Friday, March 31, 2006

A new accomplishment: Schlockmeister

I like to keep a balanced view of everything because, in my life anyway, there are no absolutes. Good mixes in with bad on a daily basis. Love can't always be moonlight and roses. Life has its extremes. This is true whether you are a nurse, a writer, an icon of industry, or a plumber.

My balance sheet for 40 years as a nurse, for example, would be mostly positive. But mixed in with the compliments would be the enraged gentleman who told me, "You're so effing dumb you couldn't put out a fire on your ass with both hands and a fire hose!" That incident was 30 years ago and I've forgotten many of my experiences, but not that man, his words, or how he looked screaming at me in the Emergency Room entrance.

As a writer I joke about "shameless self promotion" but the truth is that tooting my own horn is hard for me. When presented with golden opportunities to promote myself, I usually fall short. Glowing reviews of my poetry and prose are privately savored. I'm pleased when other writers ask me to host retreats so they can learn to write in my style. When a critic says, "Her poetic words flow seamlessly, creating a story of incredible depth." I'm thankful and file that away for future reference. And when someone says of my first book, The Grass Dance, that it's "the worst schlock I've ever read" I give that statement considerable thought.

What is schlock? An online dictionary says schlock is inferior goods or literature. So if my book is the worst schlock that person ever read, that makes me a schlockmeister, right?

Could it be that The Grass Dance really is schlock? If I could rewrite it today, would it be a better book now than it was when published in 2001? Hmmm. I'll give this some balanced thought and get back to you.

1 comment:

AstonWest said...

You ignore them and move on to write something else...

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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