This reviewer ArdentWays hates me, I think, I mean on a mechanical level; like an oil and water level.
I’m good with that. In a strange way this person made my day. I’ve dreaded for over a year, actually two, a really bad review. A bad, mean, hate review.
You take that chance when you put your stuff out there for seven billion to read. It’s a rush, even the bad reviews are a rush. Hard to describe. Like a tightrope. I love the edge. It’s where I live. If I’m not in conflict with someone or something I feel dead.
I was really nervous about Elle River. I had a gut feeling she was going to publicly rip me to shreds. Elle is a very good writer, better than me. She gave me a very honest review. I learned a lot from her. I continue to learn from her. Elle is a friend and collaborator.
My first interaction with Shari Stauch was kind of brutal. She took my finely edited and polished – ready to publish great American novel – and called it a “decent early draft”.
I didn’t speak to Shari for a week after that comment.
I ordered an “I Hate Shari Stauch” t-shirt and wore it proudly… then I realized she was right.
Shari has become my spirit guide as I try to navigate this dark and ugly foreign landscape.
Bill Bitner called it a “life-changing experience”
Sam, a journalism professor compared me to William Kennedy.
The list is pretty long. I’ve come to know Jim Black and Markus Perry through discussions with them as they read my work. That is an aspect of this writing business I never anticipated.
To be able to interact with a reader as they dive into this very personal part of me is an experience every writer should experience.
I love the questions. I love the interaction. Markus and I discussed a mutual love of boxing. A deep understanding of the sport, and some 1970’s truckers memories at Hunts Point Market, in the Bronx.
Jim and I had some serious discussions about addiction. Jim, fortunately, is not an addict be he said I gave him an insight into that life he’d never seen or expected.
My good friend Mike Horde, another writer, better than me, doesn’t believe a word when I tell him it’s all fiction.
ArdentWays? Well, everyone needs an arch enemy. I’ve said that for decades.
How can anyone live a life without an arch enemy, you know Batman – Joker level arch enemy, Ali – Cosell, Yankees – Red Sox.
Mr/Ms. ArdentWays, thank you!