Who Am I? Why Do You Care?

I am a woman on a journey. Where I'll end up is yet to be discovered.


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Writing is the Most Amazing Difficult Thing you will Ever do

I was on a good roll with the editing of Finding Home. Life happens sometimes though, and the writing time that gets set aside each day finds itself being pushed aside. That being the case I’ve gotten very little work done this week. I sit here tonight staring at my WIP and thinking of how far I have to go. I read a bit and cringe thinking how awful it is. But you know what? It’s on paper. It’s out there. I can work with it. And it’s there because I started.

Starting is sometimes the hardest part of writing. It was especially that way when I first began to write seriously. I was so afraid to put pen to paper, thinking what if this idea turns out to be garbage? What if it isn’t good enough? What if it isn’t what I envision it to be? All those thoughts racing through my mind threatened to stop me in my tracks before I even began. But then I realized that yes, it was going to be garbage and that was okay. If you are going to learn to write, or if you are going to hone your craft and get better – you must write. It’s okay if those first works never see the light of day. If they help you to find your voice or teach you discipline or help you to get better – those awful first works serve their purpose.

I’ve  said before I do not believe in being an “aspiring” writer. If you are putting pen to paper (or keystroke on screen) then you ARE a writer. Published or not doesn’t matter. If you write you are a writer. Own it. Be proud of it. Just make sure that before you put your work out there that it is the best work you can do. Make sure it’s something you can be proud of. And if you ARE aspiring; if you have not begun because you are afraid that the idea in your head isn’t going to be good enough – you are only hurting yourself. We write because it is a passion. We write because words and worlds consume us and demand to be recorded. We write because to not write is agony. Writing is hard. Writing is hell. Writing never gets easier because with each new first draft you begin at the beginning.  As writers we are just twisted enough to enjoy the torture.

Do you know what? That first recorded idea ISN’T going to be good enough. But what are you gaining from never writing it? You can’t move past that first bad draft and become the writer you aspire to be if you don’t write. It’s as simple as that. To improve you must practice. You must write. Write the drivel. Don’t be afraid of it. Write it and move on to better things.

And that first draft? A first draft is always just that. A first draft. Its supposed to be awful. You aren’t human if it isn’t! But that first draft introduces you to your characters. It gets them out of your head and on the page. Learn from them. Let them tell you all their secrets. Get them all down. Then you get to decide how to deal with them. Second drafts. Third drafts. Fourth drafts. Each one gets you closer to the ideal world you created in your head. Don’t be afraid of writing garbage. Don’t be afraid of the first thing you ever write being crap.

Sometimes we all need reminding that we really don’t choose the writing life. It chose us long ago. Sure, we can ignore it. We choose to sit down and empty the words onto the page, but I think we do so more because it is a compulsion than a choice. Those years I spent not writing seemed hollow. I was ignoring the very real call of what I was meant to do. I was born to be a writer, but I will never get to be the kind of writer I wish to be unless I do one simple thing. Write. With each story, with each new draft I hope I get just a bit better. I hope I learn something new about myself every time I sit down at the computer or sit down on the back porch with a cup of tea and a pen and paper.

I’m not where I want to be. Not by a long shot. I have much to learn. But I won’t learn it unless I dive in and do it.

So today I’m telling you to write. Just write. Don’t worry about how it’s going to turn out. Don’t worry about it not being what you envision. Just get started. Write.

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Independence? I’m Not Ready!

Time. It just keeps moving no matter how much you wish you could slow it all down. And slowing it down is exactly what I want to do right now. Our lives are full of constant hurdles, struggles, victories, joy, pain, work, pride and regret. Sometimes we feel like we are just bouncing and jostling along going through the motions, and other times we get to live – really live – taking in the moment frame by frame and savoring it. I wish I had more days like that.

I came to the realization a while back that my life was my own and I only had to live it on my terms. I decided to live with joy and gratefulness – free from the people pleaser I had always been and free from the stress that surrounded me. Now this worked to an extent. Of course we always are going to have some stress. There is always going to be worry. For me, most of that worry came from always worrying about my daughter. With anxiety, depression, self harm, and suicidal thoughts, I could never get too comfortable. Even when things were going fairly well, it wasn’t going to be long before a crash of some kind occurred. Still, we had our good times. Lots of them. I have the most amazing daughter ever and I love her with all my heart. We have always been exceptionally close, probably because of what she has gone through. She’s always been attached to my side, sometimes experiencing separation anxiety just going to school. She’s nearly fourteen and we have always done everything together.

Lately she has been working on feeling better. Really working. She’s also working on gaining some independence. I’m proud of her for that. Really I am. We would spend every evening together, either watching a movie or playing a game, or even doing separate things, just sitting side by side while we did them. She never wanted to be far from me, and never even spent time in her own room. Her bedroom is probably the least used room in the house. She was rarely in it. She didn’t even want to sleep alone until fairly recently.

So as she works on independence, she is spending a lot of time on her own, in her own room, doing her own thing. I think it’s great. She draws, she listens to music, she reads. By herself. Every day.

At first, I could only think of all the writing time I was having. Wow! My evenings were so quiet! I could write away for hours! Yay teenagers! But you know what? Deep on the inside I’m not coping very well. I feel like I’ve gained a teenager overnight. Don’t get me wrong, we are still close and probably spend more time together than the average teen spends with a parent, but it’s so different not having her at my side every second. I miss her constant babble while I’m trying to write. I can’t even concentrate with all this quiet!! I’m proud of her, but at the same time – okay I’ll admit it — I MISS her!!  She’s right here…but she seems so far away!

I know this is not a problem. This is actually a very good thing. For seven years, she has suffered extreme anxiety. For several of those years she could not even go in the bathroom by herself. She would not go in a room I was not in. She would panic if I got out of her sight for a second. She had to follow me around the house if I went into another room. She couldn’t go to sleep overs, and she couldn’t have kids over. I worried about what was going to happen as she got older. I knew she would eventually have to branch out on her own. And now that she is, I’m ecstatic. Really I am. But there is that selfish part of me that hates it too. I want so much for her. I want her to be able to go and do and be anything she wants. I want her to follow her dreams and her heart wherever they take her. Yet I sit here tonight having a really hard time. She’s right in her room on the other side of the house – and it seems a million miles away. Silly, huh?

So I have work to do. I have that draft I’m still working on, and some articles that need writing. I have a website I’m supposed to be making for someone, but I’m sitting here like a lump feeling lonely. What’s up with that?

So maybe I want to freeze time just a bit. Maybe I want to enjoy my girl a little longer because I fear she is growing up fast now. She goes to high school in the fall, and I’m afraid time will really start whizzing by then. I’m excited for all that she will accomplish, and a bit sad too. I’ll get over it. I’ll be okay. I know a thousand parents before me have felt the same way.

Writing has been slow lately. I’ve wanted to re-write my novel from somewhere just past the middle, changing the events and the ending, but I’m having a hard time concentrating on getting it done. The story is still a good one, I guess it’s just the effects of life. The busy days, the time spent handling my daughter’s anxiety and depression, the nearing of the end of the school year – lots to do and lots to think about.

So tonight I’m looking at all the work I have to do, but I’m just feeling kind of blah. So I’m going to take a moment and selfishly wallow in my solitude, and then I’ll get a move on.

 


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The (chaotic)Writer’s Life

As an ADHD’er things can get pretty chaotic in my world. Chaos just happens. Like breathing. That doesn’t make me the most organized writer in the world.

I’m fairly new to the world of deadlines, but I’m managing them. Haven’t missed one yet, anyway. 😉

I’m learning how to incorporate being a freelance writer into my world with all my other obligations. I’m confident it will get easier. I’m a work in progress, but I always will be.

One thing has definitely changed. I used to have loads of stories I had begun, then discarded as I jumped to another idea. In fact, I still have most of them, a gigantic box full in the closet. It’s comforting to know they are there, you know, for when I need some ideas, or a spark. How many of them will ever get finished or turned into anything, I have no idea. I used to be good at starting, but not finishing. But that was in the years where I was only toying with my writing – the years that I couldn’t actually write, had in fact given it up – just couldn’t completely let it go. Now that I’ve been writing again for a few years, I have found that I can’t just let a story go. I can’t NOT finish.

Recently, I had to pick among several projects. I had a very rough first draft of a new novel, an idea for a new book, half a first draft for another book, and then I had a project that I needed to work on for a specific market. My big idea was to let the rough draft simmer for a while, shelved, take notes for the new book and set it aside for another time, lose the other work in progress altogether because it was boring me, and work on the project that I had a specific market for.

It sounded like a great idea. I went to work on the new project, only to find that I had three different ways I could do it, and I couldn’t decide which way to go. I started working on plot planners for all three to see which would jump out at me as the way to go, only to decide I could turn the project into three distinctly different works. Hm. Sounds fun. But when I picked the path I was going to start on, I started writing away, only to find that I just kept getting ideas for the OTHER two paths. At the same time, I really just couldn’t get into the writing. I’d sit, day after day, manage a few sentences, but it was all so stale.

And all the while, that shelved first draft? It was calling me. Softly at first, then it started steadily getting louder until it was screaming. What I found? I can no longer just abandon a project and hop into another. I have to finish it. I have to see it through to the end. Every time I start to write on the project that I had deemed more pressing, my mind is filled with ideas for what I need to do with that first draft.

So I pulled it out. I started working on it. The world feels normal again. Turns out my writing self is not too fond of chaos. It doesn’t much like running amok, abandoning a project for another one just because I decided one was more pressing than the other.

Who knew that I needed a method to my madness? Who knew I was learning to finish what I start and not give up until I did? Maybe my chaos can be tamed just a bit after all. Maybe if I learn to trust the process, and not get all distracted by the new, shiny idea in my head I can actually get more work done. I’m learning to trust that the new idea will in fact still be there when I’m ready for it. (and that half finished draft that I thought I’d just dump? Nah…I also started getting a few ideas for that one too. You know, for another time. But it’s in line.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Can’t Have a Beginning Without an End

This time of year can be kinda tough. On one hand, a whole new year will be here soon – a beautiful blank slate to color any way we choose. We can look forward to the turning of the calendar with excitement and that tingly feeling of not knowing what lies ahead – or with the giddy glee of making new plans.

That new beginning means something else, too. It means this chapter is coming to an end. All those plans we made last January for this year will either be an accomplishment or just a vague memory now.

I always feel a bit melancholy in December. As a child I loved the holidays. There was so much magic in the air! The lights, decorations, sounds, smells and music made me happy. Now it seems like work to get from the beginning of the month to the end. I can’t help but think about my dad, and how much I still miss him. I think about how fast the year went, and how I didn’t do nearly all the things I said I wanted to. I think about missed opportunities, things I procrastinated on, things I started but never finished. Suddenly the last year becomes a blur, and I’m not sure where it all went. I’m not sure what I accomplished. I have a feeling that I could hunker down amid a fluffy blanket and a few books and hide my head until December is over and gone. If only I could.

Life won’t let me hide, so I guess I have to face this last month of the year head on. And do you want to know something? I got a lot of sh#! done this year! Okay, there’s a lot I didn’t do, but despite that, it’s been quite the year. I’ve grown stronger, I’ve learned things about myself, I’ve changed and I’ve grown. I’ve read good books, and I’ve enjoyed times with my daughter. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed. I’ve been sad, I’ve been happy, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve written stories, I’ve written books, I’ve watched movies and I’ve colored pictures. I’ve knitted, I’ve sipped tea and I’ve loved and been loved. I’ve been wrapped in the arms of a mischievous teen girl, and I’ve gone out of my comfort zone once or twice. I’ve learned new things, I’ve gazed at the moon and I’ve enjoyed the orange glow of a sunset. I’ve seen rainbows, played in the rain and stood on top of a Mayan temple in the middle of the forest. I’ve encouraged and I’ve been encouraged. I’ve experienced the kindness of strangers and the support of family and friends. I’ve gained insight, gained wisdom and lost bitterness and cynicism. I’ve been afraid, and I’ve been strong. I’ve been true to myself and I’ve lived.

In this, the end of the year, that is all I can hope for. I can look back and know one thing for sure – I lived. I’ve survived my hardships and I am ready for what lies ahead.

Some things end. Some things are just beginning.

 


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A REAL Dating Profile = the Kiss of Death

You can go ahead and blame this post on the fact that it is nearly 11:30 p.m. and I’m just sitting here waiting until I can take another dose of medicine before hopefully going back to sleep. I’ve been in bed since 4:00 this afternoon, and while I’m completely dragged out, I fear I will not be able to sleep right now. So – what better to do when you are achy, feverish, exhausted, and your eyeball sockets hurt right along with your hair?? You ponder meaningless crap, that’s what – and then you blog about it.  I’m sure that’s what people do.

My daughter often wonders why I’ve never really attempted to “date” after my divorce. There are tons of reasons, actually, and I’m not going to bother explaining them. Not right now anyway. An acquaintance of mine recently decided to join the hordes of other people who are looking online for love. She joined a dating site and spent a bazillion hours on her profile, hoping it sounded just right. She asked me to go look at her profile, which I did, and I started looking around just for fun, wondering what sort of thing others put in those profiles.  I’m sure women obsess over these things – they don’t want to sound like they are a Pulitzer Prize winning supermodel who also makes pies that win blue ribbons at the county fair – but they don’t want to sound boring or dumb either. I can see it’s a dilemma. I mean, you have only so many paragraphs to attract the attention of a man and you want to sound intriguing, but don’t want to lie, right? I’m not sure if men have this same problem. Judging from some of the profiles, I don’t think they do. No offense, guys, there are plenty of great, intellectual fellas out there; there are also just more than a few of these: “My sister made me do this. Send me a message if you want to know something about me.” And there is also the “I like to lift weights. I want a woman that is a size 2 with big boobs.” Of course, I’m from the South, so there are more of the hairy, bare belly photos with profiles that scream at you in ALL CAPS that they are : “LOOKIN FOR GOOD WOMAN LIKES TO HUNT AND FISH AND DRINK BEER” Before you ask, I’m not being sexist, there are more than a few females out there that believe showing the big boobs is a great way to attract a quality man.  As another friend of mine likes to say, I’m not judgin’ I’m just sayin’.

Browsing the site, something caught my eye. I came across a profile of a man that I know. His profile stood out though, because as I read it I knew good and well that the entire thing was fiction. It was an extremely long winded thing, and not one grain of truth in it anywhere. I wondered what happened when he started talking to a woman. I moved on, and a few guys later, I ran into something strange. Minus a few minor changes, they had the EXACT same profile. It was almost word for word the same story. A bit later I found it yet again. Here were three different men and they all had the exact same profile? What was going on here? Now if the profile was meant to be funny, I didn’t get it. If it was taken from  a movie, I obviously didn’t see it, so it was lost on me. It got me to thinking though, if you are going to bother to join a site and then make up a fictional profile, what is the point? If a woman reads it, and doesn’t realize that someone must be selling those pre written profiles for a quarter somewhere, and she contacts you – then what? She contacted you based on a lie. What can you talk about? Aren’t you just wasting her time and yours by trying to be witty? I’m not sure. I dare say I’m not qualified to make any judgements on the matter, it just seemed a bit odd to me.

As one thing usually leads to another, I started wondering what I would write if I were to join a dating site. The thought has me giggling to myself. First of all, I am the most boring person on the planet, so no one would hit the message button to talk to me, that’s for sure. But what would I say about myself? What would I say if I wanted to be absolutely truthful? What would I say if I didn’t try to sugar coat anything to make me sound better or more appealing than I really am? I’m not saying I’m awful – I’d actually be a GREAT person to date – if you stuck with me long enough to get to know me, that is. You’d be dang lucky to have me, in fact. 😉 So, what would an honest dating profile look like? Here goes.

I was born and raised in the South and am mother to an amazing girl. I’m short. 5’2″ to be exact. I don’t have amazing, long legs – and even though they work just fine, the ones I have are riddled with beautiful blue veins. Extremely sexy if you ask me. My knees creak and crackle when I climb steps. It’s a nice sound. Feels good, too. I am most definitely not a Barbie doll type. I take care with my appearance as much as the next woman, but I’m no high maintenance girly girl. I like make up and I like pretty clothes.  I am just not obsessed with them. I am also not a size 2. (although I do have the big boobs) Hell, I’m not a size 6 either. I used to be. It was nice. I’m kinda plump. (maybe more than “kinda” but that’s all I’m going to admit to).  I am currently working on a healthier lifestyle and moving toward a mostly plant based diet. It’s a work in progress. In five years I plan to be in good enough shape to hike the John Muir Trail. The whole trail – using my short, creaky kneed legs and sheer will. I am many things, but I’m a waitress by day and a writer and dreamer by night. I won’t be ashamed of not having a “career” at this point in my life. Life is a series of choices and is made up of moments in which you have to decide what is best for you. I don’t regret those choices. My daughter has always come first, and I am proud of my girl, and of the mother I am. My daughter is ADHD, has dyscalculia, and Anxiety Disorder. I am ADD and have Social Anxiety Disorder and also have dyscalculia. We are complicated and we are messy. Our brains are chaotic, but we are brave, loyal, intelligent and creative. The Social Anxiety Disorder will make getting to know me very difficult. I want to get to know people, but I am extremely bad at making small talk. If you are crazy enough to want to meet me, I will be shaking with terror and will make a fool of myself. I will be so uncomfortable that I will talk too loud and laugh too much, or worse, say nothing at all.  Large groups of people intimidate me – okay, so do small groups of people – so be warned that if I meet your friends, they are not going to like me. They are going to think I am quirky at best, silent and haughty at worst. I will embarrass myself by saying the wrong thing, because I will be unable to think of anything to say. I may shake your best friend’s hand and mumble something like, “You have a beautiful home. These baseboards are amazing.”  I will also probably hyperventilate and possibly throw up. Hopefully not on your friends.  I am a writer and I live inside my own head a lot of the time. I don’t get enough sleep and I can become obsessed with a story until it is complete. I am happiest when I am writing. I love to read and I love music. I listen to all kinds of music and love it all equally, except for rap. I think it is possible to see your IQ seeping out through your ears as you listen to that stuff. I am easily distracted and forgetful. I will not forget truly important things, but I will forget to take the clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer. I will forget where I put my car keys, my purse, or if I took my medicine. I’d love to meet a man who understands that silence does not mean anything is wrong. I will not tolerate racism or prejudice in any form, and I’d like a man who understands that having a drink is fine – you don’t have to drink until it’s all gone. (at least not all the time).  I would like a man that didn’t only watch movies where things blew up – a man that reads would be great too. I’d like someone to share adventures with, someone who could teach me about things I don’t know, but would accept that my idea of adventure might not be that adventurous. I’d like someone to do things for – those little things that let them know they are important to me. I don’t want Mr. Perfect. I want someone human – flaws and all – someone who wants to be with me when they could be with someone else, who can make me laugh and who can make me feel like their arms are the safest place in the world. I’d like someone I could share a life with, the ups, downs, joys and tears, the good days and the bad.

What would happen if we were that honest? I don’t know. I think I would have just scared off even the most courageous of men. I guess that’s why I’m doomed to be a hermit. It’s probably for the best. My daughter tells me all the time that I’m awkward. She is joking, but it’s still true. I just can’t help it, I am. I’ve grown to accept it. I no longer feel like I should change to fit into the world. Still, I’d better stay off the dating sites. 🙂


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Not Quite so Depressing

I’m feeling a bit better about things since my last tangled up post. I haven’t quite figured out how best to deal with the whole family situation, but for the time being, I’m just going to concentrate on my little family right here. Summer is flying by. It doesn’t help that half my daughter’s summer is spent at her father’s so it just seems like I barely see her before she is gone again. I know, I know…but I’m used to her being around. I’m used to her noise, her laughter, her sarcasm and her….um…noise. She spent the night with one of her aunts last night and over and over again, I’d find myself with my head cocked just listening. The silence was deafening. I should be grateful for those times of blessed silence, but it just doesn’t feel right. 🙂

I will be on vacation at the end of July and am so looking forward to it. I may do some writing, but I will not have my computer and I will be avoiding the real world and all social media for a solid 8 days. I am going to relax, have fun with my daughter and disconnect from everything. I am so ready.

Writing projects? I have a few. First draft is done of a book I’ve been working on and it is truly, honestly horrible. Not kidding even a little bit. First drafts are supposed to be horrible, so I’m not worried. I’ve pulled it out a time or two and given it a read through and scribbled some thoughts for changes, I’ll get to work on it in earnest when I’m back from vacation. I’ve also started another project, but I know I will have to work on it a little at a time. It’s an intensely personal undertaking, and one that is going to be an emotional black hole. I mentioned before that there was a story that wanted to be written, yet I did not want to write it. I don’t even know why I feel compelled to do so. Maybe, as the post regarding that work stated, I’m hoping the truth can set me free. I’ve decided to tackle the project through fiction, however. I think giving myself some leeway with the facts or the way I put them together will prove to save my sanity. Still, I know how hard the process is going to be, and I will not allow myself to get immersed in it without coming up for air. So…I’m working on it a little at a time. I’m only about 3,000 words in. Weaving the facts into fiction isn’t as easy as I had thought it would be, but I just don’t feel the need for a memoir style handling of this. So –what else?  I’m working on the final stages of Blessed Light, Cleansing Rain. Seems like I’ve been at these final stages for a while now. That’s okay, I want it to be the best it can be, so all the little tweaks at the end are necessary. Almost there!

All in all, things are going well. DD enjoyed participating in band camp last week and will have three more days of it this coming week. She’s learned a lot and has been super excited. I’m always glad to see her get excited over something. She tends to be so hard on herself, and her frustration level with learning new things can be high, so I am beyond pleased with how much she enjoys band and how much her confidence has grown because of it. It’s always a bonus when she makes new friends, too.

I’m writing, and I’m learning to not be so hard on myself. I’m working on my organization and I’m working on keeping the stress down. I’m practicing being mindful and grateful. I’m working on not letting my shoulder injury get the best of me. I think I’ve whined a lot in the last week. I’m done with that. Whining doesn’t help. What would help would be for me to learn to be more careful. Probably not going to happen. I do intend to go to the doctor again next week to see what more I’ve done to it. Kind of don’t want to know…

Constant work in progress. That’s me.

 


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Book Snobs and Etiquette

I seem to have read several articles this week about the issue of book snobs. People who seem to think that there is something wrong with you if you read books that are for a younger audience, or books that exist simply to entertain. All I can do is wonder in amazement why, for one, other people are concerning themselves with the types of books that I, or anyone else enjoys, and two, how they have so much extra time on their hands.

I love books. I love everything about them. I love all kinds of books. I love the Classics. (Although there are quite I few I have yet to read), I love books with lofty, literary ideals. I love books that teach me things I didn’t know before I opened its pages. I love books that are nothing but fluff and entertainment value. I have not read many of the “popular” titles. I have not read many of the authors that are on all the lists of authors you are supposed to have read before you die. I have to wonder, though, why, if we all love books so much, can we possibly look down our noses at people for the types of books they enjoy reading?

Why should an adult be ashamed of reading YA books? Why should you feel sheepish if you read romance or chick lit? To me, a book is something that is supposed to bring you great joy and comfort. A book is a way to go somewhere else and leave the world you are in, even if only for a few moments. I can enjoy the writing styles of many authors. I can enjoy all kinds of subject matter. Why in the world would someone try to make someone feel embarrassed by what they read? Books are written to be read. When a YA author is furiously typing away, I am sure they are not thinking, “Wow, I certainly hope no adults read this book. That would be awful!” Read to make yourself happy. Read the books that bring you joy, and to hell with what anyone thinks about it. I know people who confine themselves to one type of book. I am not putting those people down, I am simply amazed that they can do this. I can’t pick one genre of book I like over another, because there is so much out there to read! I can’t imagine confining myself to one category, I would miss so much!! BUT — if someone wants to only read detective stories, then so what? If someone likes the YA dystopian genre, then that’s their business. Do bullies and snobs have to be EVERYWHERE? Even among book lovers? Why does anyone think they know what everyone else should be reading?? (and yes, I’ve read some books that are on all the “must read” lists that positively put me to sleep!)

That does bring me to another subject entirely. Book reviews. I am hesitant to bring this up, because I think it can be a volatile issue. As writers, we need reviews. Not all reviews are going to be good. Some people are not going to like your book, even if that book is well written. So, what do you do when you read a book and it’s more than just the fact that you did not enjoy the story. In the self publishing world, we are all too aware that there are those who work hard to hone their craft, and then there are those who seem to wake up one morning with the brilliant idea to write a book and they jot it down and publish it, because, after all, publishing can be “easy”. We have all been burned by those bad books. We have all also found some glorious writing that seemed to speak to us and make our lives better for our having read it. So, what do you do when faced with this awful, terrible writing? I am not talking about the kind of bad reviews that people leave simply to be vicious. I am not talking about the people that stalk a particular writer, leaving vile, vicious reviews for no other reason, it seems, than sheer harassment. If you read a book, though, and it is truly horrible, do you leave a review where you share that opinion, or are you hesitant to do so? I certainly wouldn’t want to tear down another writer, goodness knows I have much to learn and will always always be honing my craft. Still, is it wrong to leave a review stating a strong negative opinion? What do you think of this subject? Do you abstain from leaving reviews for books you hated? Do you leave a review where you try to put it nicely that you thought the book was poorly written? Is there proper etiquette for bad reviews or does everyone have their own opinion on the matter? I’d love to know what you think.

Reviews can be good for many things. Even bad reviews can be helpful. I’ve heard we should hope for a mix of reviews, good and bad, and I see the logic in this. (again, not speaking of bad reviews of the vicious sort…but honest reviews. Honest opinions.) I am just wondering, in the light of how many vicious verbal attacks there have been, if anyone is thinking differently on how they write a less than glowing review. Does it make you think before leaving a bad review? Does it affect you at all?