My Bodacious Blog

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George 

Romance Fiction Book Review

Title: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Publisher: Large Print Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning
Released: 2015
Pages: 509
ISBN: 978-1-59413-965-9
Stars: 5.0

Monsieur Perdu, the fifty-year-old owner of a book barge called “la pharmacie literaire, the Literary Apothecary in the Port des Champs-Élysées in Paris, has been alone in his austere apartment at number 27 Rue Montagnard for twenty-one years since the death of his —— named amour. He knows his neighbours better than they would ever suspect from their voices and movements in the old building and would do anything he could to help them, especially if they were sad. Moreover, he loves recommending books to his customers, neighbors, and everyone he meets.

Jean Perdu knows there is a book that’s just right for everyone, no matter what they’re going through. To him, books are medicine, and he can diagnose a person’s condition through the gift of transperception: seeing and hearing through most people’s camouflage.

Monsieur Perdu divides his customers into three categories: “those for whom books were the only breath of fresh air in their claustrophobic daily lives,” those who had been lured aboard the barge by the name of the bookshop and who bought any items he sold that weren’t books, and fans of the book, Night, in which the author had written, “about the inner life of men, more honestly than any men had done before.“

Max Jordan, the twenty-one-year-old best-selling author of Night, a book that “millions of women read to find out why men were so cruel to them,” had moved into 27 Rue Montagnard seven weeks before. Perdu believed “he was the positive print of Perdu’s negative.” When Perdu finds Max hiding in his Literary Apothecary, he explains why Max’s book isn’t suitable for everyone, noticing he thinks of him as a son.

Perdu is an expert at reading others, “a literary pharmacist who writes prescriptions for the lovesick. But he does not like to be touched or to give away too much about himself. He finds the cracks in his well-protected façade, slowly expanding as he becomes closer to his sad, mistrustful neighbour, Catherine, whose husband has left her. When she finds a letter addressed to Perdu in a sealed drawer in his kitchen table, and presents him with it, something inside him shatters.

Reading the letter sets events in motion that culminate in a bromantic adventure for Perdu and Max in the barge, Lulu, from Paris down the canals of Southern France, where they discover much about themselves and that the destination is the journey.

Along the way, they meet famous author P.D. Olson and a burly Italian bartender, Salvatore Cuneo, who has been scouring the rivers for his lost love for twenty years. Cuneo joins them on board the barge, becoming their cook, and the three men search for their respective muses.

Not only has Nina George written exquisitely described passages about the settings of Avignon, Bonnieux, and Sanary-sur-Mer in The Little Paris Bookshop, she teases all the senses with her words. She is also astutely aware of love and grief, and her love for her characters is profound. I found this book enormously moving because it reminded me of myself. When Perdu realizes that he has grown old without noticing and lost so much time (not truly living because he protected his heart from loving) that he no longer knew who he was, the hair on my head tingled. Likewise, this book girl, now a fifty-nine-year-old woman whose thirty-year-old memories of love and the hurt it caused, which served no purpose other than to isolate her heart and prevent her from truly living, has had an epiphany but fears it is too late.

All I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember is to go to Paris to enjoy its marvelous art and history, scour its bookshops, drink wine, and eat baguettes and cheese at a café overlooking the Seine. Possibly even finding love there. But now I’m older, poorer, and suffering from autoimmune diseases that will likely prevent me from ever pursuing my dream.

Whatever you do, do not let this happen to you.

Books find us for a reason. We pick them up and know intuitively that we will enjoy reading them, and we do. However, they are no substitute for living life large, in the now, with someone you love.

The Little Paris Bookshop is a love story about the love of friends, lovers, books, adventure, coming to terms with grief, and the metaphors of tango. It is about learning to open your heart again to allow yourself to love. And I loved it! It even contains recipes in the back from the cuisine of Provence and “Jean Perdu’s Emergency Literary Pharmacy” with book suggestions for dealing with various emotions and life issues. So read The Little Paris Bookshop and learn how to relax into the dance of life.

“The Glorious Sun” by Christine Bode 


The Glorious Sun

A poem by ©Christine Bode 2019

Ahh, the glorious sun!
From the land of lucid dreaming 
I wake, 
throw off the covers and
greet my dog
who lies beneath me beside the bed.

Drawing the curtains,
I welcome a new day,
always more cherished when the sun is glorious 
shining through the cloudy thoughts of
mistakes I’ve made. 
The wrong men I’ve given my heart to, 
how stuck I feel in this life—lost more than found,
and how much I miss my sister.

Waking thoughts that are as reliable 
as the chubby squirrels 
who continue to forage for food 
on the pathway behind the 
Bowling Greens, 
those all-weather rodents who
just go on with their lives 
and never let the weather 
get them down.

When the sun shines in winter, it casts its rays of hope, 
offering strength for perseverance, motivation,
to endure another dark night of the soul.
So, I’ll be here to bear witness 
to the perfect beauty of the lavender crocus 
as she peeks through the cold, hard ground 
with her saffron eye and turns her face
towards that glorious sun, 
a symbol of courage 
as we both face a new day.

Happy World Poetry Day! Read this poem and more by Christine Bode in her latest collection, Eden Redefined.

Eden Redefined is available on:

Amazon (Paperback) CDN $9.99:

Amazon (Kindle) CDN $2.99:

To Daughter a Devil by Megan Mary Moore 

Poetry Book Review

Title: To Daughter a Devil
Author:  Megan Mary Moore
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Released: January 3, 2023
Pages: 98
ISBN: 978-1956692518
Stars: 5.0

To Daughter a Devil by American poet Megan Mary Moore is one of the fiercest, most visceral books of poetry I have ever read written by a woman. Inspired by classic horror movies like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and the archetypal horror of being a female, from the Devil within to every devil we face, she has created a cohesive narrative of dark poetic perfection all women should read. I learned what a bezoar is. I had no idea. Moore writes poems about things that scare her, and they will scare you too.

She reveals the secret fears of all mothers of daughters, reminisces about seeing JonBenet Ramsay’s photo at a supermarket tabloid stand, what it is to be a bad seed, and how using a tampon must feel to the prepubescent. Moore also asks thought-provoking questions and covers everything about being a female child, from just knowing she was born bad to one burned as a witch and to the Enfield poltergeist, with such intelligence, insight, and courage that it has blown me away.

Her fascination with death, morbidity and natural and supernatural afflictions women face is just the kind of phantasmagoric poetry that captivates my imagination. I wish I could write something half as clever. “If Gregor Samsa Was a Girl” was simply brilliant. By the time I read “Our Love is a Two-Headed Calf, “If Swan Lake Had a Happy Ending,” “Madame Tussaud Makes a Death Mask of Marie Antoinette in Madeleine Cemetery,” “Eulogy for the Doe on the Side of State Road 128,” and “Snow White Receives a DM from Dopey,” I had goosebumps and was sighing aloud over how damn good Moore’s work is. I cannot wait to read more of her work.

It shows that Megan Mary Moore holds an MFA in poetry from Miami University. Her work has been published in numerous poetry outlets, magazines, and reviews. To Daughter a Devil was published by Unsolicited Press out of Portland, Oregon—a press I will watch.

Sultans of String: The Refuge Project – Visual Album at the 18th Annual CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS! 

Press Release

March 15, 2023

SULTANS OF STRING Shine a Light on the Plight of Refugees with its Cannes World Film Festival winning Doc, Sultans of String: The Refuge Project – Visual Album, at the 18th Annual CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS

SAT APRIL 1, 2023 – 3:00-5:00pm (PDT)

[Vancouver, BC]  Global Ambassadors of Musical Diversity, SULTANS OF STRING, will shine a light on the Plight of Refugees with its Cannes World Film Festival-winning Documentary, Sultans of String: The Refuge Project – Visual Album, at the 18th Annual CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS on Sat April 1, 2023, @ 3pm (PDT).

Leading with four nominations for their “Sanctuary” album (Contemporary, Global Roots, Pushing the Boundaries, and Producer of the Year), this Billboard charting band’s film features music and interviews from “Sanctuary” as well as sister album “Refuge,” both served up under lockdown.

This 1.5-hour screening will be followed by a fun Q&A with bandleader and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient Chris McKhool and co-producer John “Beetle” Bailey, hosted by Michael Tymchuk.

Mixed in full Dolby Atmos, this ambitious, diverse, inclusive, and passionately political film puts this world music supergroup face-to-face with a VIP roster of global ‘ambassadors,’ some of whom are recent immigrants and refugees to Canada and the U.S., as well as essential Indigenous voices. All are masters of global music that communicate with each other through the universal language of music.

Addressing the struggles of life on Mother Earth has always inspired this band. In Sultans of String: The Refuge Project – Visual Album, they bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on discussion and songs that speak to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples—their stories, their songs, their persistence, and their humanity.

Joined by an international cast, this three-time JUNO nominated band immerses itself in the plight of the international refugee and the humanitarian response that should greet everyone in search of a home.

McKhool (whose paternal Makhoul grandfather was from Lebanon) explains, “The larger Refuge Project is centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to Canada and the United States. We are bringing in special guests that are newcomers to this land, as well as global talents that have been ambassadors for peace. We wish to celebrate the successes of those who make the journey here and bring their extraordinary talents with them, in this case, music. Each one of us has a remarkable story to tell, and we are excited to share the beauty of these collaborations with you.”

The Refuge Project features stellar performances by Ahmed Moneka and Imad Al Taha, refugees from Iraq, Syrian refugee Leen Hamo, Donné Roberts from Madagascar with partner Yukiko Tsutsui from Japan, Algeria’s Fethi Nadjem, Colombian refugee Juan Carlos Medrano, Iran’s Padideh Ahrarnejad, Romani Nyckelharpa player Saskia Tomkins, tabla player Ravi Naimpally from India, sitar player Anwar Khurshid from Pakistan, string ensemble Gundem Yayli Grubu from Istanbul, and many, many more, including an orchestral version of “The Power of the Land” featuring Indigenous performers Duke Redbird and Twin Flames.

“The true inspiration behind these albums and film is the incredible artists we get to collaborate with,” says McKhool. “We learn so much from these diverse voices, and each one of them is so personally inspiring. As Ahmed Moneka, an artist and refugee from Iraq, says, “Love is the main reason for a great future,” and we are so privileged to be able to collaborate with so many incredible voices on this project.”

The film is receiving industry recognition on the Film Festival circuit, including the Cannes World Film Festival, Vancouver Independent Film Festival, Best Istanbul Film Festival, Paris Movie Festival, Montreal Independent, Hamburg Indie, Boston Independent, and Folk in Film Festivals. 

UNHCR Fundraising Partner


Saturday, April 1, 2023 – 3:00-5:00pm (PDT) 
18th Annual CFMAs to Screen Cannes World Music Festival Award-winning Film: Sultans of String: The Refuge Project – Visual Album
Mel Lehan Hall, St James Community Square, 214 W 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 2L2
Free for CFMA attendees/ticket holders | $12 | CFMA 2023 Tickets


Cannes World Film Festival
Best Istanbul Film Festival
Vancouver Independent Film Festival
Lightbox International Film Festival


Paris Movie Festival
Boston Independent Film Awards
California Indies
Montreal Independent Film Festival
Scarab Short Film Festival
8th Music Film Festival
Folk in Film Festival


Chicago Indie Film Awards


Chicago Filmmaker Awards
Hamburg Indie Film Festival
Dublin Movie Awards
Vancouver Movie Awards
Brussels World Film Festival
Berlin Shorts Awards


California Music Video & Film Awards


• 2022 Dr. Duke Redbird Lifetime Achievement Award – JAYU Arts For Human Rights
• 2022 Cannes World Film Festival – Best Musical Film
• 2022 Folk Music Ontario – Song of the Year – Mi Santuario, also nom. for Performer of the Year
• 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards quadruple nominees – results in April 2023 – Contemporary, Global Roots, Pushing the Boundaries, and Producer of the Year
• 2022 Burlington’s Best Local Musician/Band
• 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards winner for Producer of the Year with Refuge
• 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for Ensemble of the Year with Refuge
• 2021 Canadian Independent Music Association – Pivot Award
• 2021 Markham Performing Arts Awards – Professional Artist of the Year
• 2021 International Songwriting Competition – World Music – Mi Santuario
• 2020 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award – Instrumental – “Refuge”
• 2020 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award – Political – “I Am a Refugee”
• 2020 Independent Music Awards – Instrumental Song of the Year – The Grand Bazaar
• 2020 Independent Music Awards – World Music Producer of the Year – Refuge
• 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Folk semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
• 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Performance semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
• 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees– Producer of the Year 
• 2018 Music featured in the acclaimed film “Hotel Mumbai” 
• 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 6 
• 2017 JUNO nominees – World Music Album of the Year 
• 2017 New York Times Hits List 
• 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 15 
• 2016 Canada’s High Commission in London UK presents SOS at Trafalgar Square
• 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
• 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats  
• 2016 ISC – Honorable Mention
• 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year     
• 2015 TIMA winners – Best World Album
• 2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year  
• 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental 
• 2013 ISC  International Songwriting Competition Winner- Instrumental 
• 2013 Festivals & Events- Performer of The Year  
• 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
• 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
• 2012 Festivals & Events- Entertainer of The Year  
• 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental 
• 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental & World Beat Album 
• 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist-  Instrumental & World Music 
• 2010 JUNO Award Nominees –  “Instrumental Album of the Year” 
• 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees- Favorite World Group 
• 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place – Instrumental 
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year 
  (also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries) 
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental 
• 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act


What to Do When Writing Book Reviews 

How to Write a Book Review

Writing a book review can be a great way to share your thoughts on a book you’ve read and help others decide if they want to read it too. But where do you start?

First, make sure you’ve read the book. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people write reviews without finishing the book. The author gave their blood, sweat, and tears to write and publish it, so consider that and give them the respect of reading it in its entirety before writing your honest review.

Next, think about what you liked and didn’t like about the book. Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat, or was it predictable? Did the characters feel natural to you, or were they one-dimensional? Did the writing style enhance the story or take away from it? Finally, did you learn something valuable from a nonfiction book, and if so, what? Be precise.

It’s also important to consider the book’s genre and target audience. For example, if you’re reviewing a children’s book, your standards will differ from those of a literary novel.

When you start writing your review, briefly overview the book’s plot, but avoid giving away spoilers. You can also mention the book’s setting and any themes that were present.

Then, give your opinion on the book. Use specific examples from the book to back up your points. If you liked the book, explain why and if you didn’t, explain why not.

Next, include a recommendation. Let your readers know if you would recommend this book to a friend or if you think it’s one they should skip. I often forget this because I assume the reader will understand that I would recommend the book if I gave it a four or five-star rating. (I use the five-star rating system.) I hope what I say about a book adds to a recommendation.

Finally, post your review on (or with as catchy a title as you can write) and on Goodreads and share it with your friends and followers. You could also go the extra mile and share your review on your social media accounts. Authors will love you for this and may be willing to do the same for you!

I recently discovered a book marketing tool called Pubby that a colleague referred me to. You can sign up as a reader (click on the link to be referred) and get free books to read and review, or get them on Kindle Unlimited or purchase them for 99 cents up to $4.99. Alternatively, you can upload your books to Pubby and earn book reviews for your book(s) on or Here is my author referral link.

Pubby offers a free ten-day trial, and then you can keep earning reviews and reading books for as little as $17.00 per month. I have only been using this service for thirteen days, and I have read and reviewed six books and earned four book reviews for one of my books. Many of the books are short, so it’s easy to read them in a day or two, and so far, I’ve been fortunate with my choices as they all received four or five-star reviews, except for one.

Writing a book review can be a fun and rewarding experience. (I know because I have written two books and am writing a third.) It allows you to share your thoughts on a book and help others decide whether to read it. So, grab a book and give it a try!

You can read my reviews at Bodacious Book Reviews – My Bodacious Blog (

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes 

Nonfiction Book Review

Title: A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires
Author:  Dominic Haynes
Publisher: Independent
Released: April 13, 2022
Pages: 172
ISBN: 979-8802067925
Stars: 4.5

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes is an absorbing overview of a beleaguered country with an indomitable spirit that continues to fight for its freedom and independence from Russia.

Because I cannot stomach watching or listening to the news regularly, I learn about world events through books, documentaries, and online articles. Therefore, I wanted to read this 30,000-word book to try to understand more about how Ukraine has found itself in the position it’s in today. (Also, my childhood friend’s husband is of Ukrainian descent.) Haynes has crafted a well-written, informative brief history of Ukraine that helps us understand precisely what the country has been up against and what has led to the current war with Russia.

It begins with the roots and origins of ancient Ukraine from 30,000 BCE to 800s CE and takes us all the way up to the 21st century to 2022 CE.

The book has a few typos but is engaging and easy to read. However, I would have found it very helpful if the book had included a map of Ukraine, preferably one from ancient times and one from modern-day Ukraine, so I wouldn’t have to keep referring to the Internet on my phone while reading it to pinpoint where the areas referred to are located.

I looked up many leaders and empires discussed in this book, beginning with the Trypillya. I knew nothing about Ukraine other than what I experienced at a traditional Ukrainian wedding reception I attended in Toronto many years ago and saw in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when Tony travelled to Ukraine in 2011 with his friend and travel companion Zamir Gotta who had ancestors from Crimea. Ukraine appeared to be a beautiful country, “Europe’s breadbasket,” rich in fertile lands, abundant culture, and strong, passionate people.

I love archaeology programs, historical movies, and television series, including those about Goths and Vikings, so I knew a bit about some historical figures, like Atilla the Hun, Ghengis Khan, and Catherine the Great. But I have never read Herodotus.

The book helps put Crimea and Belarus and their influence on Ukraine into perspective. We understand that Ukraine has always been ruled by other countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. Despite this, Ukraine has its own unique culture and identity that it continues to fight to retain.

As with the evolution of any country, religion plays a pivotal role and unfailingly leads to conflict. While I believe in a Higher Power, I think that more harm than good has come from organized religion and would not be upset if Roman Catholicism and all its offshoots were abolished. I also believe in personal sovereignty and that the medieval practice of serfdom must be wholly eradicated in order for its enslaved people to be free to choose how they want to live. In light of the current war between Russia and Ukraine that some think may lead to World War III, it is evident that most of the world believes that freedom from tyranny is worth fighting for.

“Dominic Haynes has a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Manchester, and his years of study have fueled a passion for independent research. He has a deep interest in history, and his degree marked the beginning of a lifetime of extensive study.” I would not hesitate to read other books by Dominic Haynes as he has written a series of A Brief History of books, including America, Canada, England, Portugal, and China.

Best Self-Editing Tips to Help You Improve Your Writing 

Editing Tips

Self-editing is a crucial step in the writing process, as it allows you to refine your work and make it the best it can be. Whether you’re writing a novel, a research paper, or a blog post, self-editing will help you identify and fix mistakes, improve the flow and structure of your writing, and ensure that your work is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Here are some of the best self-editing tips to help you improve your writing:

  1. Read your work out loud. It is one of the most effective ways to identify mistakes and awkward sentences in your writing. Reading your work out loud will help you catch grammatical errors, typos, and other mistakes you might miss when reading silently. It will also help you identify sentences that are hard to understand or don’t flow well.

  2. Take a break before editing. Giving yourself time away from your writing is essential before you begin editing. This will help you approach your work with a fresh perspective and make identifying mistakes and areas needing improvement easier. Try to take at least a few hours, or even a day, away from your writing before you begin editing.

  3. Check for consistency. Consistency is vital in any piece of writing, and self-editing is a great time to check for inconsistencies in your work. Make sure that your writing is consistent in terms of tone, voice, and style. Also, check for consistency in terms of grammar and punctuation.

  4. Focus on one thing at a time. Self-editing can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to fix everything at once. So instead of tackling everything at once, focus on one thing at a time. For example, start by focusing on grammar and punctuation, then move on to sentence structure and flow, and finally, focus on your work’s overall structure and organization.

  5. Eliminate unnecessary words and phrases. Concise writing is more effective than wordy writing. You can improve your writing by eliminating unnecessary words and phrases. Avoid using filler words, such as “very,” “that,” and “just.” Also, avoid using overly formal or complex language.

  6. Use a thesaurus and a dictionary. A thesaurus and a dictionary can be invaluable tools when self-editing. For example, use a thesaurus to find synonyms for overused words, and use a dictionary to make sure that you’re using words correctly. I love using Word Hippo as a thesaurus, and it also has a rhyming tool.

  7. Get feedback from others. It is helpful to get input from others when self-editing. Ask friends, family members, or colleagues to read your work and give you feedback. Make sure to ask for specific feedback, such as feedback on grammar, punctuation, and overall structure.

  8. Proofread. Proofreading is the final step in the self-editing process. Make sure to proofread your work for spelling and grammar errors—multiple times—and use a spell checker to catch any mistakes you might have missed.

Self-editing is an essential step in the writing process, and by following these tips, you’ll be able to improve your writing and make it the best it can be. Remember to take your time, be consistent, and focus on one thing at a time. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from others and proofread your work multiple times. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of self-editing and produce clear, concise, and compelling writing.

If you have any self-editing tips to add to this list, please leave me a comment on this post, and I will add them.

Sultans of String and Marc Meriläinen Explore the Light in New Single “A Beautiful Darkness” 

Press Release

Artist: Sultans of String feat. Marc Meriläinen
Title: A Beautiful Darkness
Release date: March 3, 2023

YouTube link:  
Streaming here:
Full album pre-order:

“A Beautiful Darkness” is a collaboration between 3x JUNO nominated, 4x CFMA winning Sultans of String and Marc Meriläinen, the creative force also known as Nadjiwan, who has been recognized in many corners, including the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the Native American Music Awards, the Indigenous Music Awards, along with invitations to perform at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto.

It is the second single off the upcoming Sultans of String album entitled Walking Through the Fire (Sept 22, 2023 release), the most ambitious and important project of their career, a CD and concert of collaborations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists across Turtle Island.

Referencing the title, Marc Meriläinen explains, “We were just getting through COVID, and lockdowns, and of course, being in isolation… everyone had that feeling that this was an extra-long winter because when we started COVID, it was still in the wintertime. And then, sure, we had spring and summer, but those seasons just blew right by, it seems. And we’re back in winter again, back into COVID.”

“It seemed like everyone needed this refreshing break from the darkness that has engulfed our lives and forced us into this new way of living that we all had to adapt and adjust. But with each new night or each night, there’s always a new day that comes. So the song is about breaking free from these barriers and these things that hold us down… or keep us maybe depressed or not feeling happy.”

Indeed, the chorus lifts the listener out of moody verses. “I always look into it as the chorus being the awakening of spring,” Marc continues, “And then the light breaking through the darkness and reinvigorating our lives. And to steal Bruce Cockburn’s little quote from that song, “Gotta kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight.”

Sultans of String bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool, who was recently awarded the Dr. Duke Redbird Lifetime Achievement Award from the JAYU Festival For Human Rights, is trying to transform the darkness in his own way. “We are creating this recording in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and Final Report that asks that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people work together as an opportunity to show a path forward. I am really excited about working with Marc because I am a super huge fan of his work, especially the incredible skills he learned during the pandemic, working with outer space screenscapes, that have made their way into the video for this song. He is one of many fantastic Indigenous artists on my playlist right now.”

When asked about the newfound popularity of Indigenous artists, Marc says: “Definitely, we are seeing a Renaissance, if you will, with Indigenous culture, and artists, and entrepreneurs, and everything else. And it’s good to keep that ball rolling. And hopefully, this project keeps that ball rolling, which I’m sure it will. And that’s one of the big reasons why I signed on. And I love everything that you’re doing with the project because this is a great way to build some of these bridges, as well as leaving the evening or a listener with a great selection of tunes.”

Marc likens a hesitancy for more collaborations to a high school dance. “Guys are on this side of the wall. And then, on the other side, the girls are here. And everyone’s afraid to ask each other out to have a dance and then have a great time. I think it’s like that in the music community, like, ‘I’d like to work with this community, but I’m not sure what the protocol is. Or maybe they don’t want me there.’ But I’ll tell you, we love working; I mean, I can’t speak for all Indigenous people, but we love working with new music, and new artists, and people from all backgrounds and ethnicities and genres because that’s what makes music exciting. And it’s all about promoting these cross collaborations that make it exciting for the audience as well.”

Studios were used throughout Ontario to record this track, including Marc recording his guitar and vocals at his own Meriläinen Music studio, Sultans’ co-founder Kevin Laliberté’s guitar tracks at his own studio, multiple fiddle overdubs with Grammy and JUNO Award-winning John ‘Beetle’ Bailey in New Hamburg ON, and Sultans’ bed tracks recorded at Jukasa Studios, an Indigenous-owned world-class recording facility on the Six Nations reserve south of Hamilton Ontario.

But the spiritual roots of the song may come from Northern Ontario. “My grandparents are Andrew Patrick and Isabel Nadjiwan. Cape Croker Chippewas of Nawash is the community,” says Marc. “Although my mother was born and raised in Wikwemikong First Nation, which is on Manitoulin Island. And there’s actually a street named after the family. If you go to Wiki, there’s Nadjiwan Lane, where the old family house used to be on. The house is no longer there, but the street is still there. So I grew up mainly in Thunder Bay in my early years. And Thunder Bay they have a classic rock station. And then there are all these cultural things. So it’s a large Indigenous population and Finnish population. So I remember in the summers going to different ceremonies and powwows. And in one ear, I’d hear the sound of the powwow drum, the singing. But in the other ear from a car radio, I’d hear the classic rock station.

“So those two influences kind of stuck with me from, I think, when I was four or five. I didn’t know how to play the guitar. I had a fake guitar with rubber bands for strings. But I think that’s where I started working on the sound. There’s still definitely an Indigenous element there, but there’s also this classic rock sound as well. And how those two came together, it’s like the Reese peanut butter and the chocolate story, we’ll say.”

Please click here to learn more, including how we are including cultural safeguards in our work on this project:

Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan):




Born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba and raised in Thunder Bay, Marc Meriläinen’s heritage can be traced to the Chippewas of Nawash, Cape Croker.

Transforming the sound and image of Indigenous music has been one of Marc Meriläinen’s goals from the very beginning, and his prodigious output has been recognized in many corners, including the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the Native American Music Awards, the Indigenous Music Awards, and Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the Performing Arts, along with invitations to perform at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto.

From his early days as creator and performer of the multi-award nominated contemporary indigenous rock project NADJIWAN to currently producing the next wave of Indigenous musical artists, Marc has worked with numerous artists to help launch and further their career development.  In addition to writing and producing acts, Marc has also promoted and produced various live shows & events, including Planet IndigenUs at Harbourfront Centre and the Original People, Original Songs concert series.

Sultans of String:






Bandleader Chris McKhool (Makhoul in Lebanon) has an Egyptian-born mother who happened to play piano, teach classical theory, and feed her young son as much Middle Eastern cuisine as she did music lessons. From there, the powerful violinist developed a taste for multi-genre string sounds and found a like-minded crew of all-world enthusiasts. When McKhool first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s rumba rhythm, their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. From this rich foundation, the dynamic duo grew, featuring such amazing musical friends as in-the-pocket bass master Drew Birston and the jaw-dropping beats of percussionist Chendy Leon.

Their live resume is similarly stellar. Equally at home in a concert hall, folk and jazz club or festival setting, the Sultans have gigged at JUNOfest, the legendary club Birdland in New York, Celtic Connections Festival (Glasgow) and London’s Trafalgar Square. They have sold out Koerner Hall three times (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall) and performed with the Annapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. They have played live on CBC’s Canada Live, BBC Radio, BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and the syndicated World Café, Woodsongs, and SiriusXM in Washington. Sultans of String’s musicianship and versatility are also showcased in collaborations with such diverse luminaries as Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains, Sweet Honey in The Rock, Richard Bona (Paul Simon), Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Yasmin Levy, Benoit Bourque, Béla Fleck, Crystal Shawanda & Ken Whiteley. 

MAR 17 – Shelton Auditorium, Shelton, WA  
MAR 18 – Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, WA 
MAR 20 – Poncan Theatre, Ponca City, OK 
MAR 23 – Fine Arts Center – Western NM University, Silver City, NM  
MAR 25 – Payson Auditorium, Payson, AZ 
MAR 27 – Performing Arts Center, Lake Havasu City, AZ  
MAR 28 – Mohave High School Auditorium, Bullhead City, AZ 
MAR 29 – Education Series, Bullhead City, AZ 
MAR 30 – Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center, Borrego Springs, CA 
APR 01 – Feature Film: The Refuge Project at CFMAs, Vancouver,  CA
APR 14 – First Presbyterian Church (Young Audience), Lincoln, NE  
APR 15 – First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, NE  MAY 12 – Marble Arts Centre, Tweed ONMAY 13 – Bancroft Village Playhouse, Bancroft ONMAY 14 – Bryan Jones Theatre, Lakefield College, Lakefield, ON MAY 26 – Brockville Arts Centre, Brockville, ON 
JUN 24 – Mississauga World Music Festival 
JUN 24 – Old Church Theatre, Trenton ON
JUN 27 – Wasaga Beach Gazebo, Wasaga Beach ON



A Beautiful Darkness is the second single off our upcoming Sultans of String album entitled Walking Through the Fire, the most ambitious and important project of our career, a CD and concert of collaborations with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit artists across Turtle Island.

We are creating this recording concert in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and Final Report that asks for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together as an opportunity to show a path forward. We know that, as a society, we can’t move ahead without acknowledging and reflecting on the past. Before reconciliation can occur, the full truth of the Indigenous experience in this country needs to be told, so we’ve been calling on Indigenous artists to share with us their stories, their experience, and their lives, so we settler Canadians can continue our learning about the history of residential schools, of genocide, and of inter-generational impacts of colonization.

For this project, we are working with an advisory circle of Indigenous artists, including Chippewa/Anishinaabe Elder and poet collaborator Dr. Duke Redbird, who says:

“The place that we have to start is with truth. Reconciliation will come sometime way in the future, perhaps, but right now, truth is where we need to begin the journey with each other. As human beings, we have to acquire that truth.”

Several other Indigenous musicians, designers and filmmakers are guiding us on this project, including designer Mark Rutledge working with designer Kurt Firla, and Indigenous filmmakers and videographers Eliza Knockwood and Marc Merilainen, along with videographer Micah Sky.

We also met with the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Ojibwe Elder and former chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission to speak about the project, who reflected;

“The very fact that you’re doing this tells me that you believe in the validity of our language, you believe in the validity of our art and our music and that you want to help to bring it out. And that’s really what’s important, is for people to have faith that we can do this… That’s really good.”


Crystal Shawanda – Ojibwe Potawatomi Singer-Songwriter
Don Ross – Mi’kmaw Guitarist 
Dr. Duke Redbird – Chippewa/Anishinaabe Elder and Poet
The North Sound – with Forrest Eaglespeaker  – Blackfoot Singer-Songwriter & Nevada Freistadt
Kendra Tagoona & Tracy Sarazin – Inuit Throat Singers  
Leanne Taneton – Dene Spoken Word

Leela Gilday – Dene Singer-Songwriter 
Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan) – Ojibwe/Finnish Singer-Songwriter 
Métis Fiddler Quartet
MJ Dandeneau – Métis Bassist 
Northern Cree – Pow Wow group
Digging Roots – with Raven Kanatakta – Anishinabe Algonquin / Onkwehón:we Mohawk – Songwriter, Singer, Guitar
Shannon Thunderbird – Tsm’syen Elder Singer-Songwriter & Kate Dickson – Tsm’syen Singer

And Sultans of String band regulars Chris McKhool (violin), Kevin Laliberté (guitar), Drew Birston (bass), Rosendo’ Chendy’ Leon (drums and percussion) and Rebecca Campbell (vocals).

We would like to acknowledge funding support from non-Indigenous funding streams of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Sultans of String Awards

• 2022 Dr. Duke Redbird Lifetime Achievement Award – JAYU Arts For Human Rights
• 2022 Folk Music Ontario – Song of the Year – Mi Santuario, also nom. for Performer of the Year
• 2022 Cannes World Film Festival – Best Musical Film
• 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards quadruple nominees – results in April 2023 – Contemporary, Global Roots, Pushing the Boundaries, and Producer of the Year
• 2022 Burlington’s Best Local Musician/Band
• 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards winner for Producer of the Year with Refuge
• 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for Ensemble of the Year with Refuge
• 2021 Canadian Independent Music Association – Pivot Award
• 2021 Markham Performing Arts Awards – Professional Artist of the Year
• 2021 International Songwriting Competition – World Music – Mi Santuario
• 2020 Folk Music Ontario – Songwriting Award – Instrumental – “Refuge”
• 2020 Folk Music Ontario – Songwriting Award – Political – “I Am a Refugee”
• 2020 Independent Music Awards – Instrumental Song of the Year – The Grand Bazaar
• 2020 Independent Music Awards – World Music Producer of the Year – Refuge
• 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Folk semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
• 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Performance semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
• 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards– Producer of the Year nomination for McKhool
• 2017 New York Times Hits List
• 2017 Billboard World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #6

Multifarious Dimensions of Meh: A Poetry Collection by Eric Montgomery 

Poetry Book Review

Title: Multifarious Dimensions of Meh
Author:  Eric Montgomery
Publisher: Independent
Released: February 8, 2023
Pages: 50
Stars: 4.0

The title and cover of this new poetry chapbook, Multifarious Dimensions of Meh: A Poetry Collection by Eric Montgomery, are terrific! Montgomery should be proud of his courage in putting his work in the public eye for his first chapbook publication, and he shows promise as a poet. While it’s true that poetry can take almost any form, I think some of these poems could be expanded upon to add more depth, but many also stand stark and sharp as they are, exploding with a “Boom!” to break the silence. And they are meant to be read aloud.

Montgomery’s work covers themes of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other life experiences, many of which we can all relate to. Numerous titles are one-word, which I like, and his poems are short, as they were initially written to be shared on Twitter. Some of my favourites are “Numb,” “Pillows,” “Boom!,” “Nowhere,” “Ghost,” “Forgotten,” “Pounce,” “Must,” “Bokeh,” “Change,” “Little Slice,” “Focus,” and “Shake.” I read this book twice and let his words wash over me. The poems were even more satisfying the second time.

With tens of thousands of poetry books to choose from on Amazon, it’s often hard to decide which one to read, but Multifarious Dimensions of Meh is a quick read that will leave you feeling empathy and respect for its author.

Montgomery expresses his creativity not only through writing but also photography and hosts a spoken word poetry podcast, Poetry is Not Dead. In addition, you can subscribe to his Very Short Story posts for #vss365, a tweet-sized writing prompt based on a specific daily word at Mister Eric ( or follow him on Twitter at @ImMisterEric.

How to Write a Compelling Memoir 

Writing Tips

Memoirs are a potent tool for sharing personal experiences and lessons with others. They can be used to tell a wide range of stories, from overcoming adversity to learning valuable lessons to achieving great success. But if you want your memoir to be read and appreciated by others, it must be compelling and engaging. In this article, I will describe how to write a compelling memoir that people will want to read.

  • Start with a clear theme or purpose.

The most compelling memoirs have a clear theme or purpose that ties everything together. This theme should be meaningful and relatable to your readers. For example, if your memoir is about overcoming a difficult childhood, your theme might be resilience or the power of perseverance. On the other hand, if your memoir is about achieving success in your career, your theme might be hard work or determination.

When you have a clear theme or purpose, it will be easier to focus your story and ensure everything you write is relevant and captivating to your readers.

  • Use descriptive language.

Use descriptive language to make your memoir more engaging and appealing. This means using words and phrases that paint a picture in the reader’s mind. For example, instead of saying, “I was frightened,” you might say, “my heart was pounding in my chest, and I could feel sweat beading on my forehead.” This descriptive language will help your readers feel like they are right there with you, experiencing what you experienced.

  • Share your emotions.

Memoirs are often personal and emotional. Your readers will be more invested in your story if they can appreciate your emotions. This means being honest and vulnerable about how you felt during different parts of your story. Don’t be afraid to share your fears, doubts, and struggles. This will make your story more relatable and help readers connect with you more profoundly.

  • Use dialogue.

Dialogue is an effective tool for bringing your story to life and making it more engaging. It can help break up long blocks of text and allow your readers to feel like they are in the room with you when reading your story. When you use dialogue, make sure to use quotation marks and to indicate who is speaking. (Also, always put punctuation inside the quotation marks when writing dialogue.)

  • Show, don’t tell.

One of the most essential rules of writing is to “show, don’t tell.” This means you should show your readers what something is like instead of showing them. For example, instead of saying, “I was furious,” you might say, “I slammed my fist on the table and shouted at my boss.” This will help your readers to see and feel what it was like rather than just reading about it.

  • Use flashbacks and flash-forwards.

Memoirs often cover a lot of time, and keeping the story flowing smoothly can be difficult. To help with this, you can use flashbacks and flash-forwards. Flashbacks are when you go back in time to recount a tale from the past, and flash-forwards are when you jump ahead to give an account of the future. This can help to keep your story interesting and to give your readers a sense of how things have changed over time.

  • Edit and revise.

Once you have written your memoir, it’s crucial to take the time to edit and revise it. This means reading through your story and making changes to make it more precise, engaging, and absorbing. You should also have other people read your memoir and give you feedback. This will help you see where your story might be confusing or boring and allow you to make changes before publishing.

To sum up, writing a compelling memoir takes time, effort, and dedication. It’s essential to start with a clear theme or purpose, use descriptive language, share your emotions, use dialogue, show, don’t tell, use flashbacks and flash-forwards, and take the time to edit and revise your story. By following these tips, you can create an engaging, relatable, and meaningful memoir for your readers. Remember, your story is unique and valuable, and by sharing it with others, you can inspire, educate, and entertain them. So go ahead and start writing your memoir, and be proud of the journey you’ve taken.

“Born Under a Bad Sign” by Christine Bode 


Born Under a Bad Sign

A poem by ©Christine Bode 2023

At the top of your business trade, pre-pandemic
Now you’re back at the beginning while inflation is endemic

Starting over now when most folks think about retiring
Feeling sorry for yourself is so ridiculously tiring

There’s nothing you can do about happenstance
Bank account screams six dollars and ninety-four cents

Coulda, shoulda, woulda, there’s no going back
No matter how hard you try, there’s always something you lack

A thousand things to learn, another thousand things to do
And no one is gonna feel sorry for you

You’ll work every weekday, weekend and holiday too
And one day, you’ll have enough to buy those new shoes

Just fake it ‘til you make it; if everyone does it, it’s no lie
Eventually, you’ll get there, so don’t take the time to cry

You’ll work until noon on the day that you die
‘Cause you’re born under a bad sign, waxing gibbous moon in the sky

How to Write with Clarity, Professionalism and Your Own Sense of Style 

Nonfiction Writing

Writing with clarity and professionalism is an important skill to have in any profession. Whether you are writing a business report, a blog post, a research paper, or a nonfiction book, having the ability to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely is essential. Writing with your own sense of style is also important and can be a daunting task. Yes, it can be challenging to know where to start, but you can learn how to make sure that your writing is clear, professional, and still reflects your unique voice. By focusing on these simple tips and strategies, you will write with clarity, professionalism, and your own sense of style.

Let’s discuss some tips and strategies for writing with clarity and professionalism. First, it is essential to understand the purpose of your writing. Before you begin, take some time to consider what you want to accomplish with it. For example, are you trying to inform, persuade, or entertain your readers? Knowing the purpose of your writing will help you focus your thoughts, draft your main points, and create a clear and concise message. In addition, knowing who you are writing for will help you to tailor your writing to their needs and interests. Once you clearly understand the purpose of your writing and who you are writing for, it is time to start writing.

When writing, it is essential to use simple language. Avoid jargon or overly complex words, as this will help to ensure that your writing is clear and easy to understand. Also, be aware of the tone of your writing. Professional writing should be formal and polite while conveying your message clearly. Be mindful of any potential biases or assumptions that you may have when writing. Awareness of these potential biases will help ensure that your writing is fair and unbiased. These things will help ensure that your message is clear and concise.

It is vital to use active voice when writing. Active voice is when the subject of the sentence is performing the action. For example, “We are going to a concert tonight” is an example of active voice. Using active voice will help make your writing more direct and easier to understand.

It is also important to use short sentences and paragraphs. Long sentences and paragraphs can be challenging to read and can make your writing seem cluttered. Sometimes it is acceptable to use a longer sentence but read your writing out loud to measure its fluidity. Is your tongue tripping as you read it? Are you gasping for breath to get the words out? If so, consider that your sentence is too long. Shorter sentences can often be more impactful. So instead, use short sentences and paragraphs that are easy to read and understand. This will help ensure that your message is clear and concise.

Make sure your writing reflects your unique style by using your own words and phrasing and incorporating your personal experiences and opinions. Be diplomatic, and avoid profanity, but don’t be afraid to hold back. For example, add your emphasis in italics. And if your original voice rambles on with run-on sentences, reconsider!

You must use correct grammar and punctuation or have a copy editor edit your work if grammar and punctuation are not your strong suit. Grammar and punctuation mistakes can make your writing seem unprofessional and sloppy. Always proofread your work. Use an editing aid like Grammarly, ProWriting Aid or Ginger to help you. This will help ensure correct grammar and punctuation and that your writing is clear and professional, and it will save you money when it’s time to hire an editor.

Use visuals when relevant and possible. For example, visuals such as charts, graphs, diagrams, sketches and photographs can help make your writing more engaging and easier to understand. Using visuals can also help break up long blocks of text and make your writing more visually appealing.

Finally, it is crucial to be consistent with your writing style. Make sure you use the same tone and style throughout your writing, and consider using The Chicago Manual of Style as a style guide to keep you consistent. This will also help ensure that your writing is clear and professional.

Writing with clarity, professionalism, and a unique sense of style is crucial in any profession. Understand the purpose of your writing, consider your audience, use active voice, short sentences and simple language. Also, be aware of the tone of your writing and its phrasing, and use correct grammar, punctuation, visuals and a consistent tone and style that incorporates your unique voice. If you do this, you can ensure that your writing is clear, professional, and reflects your own sense of style.

Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos by Whitney Aumack 

Poetry Book Review

Title: Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos
Author:  Whitney Aumack
Publisher: Independent
Released: December 4, 2022
Pages: 163
ISBN: 979-8365820777
Stars: 5.0

The first poem in Whitney Aumack’s second poetry collection, the fabulously titled Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos, called “A Gift to the World,” immediately captivated me. Because I know we are kindred spirits who, as poets, look at the world in a similar way, often through the mud-streaked pane of depression that we never stop trying to keep clean, and with music as our compass. By the time I read “I Can & I Will,” I was revisiting my twenties and early thirties, reminding myself that I, too, know my worth.

“I dive into what it means to be human in a world of pain, hookup culture, love, and loss. This book covers a variety of themes, such as love, loss, betrayal, pain, hope, despair, eating disorders, addiction, and domestic violence.”

As a recovering alcoholic, Whitney, a full-time college student in Washington State, writes about trying to make it through gray days, succumbing some days to being a solo drunk, always falling for the bad boys, sometimes finding herself doing the walk of shame, and wrestling with unrequited love. I know we are poetry sisters seeking to find meaning in the hardships of life, living for the days we almost understand. Sometimes it has taken a few tokes, a bottle of tequila, gin, or whiskey, or writing poetry to cope, but we play music loud, dance around the kitchen, and do our best to take life one day at a time, choosing to believe there are better days ahead.

Whitney writes many short poems that pack a punch, like “Make It Another Day,” “Tiptoes,” “We All Fall Down,” “Sheep,” “The Only Choice Was to Make a Choice,” “Dancing in the Kitchen,” “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss,” “It’s Not Over,” “No” Is a Complete Sentence,” “West on a Full Tank,” and “The End,” which were among my favourites.

She writes beautiful Haiku, which isn’t an easy thing to do. But I loved “Trust,” “End the Cycle,” and “You Can Let Go.”

Aumack, who did not have an easy childhood or youth, now recognizes what is sacred and profane, always ready to let light in even though she’s not afraid of darkness. She knows there are a million ways we’re all the same, and she knows what she wants to do moving forward. She also knows the power of poetry in healing. Whitney Aumack’s exquisite work will make you feel seen, heard and validated.

Even though I am over twenty-five years older, I see you, Whitney, and you are not alone.

Connect with Whitney Aumack at Whitney Has Words ( or @eclectic_poetry on Twitter.

Bodacious Poetry by Christine Bode Is Now on YouTube 

Bodacious Poetry on YouTube

Inspired by my new Twitter friend, American poet and kindred spirit Whitney Aumack, whose terrific poetry book Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos I shall be reviewing here very soon, and my dear friend Irene Carroll, I took the plunge and finally created a YouTube channel!

I just uploaded a video I made earlier this week for my poem “Never Take for Granted” from Eden Redefined as practice for reading aloud at the monthly poetry in the round jam at The Elm Cafe in Kingston, which I attended this week. The response to my work from fellow poets was overwhelmingly positive.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teenager and have been inspired by contemporary freeform, lyrical “street poets” Charles Bukowski, Jim Carroll, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith and Michael Madsen. However, I also read and have been influenced by Rumi, Edgar Allan Poe, T.S. Eliot, John Keats, W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, and Karen Solie, among others. If you have a favourite poet I should read, please let me know in a comment on this post.

I write rhyming and non-rhyming verse and prose that primarily speaks to the human condition, with themes of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, unrequited love, nature, grief, isolation, and a constant quest for spiritual enlightenment and redemption.

Those who know me probably know that using video is NOT something I’m comfortable with, but I know that I can no longer put it off. There is no better way to enjoy poetry than to hear it read by the author, so I’ll be sharing more poetry by my friends and me that way over at Hit that SUBSCRIBE button!

There has never been a time in our history when poetry has been more relevant or needed for creative, spiritual and psychological sustenance. So in my humble opinion, I think more people should give up watching doomsday news and pick up a book of poetry or listen to a spoken word poet on an audiobook. Words really can replenish our souls with life-affirming inspiration and motivation and make us feel as if we are not alone. Because don’t most humans just want to be seen and listened to?

Ten Twitter Marketing Tips for Authors 

Ten Twitter Marketing Tips for Authors

Twitter is a fantastic tool for authors to connect with their readers, promote their books, and build a loyal fan base. With 396.5 million monthly active users as of February 2023, Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. So, if you’re an author and you’re not already using Twitter to market and sell your books, you’re missing out!

By following and interacting with people in the book industry (authors, book reviewers, publishers, cover designers, etc.), you can build relationships and gain insights into what readers want in a book. This can help you better target your marketing efforts and increase the chances of readers picking your book up. As a book editor, I have landed several clients because I connected with them on Twitter and discovered many books I enjoyed reading that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t using Twitter.

Let’s review ten ways authors can use Twitter to market and sell their books.

  1. Build an author brand: Twitter is an excellent platform for building an author brand. By consistently tweeting about your book, your writing process, and other related topics, you can establish yourself as an expert in your genre and attract a following. Use a professional profile picture and header image, and ensure your bio accurately reflects your writing and interests and contains the link to your website or your books where they can be purchased.

  2. Connect with readers and other authors: Twitter is a great place to connect with readers and other authors. Follow other authors in your genre, and engage in conversations with them. Respond to tweets from readers talking about your book or other books in your genre. This can help you build relationships with them, which can lead to more book sales.

  3. Share book-related content: Twitter is a great place to share book-related content. For example, you can share quotes from your book or others, behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your writing process, upcoming signing events, and other interesting tidbits about your book (like where you might have travelled for research). You can also use Twitter to share reviews and testimonials from readers, which can help build excitement and credibility for your book and make readers more likely to buy it.

  4. Use hashtags: Twitter uses hashtags to make it easier for people to find tweets about a specific topic. For example, when you tweet about your book, use relevant hashtags, such as the title or genre it falls under. It will be easier for people to find your tweets and can help you reach a wider audience. You can also use the hashtags #WritingCommunity or #PoetryCommunity to attract members of those Twitter communities.

  5. Connect with literary agents and publishers: Another great thing about Twitter is that it’s a great way to connect with literary agents and publishers. By following agents and publishers in your genre, you can stay updated on what they’re looking for in a book and find out when they are looking for new submissions.

  6. Run giveaways and contests: Twitter is a great place to run giveaways and contests. You can give away copies of your book or offer other prizes, such as a signed bookplate or a Skype/Zoom call with you. This can help you build buzz for your book and attract new readers.

  7. Get more reviews with book swaps: Connect with authors and readers who enjoy the genre of your book(s) and suggest a book swap with them for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s easy to send them a Kindle ePub file.

  8. Utilize Twitter Ads: Twitter offers a range of ad options that can be tailored to your specific audience and goals, such as promoted tweets and promoted accounts. These ads can help you reach a wider audience and drive more book sales.

  9. Be consistent: Twitter is a fast-paced platform, and getting lost in the noise is easy. To be effective, you need to be consistent in your tweeting. Tweet regularly, at least a few times a day (if you can), and make sure your tweets are interesting and engaging.

  10. Consider hiring Bodacious Copy: Christine Bode of Bodacious Copy can assist you with a customized, strategic Twitter marketing plan, writing content, and helping you to manage your account and grow your following.

In conclusion, Twitter is a powerful tool for authors to market and sell their books. By connecting with readers, building a community, promoting your book, connecting with the book industry, using hashtags, running giveaways and contests, being consistent, and hiring a professional like Bodacious Copy to help you, Twitter can help you to market your books to the best audience for them, and put you on the path to the next level of your writing career. So, start tweeting and talking to people, and watch your book sales increase!