Sunday Synopsis


Today we have sunshine and temperatures are back in the mid-seventies, after a week of pouring rain and overcast skies. I know you people under snow and gray skies for months hate us. We really don’t have the tolerance that you do. We are weak and pitiful in ways you don’t relate to.

Last night we had dinner with some snowbird friends of ours, a couple from Nebraska. The lady tells me she read my book and liked it. She said it was sad and rather Gothic. I agreed with her that it is a poignant story, but ends on a very sweet note. She didn’t say anything. (I wonder if she read the final conclusion chapter.) There was a long, painful pause. Then she says, “At least you had the courage to put it out there.” I didn’t know quite how to take that….the “At Least…” part. Sort of gave me the idea that she felt it amateurish. I am probably reading more into it, because of my own personal insecurities. I still think I need to practice how to speak to people about my book…not selling it…not marketing the book, or encouraging others to read it, but how I respond to them when they share with me that they have read it. The lack of eye contact made me somewhat uncomfortable.  Geez, was she just being nice?

She asked about reviews. Of course, I had to tell her about my four and five star reviews…I was defensive to a certain degree. She seemed a bit surprised at the good reviews.  Said, “That’s interesting.” That made me feel worse, and I realized I should have stopped while I was ahead, sort of. “Not everybody is going to like what you write!” I reminded myself.

About my goals from last week, my excuse is the same for most of them. It was raining, so I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t get the oil changed in my car. I didn’t get out and peddle my books. I didn’t schedule my sensory deprivation chamber experience.  We did not make it to the antique mall in Mt. Dora, but we did find a Spirograph for the granddaughter on Amazon. She has a birthday coming up in three weeks. Any suggestions?

I did, being a recluse in the house, manage to get quite a bit of writing done. I also went back over the last few chapters and moved some paragraphs around. I write in stream of consciousness style. Sometimes my mind wanders. That might be a bipolar thing, but as I read over what was written, I found paragraphs that needed to be rearranged for better sequential flow from childhood to teenage events. It reads fine now. I am quite satisfied with it. There is one thing that I am seeing again. It is going to start out a sad story, and there is really nothing to be done about that. That is how it is.

Brainstorming with the beautifully minded and warm-hearted spirit, Ionia Martin of Readful Things blog, I have a better sense of how this novel and its main character will evolve to achieve a sense of redemption and achievement on a most positive note. That is a good thing and will lead to a most satisfying ending. I was about to take my character on a journey that I really wasn’t happy with and now I feel stronger and much more pleased with the moral of the story. Healing through helping others heal is the pathway we are taking. Thank you, Ionia, for be who you are, and for having time for me in your outrageously busy and full life.

This week I will revisit last week’s goals and hopefully make some progress. I will also be writing, and writing, and writing. I am planning a Goodreads Giveaway that I will announce formally when the Goodreads people approve it.

36 thoughts on “Sunday Synopsis

    • Ionia, she is!

      I know that I write for readers, but my writing is also sort of therapeutic for me. I always hope that what I am writing is engaging. I like for there to be some deeper purpose for it. I don’t really look to entertain in an amusing manner. That’s not the sort of writing that I do.

  1. Sounds like a productive author week. Bad weather seems to always throw everything else out the window. As for your friend, most of my friends refuse to talk to me about my books even if they’ve read them. Either they stay silent on Facebook or switch topics in real life.

    • It was a productive author week! I have about ten Facebook friends who I know have read my book and only a couple who have written reviews. (This is not counting family.) Most are silent. I encouraged reviews once, because some said they loved the book, but never wrote reviews. That got me some nasty comments about asking for reviews. I deleted that post and haven’t asked again. Guess it was the wrong thing to do, but it did get me a couple of reviews.

      I would not have even brought up my book if this lady had remained silent about it. Silence is often best.

  2. There is no excuse for innuendo like your friend shared. Is she a writer? Is she pursuing her dream? It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback (this will be my only football remark of the day…lol) when you don’t know the rules of the game. Keep your spirits high and write, write, write! You are an inspiration.

    • Thanks. She was being honest and I cannot fault her there. I would rather have honesty because it helps me decide on direction with future works. i was really stuck with my current WIP until I brainstormed with Ionia. that is what I love about the writer community, authors helping authors. And it did have to do with how poignant some of my darker writing can be.

  3. I completely understand the sting you felt. There’s an author whose book I reviewed on my blog. She, in turn, agreed to review my book on hers. After she’d had the book for about a month, she told me the “story wasn’t for her” and she couldn’t give it a positive review. That really hurt, and it was difficult for me not to get defensive and ask her why, but I decided not to go that route. Reactions to books are so subjective.

    • It is a very personal thing, reading. I love to read historical things and some people find history boring.They are looking for high adventure, contemporary issues and future oriented themes. My books are not at all a fantasy escape. They are very serious, hopefully with a deeper meaning to be conveyed.

        • When I know someone is reading my book and they don’t let me know right away that they enjoyed it, I don’t push. I have obligated myself to read books that I did not really enjoy and felt very uncomfortable that I could not offer a good review. There are certain genres that I simply can’t force myself into, like chick lit…some YA fantasy where the words children used simply weren’t child words, other such issues. I don’t ask anymore if someone has read my book, and I also don’t tell people anymore that I am reading theirs until I know I can give it a good review. I won’t post a review if I can’t give it three stars. That’s just me. I know authors say they like constructive criticism, but because reading IS such a personal experience, and so is writing, I don’t always feel qualified to critique. Maybe that will change with more experience, but I’m not there yet.

  4. Sounds like the woman you discussed your book with is one of those people who have trouble celebrating other people’s accomplishments. I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s probably a reflection of her more than it is you. Even if one doesn’t enjoy a book, it can be discussed in a non-put-down fashion. I thought your book was far from amateurish. It was a wonderful read.

    That being said, it IS a strange feeling to discuss your book with others face-to-face. Two local book clubs chose my book for their monthly selection and invited me to come. They were very gracious, but it was still a surreal experience for me. What was most fascinating was hearing people interpret things differently from how I intended or finding meaning in a passage in which I really hadn’t assigned any. Goes to show that reading is a very personal experience. And good thing it is, ’cause that’s what makes it so enjoyable!

    • I was in a book club for a brief while and it scared me to death how they ripped the authors apart. I never did tell them that I had authored a book. Ha! You are very brave 🙂

      Reading is personal, and I read a variety of genres for different moods that I am in. My husband, on the other hand, reads almost exclusively crime novels, some psycho thrillers. It is what he has found that he most enjoys. I prefer to be stimulated by variety.

      I think the lady felt obliged to mention the book. I don’t think she has many author friends, so it was most likely awkward for both of us. It’s out of the way now, and hopefully behind us.

  5. I do wish people would remember what their Momma used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself.”
    I can feel how uncomfortable partially expressed statements are. Sorry to hear you had to have this experience.

  6. She should have just said “I’ll make a note to buy and read it.” Why come out and say she read it without being straight up and truthful. Passive aggressiveness under the guise of “kindness” drives me up the wall. Sorry about her. After Charles Towers (started) you are next on my “bought and TBR” list. looking forward to it.

    • Her husband had already told me some weeks ago by phone that she was reading it….so he had kind of put her on the spot. It did seem she was not being truthful…like maybe she really didn’t finish it. If she had said to me, “It was so sad, I really could not finish it.” It would have been more honest. Then I could have encouraged her to read the ending. 🙂

        • Pouring out your heart and soul and then going public with it also. I try to say I have put on my alligator skin…I am trying to convince myself that I am prepared, but when it happens…you are not prepared. It bites. I am trying to decide if I should offer her a an autographed copy of the paperback when they come over for dinner next week. She can pretend to know somebody sort of famous…or AT LEAST someone who isn’t afraid of the possibility of fame.

  7. If she was not an author perhaps she is not good at phrasing things. My husband is a software guy, and whenever he reads something, his usual reaction is: that was interesting. He means that in a good way, but nothing is more soul-killing than that word to me. And some people think very slowly and don’t always respond to comments that are out of their sphere with agility. So if she’s not used to conversing about books at all, much less with an author, maybe it all came off much worse than she had intended. I would have compassion for how awkward it was for her, and shrug it off. The book is still the same project you poured your heart into before you talked to her. Nothing about your book or the amount of effort you put in have changed. You should be proud of yourself. You should just tell people who are being awkward: “It was such fun to write and publish it. The best part was finishing it and starting on a new project.” Then just change the subject. That way you end it on a positive note that nothing they say can dent.

    A lot of people in my community know about my blog, and bring it up with me in person. I just tell them, whatever they say, that I love it, it has opened doors to joy and creativity in my life that I hope to never close up again.

    • That is so very true Brenda. It does sound as if I am being hypercritical. I admit my own insecurities and sensitivities are at play. There was more to the non-verbal behavior that doesn’t come through in these words posted. It is a done deal though. I appreciate the support from others who have been there and know the feelings. I appreciate your point of view…that she was as uncomfortable as I could have thought about being in trying to express herself.

  8. I hate awkward conversations like that! No, the book isn’t going to be for everyone. I get that, but if you are going to bring it up, don’t leave the innuendo. I have a good friend who didn’t finish mine. We talked about what he didn’t like and why, and I get it. We’re still friends. I like dealing with people who are direct.

  9. It sounds like a very awkward conversation. She should not have mentioned that she read the book unless she had something positive to say, but once she did, I guess she didn’t know how to back out. Oh well, you have to let it go.
    It sounds like you still got a lot accomplished this week. I one of those experiencing the snow and ice–and very sick of it! 🙂

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