Monday, April 11, 2011

A World of Dreams

Kids are prompted to follow their dreams. Yet, sometimes, when they do they are ridiculed. One case in point is the Rebecca Black phenomenon. Her mother bought her a music video. She made it and posted it on You Tube. The rest, as they say, is history. Being hailed as the worst video in history, Ms. Black has had to endure countless taunts. NPR has covered the follow up to her fame here. I think they cover it well. She is just a 13 year old girl. Fortunately she is a mature 13 year old. She is holding her head high and not succumbing to the jeers.
  I can't imagine if I would have been able to handle it as well at that age. I have to say, honestly, I've seen worst videos. We had a record, back in the 60's which was absolutely horrible. It was by a girl named Brenda Holly. It seems that this young girl's parents paid for her to make a record.It was made locally and distributed far and wide. Someone put one of her songs on You Tube. She must have made several songs because the one I heard was much worse. I can't imagine what would have become of her had You Tube been around in the 60's.
   I started writing stories when I was very young. Thank goodness no one posted them on the internet. If the internet had existed back then, I'm sure my older brother would have posted my stories. Suffice it to say, they weren't very good. They were corny and tripe and, well, the product of a youthful imagination. Young people have dreams. Sometimes they grow and change their minds. Meanwhile, they leave a trail of leftover drawings, essays, songs, etc. That's how life works. We dream, we love, we evolve. When we really love something, we will learn about it. We will sharpen our skills through trial and error. Anyone who feels the urge to attack someone who is just trying to follow a chosen path, should take a hard look at themselves. If you don't like something, then don't read, listen or look at it. If it isn't good, then it will go away on its own. I'm not talking about sought out constructive criticism. I'm talking about personal attacks and taunts. Usually, those who feel it necessary to do such a thing have their own issues. They may have their own insecurity problems or worse, superiority complexes. I've seen writers who have made the mistake to strike back at critics. This is a huge mistake. They are alienating their readership as a whole. Not only that, their work has a target market. It isn't supposed to appeal to everyone, assuming that was even possible. So, readers, if you enjoy a work, say so, if not, let it go. Writers, if you do not like a criticism, let it go. Its part of the process when you expose yourself to the world.
   So, here's to dreams in all their wonderful forms!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The new age in reading.

I've taken a hiatus from here due to extensive writing elsewhere. I am still busy, which is a good thing. Recently, the media is saying quite a bit about millionaire e-book authors. They make it sound so easy and mysterious. Amanda Hocking is a young writer who has happened to become very successful writing e-books. She makes it clear that it wasn't easy but a lot of time and hard work went into her writing. She isn't the only success story. These self-made millionaires are the exception and not the rule. One of the main reasons is that not everyone can write a compelling story that millions want to read. Also, some authors do not successfully promote their work. There is a fine line between promotion and spamming. You don't want to be annoying. You do want to let people know where your work is and how they can obtain it. They need to know something about you and why your books are worth reading. The e-book industry is booming. My book is selling 3 to 1 on the kindle vs. paper. I have a major novel making the rounds. It deserves only the best. However, the sequel to my children's book will become an ebook. I've already written it. I have a DTP account with Amazon. The rest is just a matter of fine tuning and submitting it. I would prefer it to be in a paper form too. Yet, putting it as an e-book does have its advantages. I will, of course, have to acquire a nook publishing account as well. This is a new age of publishing. Getting your work read can be easier than ever before. You must be able to write well and keep the reader's attention. Beyond that, the sky's the limit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

J. D. Salinger: A Life

     It hardly seems that a year has past since J. D. Salinger departed this life. Since his passing, inevitably, authors have taken the time to analyze, research and write about him. Currently, a book is being released called, aptly, J. D. Salinger: A Life. Author Kenneth Slawenski lives in New Jersey. He has been researching J.D. Salinger: A Life for the past eight years. NPR's Maureen Corrigan reviews the new book with her usual candor and delightful insights.There is not much I can add to her review other than this: Is this book completely factual? I'm not saying the author deliberately made up observations about Salinger. What I am saying is that no one can truly understand and know what a person's life was except for that person. Salinger chose to keep to himself as much as he could considering the fame which followed his novel The Catcher In The Rye.  As a result, he left himself open to conjecture and rumors. One could only understand him through his writing and personal observation. This biographer also researched the records of Salinger's family in order to weave in the pertinent facts about Salinger's past.
     I, for one, would have loved to read a Salinger autobiography. Much like Mark Twain, Salinger could have written a personal account of his life only to have it published posthumously. That way, Salinger could have been open and forthright in his writing without worrying about who it might offend. Only then, could we  see into the mind that is J. D. Salinger. Alas, it was not to be. We must be content with a third-person account of Salinger. It is written by a skillful and well researched author. However, he had never met the subject of his book. He can only do so much to see into J.D. Salinger, the man. Nonetheless, it offers something for those hungry for any insights into the life of Salinger. He was an enigma as much as he was a master story teller.