Being a writer – or other artist for that matter – is a bit like being a boxer. If you think you are going to get into the ring and are not ready to take a few punches then you should not be there.
Not only is it unrealistic, but you do your audience a disservice if you are not willing to take criticism.
We are a sensitive lot and it is painful to see our babies criticized, but it is necessary if we wish to grow and improve our craft to take valid, well meant criticism.
You do not necessarily have to agree with everything, but it is important to listen and evaluate. In the end it is your name on the piece not your editor’s or other critic’s. So you need to be true to yourself, but not closed off.
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, 1946 English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)
The opening paragraphs of both Solitaire and Waiting for a Latte stand out like a painting in my mind. The description of the winter and the rains that Portland is known for are but two little things Jaan Seunnasepp uses to accurately and artistically capture the feel of the city. He uses this language throughout this collection to weave together a blanket that you can wrap yourself in.
. . .
Waiting for a Latte is the perfect fare for someone hungry to eat at the buffet of witty cynicism. Goodie Two-Shoes is a quick, delicious appetizer that will leave you hungry for the entrée. It is a the prefect blend of dark humor and serious story telling.
“Jenni Plochka?” the worn woman in a pink bathrobe read the card in a harsh, tobacco and booze voice. The blue “Vacancy” flashed through her cigarette smoke. She frowned suspiciously. “Don’t get many BMWs here.”
“Just wanna crash. Gotta bed?”
“OK. But we paintin’ and wirin’, so th’only room is an old one at the end.”
It was a real effort. The Pages program did not seem to want to do things correctly so I wound up editing xhtml and other data files by hand. About four days of work. 😦
The big drag now is that no one can give me any idea as to how long we have to wait for iBookstore Quality Assurance approval. Some blogs are saying 30 days or more!
Here is the link to the Lulu account where people can buy a PDF version. That is readable on almost all systems.
Click the cover image to go there.
BUY via Lulu.com 50¢ Flash – v1: Twist
– 3 short stories: Jaan Seunnasepp
– drawings: Katrin Orav
– photos: J M Manness
– editor: Alex Stevens
THE ROOM: Jenni P. checks into a secluded motel, unaware of what will confront her there.
POOL HALL SCENE: Michael is down on his luck until he plays a stranger.
THE BOTTLE OF TOKAJI: University student Greta returns home to find her roommate has opened a very special bottle of wine.
—- from the intro by editor Alex Stevens
This first volume of 50 Cent Flash Fiction will bring you into the fun, interesting, and intriguingly bizarre world of Jaan Seunnasepp. Jaan has a unique, dark sense of humor is playful with his writing, which makes for fun reading – you can’t help but smile or laugh out loud.
Jaan makes your feel as if you’re right there alongside his characters. Add his sense of drama, and you’ve got yourself a solid bit of writing. The theme for this volume is Twist. Each piece should give you a little something you don’t quite expect, and keep your literary taste buds craving more. There is humor, fear, excitement, and rage — a whole gamut of emotions.