Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails Available Now

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

From today my poetry collections Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails are available.

cover art by david j. lovato   cover art by david j. lovato

Build Yourself Better is a narrative poetry collection, meaning the poems tell an overall story while also standing on their own. Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails is a collection of my narrative poetry collections, and includes Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, A Means to an Ens, Build Yourself Better, and a collection of poems originally scrapped from the above three works, titled B-Sides and Rarities.

You’ll find both available in eBook and softcover, as well as a hardcover option for Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails. Those interested in checking the books out before buying will find samples by highlighting the “Samples” link on my site’s top menu.

Store links can be found below.

Build Yourself Better
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Lulu (hardcover)

As always, thanks for everything.

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Now and Then (from Build Yourself Better)

by David J. Lovato

Now and Then

On the ride home she was singing songs to me
I was trying to stay conscious in the passenger seat, and
I was thinking there was nowhere else I’d rather be, but
Now I’m thinking that I’d rather be right there, forever.

Now I’m sitting naked on my bedroom floor
Trying to remember what led you to the door
I won’t apologize for not being good enough,
I know it wasn’t something wrong with me, but us

From the back porch I watch the light from her window stretch across the yard.
It’s the only light in the neighborhood, the rest of the world is dark
My eyes keep trying to adjust,
The way they were always trying to get used to “us”
I don’t think they realize that darkness is the point now.

She flicked cigarettes across the pavement
The way I skipped stones across the lake, and
I was thinking there was nothing we could lose, but
Now I’m thinking I’ve lost everything.

From the office I watch the dog stare out the window and whine
I think she thinks of herself more as yours than she was ever mine
My heart keeps trying to believe
The way it’s always trying to get used to now “just me”
I don’t think it understands that belief isn’t the point anymore.

She slept softly in the bed that I had made
The way I speak softly if I ever have to say her name, and
I kept thinking maybe she’ll come back for me, but
Now I’m thinking we should exist separately.

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Down and Out (from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails)

by David J. Lovato

Down and Out

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Is it trite to write about the weather?
Is it too cliché to just forget her?
Well there’s nothing new under the sun
So let’s forget the pretense,
I am done, I’m done, I’m done.

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Some local kids smashed my window in and
It’s been getting colder out.
So I will speak your name
And rip it from my lips,
Toss it to the flame
And I might get some sleep at night
But I will never be the same.

 

from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

I Can Make a Hundred Dollars Last a While (from Build Yourself Better)

 

by David J. Lovato

I Can Make a Hundred Dollars Last a While

I could sleep on your couch
Until you kick me out
Either subtly or explicitly,
Or even just with doubt.

I could get around this town
Until I figure some things out
Either directly or aversely,
Or just do without.

And I have been
Thinking that my life is
Never going to change, it’s
Always going to stay the same.
I used to
Never question why, and
Never say goodbye, but
Now it’s all I’m doing these days.

I don’t have expensive taste,
I just like to get by.
I’ve never been one to waste,
And you won’t notice me at night.

Because the way that things are now
Is the best they’re going to get
And I’m sick of faces in the crowd
And I’m sick of making friends
And as good as things are now
Is the best they’re going to get
I’m sick of looking at the clouds
And I’m sick of losing friends

So I could help you pay your rent,
If you gave me a ride to work.
I can make a hundred dollars last a while,
But I can’t spare myself this hurt.

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Into the Night (from Build Yourself Better)

by David J. Lovato

Into the Night

I held a sinner’s tongue
In a throat swollen red from saying your name out loud
I kept a broken clock
So I would never know if time was running out

We gathered all the gold,
But couldn’t tell it from the dirt
You said “This is getting old,”
I said at least it doesn’t hurt

We fight the cold,
The wind reaches out to us
But we explode
And there’s no front that could keep up
And we alight like birds
Before we return
Into the night

You held my shaking hands
With fingers fragile from the things that you had done
You kept a missing link
So the world could never put a chain on us

We tried to chase the moon
You said “Jesus, I am tired.”
I kept a broken watch on you
Does that make me a liar?

I’ll see you soon,
Time chases after us
But we’re too smooth,
Pretty soon it will give up
And we alight like fires
Burning higher
Into the night

We hold the pieces of our broken hearts
In chests we turned the locks of years ago
Said they would never open up again,
But then we met,
And I’m not sure where all the hollow went
And we alight like passengers
Carried to our destinations,
We don’t have to know where we are going
We just have to trail headlights
And together drive
Into the night

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Two Books. One Post.

This has been finished for a while, but A Means to an Ens had been finished even longer, so this one had to wait its turn.

cover art by david j. lovato

Two people meet, fall in love, fall out, and fall apart, left wondering what to do with the pieces that remain. A collection of narrative poetry.

Build Yourself Better is a poetry collection, and the final in a trilogy called Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, which consists of Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, A Means to an Ens, and Build Yourself Better.

cover art by david j. lovato

The whole trilogy can be purchased as a set inconspicuously titled Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, which will also include a fourth collection, B-Sides and Rarities, consisting of poems cut from the first three.

All in all, each collection is a set of narrative poetry, meaning the poems tell an over-arching story. Together, the collections form a thematic, loosely-related trilogy.

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails gathers four poetry collections:

Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages details a narrator’s struggle to find his place in the world as he drifts through parallel universes, replaces the people around him with fictional characters, scatters his poetry to the wind, and keeps the things he can’t bear to lose by writing them down.

A Means to an Ens follows the last man on earth. Years after waking up to find himself seemingly alone in the world, the narrator heads out on a journey to find any sign of life in a desolate place, but is instead confronted by the ghosts of his past.

Build Yourself Better chronicles two people who meet, fall in love, fall out, and then fall apart, and what they do in the aftermath with the pieces that remain.

B-Sides and Rarities features poems originally cut from the above collections.

Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails will be available in eBook and print formats on February 29th, 2016. Because the chance to release a book on February 29th doesn’t come around very often.

Before then, you can look forward to previews of a few of the poems by keeping an eye here, especially on my Scenes page.

Thanks for everything.

Pre-order links (more will be added as they become available):

Build Yourself Better: Amazon, Smashwords, Google Play

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails: Amazon, Smashwords, Google Play

A Means to an Ens

A Means to an Ens

A Means to an Ens is a poetry collection, and a spiritual successor to Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages. A Means to an Ens follows a much more linear, fictional narrative, and tells the story of the last man on earth.

The collection is about half as long as Permanent Ink, so it felt wrong to slap it into a paperback and sell it for the same price. I wanted to do something a little more special with it. My first thought was to record it as a concept album, but I’m bad at that and would probably never finish it.

What I ended up doing was an extension of my Scenes project. Each of the poems in A Means to an Ens has been placed over an accompanying picture. These range in size and dimension, and the idea is for the reader to be able to zoom in and out, scale it, scroll it, maybe even rotate it if they so choose to get the fullest experience from reading the text.

Thus, this collection is presented as an image album. It goes in chronological order, and text should be read in columns, from left to right and top to bottom (so the farthest column to the left, read from the very top to its very bottom before moving on to the column to that one’s right).

For those willing to overlook the cost for the length of the work, a physical edition (minus the images) is available, but that’s entirely optional. I also won’t hide that I’m working on a much more substantial collection featuring all of the poems you’re about to read and more, so if you’d rather hold off on buying it, I won’t mind.

Enough of my babbling. Please enjoy A Means to an Ens by clicking on the link to the next page.

Front Cover ⇒

Or, if you prefer, you can download the collection of images by clicking here: Gallery

You may also download it in eBook format by clicking the following links: .mobi, .epub, .pdf

And the print edition can be found here: https://www.createspace.com/5953496

A New Year

When that clock counts down, I’ll probably say “Happy New Year” to whomever I’m in a room with. Maybe we’ll share a few drinks and laughs. When I get home, I’ll switch out my toothbrush for a new one. That’s about the extent of my New Year’s plans.

No resolutions. I don’t believe in picking one day to decide “Sometime this year I’ll be better.”

That’s not to say I discourage anyone who does, but one thing I’ve learned in my time on this earth is that you can better yourself anytime. Any month, any day, any hour. I’ve been sitting before a recently finished draft and thought “That was epic. I’m going to improve in X way” and I’ve been at the bottom of a trailer loading packages on a random overnight shift and thought “You know what? I’m going to start doing Y because it’ll make me a better person.”

Maybe you could say my New Year’s resolution is to never stop learning, but that’s not accurate. That’s not something I’m going to resolve to do, it’s just something that happens as part of everyday life.

Recently I came up with a new motto. It’s actually the title of my next-next book. (Not my next book, which isn’t quite a book, but the one after that.) You’ll hear more about it later, but for now:

“Build yourself better.”

It’s a simple little saying that I wrote into a poem, and since then I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my everyday life. Wishing at the right time or making plans for a future date won’t make you a better person or improve your life. Taking it into your own hands, finding your problems and working them out, that might.

No promises. But you won’t know until you try it, right?

Happy new year!

In the Year of Our Death and Zombiemandias – Available Now

In the Year of Our Death, the sequel to After the Bite and In the Lone and Level Sands is now available in print and eBook formats at various retailers, and should go live at several more over the next few hours.

In the Year of Our Death

It’s been two years since the zombies first appeared and changed the world forever. Keely and her friends escaped the hell of Seattle and settled down near an abandoned radio station. Bailey finds herself caught up with a ravenous group of survivors. Georgie has set up a courier system to move mail across the remains of America. Will and his friends—all of them orphans now—are out of water and have to leave their quiet suburb for the first time in their lives. Nelson, the engineer charged with running Hoover Dam and powering the American Southwest, breaks his glasses and must wander the wasteland nearly blind looking for a replacement.

Adam, however, knows the truth about the zombies: They aren’t monsters, they’re angels, sent by God to cleanse the world of the survivors, and Adam and his Church of Lesser Humans were put here to help them do it. Armed only with faith, a bus, and the steadfast rule to never allow harm to come to the zombies, Adam knows Judgment Day is coming, and will stop at nothing to herald its arrival.

You can read a sample chapter here as well as download samples from the retailer of your choice.

Store Links (more will be added as they become available):

Amazon • Google Play • iTunes • Barnes & Noble • SmashwordsKobo • Paperback (CreateSpace store) • Hardcover

The paperback edition should be available through Amazon’s website and Barnes & Noble’s website soon.

Also available is the collected edition, Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection, an eBook that includes After the Bite, In the Lone and Level Sands, and In the Year of Our Death.

Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection

Amazon • Google Play • iTunes • Barnes & Noble • SmashwordsKobo

Thanks to everyone who makes what I do possible. This includes you, the reader, without whom I’m just sitting here shouting random nonsense into a void. Thank you.

In the Year of Our Death

Things have been exciting lately! I published my first game, Hinterland, and while it was a little bit glitchier than I thought, it’s been mostly smooth. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and a lot of fun watching people play it on YouTube.

Now it’s time for me to shift my focus to my other big October project. This one is a book announcement.

In 2012 I published After the Bite, a collection of short stories I wrote with my friend Seth Thomas, set during a zombie apocalypse. This was a companion book to a novel we released a year later called In the Lone and Level Sands. Now, I couldn’t be happier to announce the sequel to both: In the Year of Our Death.

In the Year of Our Death

In the Year of Our Death picks up roughly two years after the end of In the Lone and Level Sands. Like the previous book, it follows different groups of characters across the zombie-ravaged country. Returning from In the Lone and Level Sands, Keely and her friends live in a motel near a radio station in a small, quiet part of Los Angeles they’ve barricaded off from the zombies and the outside world. Young Will and his group of orphaned teens have been waiting out the apocalypse in a peaceful suburb, but have run out of food and water and have to leave to find a new home. Ruffian Bailey found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and has been running with a bad crowd ever since, until she decides to flee them and try to do some good in the world. Slow but well-meaning Georgie, who could outrun the devil himself on his bicycle, has set up a courier system to shuttle packages and information across the United States. Engineer Stephen Nelson has set himself up at Hoover Dam, where he keeps power running to the Southwest—until he breaks his glasses and has to head blindly into the wasteland to replace them.

At the heart of it all is Adam. Suffering from nightmares of a church fire he survived at the onset of the apocalypse, Adam believes the zombies to be a higher form of enlightenment, and now commits his life to protecting them. His most important mission is to find the man on the radio who feeds daily advice on how to kill what Adam calls the “greater humans” and silence him for good.

After the Bite told the small tales of a zombie apocalypse, while In the Lone and Level Sands serves as a record of survivors at its onset. In the Year of Our Death finds the survivors—and zombies—struggling to survive in a world that changed forever two years ago. Every day now is a war, and this year will claim its fair share of casualties.

You can read a sample chapter here: Chapter 16

So this is how I find myself sitting on a series of finished books. I have to say I like how it feels. On that front, I’m also announcing an eBook collection of all three books:

Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection

Buying the three of them together will end up being a little cheaper than buying them separately, but fair warning: This is going to be quite a long eBook.

Both books release on October 20th, 2015. Pre-orders will be live soon, I’ll update with links as they’re available. Also, in celebration, the eBook version of In the Lone and Level Sands will be available for free and/or at a deep discount at most retailers through the month of October.

So that’s that. Stay tuned here for release info, teasers, and other goodies.

Thanks always for reading.