Comments are arriving from readers of “Chalice” as we approach the end of April. This continues to be a very valuable process.
There will be more rewriting than I’d hoped, and not at the ending, where I expected to put in the work. For the most part, readers affirm the conclusion of the novel. I was worried it would feel contrived. While there is still some tweaking, I am satisfied and reader response has been rewarding.
But several thoughtful people were so put off by the beginning that they did not believe a relationship could develop between the two characters. … Read more…
There are always losers. That’s what the uncle of the two boys who set bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon called them: “losers.”
The uncle, also from Chechnya, also a Muslim, is a winner, and a man who loves the opportunity that America has given him and his family. His is ashamed of his nephews, what they have done to Americans, to Muslims, to Chechens.
The two boys were also very different. It is hard to understand how the younger one followed his older brother into terrorism. The last few months had been tough on him, too, but … Read more…
The wind started blowing hard at about 2:30 a.m. My sleep is off anyway but the wind makes the steel barn groan; mountain-facing windows flex and distort reflection like disappointment of the self-absorbed; juniper and pine lean and twist to resist what feels like a threatening.
Can’t write. Too little sleep, current project too dry for the energy I can bring to the task, wind breaks flow of thought. Pay bills, I suppose, get taxes in the mail before I motor over the hill. Stop halfway at Rosie’s to get an oatmeal raisin cookie and refill the coffee. Daughter Sabitri … Read more…
Chalice may be sitting on the desk of a big-deal publisher’s Somebody. I’d sent a copy to a “friend of a friend who knows Somebody,” because friend’s friend did preliminary reading for Somebody and said she would look at it.
Like the other 10 hard copies I sent off for feedback (with about 10 in electronic form), the spiral binding was for reader convenience and it was printed two pages on each side of each sheet to save paper.
Yesterday my friend got a call from his friend that she had sent it on to Somebody … Read more…
Sometimes we’re lucky and get to choose between two good alternatives. Sometimes we’re unlucky and have to choose the better of two bad ones. We can probably figure these out, given our values and enough time.
But there is a trap in this seeming simplicity: What if the values of our choices change as soon as we make them? Experiments have proven humans fear losing something about twice as much as we desire getting the same thing. We value what we might lose at $10, though we’d be willing to pay only $5 to acquire it. A great explanation is detailed … Read more…
Choosing the style “epistolary novel” for Chalice brings some interesting responses, some positive, some negative. They may break down by age and sex and whether a reader has done any online dating.
One reader, who I respect very much, said he kept trying to read the letters as if they were dialogue and wanted to say “people don’t talk like this.”
While on the phone as we discussed this, I pointed out that his original letter to me about the book was quite well crafted. “I spent a lot of time on that,” he said, and immediately conceded that I … Read more…
It is so perfect, this moving on.
He will give you now what I would not,
You could not, for all our same page, find in me,
What you needed, asked for, begged, pleaded, there to be.
All I can give you now is good-bye, and this, please don’t write,
Don’t phone, let me give you that, this ending for your new beginning,
All your love, your lips your smiles and fingertips and warm cashmere words,
Give all to him, hold nothing back for this memory, oh my god My Love, good-bye.
There has been an unexpected benefit to my decision of having a group of “readers” review the manuscript for Chalice.
Several people I asked to read the book said “You should ask so-and-so, they read all the time. They know books and would give you really good feed back.” So I did.
And what these “strangers” have had to say has been difficult to hear and encouraging — in other words, exactly what I wanted.
“Enjoying the language but people don’t talk like that; I love the fact that it is so well-thought out; I … Read more…
Today I was asked if Adult Attachment Disorder was “real.” When asked what was meant, they responded by asking if AAD had a definition within The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Yes and no.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) was first defined in the DSM-3, according to a review for the DSM-5 (an update due for release in May, 2013) written by Charles H. Zeanah, M.D., and Mary Margaret Gleason, M.D. for the American Psychiatric Association.
RAD is the name given to attachment disorders as they appear in children. The review by … Read more…
Ran into somebody who had read the short verse I wrote in January about a relationship that had just ended with a wonderful woman because our paths were not converging. That’s a hazard of falling in love later in life. I had forgotten I posted those personal emotions but was grateful this person enjoyed the “poem” and was moved by it. Had even read it.
Sometimes it is too easy in moods of “terminal uniqueness” to forget we share so many of these emotions and experiences. A friend, … Read more…