Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Imperfection of Creativity:
 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You struggle to develop your characters and plot.  You labor over every word.  You bolster weak scenes, delete nonessential parts--rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite.  At last you have a "polished draft." You give the book to betas for feedback.  After additional revisions, editing, and proofing, you're ready to publish your novel.

You launch your book into the marketplace, with guarded but high hopes.  The reviews start trickling in, the readers' opinions often contradictory and confusing.  You sit there shaking your head and wondering.  "What happened?  I thought I had it right this time..."

Creativity is imperfect.  Ask any artist.  There is no tried and true method for writing the quintessential novel, painting a masterpiece, or composing a brilliant symphony.  If we were all computers, programmed the same way, it might be possible.  But we are human beings with varied experiences, myriad emotions, and differing perspectives.  As authors, our creative efforts represent the sum total of everything we are...and everything we are not.

Readers have their own viewpoints and expectations.  It's not uncommon for readers to dislike certain characters because of faults they perceive in themselves or other people. A story might be too happy or too sad for them, too long or too short--or not up their literary alley.  Whether someone likes your book or not is a matter of personal preference and not necessarily a reflection of your work.

When you're writing something as complex as a novel, you must hold true to the vision for your story.  Keep criticism in mind, but don't take judgment to heart.  In your gut, you'll know if comments have validity or if making changes would dramatically improve your novel. No matter how many times you revise a story, you will never please everyone.  No book is flawless, nor should it be.

If you ever doubt that creativity is magnificent but imperfect, gaze up at the heavens on a clear, dark night...and remember how the universe, in all its chaotic beauty, exploded into existence.

Then, go forth and write!
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Thanks for stopping by Indie Lindy.  Comments and shares are always appreciated.  Happy reading and happy writing!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Feeling a bit "deflated"?

Cruise through "The After-Holiday Blues..."
With a little Jennifer Crusie, that is!
Everyone will give you advice on how to beat the "after-holiday blues." Well, here's mine: If you haven't already, enjoy a romantic comedy by one of my favorite authors--Jennifer Crusie. 
#1 - Agnes and the Hitman
“A comic caper and raucous romance...
laugh-out-loud funny...a fun ride.”
       Take one food writer named Cranky Agnes, add a hitman named Shane, mix them together with a Southern mob wedding, a missing necklace, two annoyed flamingos, and a dog named Rhett and you've got a recipe for a sexy, hilarious novel about the disastrous side of true love…
       Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn't so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes's house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane's life isn't looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and—most dangerous of all—each other. Agnes and the Hitman is the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and salty—a novel of delicious proportions.
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#2 - Bet Me 
"The wacky, wonderful world of Min and Cal..."

Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds.
Calvin Morrisey always plays to win.
But when they face off, neither one is prepared.
Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . .
Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
But fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all---true love.
Bet Me is the winner of a 2005 RITA Award.
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#3 - Faking It
"Can liars and thieves fall in love...?"
Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who have run a respectable art gallery for generations. There's Gwen, the matriarch who sedates herself with double-crostics and double vodkas, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), and Nadine, the granddaughter who's ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn't leading off a cliff. Holding everyone together is Matilda, the youngest daughter, who's inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret that she's willing to do almost anything to keep, including break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.
Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who's just
been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he'll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.
One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, a painting of three evil fisherman closing in on a dyspeptic tuna, multiple personalities, miscellaneous Goodnights and Dempseys, and the growing realization that they can't turn their backs on the people they were meant to be...or the people they were born to love.
Faking It: What has reality ever done for you?
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So, no reason to pout now that the Holidays are over.
  Happy New Year and Happy Reading!