Today was a good day, from a feedback standpoint. Actually pretty good on all writing fronts, come to think of it.
I took a short break after finishing off my novel last month, but I climbed right back on the horse and am in the embryonic stages of starting into another one. I'm not a hundred percent sure how I'll get where I want to go, but I've got a pretty cool main character fleshed out, and the barest of bare bones of an outline. Yesterday and today saw the first glimpses of where this sinister fellow is going to take me.
Added to that, I flipped open my laptop this morning to find an outstanding book review on Twisted Tails IX, written by Carol Dean over at Perihelion Magazine. She was very kind, I have to say.
My story in the book, Through the Eyes of a Child, focuses on five-year-old Tony, who has some pretty impressive, probably unique, abilities. Here's a snippet of what Carol thought of it:
"At five, Tony announces, with no preface or warning, “Something wicked this way comes.” Shakespeare, he reminds his mother. But Tony has something bigger than MacBeth on his mind. “I am a portal,” he explains. “A conduit for the things on the other side.”
“The ... other side?” poor Mom dares to ask. “Other side of what?”
Things get even scarier after that.
With skillful prose, Powers merges science fiction with horror—something as chilling as “Rosemary’s Baby” without the Biblical stuff."
Pretty high praise, and very flattering. Thanks Carol! You can check out the entire review here.
I was still smiling about that review when I saw a note in my inbox from a friend, an editor and publisher whom I'd worked with in the past and have stayed in touch with. I'd sent him a copy of The Shadow Realm since he offered to give it a preliminary once-over. He was writing to let me know he'd finished reading it, and had some solid advice for me on ways to fix a few issues he found, which I appreciated. He was also pretty kind in his assessment of the book overall, even going so far as to say it's on par with or better than some of the earlier works of a well-known author I have a lot of admiration for. I'm not one for name-dropping, but suffice it to say if anything I churn out is even remotely in this particular author's league, I'll take that any day of the week!
In the writing game, there are often long stretches of rejection, disinterest and dejection. It can be hard to get happy with what we're doing some days, and plenty of times when we wonder why we even bother doing this at all. That's a topic for another day, but the take-away here is that when a day like today comes together, it makes up for a hell of a lot of the downswing.
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Photo credits: Biff Mitchell