Maybe Two Leaps Ahead

A few days ago, I got my proof copy of Starbright and other than a few formatting issues, the book is DONE! I’ll be ordering another proof prior to making an inventory order, just to be sure all is in fact as it should be. Along with that, I am hoping to also order a copy of Her Majesty: The Case of Alexandrina Victoria. Yes, that’s right: it looks like all is on schedule and I should have TWO new releases in time for FarPoint in February. Am I excited?? How can you doubt it!?

With the semester being over and with just slightly more than a week left until the next one starts, I have been slowly adding more to Darling Orphan: The Case of Lucy Stewart. I haven’t been able to shift gears quite as quickly as I had hoped from academia to novel writing, but any little bit that I can get done is a plus. I am signed up for Astronomy and Major English Writers for this next term, so here’s hoping I will be able to slip in some time for working on my book/s. This past semester was so work-heavy that any of my creative endeavors really had to be put on hold–even my two train trips did not allow for anything but working on research papers.

Speaking of papers: there is something about the creative life that gives more opportunities and tools for dealing with the ugliness of other people than your regular, non-creative world. Long story short: a really abusive review was left on Amazon for Empress Irukandji. It was so obvious that it was a personal jab (and yes, I know the reason behind it and who prompted it–timing gives you away, people. Get smarter about your bullying!) and the book was never read. Nor was the other (Awakening Alice) that also got a nasty review. A few things about the latter: Awakening Alice was described as “Pretentious. Too flowery. Impossible to read.” Seriously? This is an Alice in Wonderland sequel, written in the style of Lewis Carroll’s voice. Lewis Carroll’s work falls under Classic Literature, which I admit takes some patience and skill to read. If it was “impossible to read”, perhaps it’s the “reader” who should examine her skill level and choose something more suitable. Not everyone can get through classic literature–even I struggled with Jane Eyre until I got used to the style. Hardly impossible though. As far as the erzatz review left for Empress: “Luckily I got these for free. Just awful. Masterbatory. The entirety of everything I’ve read by this author has been to stroke her own ego.”

1. This person can’t spell (it’s MastUrbatory).

2. This person has no clue what goes into writing a book. If my work comes off as stroking my own ego, what does that mean, exactly?? That I wrote something that I would have liked to read? That it was too hard to put down? I don’t know for sure, but I’d say those are good things. After 30+ years of writing: I’ve earned the right to stroke my own ego. It’s called pride: GET OVER IT.

3. She never read any of my books. The time between what would have prompted her to read my books and the time when all reviews and ratings (There were FIVE, by the way–three of which were only rated, not even reviewed. A normal person would have stopped after disliking the first or second book. Way to go, liar) was a single day.

It just so happened that I had a paper to write for my Philosophy class at the same time that I discovered this inept round of cyber bullying, so I wrote my paper about it, skillfully and accurately–that’s called talent, not ego–connecting it to the subject of the assignment. My professor had a few things to say about it (my apologies that it is so small–screenshots, you know):

To save you from having to get a magnifying glass:

“200/200 100% Individual Feedback:

This is an excellent engagement in the problem of unpopularity that goes beyond the chapter of DeBotton. You nicely wove Socratic ideas into personal and cultural anecdote and example to make this idea come to life. Well done, and very nicely written.”

Yeah. Thanks for giving me something to write an A+ paper on, little troll. It’s advisable not to engage in a battle where your opponent is better at the game than you. I guess she thought those reviews would break me–make me run off with my tail between my legs to hide and so I’d give up writing forever. Yeah, SO sorry to disappoint you.

Do I think she’ll learn? Of course not. Am I done with her? Yes. I hope those with whom she’s connected are done with her as well, but birds of a feather and all….Anyway–more important things:

I just added Shore Leave to my events for this year. That’s in July again, and if you’re able to make it, I’ll be at FarPoint in a little over a month from now. I would love to have Darling Orphan done in time for SL, or even a new anthology that I hope to be inspired enough to work on: The Doll Collection. If that sounds creepy, well, it is. One story is already done and is appearing in another anthology in the meantime, with the works of other authors. I will rerelease it and hopefully with illustrations. I have an illustrator in mind (someone I’ve worked with before!) so once I actually have a few pieces done, I will make the proposal to her. Those are the big projects on the burners at the moment, unless I can get the next As Fate vignette finished in the near future. It seems that my series have all been holding fast around #3, but with the completion of Her Majesty (a #4!) maybe that’s a sign that things will move forward.

I sure hope so! My head is getting full!