“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
I find it’s always a pleasant surprise when life offers up something that makes you realize that perhaps you’ve grown more into what it is that you are meant to be. Funny though, how it has a special way of making sure it’s special ordered just to suit your needs. A few situations over the past week and a half have shown up and brought with them the realization it’s nice to finally come to a place where you can clearly discern what is and what isn’t worthy of your time, worry etc… The road goes on. And the party never ends.
Anyway, so I happened upon a not so nice, at least ten paragraph review the other day, and you guys, I actually laughed about it. Which says a lot…I’ll never forget reading my first review of the sort and how it made me feel. I was at the beach on vacation with my family and I stupidly let it ruin nearly an entire day. Don’t get me wrong; I clearly expected that bad reviews would come. But admittedly, and to my detriment, I never expected the outright mean ones. In my naiveté, I didn’t foresee people not only picking my work apart but being so cut throat while doing it. So when I stumped upon the latest nasty review the other day and found that it didn’t bother me in the least what this person thought of me or the book… I realized I’d turned a corner. Instead of being upset about it, I was simply grateful that she’d read the book. And while most of what she had to say wasn’t productive, I was able to take a few tidbits and use them in book two. Because here’s the thing… I didn’t write a “safe” book. I wrote about hot button topics and, so, yeah, I should’ve probably prepared myself a little better that those topics might not sit well with some people. I should’ve expected the extreme polarity in either loving or hating the book…and I didn’t. I just kind of assumed that people would understand that novels are fiction and more importantly that I am not my characters. But those assumptions were dead wrong.
All that said, the process has been a learning experience for sure. For starters, I’ve learned that it’s best not to assume anything. People are going to have an opinion of you one way or another- and usually it has more to do with themselves and their beliefs, than it does you or yours. It’s more important to embrace the people who love you and spend your time there than it is to try to change the opinions of those that don’t. Sure, it would’ve been nice to “get” this all beforehand…but life assures me there’s no fun in that.
Lastly, some housekeeping stuff:
- Word has it that Bedrock is going to be featured in the November issue of Austin Woman Magazine so, if you’re local, keep an eye out.
- Bedrock will be making its way around via a blog tour from 10/21-10/25. I’m told there will be giveaways and I’ll be posting updates over on Facebook & Twitter that week.
- I’ll be signing at The Texas Book Festival on 10/27/13 from 3-4 pm in the Writer’s League of Texas booth. Come say hello. But, please, only if you’re nice.
- There’s also an author event planned at BookPeople on January 10th at 7pm, which I’ll be a part of… so save the date. Rumor has it champagne will be involved…
P.S. Here’s what I’ve written to this week. Please note it’s likely to be highly offensive for some people. You’ve been warned. For me though…it did the job.