Tag Archives: feedback

… first long review – this is not your mom’s fairy tale …

Once a novel is released into the public domain it belongs to readers who, when snatching the story from a stream running by, engage with it from their own perspective.

I’m a slow reader of novels. I like discovering myself in other worlds. When I’m not intrigued by chapter three, I drop the book. The language may excite me or put me into a pleasant trance. I may admire or envy the writer’s way with words, or think, huh, I’d have expressed this differently. Sometimes I find fresh metaphors that resonate or come upon a sentence that makes me catch my breath and pause for a while, at other times I rush through a story for the sheer adventure.

Reviews, feedback, short or long, are gold nuggets for a writer. What took years to compose is finally shared. Close-reading of a 400 page novel that sits grinning apologetically behind stacks of neat categories is no small feat. Joe Linker, a blogger friend from Oregon, had fun.  On amazon.com he heads his review  ‘Girl Disguised.’

Brilliant. Had this been the title, algorithms might have set it next to recent bestsellers, since ‘girls’ are the new trend. Joe posted the review originally on his blog  ‘The Coming of the Toads.’ … Go there and also check out the comic page, showing his ingenious electric doodles.

I was thrilled reading Joe’s thoughtful review. Here a few snippets:

… She’s interested in neither shame, nor honour … The holy grail of ‘Course of Mirrors: An Odyssey’ is a story of its own … This is not your mom’s fairy tale. … We are on a rogue adventure in a picaresque tale where disguise and subterfuge are necessary and ordinary … The writing style moves with the scenes … There is economy in the writing that is expedient, efficient … How serious is all this? … First, it’s great fun … Myth is not false news. It’s a way of telling a story.

An animated film quality is touched upon, likely influenced by my love for film, and, possibly, aided by the creative distance from my mother tongue that writing in English allows, giving me the liberty to step into multiple characters that resemble aspects of my suspended and ever-changing self, variously dormant or expressed in my life.

Last year I posted a review here on Joe’s novel, Penina’s Letters, about love, friendships and passion for the ocean, which made me grasp the exhilaration of catching a wave.

If you’re a member of Goodreads, please  consider entering the give-away for 3 free copies of ‘Course of Mirrors,’ running from today, Sunday 11th June until Monday 19th June.

Apart from a chance to win a signed copy, your entering of the contest will increase the visibility of the novel, and, hopefully bring a rainbow of reviews. All different.

What fun.

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… Others – by Mulla – Allum …

Another story of Allum, my inversion of the famous Mulla from the East – whose voice occasionally comes through the white noise surrounding our planet.

17th century miniature - Tokapi Palace

      17th cent. miniature – Tokapi Palac  

                                                      *    *    *

An aspiring novelist confesses to Allum, ‘I fear some members of our writing group withhold honest feedback. I wonder if you’re one of those who think my writing’s rubbish, and a waste of time.’

Allum ponders the question and sighs. ‘That’s complicated.’

‘I value your opinion. I really want to know.’

Allum strokes his beard. ‘Some people fantasise about what other people think of them and cause themselves no end of confusion. Some intuit correctly and dwell in purgatory. Then there are those who take other people’s opinions on the chin and apply what’s useful.’

The neighbour is not going to be side-tracked. ‘You haven’t told me if you think my writing is rubbish?’

Mulla shrugs his shoulders. ‘As I said, it’s complicated. Take your pick.’

*     *      *

oh that serious writer

He, he, that serious young writer …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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… months of writing – 1st feedback from a beta-reader …

Two weeks ago I sent 20 chapters of a novel in progress (sequel to Course of Mirrors) to a friend. A long train journey from Brighton to Penzance (Radio Cornwall recorded her poetry) meant she could get stuck into reading. This morning I received an enthusiastic response from her, and demands for more chapters. Waiting for the first feedback from a sophisticated beta-reader engenders a period of nerve-wrecking suspense, so I was truly cheered.

And it was a great start for today’s Shaman-drumming soirée, organised by my dear friends. Drumming clears the air and opens channels to other worlds, while grounding us in our present reality. And meeting up with 11 real bodies 🙂 nourished this lonesome writer.

Drumming J. J. junior

Drumming J. J. junior

Seashell Rattle

Seashell Rattle

 

 

And I love those tiny shells. Imagine them washing up from the deep sea and rattling against the shore. When netted around a hollow gourd they make a most magical sound.

 

 

I’m looking forward to the publication of ‘Course of Mirror’ next year. http://www.armadillocentral.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=134:new-author-ashen-venema&catid=1:general&Itemid=1

And after my beta reader’s feedback, I feel encouraged, and have confidence that the sequel to my mythical and speculative novel will enchant readers no less, and that the series will acquire a fan fellowship. The idea for a third book in the series is taking shape.  

During periods of being intensely immersed in writing (my process demands solitude) I invariably neglect my Twitter and Facebook friends, and you, dear readers of my blog. I hope you nevertheless enjoy my occasional posts and bear with me.

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