You know what? I say there are two sorts of victory in the world. There is the win that comes from finding oneself in accord with the vox populi. Being loved by millions, making lots of money, whatever and all that shit. And then there is the victory of simply doing what you do, and doing it well, and doing it in spite of the vox populi. I am choosing to believe – at least for this one day – that I am of the latter camp. I have won, again and again, despite my continual "failures," and despite the way that most readers who encounter my work give me the hairy eyeball.
Here's a marvelous review of Blood Oranges at Tor.com, written by Brit Mandelo. I am flattered. And at this point, the book has very good reviews from Publishers Weekly (starred), Kirkus, Tor.com, and Gary K. Wolfe via Locus. And I was absolutely certain this book would be panned by the critics. Just goes to show what I know. Anyway, I say, "That'll do pig." It won't sell for shit, but I've accomplished what I set out to accomplish, and at least some people "get it."
On the other hand, there's this, which at least gave me something to laugh at this freezing morning (Disclaimer: I disdain Goodreads. That's not a secret, even if you didn't know): "Jen (Red Hot Books)" – whose Twitter profile reads "Book Blogger; I love Romance and Urban Fantasy. And hot dudes. Lots of hot dudes." – is on page 91 of 288 of Blood Oranges (Goodreads actually tweets that shit). She would have the world know, "Not sure how I am feeling about this book. It jumps around A LOT and the m.c. keeps revising her own story." Also, she writes, "It's not bad... but it's definitely different. 19 year-old lesbian junkie with ADD and a problem with lying." The but here is a but of the circumspect. Not bad, this book – maybe – but a lesbian is involved. The qualifying but. Not bad even though there is a lesbian, who is, by the way, also a junkie, a liar (as are all junkies), and, I am told, someone with ADD.* That's Jen's discovery. I had no idea Quinn suffered from ADD. Anyway, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that "Jen (Red Hot Books)" is exactly the sort of person for whom the warning at the beginning of the book was written. Maybe she'll end up loving it, but I sort of think she's best off sticking with hot dudes. Lots of hot dudes. And tramp-stamp covers. No, really. Just check out her profile.
There's also a very good review of Alabaster: Wolves at Omnivoracious, written by Alex Carr. Again, I win. And I am appreciative. Regardless of the doubtful commercial future of the series, regardless or whether or not it has "the common touch," it has succeeded in its intent. Those of us who made the book happen, all of us, we done good. I am especially pleased that this Alabaster reviewer notes, "...but what sets her apart is that she isn’t sexualized. Dancy isn’t fancy..." Exactly.
Yesterday, I wrote 1,363 words on "The Road of Needles" and found The End. Though, I have worries that it's rushed, the "ending," that stress and my schedule have conspired to rush it. I'm beginning to worry about this a lot lately. When I finished "Our Lady of Tharsis Tholus," I knew it was not quite right, that it needed a polish, and possibly a couple of additional scenes. I told myself, "This never happens. I'll fix it later." Then I wrote Black Helicopters, and even after twenty-five thousand words (or because of all those words), it didn't feel finished. And, again, I told myself, I'll fix it later. Finish it later. But then the same thing happened with "Blind Fish." And now "The Road of Needles."** So, yeah. A trend that is beginning to trouble me deeply.
Last night, we saw Rian Johnson's Looper, which somehow came and went without our seeing it in the theater. Spooky and I were already fans of Johnson, having loved both Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008). He is, back to not being in accord with "the common touch," a very under-appreciated director. Back to Looper, it was only after the movie ended that we realized Johnson was the director. We'd both gone in expecting a generic, fun Bruce Willis shoot 'em up, and so were surprised to discover a smart and artfully made film. Is it as weird as a movie about time travel ought to be? Does it fully comprehend the consequences of the technology it posits? No. But no time-travel film ever has. No, not even Primer (2004). Twelve Monkeys (1995) might come closest.
And now I ought go. I need to proofread "The Road of Needles" to be sure I didn't break it.
In Restless Dreams I Walked Alone,
* I don't twist people's words; I take them literally.
** Also, I employed a very questionable narrative device I swore I'd never employ.