All right, bloglodytes/blogizens/buds and supporters — I need to share this with you because … well, because. Time for me to strut a li’l bit, y’all. 🙂
As some of you may know, and all of you will now know, I have a page on an artists community. The web space is called deviantART, located at, logically enough, http://deviartart.com/. So, about three years ago (maybe a shade under), I started falling back in love with drawing. It was a wondrous thing to behold. I’d set my art aside for decades at a time, and whenever I reconnect with it, it’s magical to me. It’s sort of like intimacy with my wife. Doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does … fireworks, y’know? (TMI. Sorry.)
Anyway, all the same pieces of fiction I post here on my blog, I also post there. (Among other places, like my Wiki spaces, one of which is here.) And, I actually have a couple of regulars there. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, when over here on WP I’ve got Sherri, and Raga, and Bryce, and my beloved one, and a bunch of people (apparently) that are lurkers, reading but not commenting. And then there’s Ian, and UnderCanopy, too. So I love my readers here, and a tiny smattering of them over there shouldn’t matter so much as the close ones I’ve met here, I guess, but I care. Mostly because … well, because I love my readers. I do. Anyone that reads my writing has an automatic in-road to my heart, and I’m schmaltzy like that.
Recently, I’d been cruising around on dA, looking at the pages of the folks who’ve visited my page. I have a really, really low page count, though, so whenever someone stops by I try to send them a thank you note for stopping by. The problem with dA is that it’s primarily for visual artists: people who can draw, paint, take and/or manipulate photos … things like that. So visitors are able to stop by, see some of your gallery and decide whether they want to see more of you. If they like your stuff a lot, they can “watch” you — that’s the dA equivalent of “friending” someone on MySpace, just so you know. You’ll be notified whenever the artists posts new art, etc.
I was visiting the visitors of my page, and I came across someone who’s a writer, and by reading the comments on their work, it led me to other pages. Pretty soon, I found one from a lady that’s a pretty doggone good writer. I’ve not met many on dA, sadly, but she was … well, she’s pretty doggone good. I started reading one of her stories, which was serialized just as my Ghost Hunters story was, and I was immediately hooked. I read the entire piece last night. And I’ve never done that before with a dA writer … ever.
So I left her a comment. Before I knew it, she was commenting back to me, telling me thanks for reading, glad you like it, blah blah. Well, if you’re familiar at all with those situations, you know it’s generally considered common courtesy to read someone’s work if they’ve read yours. She picked Witch Hunt instead of Ghost Hunters, probably because it was only three parts (so far) instead of the whopping 95K word, 47-segment ordeal of the latter. At any rate, I didn’t know she was reading it, and I generally don’t want folks to feel compelled to read my work just because I’ve read theirs. That’s the wrong reason for doing it anyway, and I won’t take it personally. Reading is a major investment of time and thought. It’s not easily undertaken, especially with a big project. Right, Sherri? 😉
Well, this afternoon, I had a comment from this nice lady. We’d exchanged a couple of them today, about various things, random thoughts, and when I read it I nearly did a spit-take on my screen with my coffee from shock. Here it is, verbatim, copied and pasted from my dA page:
Okay, I reread this hoping to provide some helpful criticism. Here goes: This is great. No kidding. I couldn’t find a single s[c]rew up, or typo, or grammatical error — or even something I just plain didn’t like. My opinion cou[n]ts too, because I taught creative writing for three years, composition for three more, and have been writing professionally for ad agencies, magazines and a newspaper for over 24 more! If I received this piece as sample pages to consider for publication, I would demand more immediately. Don’t you wish I was an agent? Yeah, me too. Anyway, I’m off to part two.
BADDA-BING, PEOPLE!! Okay, Sherri-berry, say it with me now; ready?
That … that left me absolutely speechless. Oh, and a little teary. I tried to find some fumbling words of gratitude to express, but I just kept gushing. So I gave up. But I was blown away.
That’s not the end of it, either. She commented on all the other parts of “Witch Hunt” too, and she picked up a typo I missed along the way.
Needless to say, I’m on a euphoric, endorphin-driven high from which I sha’n’t come down … until someone says they don’t like it, of course. Then I’ll slide into a dark, brooding depression, bubbling like the swamps of Dagoba, grunting like Yoda, and I won’t emerge from that for a while. Back and forth I’ll go.
Right now, though, I’m high.
If you’re in the mood for a gritty, kinky sorta mature-reader oriented story with a lot of punch, suspense, tension and professional-quality prose, check out this wonderful author’s dA page at http://denlm.deviantart.com. The story is called “Jon.com”, but she’s got others, too. You have to sign up for dA to comment, I believe, but you might find an email address for her there somewhere. Drop her a line and give her your feedback, if you want. She enjoys quality critiques.
I’m going to bask now. Thanks.