Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There's No Shangri-La

Those were the last words my father spoke to my son Daniel before Dan ventured off to a raw foodie commune on the big island of Hawaii this summer. At the time I sort of rolled my eyes, "Please Dad, give the kid a break," but it turned out my father was right. For a while Dan had a good time working the farm - milking goats, harvesting coconuts, hacking his way through the jungle - but even paradise has its price. Like disease. Poor Dan got really sick and wound up in the hospital. And since worrying seems to be what I'm good at, that's what I did. But he's home now and doing much better. Now my job is to fatten him up.

Anyway, I was thinking that the writing world is no Shangri-La either. Believe me. Oh sure, I love what I do and wouldn't choose anything else, but you do pay a price. Like I recently got a nasty review on Dylan Fontaine from PW (why are these people so mean? all I did was write a book); a not-so-nice blog comment - one I didn't post - accusing me of plagiarizing two books that I have not read; and a scolding from my mom because there are some "inappropriate" parts in Dylan. Like I said, no Shangri-La.

But on the flip side, Dylan got a really nice review from The Bulletin. Here's a quote:

"Calling to mind Hinton's classic That was Then, This is Now, this story of a guy in danger of losing his hero brother to drugs is updated in just about every way: Dylan is a well-off, hip guy from Brooklyn who knows his way around Greenwich Village, has a thing for vintage LPs, and plays a mean classical guitar ... Readers may well be inspired by Dylan to take some risks and discover their own latent powers."

Dylan also got nice reviews from Becky's Book Reviews and Edge of the Forest. Thank you Becky and Kelly!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Stellar Weekend at The Awesome Austin Writer's Workshop (aka AAWW!!)

The literary dynamic duo, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, hosted one fabulous workshop this past weekend. It's already Wednesday, but I'm still on a high.
Not only did we get great feedback on our manuscripts, but we bonded even closer as a
group. One thing I love about Austin is its amazing writing community - one huge group of friends who love, support, and encourage one another. I'm blessed to be a part of it.
A huge, hearty thanks to Cyn and Greg! Their generosity blows me away.