The first bad review. It’s a milestone, an inevitability of putting your story, your hard work, into the world. I’d always wondered how it would make me feel, and quietly suspected it would be a terrible blow to my ego.
Shortly before publishing my first novel, State of Love & Trust, in August 2016, I was reading a lot of Brené Brown. In one of her books (if I can remember which, I’ll update to reflect that—she has many and I’ve read them all) she wrote that in order to withstand criticism of your work, you must first separate your ego from it. That means bad reviews are about the work, not you. But also good reviews are about the work, and not you.Continue Reading Why I love my first bad review
Tuesday Evening, 73°F and clear
Listening to The Beatles—Dear Prudence
This is for every Pearl Jam fan who doesn’t think Stone Gossard gets anywhere near as much credit as he deserves. Ellie, Clive, and Saint all understand who the sacred heart of Pearl Jam really is. Oh my god, Stone, hell yes.
Read about these hardcore Pearl Jam fans in my tragicomic novel, State of Love & Trust.
Wednesday evening, 63° and clear
Listening to My Morning Jacket, Grab a Body
This morning my daughter Charlotte, who is away studying agriculture at Michigan State University, texted some images to me. She’s currently reading State of Love & Trust and was inspired to draw this story’s characters. This got me thinking about the keys I use when describing fictional characters.
A little backstory: I have always written, and Charlotte has always drawn. I still have the first person she ever drew, which looked like a smiling potato with stick arms and legs. That was pretty impressive detail for a two-year-old.
Throughout much her childhood I’ve been working on one novel or another, and the roots of State of Love & Trust go back to when she was still in elementary school. She always asked if she could read my story, and I always said yes … when you’re 18. But as it happened, I put that manuscript away for a lot of years and began polishing it for publication shortly after she’d left for college.Continue Reading Character Drawings
In My Pearl Jam Universe
Thursday night, 70°F
Listening to The Rolling Stones, Let It Loose
Or how I got copyright permission on lyrics from Pearl Jam
How many times have you been told that you can’t put lyrics in your novel? That it’s impossible (or at least prohibitively expensive) to obtain copyright permission on lyrics? If it’s important to your novel, then it’s worth the effort to try. I did, and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as people claim. I’m so glad I didn’t let their negativity discourage me.
First things first: you absolutely must get copyright permission on lyrics before you publish them in your manuscript. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the law.
On August 17, 2016, I made a post explaining why the words of Saint Wozniak’s Whipping tattoo were left out of my novel, State of Love & Trust. In short, his tattoo is the first stanza of the Pearl Jam song, Whipping, and therefore protected by copyright. At the time I wrote that post, I was well into the process of attempting to obtain permission from music publisher Hal Leonard. Based on everything I’d read while researching copyright issues, I fully expected it to be too expensive. But I had to at least ask. Those lyrics fit Saint’s reckless, hard headed character too perfectly for me to not at least try to get them included.Continue Reading A Banner Day
Tuesday evening, 75°F and mostly sunny
Listening to Pearl Jam Unplugged, Rockin’ in the Free World
Pearl Jam Religion
Ellie Rafferty’s story in State of Love & Trust was predicated in part on the question, What would happen if a character took Pearl Jam as seriously as a religion? I thought a Pearl Jam religion was a fun concept. What does it look like? What are the tenants? How would a worshipper of Pearl Jam practice her faith?
A Pearl Jam religion is even something Eddie Vedder once joked about.Continue Reading Ellie’s Pearl Jam Religion