AND NOW FOR THE FIRST EDITION

The cardio incident in January threw off my planned marketing campaign to support the Advanced Reading Copy availability of my new novel, What’s Left, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Instead, “laying low” meant I had time to read all of the frothy Richard Avedon bio I’d been given at Christmas, and that had me rethinking the particulars of the life of a photographer. Remember, in the novel, Cassia’s father is a famed photographer, though nothing like Dick. The negatives and glossy prints her Baba leaves behind establish the foundation for much of her own recovery and growth.

At the time, I was already planning to revise the four novels that form the backstory to What’s Left – my Hippie Trails series – but had no intention of becoming as immersed in that project as I did. Well, it’s one of the big reasons I’ve been AWOL or missing in action the past five months. I’ll leave that for an upcoming post.

One critical reaction to the new novel, however, sent me back through the story to make some crucial changes.

The Advance Reading Copy used no quotation marks. Not one. Since the story is being told by Cassia, who’s to say she’s quoting others exactly or is instead paraphrasing what she remembers hearing them say? That is, filtering them into her own voice? The quotation-mark-free approach, I hoped, would present the tale as her own rich interior experience, but it was unconventional and apparently a challenge for some readers to follow. Since engaging everyone in this story is far more important to me than my personal pursuit of a literary technique, I yielded in preparing the first edition. Yes, I have to admit, judiciously adding quotation marks here and there does clarify the flow.

The revision also had me simplifying much of the grammar and syntax. As much as I love long, complex sentences, not everyone is comfortable reading, say 17th century literature. Besides, this novel is being told by Cassia, not me.

Well, this official version, the first edition, is now available. I think the tweaks make a huge difference, and I’m grateful for those who’ve given me feedback.

Hope you enjoy it.

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CAN YOU REALLY STEAL TIME?

Rubato is not the only approach in music, stealing a bit of a beat from one note to give it to the next. Fermato – the bird’s eye – stops the count altogether, however briefly.

As if time in daily life is all that mechanical. Some days, after all, after longer than others. Or some minutes seem to go on forever, unlike others that leave us breathless.

Now, back to that matter of Rubato

~*~

Poetry
Rubato

For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.

 

AS A CONFESSION OF THEFT

All along, I’ve felt a ping of guilt when taking time to write poetry or fiction. As if I’ve been stealing from others, even when I was living alone. Rubato, in Italian, means theft, although in music it’s applied as a way of making a phrase more flexible and ultimately sensual. And here it enters, as a dimension of my life journey.

What, then, is honest and what comes across as fake in a deep desire for love and affirmation?

I’ll let these poems sing and shout and lament on their own. I’ve somehow survived their transitions.

~*~

For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.

HELP ME PICK THE RIGHT COVER FOR MY UPCOMING NOVEL

Care to help me decide on a cover my upcoming novel?

Here are 11 draft designs around five images. and here’s your chance to tell me if I’m on the right track. Note that these rough specs, and any final cover will need to be tweaked. Before I get into that, though, let me know how these strike you. Please take a look (clicking on a cover will open these in a slideshow format, if you wish).

After that, simply put your reactions and thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

  • Which one most strongly grabs your attention?
  • Which image do you like the best?
  • Do you have any thoughts in regard to where the title and author go on the cover?
  • Considering that this will be an ebook, which cover do you think is most effective in thumbnail size?
  • Should I start over? If so, any pointers?

Once a final choice comes into view, I’ll report back with your insights. Maybe even with more questions needing your help. Just what makes an effective book cover, anyway?