We Have Siren Songs for Sale, at Low, Low Prices

Dear readers,

Last year, I edited and designed a book: Siren Song, by Tawni Waters. It’s a collection of poems about love, divinity, rock and roll, and Arizona. It’s about Persephone and Isis and Mary Magdalene.

Siren Song Watch 2-2

Then, at the end of last year, my wife and I published that book and released it during The Hands On Literary Festival. We’re very excited to be able to publish work by Tawni Waters, whose first book, the novel Beauty of the Broken (also released in 2014), is doing all kinds of exploding things and becoming rather extremely successful. Tawni is a remarkably talented, prolific author who not only works very hard at her craft, but who is also rich in spirit, generosity, and warmth.

You can hear Tawni read from the book during her recent NPR interview (she discusses Siren Song at around the 20 minute mark).

I know I’ve talked about Siren Song before, but now I can actually sell you a physical copy. We now have our online shop set up to take orders, and to celebrate, we’re offering the book at almost Amazon-low prices, in a special introductory sale. It’s like inviting your credit card to the launch party :-)

The book is also available at Amazon, and will almost certainly arrive more quickly if you order it from them, although my wife’s press will make a bit less from the sale of the book that way.

So — if you’re interested, please buy a copy. It’s the first book I’ve ever designed, and I’m very proud of it.

Best wishes,



Frank Chimero says: No New Tools

Chimero, writing about technology, apps, and distraction, announces:

I made an agreement with myself in January: no new apps on my phone or computer. Don’t do new stuff. Just do your work.

Text editor, spreadsheet, email, pencil, paper, Photoshop. OK. That’s enough.


Increasingly, I feel like a lot of my tools are dressing-up as tools, because they don’t offer any savings in time or effort, just slightly different methods to mindlessly shift information from one bucket to the next. And if one bucket has a hole in it, you get another, smaller bucket to catch anything coming out of the hole in the first bucket. This goes on and on with more holes and buckets, and before you know it, you have an intricate network of buckets whose reason for existence is to catch the information you can’t manage in the first place. You are stuck in bucket recursion, adding tools to patch the shortcomings of other tools. Those patches are how you know you have dress-up tools.

Read the whole thing.

Thank you, readers, for 2014

Dear readers,

I’m grateful that among all the other things going on, good and awful, during 2014, people continued to read this blog.

One of my favourite posts of the year, and one of your favourite posts, too, was “Writing Cycles, Writing Funks,” which earned me my Freshly Pressed badge in the spring of 2014. I also got to announce the publication of Tawni Water’s Siren Song, for which I was the editor and cover designer, in “How To Make a Poetry Collection.”


This time last year, WordPress declared that The Incompetent Writer had received 36,000 total views for the whole of 2013, a bit less than 100 views each day.

In 2014, according to the annual report that WordPress draws up, that number rose to an even 50,000. That’s about 130 views a day.

In the grand scheme of the Internet, it’s a tiny figure. For a sometimes irregular poster like myself, it feels like a great gift. I hope to write more and better for you in 2015.

Best wishes for all your two thousand and fifteens.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 50,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


We will keep posting.