Saturday, July 30, 2011

Keeping Promises

It's pretty sad when you haven't posted at a particular blog in so long that you almost can't remember how to log in. Good thing Blogger is fairly friendly to the not-tech-savvy among its bloggers. Still, I had a little moment of near panic staring at the beautiful (if I do say so myself) page of this blog and thinking, "So how is it, again, that I get in here?" but -dah-da-dah-dum! I got in.

I guess you could say I'm awesome that way.

Or not.

Regardless of your opinion concerning my awesomeness, I'm BACK after what turned out to be another prolonged absence while I worked building name recognition for that "other" person who shares my face. But why? you ask? Why come back to this beautiful but sadly neglected blog? Surely all your regular readers jumped ship a long time ago!

Um, well, true.

So I guess the only answer I can give you is: I missed myself.

I've been working so hard to build the platform of my alter ego (that's way more super-hero sounding than pseudonym, don't you think?) that I've lost a bit of touch with me, S. R. Van Ness, the gal behind the tricky initials.

So here's what I'm up to.

I'm planning a come back, sort of like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, but without the catchy pop tunes and the Broadway/Playboy stops in between tours. (huge sigh of relief)

Sure, I've stepped away from my name for a while, worked on building name recognition with another name in another genre, but while "she" (is it creepy to talk about my alter ego in the third person??) is doing her thing over there, I'm going to keep laying lines here. From time to time I'll drop by and practice setting the sails, preparing for that blessed day when I can carve my name on the mast of the WIP ship, hoist anchor, and catch that fantastical wind that drives the deepest heart of my writing life.

(By the way: my alter ego doesn't write fantasy. She writes romance.--- Oh, stop it. Not that kind of romance, silly. There's no Fabio, no Old Spice Guy -- there are real stories to be told in contemporary romance and I've -- er, she's -- got a few to tell. But she's leaving the fantasy to me. Which is awesome.)

I wrote 6000 words in my YA fantasy WIP this week, and that made me happy. Plus, my other self read and reviewed 2-1/2 books. Which brings me to a very uncomfortable subject.

One. Particular. Book. Review.

Well over a year ago I agreed to read a book for review. The author sent me the book, she even inscribed it to me and... I still haven't published my review. The reason? I was a novice at reviewing books and wasn't sure how to write about the things that bothered me about the book without sounding negative to this generous and talented author. And I didn't want to hurt her feelings.


In the interim, while developing the platform for my pseudonym, I've become an avid reader of others' book review blogs and I've read and reviewed dozens of YA and romance books under my "other name." Of course, not all these books perfect and some (like one I'm reading now) were downright wastes of time. I've had to develop skills in diplomatic, but critical review. And I have. But always, niggling in the back of my mind, is the unfulfilled promise to review this one book.

This book has taunted me, really. It's whispered "You're a liar! You're a procrastinator! You're a poser!" in the night. (And a lot of the characters are vampires. That's not creepy.)

Okay, it doesn't really taunt me. Not audibly, anyway. But it probably should. Because I said I would review it, and I didn't.


But the time has come. I feel I have a better frame of reference for discerning a writer's vision and qualifying the story against the writer's aptitude in his or her chosen genre than I did a year and a half ago. Therefore, one of my goals for this coming week, is to FINALLY publish the promised review for the first (but surprisingly not the last) Inspirational Vampire Novel (yes, you read that correctly) that I've had the curiosity and opportunity to read.

I hope I follow through. I hope you'll hold me accountable. And I hope I do a lot more with this bee-ooo-tiful (if I do say so myself) blog in the coming months. But---.

But I'm not promising anything, because honestly: after reading this post, would you take a promise from me seriously?


Now go read a book or something.