John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically, he just loves to write.
Spreading Your Literary Wings
Like many other writers here, HubPages is not the only place where I publish my work. I also write poetry, short fiction and articles at sites such as Medium, The Creative Exiles, and All Poetry. I know a number of my hubber friends are also members of some of those sites.
To me, HubPages is like my home base, the place I got my online writing start, and allows me to practice and try to perfect my writing (though perfect is pretty much unreachable), and one of the places I store my writing where it can act as a portfolio, if you will, to show freelancing clients of my work and versatility.
Apart from the above, I work (in what I class as my profession) as a freelance creative writer and poet on Fiverr, and also submit poetry and short stories to various anthologies, online magazines, and publications. I usually do this in response to calls for submissions on a certain topic or theme.
I have actually written one eBook of poetry called "I Laughed a Smile" which is made up of my early poetry on HubPages, as well as having a number of poems in 'Let the Words Speak' an anthology published by a website I founded 'The Creative Exiles.' I also have a short story in 'We Go On: a Charity Anthology for Veterans', and a number of other items in various publications such as 'Causerie' a multi-lingual literary magazine.
Writers need to continually experiment, and not keep all their eggs in one basket so to speak. Network, and publish your work in as many different places as you can manage. Keep spreading your literary wings.
Sweetycat Press has been one publication that I and other hubbers have been submitting work to in recent months. Most of us have been fortunate to have poems or short stories included in a number of these anthologies and available as both eBooks or hard copies on Amazon.
It was sad to hear recently of the passing of Steven Carr, the founder of Sweetycat Press.
About Steve Carr (from the website)
Steve Carr, from Richmond, Virginia, has had over 600 short stories published internationally in print and online magazines, literary journals, reviews and anthologies since June, 2016. He has had eight collections of his short stories published, including the renowned A Map of Humanity, published by Hear Our Voice LLC, as well as a guide on how to get short stories published, and a paranormal/horror novel.
As a playwright, his plays were staged in several states. Under his Sweetycat Press imprint, he has published five anthologies highlighting emerging writers and a YA novel written by emerging writer, Joan Herr. He is the Founder/Publisher/Editor of Sweetycat Press, which publishes about 5 anthologies a year. Each anthology includes up to 200 stories, poems and memoirs from writers/poems per year. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice.
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As a tribute to Steve and Sweetycat Press, I would like to share some of the poetry that I have published in their anthologies. These following poems may not be the most sophisticated examples of poetic verse, but most were penned quickly in order to meet the submission deadlines, and at least they fit each of the themes.
The only rules regarding posting poetry to Sweetycat's publications were that they had to in some way meet the specific theme and could be no less than ten and no more than 25 lines in length, and be previously unpublished.
Love at Second Sight
Love, at first sight, sounds so good,
But quickly things can change.
How will you feel in five years' time?
Will your attraction be the same?
People age, may put on weight,
And may look more mature.
First appearances are well and good
Providing love is pure.
“You’re not who I fell in love with!”
Are words too often said.
Well, maybe they should look within
And judge themselves instead.
Because those words are shallow
And really hold no weight.
It’s the inner person they should love,
Not be appearance based.
So, love at second sight’s more apt,
And that’s what I wish for you.
If the passion still burns through the years
It shows that love was true.
~ published in A Love Letter (or Poem) To . .
My Old Trumpet
I sat my trumpet on my lap,
it was old and very worn.
The valves had seen much better days,
it was a well-used horn.
I raised the mouthpiece to my lips
and blew as I had learned.
The sound I made assailed the ears
but was a pleasant tune.
I could play it in my sleep,
I practice every day.
One day I will be good enough
to blow it on the stage.
Some confuse it with the cornet,
very similar in looks,
But different in shape and tone,
at least in experts' books.
The trumpet gives me confidence
I've never had before.
If I don't have it with me
I feel like such a bore.
Music saved my sanity,
without I am lost.
I'd protect my trumpet with my life
no matter what the cost.
~ published in Stories & Poems in the Song of Life
Rambo the Rabbit
I once had a three-legged rabbit,
His name was a strange one I know.
Rabbits are seen as defenceless and weak,
But this one fit the name of “Rambo.”
Rambo lost a leg to a dog pack attack,
But that never made him cower and hide.
He’d play with the cats and our own dogs too,
And act like a guard dog when outside.
One day a strange puppy ran into our yard,
An Australian blue heeler in fact.
Then three-legged Rambo came into view,
Quickly switching modes to “attack!”
Without any warning, he jumped on the dog,
The poor pup was ruing his fate.
Its scared, mournful howls were hard to ignore,
I saved it by opening the gate.
And so, here’s my warning to dogs on the prowl.
Be careful into whose yard you roam,
For Rambo the rabbit is always on guard.
You’re better off staying at home.
~ published in ZOOantholgy
His body flows like water,
So fluid and so smooth.
Each muscle works in tandem
In control of every move.
His limbs are toned and subtle
As he breaks out into stride,
Racing past his competition
Like they’re paddling against tide.
Perhaps there’ll be a challenger
For the medal that’s at stake,
But his pace never slackens
As he leaves them in his wake.
His length of stride increases
And his stamina kicks in,
But the others are all struggling
As he races on to win.
He slows down at the finish line,
As the race draws to a halt.
This big man is unbeatable,
His name is Usain Bolt.
The crowd all hails a champion,
They jump, applaud, and cheer
As he proudly waves his country’s flag.
The fastest man on Earth, that’s clear.
~ published in Movement: Our Bodies in Action
The Gift of Life
The gift of life is precious,
More valuable than gold.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,
But it’s you I’d rather hold.
You were a gift from God to me,
I could never ask for more.
The pick of all the riches
In His everlasting store.
It’s like an endless birthday.
Each day is filled with joy,
Just to have you in my life,
My darling little boy.
I may not have a fortune
Or very much of worth,
But the greatest gift I ever got
Was your beloved birth.
I’ll give you everything I have,
You’ll never want or need.
Now that you are in my life,
From loneliness, I’m freed.
~ published in The Gift
A poet’s work … to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep.
— Salman Rushdie
I am not sure what the future holds, and if Sweetycat Press will continue following Steve's passing, but I sincerely hope it does. I know he had a group of dedicated souls working with him who kept the publication afloat at times when he was away or in hospital, so I pray they keep his legacy going.
I know that I and a number of my fellow writers would love to continue submitting our work for publication with Sweetycat Press.
R.I.P. Steven Carr
Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.
— Dylan Thomas
© 2022 John Hansen