Nobody is good enough to tell the stories and ideas inside them. I mean that sincerely. The ideas in my head are shining beams of light, perfect and uninterrupted. And when they finally exist on paper, they end up fractured and imperfect — beams of light through grungy windows and shattered prisms, shot through with motes of dust, filtered up, watered down.
But sometimes that’s enough. Sometimes, a beam of light is still a beam of light no matter how diffuse it is, no matter how dirty the light, no matter how filthy the floor is that it illuminates. And when it’s not enough, you keep on trying until it is.
My books never come out the way I envision them and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean the doubt ever goes away, but I’m glad my feelings are also experienced by successful writers. I don’t feel alone in my failure. It makes me want to keep going, to get better.
Lincoln Michel for Electric Literature:
An appreciation of readers as diverse individuals with different tastes should be a basic tenet of criticism. Instead, it’s common for critics to imagine that their aesthetic preferences are the reflections of “readers” or a special class of readers—“serious readers,” “imaginative readers,” “brave readers,” or some other ill-defined category—whose views truly matter.
I don’t judge anyone for the books they read and love. Any critic can hoist his elbow patches upon a desk and tell a reader he or she is wasting his time enjoying “un-literary” books. The job of a critic is to make us ask questions about a book to better understand it, not dismiss it for its genre or because it’s “for kids.”
There is more great literary content out there than ever—but it is scattered across the Web. Literary Hub brings it together in one place, a go-to daily source for all the news, ideas, and richness of contemporary literary life. With the help of its partners—a cross-section of the best in contemporary literary publishing—Literary Hub will feature original and curated content about books and the people who write them, read them, love them.
I signed up. Seems like a great way to catch up on my literature-related news now that I stopped using RSS altogether.
Harry talks with author Courtney Alameda about her new paranormal horror-thriller, Shutter, as well as the variety of books that inspired her, the misperceptions people have of horror authors, and dealing with the frustrating question, “What is it like to be a woman who writes horror?”
Harry also reveals the winners of the #CoveredConfidant giveaway, courtesy of Baron Fig!
Harry talks with author Eric Shonkwiler about his award-winning debut novel, Above All Men, as well as Cormac McCarthy, MFA programs, and the current state of literature.
And keep your ears peeled for a very special giveaway courtesy of our good friends at Baron Fig!
ᔥ Terrible Minds:
Over the last many moons, my wife busted her ass to make the shed happen. She weathered the (several) problems that popped up. She helped me settle on a design that did not look like a four-year-old painted it with poopy hands. Delays and problems besieged — and oh yeah, right around the holidays, too, whee — but then, it happened.
They delivered the shed. And put it together.
I WANT ONE. Hell, if it weren’t for the flood-happy nature of my backyard (we’re right against a river), I’d put one in.
As a writer, I understand now in ways I couldn’t back then. You wouldn’t take no for an answer with all your rejection letters. I once posted a sticky on my computer monitor about your rejections and how you’d kept them. I kept mine, too. Times are different, and although I never got The Call, I made my own way. The stories just had to get out and I wasn’t getting any younger.
A lovely letter to a great writer.