Reviews Mean Nothing to a Writer (or they shouldn’t)

I suppose one of the hardest things for me to get across to writers has been that they should not read the reviews on their books–for so many reasons. The main reason, how, comes down to my post I wrote called They’re Not For You! In this post, I talk about how book reviews are written from the consumer perspective to other consumers, and the only way their reviews can be written is the same way your book gets written: with bias based on personal experiences.

How do I know? Well, how about, one of my books that was written based off a real-life experience, in which a reviewer said, “No man would ever do that….” and I have to laugh, ’cause I know two men who did it! Or another who said a line of dialogue that was actually spoken in real life was unrealistic. But then I turn around and in a review two days later, someone says that my story was completely believable and that what she loved the most was how the dialogue was so much like real life conversations.

One person said I used the word ‘giggle’ too frequently, to the point that she said if the main character giggled one more time, she was going to throw the book or something… I searched the entire novella, over 70 completed page, and the word ‘giggle’ (or any derivative or conjugation thereof) appears exactly 7 times in the entire manuscript. Nice, huh?

Or when another person tells me that the story is completely unre...

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Inexperienced Football Fan

football-5-655092-mJust a short bit of humor to brighten your day that is a blast from my past with my son.

When my son was 11…he’ wasn’t much up on football. The person I was living with at the time was watching the game…my son was trying to “get into the game” and share it with him, but my son just flat didn’t understand the concept.

I’m sitting at my desk working, and here is what I am hearing in the background:

Son: So who are the Sooner’s?

Answer: Oklahoma.

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The Foolishness of the Lake

The rays of the sun reflected off the lake surface, in shimmering, brilliant strands. The group of girls stood near the pond, changing into swim clothing after the long hike and horse ride down the path through the woods.

The lake was not swimmable, for the water was too murky, too dirty. Not from pollution though, just a natural murky, mud filled lake-hole. While the sun shone brightly on it, and the reflection of the surrounding trees was gorgeous, the water itself stank of fish and dirt and sludge.

However, just a few feet from the lake was a gorgeous natural hot-water spring. The girls from the scout troop were preparing to soak their tired, wearied bodies in the hot springs.

Each girl slipped in, one by one, to the warmth of the crystal clear water. After several minutes of relaxing and gossipping that teen age girls are prone to do…one girl screams, and for no apparent reason, jumps out of the hot spring.

Then a second girl screams, and then a third. Before you know it, the entire scout troop has jumped out of the hot springs and are dancing around in circles, jumping up and down screaming, and running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Was the water too hot?

No...

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Not Enough Time

Newly married, she wanted to take a honeymoon, just a short trip so they could spend time together, even if just for the weekend. When she asked him if they could, he responded, “We’ll have time for a honeymoon later. I just started this new job, and we need the money for the house.”

She was disappointed, but she understood.

A few years down the road, she said to her husband one evening, “I want to have a baby, a son or a daughter, our own little family. Can we talk about having children?”

He replied, “We’ll have plent...

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Expectations (Flash Fiction Piece)

Flash Fiction: Jim wasn’t expecting a letter, but Laura wasn’t expecting a visitor either. Neither got what they expected.
He had not been expecting the letter. Jim wasn’t surprised to receive it; after all, his wife had told him she was filing for divorce, but that was months ago, and she hadn’t made any moves. He sighed and put the unopened envelope from the attorney’s office on the table by the door, tossed his keys, and then shuffled to the kitchen in search of a stiff drink.

The whiskey poured and still burning his throat, he picked up the phone and dialed seven digits he had memorized but had never before dialed.

“Hello?” the gruff voice on the end of the line answered.

“Larry gave me your number?”

“Yeah,” he barked.

Jim finalized plans on the phone, and then took he his whiskey bott...

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Twenty (20) Things You Should Not Do!

Have any of you ever heard that Jim Croce song that goes something like this:

“You don’t tug on Superman’s cap…you don’t spit into the wind…you don’t pull the mask off the ‘ole lone ranger, and you don’t mess around with Jim….”

Well, My son loves that song – not sure why.

But that got me to thinking about things that people shouldn’t do...

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How a Cup of Coffee Got My Entire House Clean

(Originally written on my blog in 2006, when life was quite a bit different for me, but the whole thing is true!)

1419443_34313465Sleep is for sissies…

Which is why I’m about to go take a nap. I just wanted to pop in here first and explain to you the mysterious and wondrous attributes that are in a cup of coffee….

Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I will tell you the amazing story of how one cup of coffee got my entire house cleaned!

I really think that it started last night when I couldn’t sleep. With the central A/C out right now, and temperatures in the low 90s, night time is quite uncomfortable. Around 2 am it cools off enough with the windows open to relax, but before that, I find yourself laying naked on the bed, trying hard not to move and so help me if a blanket covers any part of me, with the ceiling fan on – just hoping for a slight breeze to blow your way. Sometimes around 2:30 am, during Murphy Brown on Nick-at-Night, I do believe I fell asleep.

Well, 5:30 am comes early.

And it s...

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Leave Me Be

There was a sound, I swear I heard it, softly it did break the gloom, of all the silence that surrounds me, from somewhere in the other room.932926_52893822

I rose to see, investigate, to find the mysterious source. It wasn’t loud, more like a whisper, much like my lover’s voice.

“Impossible,” I breathed the words, for my lover, he was here no more.

Peering through the darkness, no benefit of light, I searched to find the voice I’d heard, from somewhere in the night.

“Leave me be…” the voice did whisper once again, but not from in the house. No, the voice I heard came from within.

“Where are you?” I did ask the voice, but silence did reply. “Will you not answer when I speak? Tell me, please. Oh, tell me why?”

“Leave me be…” the voice did say, and I just shook my head...

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In My Lifetime, A Writing Prompt

I have watched many things transpire in my lifetime. I’ll start by going back in time a little bit, and talk about the things that my parents saw happen in their lifetime, and then I’ll move forward a bit.

The world has changed a lot recently, and I don’t think we truly are even aware of how much has happened in such a short period of time.

My mother remembers a time when there was no television. Today, I have a digital DVR cable box, where I can order on demand shows live, and pause, record and rewind over 500 different channels with the flip of a switch while streaming movies at the touch of a fingertip any time I want.

My mother remembers a time before personal computers even existed, when ham radio was all the rage as a new technology, when what computers did exist were so large as to ...

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Lucid, Vivid Dreams: Do Dreams Have Meaning?

I don’t mind dreams so much, even the weird ones. Sometimes, especially the weird ones. I’ve actually gotten some pretty good story ideas or at least some starting concepts, from dreams I’ve had. But here recently, I’ve been having the weirdest, oddest, strangest dreams–not really nightmares, per se, but dreams that leave me feeling quite unsettled. The weird art isn’t really even the dream, as much as it is that the dream stays with me. I mean, with most dreams, they’ll stay with you for a little while, but then over the course of the day, they begin to fade. If you don’t share them with someone else, by the end of the day, you might not remember them at all. But for me, recently, I’ve been remembering all my dreams. And they stay with me. Worse yet, they pop into my head at the strangest moments throughout the day. Another weird component of these dreams is that I wake up several times per night from these dreams. At least two or three times per night, I will wake up from one of these vivid lucid or near-lucid dreams. I hate that part most of all. I would love to sleep through the night!

A few of my dreams are recurring dreams...

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