Archive for April, 2013

Latest Review on Amazon

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Marketing

Touched April 22, 2013
*****
By Nancy

Format:Kindle Edition; I could not put this book down. It showed how many pressures teens live with today between peers, working parents, and just being “different” to others. It showed great humor at times especially the way teenage boys think and talk. (I raised 2 daughters – no sons and there are different issues with daughters). I laughed out loud at times and at other times my heart broke. I hope the world improves for our teenagers. I have teenage grandchildren and I intend to pass on this book to them. Many lessons to be learned for both teens and parents. I hope there are more books to come from this author.

A Father’s Wish

Posted: April 16, 2013 in General

I have spent most of my time on this blog writing about writing; a good thing since the whole point of this site in the first place was to get the word out about TOUCHED. But in a bigger picture, the book is just fiction. Mere words strung together in order to tell a story using pieces of reality and make-believe entwined into one. Nothing wrong with that; it’s all good clean fun but at the end of the day it really means very little.

What does matter is the flesh and blood that drives our lives.

My son, Jeremy, left today for the Air National Guard. And while I couldn’t be prouder of him, I now realize how much I will miss him. For the nine weeks of basic training the only contact we can have with him is via letter as he is rounded into shape in San Antonio. After that he will spend an additional five months in Mississippi for his Technical School. Although we can have contact with him then, it will be surface level at best.

And I hear voices in my head asking me questions that have been whispered before.

Did I do the best I could do to prepare him for his journey? Was I as good a father as I could have been? Why didn’t I take the time to that I was granted and be the man and father I should have been?

The answer is slow in coming because the truth is hard to swallow. Mirrors don’t lie and neither does your soul: I know I could have done better. Maybe it was bills and chores and work and selfishness and a hundred other things that got in the way, but I wish I had a second chance. Being a good parent and father is not easy. Despite parenting books lining the shelves, no one has all the answers. Instead as parents we muddle through the years and do the best we can while making countless mistakes along the way. All of which leaves behind traces of regret.

If there is one thing I can give my son, it’s the message that in spite of the times I have stumbled, I love him with all my heart. I truly wish I could go back in time and erase the mistakes and mis-steps that replay in my head. As any parent knows, you can’t. All you can do is start anew and try to be better the next day than you were the day before.

Unfortunately, in this case I have run out of time.

So what to do? I have no deep answers. I only hope that what I have done is enough to help guide him through his journey into himself. I hope that he stands tall and absorbs the training and becomes a better man. I hope that he learns that who we are and how we treat those we love is the most important thing we will ever do. If he learns that, then maybe someday when he stands in front of his own mirror, he will be proud of what he sees.
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Perspective is Everything

Posted: April 11, 2013 in The Art of Writing

Okay. So here it is in the middle of the night and I can’t sleep because my mind is filled with thoughts. So…best to get them out, right. Sigh. Sleep be damned, here they come.

I just got another review from a Goodreads reader and received 4 out of 5 stars. Although she generally liked the story, she had some issues with characters and some of the storyline. I read the review with interest and like anyone with a chronic “thin skin” condition, it stung a bit, but I took it in the way it was intended – an honest review of the novel. The criticism had to do somewhat with the main character’s (Jimmy) perspective on girls and some of the storyline centering on sensitive topics including sexual assault, bullying and a perceived slap at Catholicism (among other things).
So here’s what I think…

Jimmy, the main character, is a fifteen-year-old boy at the height of his hormonal production. I purposely wanted to write from this perspective because the young adult/crossover literature is littered (purposeful choice of a word) with perspectives of “young girl” characters. Being neither “young” nor a “girl,” I wanted to write from a young guy point-of-view in an honest, if not, politically incorrect manner. Here’s a shocker – boys see things differently than girls. Brilliant, right? The point is that from Jimmy’s perspective, girls are a mystery he has yet to figure out (news flash to Jimmy, it doesn’t get any easier later). In that regard, he does at times see them as sexual creatures (specifically, the character Veronica) that are a means to an end. At other times he uses dialog that although not appropriate, is high school accurate. Is that uncomfortable for a female reader? I would say yes, but would then ask does writing always have to avoid stepping on toes along the way? My intent in writing TOUCHED was not to offend by broaching difficult topics, but to be real and honest and try to make sense of the confusion and angst that rolls through the mind of a teenage boy. The use of Jimmy’s first-person perspective* allows his hormonally-charged thoughts to spill out of his head at a rate that may sometimes become prickly but are as close to unvarnished as they are in real life.

Whew. What a ramble. I’m not even sure the above addresses the issues the reader had, but I would guess that she may not be alone in being uncomfortable with a variety of the topics TOUCHED addresses or the way they are addressed. But in actuality, it’s not really my fault at all. I was just at the whim of a horny teenage muse named Jimmy that lived in the dark recesses of my mind.

Sorry to throw you under the bus dude. But better you than me.

*Side note: Criticism included lack of character development of Veronica. Given Jimmy’s first-person perspective it is impossible to develop all characters equally. He only sees the “Queen Beez” Veronica from a safe distance as he is not in her circle. So…he’ll only get glimpses of her character and assume the rest.

Truth vs. Fiction?

Posted: April 10, 2013 in General

Unfortunately, sometimes Fiction and Truth are hard to tell apart. So sad…http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/10/justice/canada-teen-suicide/index.html?is_LR=1