Archive for March, 2014

A Tribute to our Alpha Wolf

Posted: March 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

I recently lost a friend, after helping him get his poetry published in a book. We never met in person, but the loss of him is no less devastating. I could go on for pages, trying to find the words to express all that Dan meant to me, and to every single member of our writing group. Seeing a photo of some forty-odd loved ones gathered around Dan’s hospital bed to perform a goodbye ritual was more moving than you can imagine. He died knowing he was loved and that his words would live on in his published book and in the hearts of loved ones around the world.

Writers, Poets and Deviants published the following tribute to Daniel E Tanzo on their page, and I thought I’d share it here.

Dan was one of the original creators of WPaD, which was formed in 2011 by several like-minded writers who met in another writing group. The group was originally named the Wolf Pack After Dark, and Dan was the ‘Alpha Wolf’ of our pack, so to speak. In the past three years, WPaD has evolved, undergone a name change and seen members come and go. One constant was Dan. He was our anchor, our enforcer when conflicts arose, and a mentor to all. Dan was so many things; he was crass and bold and foul-mouthed, with a wonderfully sick sense of humor. This same man composed some of the most astonishing romantic poetry we have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Raised in Antioch, California, Daniel E. Tanzo was a US Army veteran and former construction company owner and laborer. A self-proclaimed poet/warrior, he began his exploration to his path in 1998. Always an avid reader and lover of words, he was introduced to Rumi, Hafiz, Cohelo and Borges, igniting his own poetry. He has spoken in front of various audiences, including the San Francisco World Conference on the Enneagram. He studied alchemy through the written word at a Bay area based mystery school. A new and recent yoga student, he continued to write poetry and pursue his spiritual path while being caregiver to his mother after her debilitating stroke. After losing his mother to cancer, he was himself diagnosed with cancer shortly afterward. Dan lost his battle with cancer March 27, 2014. We will always miss him, but his poetry will live forever. Dan’s poetry has been published in several WPaD anthologies, as well as a book of his own, entitled, Silk She Is.

“I was raised to be a “Man” by a father, uncles and various male role models, coaches etc. This meant, in my particular Bay Area industrial town, don’t crynever back down from a fight, and all the rest of those peculiar aspects that were passed on and down to us young males. I thoroughly embraced these as biblical writ: I was in the armed forces, where of course this was further enhanced, and became a bouncer at a local watering hole. I have pulled my own tooth and even stitched myself up with an actual needle and thread. So I guess I qualify as to these male standards.”
Daniel E. Tanzo ~

One of Dan’s final wishes was to see his poetry published in a book before he died, so we made it happen. The proof copy was sent to a friend of his, who brought it to him in the hospital. He was shocked, delighted and overwhelmed to see the book and hold it in his hands. The title, Silk She Is, was chosen by Dan, but the namesake poem for the book is missing. Dan tried to retrieve it from his files because he wanted very much for it to be included in the book, but sadly, we ran out of time. The cover design is based on the image he described, and when he saw it, he said it was “perfect”.

During the toughest battle of his life, Dan fought like a bear, never backing down for a minute. He will forever be loved and missed by friends worldwide. His book is his legacy. Dan asked that the proceeds be donated to cancer research, and so it shall be.

‘Grizz’ is now free to roam the afterlife, expressing his poetic wisdom amongst the stars.



Godspeed, Dan.
Until we meet again.
In Love and Light,
The Wolf Pack
Writers, Poets and Deviants

The Eagle Cried

Posted: March 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Vampire Maman

I’m honored to share a poem from my friend, Northern California writer Richard Turton.


The Eagle Cried

The acrid smell of cordite

Still hovered in the air.

No breeze to wash away

The scent of Satan’s hair.

The Medivac’s are fading now,

Their cabins filled with dead.

So many grisly pictures

Are surging through my head

Another hill’s been taken

The earth all charred and black

We all know what’s coming;

Tomorrow…”Give it back!”

The Eagle cries from barren trees

His tears, he cannot hide.

Where once a proud, young soldier stood

My Warrior Brother, died

The scorched ground that surrounds me;

Am I in Dante’s Hell?

This skirmish now is over

We saw them as they fell.

My Warrior Brother, Donny,

Died that gruesome day.

He took the bullets meant for me

With his final words did say,

“Tell Mom and Sis I loved them!

Please! Don’t let me…

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World Poetry Day, March 21st

Posted: March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

World Poetry Day, March 21st.

Silk She is

Posted: March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

A beautiful tribute to our beloved friend and mentor, Daniel E. Tanzo:

Vampire Maman


I’d like to introduce you to a poet, a bear of a man, a free-thinker, a man with a loud laugh and a gentle touch. A man with few filters, but a man of great words. Daniel E. Tanzo.

Celebrate with me the poetry…

If You Really Want to know

Poetry is the gauntlet of the human existence,
from agony to ecstasy, mundane,
profane and sacred. From Christ on the cross
to Dionysian orgiastic debauchery
with nymphs who rend his flesh,
to the cry of a newborn babe,
reaching in and attaching itself to your soul
Poetry is life squared,
brought to existence,
through an oft times inadequate medium.
So we try to connect soul to soul,
with the ink from our veins.

Copyright © Daniel E. Tanzo

Daniel is a tough, ornery son of a bitch, often called The Grizz (after the bear). He also has a softer side…

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The Evils of Technology…

Posted: March 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

I saw a post recently in which some douchecanoe was once again railing about the negative effects of technology on children. I think about how simple my childhood was; no cell phones, no computer or internet. Hell, we didn’t even have cable in our house until I was nine. Children played outside until dark, and if we wanted to talk to our friends we either phoned them or went to visit them. Yes, what sweet, simple times those were.

Simpler, yes. But also devoid of opportunity, especially for kids like me who grew up in a small town. I had no access to anything outside my local area. For schooling, there was only one choice. When I had problems with bullies my only option was to move away, which I did as soon as I was old enough to get a job. I try to imagine what my life would have been like if I’d had access to online schooling. Sure, there was correspondence school in those days, but what a cumbersome pain in the ass that was – I knew someone who took it and I had no desire to go there.

Then I consider how technology has affected my adult life. In the last fifteen years or so, a brand-new world opened up for me. I went back to school to become part of that world instead of shunning it and shaking my fist at it. Thanks to technology, I have access to tools kids of my generation never did. If not for technology, I would probably still be pecking away at my first manuscript on a manual typewriter. If not for the magic of social media, I would never have met all of my dear friends from around the world. Technology allows me to live in a remote area but still remain connected to the rest of the world. It makes the rest of the world accessible, brings us closer and allows us to become part of the lives of people we never would have met otherwise. We share our joys and sorrows the same way we would if we were friends in person. I’m grateful for the changes technology has brought, and look forward to what tomorrow brings.


The Daily Post

We talk a lot about commenting — why it’s important, what makes a good comment, how to moderate a vibrant comments section.

There’s one surefire way to get your comment ignored or worse, deleted: leaving a shameless plug. If you’re going to take the time to visit others’ blogs and press the “comment” button, avoid this basic mistake.

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Shift of the Publishing Paradigm

Here’s another great article from Indies Unlimited, one of my favorite sources of information on all things publishing.

If you’re an author, I recommend you give it a read.

A Recipe for Change (with Vampires and Horrible Green Things).

Website of Author Mandy White

Visit Mandy White’s website for info about books and upcoming projects.