first children’s book didn’t just originate from the desire my readers expressed for a more youthful extension of my work, but from the fact that one vital element was missing from my creations – the love for my mother. Everything I’ve achieved since birth is because of her and is a debt that weighs gracefully on my shoulders that I may never be able to repay but certainly deserves the attention of my inherited abilities. Dedicating this book to my mother is more than a gesture of respect for a parent but a heartfelt honor that lies beneath my duty as a devoted son. Ever since My Darling Child Shiloh was officially released through Lulu Press back in August 2016, it has been ranked on six different bestseller lists and continues to receive national acclaim from prominent media outlets capturing the highlights of its growing success.

  1. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

The underlying story of My Darling Child Shiloh focuses on a particular day a boy named Shiloh and his mother are spending together in the wilderness enjoying the wonders of nature. Experiencing the simplicity of life by observing the pleasantries of their environment, they begin to understand the value that rests within the love shared between them and what it truly means to be joined as a family.

The intended audience of a book like this would primarily be children anywhere from 6-8 years old aiming to connect their developing minds to the purely concocted messages behind the series of events that gradually unfold throughout the story in the most intriguing way.

  1. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?

There are many benefits associated with reading a book, especially when that book pertains to a topic you find interesting and can relate to in one way or another. Books are more than just tools of personal entertainment or education but are gateways to other worlds apart from ours that allow you to express yourself without fearing the impact that everything in your exterior may have on your life. And giving that My Darling Child Shiloh depicts such a spirited, innocent, and lovable tether between mother and son, it grants the reader an opportunity to relive their greatest childhood memories word after word.

When parents read this book to their children, it is my sincerest hope that they sense the commitment my mother had for me growing up and ultimately feel the tenderness of the love we continue to share. The idea of maintaining the balance of family is not typically a priority that our generation cares about but shouldn’t taint the changing perspectives of those who look up to us. If there’s anything that should be taken from my book, it’s to appreciate those closest to you and never forget where you came from.

  1. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?

My advice to any aspiring author is simple: once you get going don’t stop rowing. Meaning that when you make your first move to enter this space you can never go back because once your name is out there it’s out there for good. Trust me, when I published my first poem on PoetryNation.com and shared it with all of my Facebook friends, I was nervous that they might think differently about me as an individual, but when the feedback started to roll in, confidence was the only thing that remained.

You have to understand that anyone can publish a book nowadays and be given the same opportunity as everyone else to make a name for themselves. The art of this equation that most fail to realize is that even though anyone can make the first step, how are you going to figure out what happens next? There’s no one there to stand beside you and walk you through the process from start to finish. It’s just you. For instance, I didn’t have someone advising my every decision as I published my first book when I was only 15 years old. I was still in high school and didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing. But within the vast networks of the miracle we know today as the Internet, anything was possible and nothing stood in my way from success.

If you really want to become the best writer you can be, you need to utilize the information already available to you. Don’t try to go the traditional route, submit your manuscripts to big publishing houses, eagerly await their approval, and then find out they won’t accept works from unknown authors. Use your time wisely and do exactly what I did five years ago. Become best friends with your computer and go on an adventure you’ll never forget.

  1. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?

I’ve always had a passion for the written word being pressed unto printed paper. There’s just something about it that stimulates the senses differently compared to reading a book digitally. The publishing industry has definitely taken a turn recently and has begun to explore alternative avenues of manuscript distribution through the production of eBooks and audiobooks, which in their entirety, are promising in terms of accessibility and portability but just aren’t the same. Picking up a freshly bound book and caressing the matted paper and ink with your own two hands as you soak in the beauty behind every page is priceless. You can’t do that with a tablet.

The common misconception that consumers and even industry professionals alike have is that print is dying and will not be a medium of choice ten or twenty years from now. But actually, they’re mistaken. We live in a physical world that is focused around an epicenter of touch and without it would be not much of a world at all. You can’t take away an aspect of life from a daily enjoyment such as reading a book. That would be unspeakably cruel. And that is exactly why print media is far from going out of style and will certainly last longer than some might expect.

  1. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?

My Darling Child Shiloh assumed a firm poetic identity when it was drafted and was intended to be the headliner of a new anthology focused on the timeless qualities of life at its finest, but oddly pivoted at the last minute to a more gentle, serene, and visually-dependent piece. Now, my area of expertise depends on my ability to professionally compose and connect the rhythm of words, but hardly on the creation and placement of original illustrations. Partnering with Mallory Clark, the artist commissioned to visually represent the morals carefully inserted throughout My Darling Child Shiloh, was necessary for the completion and survival of the publication. You can’t craft a quality children’s book without unique artwork, and considering each picture was produced by hand over the course of three years, there’s nothing but originality in the book. Even though assembling imagery required the most effort, its debut in the marketplace proved that patience pays and is explicitly vital to the manufacturing of any masterful work of literature.

  1. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?

The merit of a book should be decided not by attractive casing that cloaks the pages or the description stamped on the back previewing what awaits within, but the dimension that lies just beyond the title. In My Darling Child Shiloh, there is more than meets the eye and is a gift that keeps on giving regardless of how many times you read it. You’re always uncovering details that you previously overlooked and seeing the finer realities that have been unnoticeably positioned in every word and illustration that collectively makes the story worth the wait as you follow the trail the characters place before you. If you’ve be searching for the perfect book to ease your thoughts or share with the family, you need look no further.

Pretty Poems

So while working my way through The Free Will Baptist duplicates storage… a religious magazine that’s been around since the 1920’s, a couple of the covers had some cool poems on them from I’m guessing people who sent them in… and well especially the Imaginary Evils one really hit home for me… I’m a consummate worrier and should perhaps keep it in mind more often to chill out…

The Artist

LIFE does not promise always
To make her pathways gay
With buttercups, green pasture slopes,
And sunshine all the way.
Never was a picture painted,
Where shadows did not lie,
Accentuating beauty
Of landscape, sea, and sky.

SO we find the Master Artist,
Whose touch is ever true,
Paints in the lights and shadows
Which are best for me and you.
And some day, when the picture
In its completeness stands,
We shall see the love and wisdom
That moved the Artist’s hands.
-Jessie Bell Thabes

Vol. 64 issue 14    April 6, 1949

Imaginary Evils

LET to-morrow take car of to-morrow
Leave things of the future to fate;
What’s the use to anticipate sorrow?
Life’s troubles come never too late!
If to hope over much be an error,
‘Tis one that the wise have preferred;
And how often have hearts been in terror
Of evils that never occurred.

HAVE faith, and thy faith shall sustain thee;
Permit not suspicion and care
With invisible bonds to acclaim thee,
But bear what God gives thee to bear.
By his spirit supported and gladdened,
Be ne’er by foreboding deterred;
But think how oft hearts have been saddened
By fear of what never occurred.

LET to-morrow take care of to-morrow;
Short and dark as our life may appear
We may make it still darker by sorrow,
Still shorter by folly and fear!
Half our troubles are half our invention,
And often from blessings conferred
Have we shrunk, in the wild apprehension
Of evils that never occurred.
-Charles Swain
Vol. 64 issue 28     August 3, 1949

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Just Another Road

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is a poem that is often quoted to represent how we need not take the path that everyone else has, but forge our own, and that by taking this different route it will make our lives better. “I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference.”(Frost 242) These are the words that inspire people to try and create a new way in the world. However, the problem with only looking at a few lines instead of the whole poem is that it would be easy to misinterpret the actual meaning the author was trying to convey. Frost is known for his wit and sense of irony in his poetry, and “The Road Not Taken” is no different. Within the poem he points out that the line that is so famously quoted is really a joke.

The second stanza is where it begins to be obvious that Frost never intends for this poem to have some deep philosophical interpretation. When he decides which path to take he says, “Then took the other, as just as fair… the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same”(Frost 242). It’s clear that the two paths are of equal difficulty, and while there is undergrowth mentioned in the previous stanza it is merely the description of the woods the path are running through, and really not anything to make travelling in any way tricky. After all, you can only look down any path so far before it’ll disappear behind something, be it the horizon or foliage. This supports the idea “that choosing one rather than the other was a matter of impulse, impossible to speak about any more clearly than to say that the road taken had ‘perhaps the better claim.’”(Pritchard 127) This line of reasoning is continued while reading the third stanza, “And both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no step had trodden black.”(Frost 242) Both paths are shown to be just the same, having been travelled roughly an equal amount before the traveler had ever reached them.

More so, the final stanza admits that this is all in good humor. “I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence”(Frost 242) is the equivalent of “[w]hen I am old, like all old men, I shall make a myth of my life. I shall pretend, as we all do, that I took the less traveled road. But I shall be lying.”(Parini 945) Frost admits that the poem is more of an accurate occurrence in life, simply walking down a path, and how in retelling it can become exaggerated. Yet, in his mischievous way of weaving words he’s fooled people into believing that there is some grand meaning, when really it’s just a simple walk in the woods where one path was taken and the other left behind. This can also be recognized within the fact that the title of the poem is “The Road Not Taken” rather than “The Road Less Traveled”, because this poem ultimately is about just having to choose between two paths that could be just as good or bad as the other and simply having to hope you picked the right one.

After all, Frost did say this poem was about a walk he and his friend, Edward Thomas, had taken, and Edward was upset that they had taken one path rather than another. When Frost sent Edward the poem he was upset that Edward didn’t recognize the humor within it, to which Edward responded, “I doubt if you can get anybody to see the fun of the thing without showing them and advising them which kind of laugh they are to turn on.”(Pritchard) The problem with poetry like this is that it is open to interpretation, but Frost does leave his clues to be found in the wonderful lines if a reader is willing to look. Yet, I believe the worst part of this poem having been misinterpreted is that it helped create this idea that taking the more difficult route will make your life better, which if you think about it honestly makes no sense at all. Instead “The Road Not Taken” actually has a much more realistic and meaningful look at the life any person will live. The fact is we all make decisions in life that will take us one way or another, and after pursuing that decision it can’t be undone. Like when anyone has to choose between one college and another, ultimately you’d end up with the same degree regardless and neither are necessarily a more difficult route, but they will lead to different experiences and moments that will forever shape a person. Even if half way through a degree a person quits to go to a different college, those experiences will still be a part of who that person becomes, because you can’t back track and undo the life that’s already been lived.

This is just an example of how things can easily be taken out of context when a reader only focuses on part of any piece of writing. While the line, “I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the differences”(Frost 242) is a great one that shouldn’t be forgotten, it also shouldn’t be all that is taken from this poem. One should always remember how great Robert Frost was with turning a phrase, and using his cleverness to get people thinking and questioning the true meaning of the poem, even if it ends up not having some profound revelation. The fact is Frost never tries to advise or tell the reader what they should do, he just wants to show that we have an option and we don’t know where that will go or if it’ll even be meaningful in the end, but that a path must be chosen eventually for a life to ever go forward. After all “choices—even when they are undertaken so lightly as to seem unworthy of the name “choice”—are always more momentous, and very often more providential, than we suppose.” (Richardson 182)

References
Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature Vol. D 8th edition. Eds. Nana Baym, et al. New York: Norton, 2012. Pg 241-242. Print.

Parini, Jay. “Robert Frost.” Columbia Literary History of the United States. Ed. Emory Elliot, Marjorie Perloff. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. 937-946. Print.

Pritchard, William. Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. Print.

Richardson, Mark. The Ordeal of Robert Frost. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997. Print.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

death clockThe Dark is Coming

Tick Tock
Tick Tock
Click Clack
Click Clack
The sound of time
passing
With the sound of feet
running
running
running away
Tick Tock
Click Clack
The dark is coming
The feet are running
but they can’t run
fast enough
They can’t run
quick enough
They can’t run
swift enough
Tick Tock
Click Clack
The dark is coming
The feet are running
Like death on the wind
Fear in the mind
Dread in the heart
For the sound
Of time passing
And feet running
And knowing
Knowing
The dark is coming
So run
Keep running
Tock tick
Clack click
As the light is fading
And day isn’t waiting
Nor night forgiving
For the dark
The dark
Is coming
Keep running
Tick
Click
But time has past
You’ve run out
At last
And the dark has won
Its’ dreary fun
As it wraps you
Traps you
And holds you
At last
Last
Last breath
Is gone
The nights’ dead song
The night
The night
So dark
So dark
And gone
Gone
Gone

Poetry Slam

So I read my poem, Fences, at Poetry Slam tonight… and despite it’s name no one slams anyone… though 1 douche had a sarcastic question for the winner at the end… but I think she did a good job of answering it in a wonderful manner… and yes I didn’t win… the woman who did, I wish I had her poem to share with you… but like she said it wasn’t meant to be read but spoken… and I’m not even joking… as soon as she read it I was like, “She won”… she did such a great job presenting… and that’s really half the battle there… you have to write something great but you also have to really put the feeling in it… as my insanely smart daddy said tonight, “No one should be able to read out one’s writing better that the writer” … well it was something like that… so sorry daddy if I got it a bit wrong… but it’s true… and that’s what I took away from this… I once more faced my fears of talking in front of a crowd… which I had been promised would be like 10 people… and was actually more like 60…

More than that the winner mentioned me at the end… see everyone else had very moving and meaningful poems… which she said was so wonderful how great they were… but she also specifically said even the one about Fences… because I made a point when I spoke to let everyone know it was in no way  a metaphor for anything else… it was just straight up a poem about fences… meant to be silly… and everyone got a little giggle out of it… and so I feel rather special that I got specifically pointed out by the winner… which makes me feel by association a winner as well… because sometimes people think their poetry or really any of their writing has to have this deep philosophical meaning… or be about real issues or emotions… but sometimes it’s okay to just be silly… you may not win first place but people will appreciate the laugh… and making people laugh is a wonderful gift…

but whatever you do… just keep writing… 😀

Back in the Day…

I’m entering a poetry contest and so I was going through some of my old stuff when I came across this… I would’ve been in 10th grade then and apparently missed a day of school… I was probably in science class… I hate science so instead of paying attention I tended to write poetry… usually about how I didn’t want to be there… and apparently thought it was all a waste… though I can’t say for sure why I named it Treading… then again sometimes my titles are just random so who knows…

Treading

 

I missed and was left behind

out of sorts and out of mind

worried too that’s more than five

most of them were all a lie

just to tired to crawl out of bed

complain of something with my head

parents know but let me be

say that day they’ll keep me free

but once again I regret

not so sure what all was said

past the time and can’t turn back

won’t learn my lesson is the fact

don’t want to come but hate to miss

one more day seems fathomless

and when it’s over I know I’ll say

that’s 12 years of my life wasted away

 

2:55pm   3-9-04

Books Books Every where…

I was going through my books and I’ve realized that I’m reading pretty much the same stuff over and over… it’s only the stuff school has been forcing on me that has gotten some diversity into my mix… so I thought of all the people out there someone should have a suggestion… so if anyone’s come across some really interesting books lately I’d like to hear about it… because I can just never have enough to read…

Fences

While wandering through other blogs I came across one titled the Ambiguity of Fences and this poem just had to be written…

Fences fences
everywhere
Oh how I wish
to climb

The fences that
Divide the world
into that even
Line

They keep me Out
They keep me In
They wiggle
to and fro

Oh fences
from what silliness
did you ever
Grow

But alas
you must come down
I cannot stand
to think

that something better
just might be
Beyond your silver
Link

Midnight Valentine

I entered this poem into a Valentines Day Writing Contest… and didn’t win… 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or honorable mention. So I’m going to share it with you because I still like it.

He told me he loved me
at midnight
But by morning
he was gone

He told me he loved me
at midnight
Right before he said
so long

In the dark
and the quiet
His words
were like gold

But in the harsh
of the day
It was
dust in the road

He told me he loved me
at midnight
But by noon
I did know

Some midnight
he’d be found
Stone cold
and all alone