Friday, April 25, 2014

Why I'm Excited about my First One-out-of-Five-Star Review

So today has started out on an interesting note... I've been officially humbled by my first 1/5-star rating of Wings of the Divided on Goodreads.

If you're wondering whether or not I feel like throwing myself off a bridge, I absolutely do not! I'm in fact not upset about this (unless it's the start of a string of bad ratings, which would be unsettling). Seriously though, I have been waiting--anticipating it, really--for a couple of years now for someone to read this book and give it the ol' one-star slammer.

Why would I be so masochistic, you ask?

Because it means the book is finally reaching a wider audience.

A lot of indie books have only a handful of reviews online, 6-9 seems to be the number, and all the reviews are filled with holly jolly praise. It could mean that everyone likes the book, but to me, if there's nothing but good reviews of a book, it makes me suspicious that the book hasn't made it out of the author's circle, you know: friends, family, acquaintances, friends of friends. And if the only people who read your book are people you know or people with whom you've had some sort of personal contact, the chances of getting a bad review are pretty low. People don't want to piss each other off, as a rule, so they'll be "nice" even if they hated a book.

I appreciate that this person who read my book was not nice. I appreciate the fact that my book has finally gotten "out there" to complete strangers who do not like what I have to offer. It means my audience has widened. It means that this book has gotten visibility, and that people are giving it a chance and being honest.

I also think that bad reviews pique people's interest in a book or movie or any artistic medium. If I am considering reading a book and it's got both high ratings and low ratings, that makes me curious to find out whether I'll be among those who liked it or hated it. It generates more curiosity for me as a reader.

My only wish was that this person had written an actual review to go along with the one-star-rating so I could know exactly why she did not like the book.

Did she get bored and simply not finish it?

Was it because there was no romance?

Did she find it sacrilegious?

Did she find it too religious?

Was it silly to her?

Was it too dark for her?

Did she think the writing sucked?

Did she hate the characters?

I'll never know. All I know is she didn't like it.

If you're an author, what do you think of bad reviews? Do they get you down in the dumps or are you weird like me and find yourself strangely happy for them? Share in the comments!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014's Main Street Art Festival Find

Despite my persistent, 9-day chest bug, or whatever the heck it is, I went out to the Fort Worth Main Street Art Festival because it would've broken my heart to have missed it. I've gone every year for the past few years now, so it's a nice little tradition. Each year, Drew and I find something artistic to add to the house. Though a little uncomfortable physically, I had a great time as usual, and it even helped to get my mind off being sick. Here's this year's find!

The artist's name is Craig Lossing, and he seems like a really groovy, laid-back kinda guy.

I believe he said he made the piece out of maple wood from Washington state. One side is smooth and varnished, but the interesting side is all bumpy and contoured; it's what the untouched bark looks like on the inside.

I love how unique it is. It'll be fun to move it around the house and show it to visitors. 

Those little curly do-dads came as an extra bonus. There's an indention in the top with plastic insert that you can fill with water and then put a fresh flower or two in it. I think it's a nice addition to the home. :]

I was really tempted to buy a piece from another artist named Betsy Youngquist. I opted for the wood vase, though, since we're on a budget with my not working and going to school full time. Anyway, Youngquist's work is super fantastical and almost creepy but in a pretty way. Maybe I'll get something from her booth next time.