Poetry Friday ~ Plan & Finish

14 Sep

Hello, welcome to my blog!


I don’t know if other writers would agree but one of the things I find hardest about publishing a book is coming up with the blurb for the back cover. You would think it would be easy, especially since you wrote the book! But it’s really hard to compress your entire complex story into a paragraph or two.

In the publishing business the book description on the back cover is called Back Cover Copywriting, not to be confused with copywrite©. Copywriting is an art form in and of its own. You have to dig deep into your book’s message, capture the essence of your work, and find the most exciting part of your story to tell to make sure readers will be intrigued and inspired to purchase it. I find this very challenging to do. I mean, just when you thought it couldn’t get any harder for writers, now we have to not only be creative, imaginative and write an amazing story but we also have to be marketers with a degree in sales and advertising. Phew!

Last year I had the help of expert copywriter, Paul Witcover. He read my book, The Fall of Lilith and together we came up with what I thought was an excellent back cover copy. Of course, my book was already published and still has my original copy on the back cover but I’ll change that as soon as I can. In the meantime, I’m using the copy that Paul and I worked on as my book description on Amazon and Goodreads. Here it is:

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

Unfortunately, Paul is unavailable until November, so I’m on my own. But don’t feel sorry for me yet. I plan to tackle this head on.

Rid yourself of fear

Like a nimble little ant

Think you can achieve

Success is so often near

You need only to believe

Plan and Finish are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

This month I wanted to share a bit of my trip to Japan each week. One of my favorite places in Japan was Nara. We went to Nara Park and were surrounded by reindeers. They were clean (no deer ticks!) and so sweet. It was a very happy day.

deer-Nara_Japan-Nara Park-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-vacay-Bambi-Tanka_Tuesday

Nara Park (Japan)

Bambi-Poetry_Friday-Nara Nara-Japan-Micropoetry-Tanka_Tuesday-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Japanese_Park-Nara-Japan-deers-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Tanka

Nara-shrine-Japan-park-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Poetry_Friday-Tanka-poem

Poetry_Friday-Japan-vacay-Nara-deers-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-tanka

I hope you enjoyed the photos of Nara Park in Nara Nara, Japan. Happy Friday!


53 Responses to “Poetry Friday ~ Plan & Finish”

  1. Jill Weatherholt September 14, 2018 at 12:46 pm #

    I agree, Vashti, blurbs are tough. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs. Nara Park looks like a fabulous place to visit. Loved the poem! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Jill! I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks so. 😉 Aw, you’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. I’m happy you enjoyed the photos and my Tanka. Happy Friday! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jacquie Biggar September 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm #

    Nara looks lovely! I hope it wasn’t damaged in the recent earthquake. Paul did a fantastic job with your blurb. It drew me right in. Not sure if this helps, but I took a course on back cover copywriting and learned a couple of things:
    1. write in present term (is rather than was)
    2. One ‘short’ paragraph on the protagonist’s goal
    3. One ‘short’ paragraph on other key character- protagonist or antagonist
    4. One ‘short’ paragraph on the conflict
    Try to do two blurbs (I know, right!)
    One, that’s around 135 characters for your paperback, and one that’s around 80 words for book description on selling venues.
    Too long and you risk losing a potential buyer. It needs to be punchy, attention-grabbing.
    Hope this helps!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Jacquie! On our last day in Tokyo a typhoon made landfall on the far side of the island. We only felt the outer bands in Tokyo but I have to look into how it might have affected Kyoto, Nara and other parts of Japan.
      Thank you for this brief course on copywriting! It’s very helpful. I’m going to copy your comment and paste it in my notes for future reference. Thank you very much! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacquie Biggar September 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

        I’m afraid extreme weather is our new normal. I’m glad you weren’t affected by the storm, Vashti!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm #

        I think you’re right, my friend. Thank you so much! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • Colleen Chesebro September 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

      What a great post, Vashti. You can do it!! You know how you sit down to write a poem? You prepare your brain with thoughts about what you want to say. Do the same thing with the blurb. I save Jacquie Biggar’s suggestions too. 😀 Great Tanka… YOU got this! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Annette Rochelle Aben September 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm #

    LOVE the park pics. Those deer are adorbs. Your poetry always brings a smile to my heart, this time is no exception! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

      That’s wonderful, Annette. I’m always happy when my posts make you smile––and in your heart––BONUS! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. olganm September 14, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

    Great pics. I agree on both matters, on how difficult it is to write blurbs, and on the fact that you will do a great job. Have a great weekend, Vashti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

      That’s so sweet of you to say, my friend! Thanks for having faith in me, Olga. I appreciate you. I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. Happy Friday and great weekend! ❤ xx


  5. D.L Finn, Author September 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    I agree Vashti that writing that blurb is so hard. I love the new one–it fits your book perfectly. Another great poem and I love those deer pictures from Japan. Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

      Right? I’m glad you like the new blurb, pictures and poem, Denise. That makes me happy. 😀 Happy Friday and weekend to you too, my friend! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. John W. Howell September 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

    Lovely photos, Vashti. Thanks for sharing. I agree blurbs are tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. coldhandboyack September 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    I just wing it on my blurbs. Hopefully, I tick the boxes for a few readers. Love the vacation pics. There was a deer in my local park this morning. She wasn’t all that exotic though. Just a young mule deer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Wow! You’re a brave soul, Craig. I wish I had the courage to wing it. It would probably come out better than over-thinking it but we’ll see what happens. I love all deers. I think they’re all adorable. It was a pleasant surprise to encounter so many in such a beautiful setting. And for them to approach you and be so friendly was icing on the cake. Happy Friday and weekend! 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kester James Finley September 14, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head for so many of us, blurbs are evil lol. I’m usually such a long-winded person that I find it incredibly hard to narrow down my novel into quick edible bites while still maintaining the overall feel of it. You got this, good luck and kick blurb butt! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

      Ha, ha! I love the way you put it, ‘quick edible bites’. You’re hilarious! Yes! I’m going to kick blurb butt! 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. balroop2013 September 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

    I love that image of ant, a perfect reminder for perseverance Vashti. I am glad to hear your book is ready for the blurb and those moments of inspiration would surely hit you…compressing the whole book into few words is indeed demanding and we have to wait for those special moments when words just flow to amaze us. Wishing you those inspiring moments.
    Thanks for sharing lovely images from your trip to Japan. Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

      Thank you for the lovely wishes, Balroop. From your lips to God’s ear. It’s my pleasure to share this trip with you, my friend. You have a wonderful weekend too! ❤ xx


  10. tracikenworth September 15, 2018 at 8:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on Where Genres Collide.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. yvettemcalleiro September 16, 2018 at 11:17 am #

    The pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 16, 2018 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you, Yvette. I’m happy you enjoyed them. It’s my pleasure. Happy Sunday! 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. dgkaye September 16, 2018 at 8:00 pm #

    Vashti, blurbs are every author’s nightmare, lol. It’s hard to condense our work but just stick to the formula and keep reworking it by putting it away for a day or so then coming back. Formula: – Who’s the protagonist, What is it he/she wants, What is the conflict, Then ask a question at the end for the hook. Loved the flash and the park photos too. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 9:43 am #

      Ha, ha! Yes! Definitely a nightmare. Great formula. I’m working on it now, so let’s see what I can come up with. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! ❤ x x

      Liked by 1 person

  13. memadtwo September 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

    So hard to send those fears away! but it should always be a goal. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 9:45 am #

      Hi! I’m trying to be that person that doesn’t let fear stand in the way of my goals. I’m working on the blurb now. Thanks for the encouragement!
      😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Olga September 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    Action with faith is a powerful force. All is possible. Loved the photos you shared of your trip, Vashti. Never knew about their wandering deer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Olga! It sure is. I believe that. I’m so happy you enjoyed the photos. It was a lovely surprise for us too. 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Miriam Hurdle September 17, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi Vashti, I love to go to Nara when we go to Japan in January. We’ll stay in Kyoto. My daughter’s friend said from Kyoto to Osaka is 1 hour and 46 minutes. The Google map show from Kyoto to Nara is 1 hour and 30 minutes. I’ll let my daughter know. I love the reindeer. My granddaughter would love to see them.
    Your book is interesting. I know that part of the Bible and love to read your book. Your blurb looks good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 9:59 am #

      Kyoto is a great place to stay because it’s close to many cool places. Be sure to get your JR pass for the bullet trains. You have to get it in the US because they don’t sell it in Japan. It made our lives so much easier over there and we were able to enjoy many Japanese cities.
      Nara is beautiful. I’m sure any child would love it and the reindeers.
      The Fall of Lilith definitely has some biblical elements but it is also influenced by Jewish scriptures, world mythology, folklore . . . Almost every religion on Earth has angels or some sort of celestial beings and I did a lot of research to come up with a unique version of angels. So far this book has appealed to many people who normally do not read the fantasy genre. 😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miriam Hurdle September 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

        Thank you for letting me know. I’ll pass on the info to my daughter.
        I’m fascinated by the Jewish scriptures, and mythology. I’ll get your book in just a little while. I need to focus on formatting my poetry book. 🙂 xox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

        Happy formatting, Miriam! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miriam Hurdle September 18, 2018 at 9:48 pm #

        Thank you, Vashti! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  16. robbiesinspiration September 18, 2018 at 12:16 am #

    I didn’t know you found reindeer in Japan. We recently visited Finland and my husband tried a reindeer burger. I found the idea a bit horrible. I love your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Robbie! It was a pleasant surprise to us too. I know, I read about your husband’s reindeer burger on your blog. What is it with these men? They’ll try anything. My husband and I went to St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) with my parents and we spent a day in an area where there were turtles of all sizes. I played with them, carried them, took pictures of them. When dinner time came around we went to a local restaurant, and guess what my husband ordered––turtle soup! 😮 It was something out of a nightmare. :/ Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • robbiesinspiration September 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm #

        My goodness, VAshti, I would find that a bit difficult too. Play with the turtles all day and then eat them. Men can compartmentalize better than we can.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

        He wasn’t into the turtles as much as the rest of us but still horrific. I couldn’t eat dinner that night because I felt like everything might have turtle in it. I couldn’t wait to leave the town after that. I think you’re right.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Miriam Hurdle September 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi Vashti, I’m with my daughter and showed her your post. She loves it. We’ll go to Nara for sure. I checked out JR pass, the rating is very good and I read 3 pages of reviews, tried to understand what they like and what they don’t like. It seems like we place the order, we’ll get the paper ticket within a couple weeks, then we exchange the ticket to the pass and reserve seats. Is it how it works? We’ll order the one covers Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. I don’t think we’ll be going too far away from Kyoto with the baby. Their friends can spend two days out of four taking us around. We’ll be on our own for two days. We may not be doing too much on the first and last day being there.

    Thank you for letting me know about the JR pass.

    I may have to speed up the publishing, at the for the pre-launch promotion. There is a book signing event next Thursday and a library book promotion event coming up. My publishing technician is asking me to participate.

    He called me on Monday and I left home on Wednesday and will return home on Tuesday, the book signing is on Thursday. I’m running a tight schedule.

    The blurb you mentioned, which book is that for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm #

      Hi Miriam! Yes, that is exactly how it works. My brother bought the JR passes here and got the slips in the mail a couple of weeks later. In Japan you’ll have to fill out forms and they’ll give you a card. You can also make reservations there. I’m happy you’ll be visiting Nara as well as Kyoto and Osaka.

      It’s great to participate in as many events as possible. I’m so happy you’re doing it. I have to make a point of doing more of these events.

      The blurb is for my new book, Son of the Serpent. I finished the blurb––thank God! It was really difficult. The book will be on pre-order starting Monday 10/01. 😀 Have a wonderful weekend! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miriam Hurdle September 29, 2018 at 12:00 am #

        I’m so glad you mentioned about the JR passes. My daughter’s friend didn’t mentioned it, probably he didn’t know until lately that he could only spend a couple days taking us places.
        The passes look like the same usage as the ones in Hong Kong. I’m so glad to find it out from you. Traveling to different countries, the worse thing is having all the inconvenience after arriving there.

        I saw your Twitter about the pre-order. Congratulations. I’ll make sure doing that. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 29, 2018 at 11:08 am #

        I’m so happy I remembered to tell you about it. The JR passes are not available to the people that live in Japan. It is only for tourists, so your daughter’s friend may not have known about it. The great thing about Japan is that everyone is so friendly and willing to assist you, so you won’t have to worry too much, because there’ll always be someone to help you. 😀
        Yay! Thank you very much! ❤ xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miriam Hurdle September 29, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

        Thank you, Vashti. I’m feel ready to go already. ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person


  1. Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 101, “Finish & Plan”, #SynonymsOnly | Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer - September 17, 2018

    […] Poetry Friday ~ Plan & Finish | The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q […]

    Liked by 1 person

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