Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Second #Book--Or, Why I Am Having Trouble Getting My #Promotional Ass In Gear

Listen, I'm the one who whined for years and years about not being able to get my books published, and now here I am on the verge of publishing book number two, a linked collection of stories I wrote quite some time ago, I must admit to a little ennui. Mice: Have no sympathy, empathy or compassion for me. You can even stop reading right here if you are rolling my eyes at my stupid feelings. I am, however, going to discuss this issues as a human phenomenon, which is really no excuse, more like a sociological/psychological anecdote of the crazy that is my head.
     Here's what I propose: When you put so much of your professional worth into a single novel and a follow-up book of short stories, and then try for a decade or so to get someone (anyone!) interested in publishing it, you probably cannot achieve the kind of results that will live up to the weight of your career hopes and dreams. (I use professional and career to also stand for identity and self worth, unfortunately.) This is not to say that I am disappointed in the results of the novel; I was in People Magazine as a pick of the week with Stephen King and Annie Lamott, for shit's sake. It's just that somehow I thought it would all amount to so much more, or a different me, or something. And so approaching the launch of book number two (pub date: this November), I am finding it hard to make such a huge investment. Is that wrong? Of course it is, but I don't think anything will really do what I want it to do. I need a spiritual awakening or a spiritual practice or something that does for me what a published book will not.  Anyway, just thought I'd share.  I will get my ass and gear and this too will pass. Just seems kind of ironic to feel this way after all the LROD complaining, right? Well, maybe it's just today. At least it is raining in the Northeast; we need it for the trees and gardens.
     Life never ceases to amaze, does it?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What Does This #Librarian Actually Think? #Literary #Book #Review #Assistance Needed, Please!

I got my first review for Pretend I'm Your Friend from Kirkus Reviews, always so prompt and proper. I love me some librarian brains, and this is a very intelligent, thoughtful, evocative review, so I am grateful. The only thing is that there's not really a single extractable blurb in there, and, you know, it makes you wonder if those discerning librarian reviewers go out of the way to avoid giving a compliment, which of course, the publisher is looking to use for the back of the book. Though, really, people, since when is it about compliments; why must I fall prey to the capitalist mind-set of wanting only to sell books. I mean, we strive to have our work taken seriously, collected in the great halls and libraries of this great nation, not to have our egos stroked, right? Right.

Therefore, I submit to the mice nest, The Review for your consideration. Would this review make you want to read the book, buy the book, or see it on your library's shelf? Also, compare it, please, to this review, which did have one good word about the craft, namely "polished."

Okay, but anyway, who am I to judge?  You, please, be the judge, for me, if you will, micycles, so that I will know what to think:
Kirkus Review: Pretend I'm Your Friend
Short stories that frequently touch on endings—of love, relationship bonds, even life itself—link back to one another in surprising ways in this collection.

In “People Say Thank You,” Violet’s gift of extrasensory perception carries surprising consequences. During an argument with her husband she blurts out, “Oh, go to Georgia,” without knowing she’s essentially sanctioned his affair. “Hands of God” follows two friends on a vacation; Helena hopes to distance herself from her boyfriend’s affair with another couple, while A.J.’s attempt to get lost in a one-night stand only reminds her of an inescapable past. Caschetta (Miracle Girls, 2014) sets scenes in one story that evolve in later ones. A family makes complicated arrangements to bring a dying man to a wedding only to become stranded in a snowstorm in “Alice-James’s Cuban Garlic”; what’s known about their history turns out to be only a small piece of the story, revealed during the ceremony in “Marry Me Quickly.” Another pairing begins with a woman’s cancer diagnosis and the shameful wishes it inspires; later, the same character is in hospice, and it’s her family’s reactions as she dies that shape the story. Dialogue between characters is seamless in its realism, heightening the tension in uncomfortable exchanges. “A Line of E.L. Doctorow” traces Lorena’s emotional journey from betrayal to jealousy as her husband makes a move on the nanny she’s grown possessive toward; the couple use the children as chess pieces or forget them altogether, and the terse exchanges between the points in this triangle are chilling.

The confrontations and losses can be gutting, but the ways they tie to one another create a strengthened bond among the survivors; there’s hope amid the ruins created here.

                                                                                                           --Kirkus Reviews