One Out Of Five Stars + Princess Diana

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1.0 out of 5 stars A rough draft with possibilities (needs thorough editing), December 26, 2011
Miranda (Charleston WV)

If I hadn’t gotten this for free as an early reviewer I would not have finished it. I read a huge range of books, most are mediocre but a book has to be really bad for me to leave it partially finished.
The worst thing for me was that this could be a good book. The story is interesting and drinking memoirs are popular right now. A good, critical editor would have improved it, but as-is it reads like a rough draft with no editing. There are grammatical mistakes throughout the book and the writing is incredibly awkward. I read this on my Kindle and found a piece of text to highlight (for grammar, awkward wording, etc…) on a every page. There aren’t very many sentences on a Kindle page, especially given the odd formatting of this book.
Sometimes the writing is simply bad: “The mattress…had to weigh around a lot of pounds.”
But at other times it’s so poorly worded that it’s difficult to understand: “I took something that had nothing to do with me personally.” Did she steal something even though it meant nothing to her or did she become emotionally involved in something which had nothing to do with her? Of course you can figure it out from context but it never should have gotten past a halfway decent editor or 8th grade English teacher.
On one page the author writes “I needed to move to the PNW…” This is the first mention of this phrase yet she immediately uses initials. That’s quite the mistake but she compounds it a short while later with this passage “‘RJC’ She answered. …like I was supposed to know what those three letters stood for.” So the reader was supposed to automatically understand the author but when others do the same thing the author finds it offensive.
That is the other issue I had with this book – the author is extremely unlikeable. She makes snap judgements over trivialities – “Liar. He was a hair over 6’8″ and rounded up.” Estimating height to within an inch would be quite a talent. She harshly judges the behavior of other alcoholics as if it’s not an addiction and a disease while expecting her father to understand her behavior in terms of addiction (rather than a free choice). She includes odd descriptive details but does it randomly, as if she’s suddenly remembered that she should be descriptive.
I don’t think she *needs* to come off as likable, but if you’re not a sympathetic character then you need something else. Really fine writing, really good insights, or humor are good compensations (I don’t think Augusten Burroughs seems particularly likable but I love his books). This book has none of those compensations.
Again, this could be a good book. The author needs to take some writing classes, spend six months reading every decent memoir she can find and find a really tough editor who will help her improve her writing so that it reads like a finished book and not a rough draft.

*******

Duly noted, Miranda!   And now, a quote from a wise soul:

When you are happy you can forgive a great deal.  ~ Princess Diana
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Happy Thanksgiving! + A Quote/Robert Lynd

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Panorama of the Southern Sky ~ The Milky Way arches across this 360-degree panorama of the night sky above the Paranal platform, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The Moon is just rising and the zodiacal light shines above it, while the Milky Way stretches across the sky opposite the observatory. To the right in the image and below the arc of the Milky Way, two of our galactic neighbours, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, can be seen. The open telescope domes of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical observatory are all visible in the image: the four smaller 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes that can be used together in the interferometric mode, and the four giant 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes. The image was made from 37 individual frames with a total exposure time of about 30 minutes, taken in the early morning hours. ~ Wikipedia.  Full resolution is 15,204 x 4,620.  Check out the full resolution pic on Wikipedia – the size here doesn’t do it justice.

:-)

Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with. ~ Robert Lynd

Long Island to Nova Scotia – From Space + Kant

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The master is himself an animal, and needs a master. Let him begin it as he will, it is not to be seen how he can procure a magistracy which can maintain public justice and which is itself just, whether it be a single person or a group of several elected persons. For each of them will always abuse his freedom if he has none above him to exercise force in accord with the laws. The highest master should be just in himself, and yet a man. This task is therefore the hardest of all; indeed, its complete solution is impossible, for from such crooked wood as man is made of, nothing perfectly straight can be built. That it is the last problem to be solved follows also from this: it requires that there be a correct conception of a possible constitution, great experience gained in many paths of life, and — far beyond these — a good will ready to accept such a constitution. Three such things are very hard, and if they are ever to be found together, it will be very late and after many vain attempts. ~ Kant

Happy Father’s Day

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“Bubble Nebula” ~ NASA

“Are we not like two volumes of one book?” ~ Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

The Brilliance Of A Supernova And A New Reader Review. Both Are Wow!

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“The Crab Nebula was a star once. It exploded as a supernova in 1054, and was so bright that it was visible during the day for 23 days and at night for two years. At its center is the Crab Pulsar: a rapidly spinning neutron star.”  Here’s the link: http://starcraftscience.com/2010/09/13/what-is-a-supernova/

Plus – Yay!  Another reader review!  Woohoo!

“Hi Jennifer. I left a review on good reads.

I hope you don’t mind. First let me comment. In my mind, what you did was very
brave and shows a good deal of character. I don’t have a substance addiction,
besides chocolate, but I have many close friends who struggle with alcohol
addiction. One of the things I note is that some of them dream big dreams, but
they give up on them. That’s why- especially reading your story- I’m so
impressed that you stayed with your goal, and followed through. I also see that
as a good sign. In a sense, recovery and living life requires that same kind of
determination.

Comment 2: Reading your story is very much like reading
your diary. It contains so many personal details. That takes courage. As a
reader, I found it impossible not to be drawn into your story. In other words,
it would now be impossible not to care how you are doing, or to root for you.

That may create an awkward dynamic for you, because I know you from the
book, but to you I must seem a prying stranger??? You spoke about boundaries and
the need for that in life. I do understand that and want to respect that
entirely. So feel free to tell me where I as a reader end, and your private
space begins – if you know what I’m saying.

Lastly- I’m not judgmental by nature. I’ve heard similar stories, and worse. Maybe my first question is,
how hard is it to deal with readers who feel connected to you after reading your book, and who want to know how you are in this continuing journey? Does it feel
intrusive, awkward?”

N.

 

My reply: Thank you N! – I really appreciate it.

I think one reason that many people – addicts and non – give up on their dreams is because they can only see the end result. They forget – or for whatever reason – aren’t aware that a process is involved. One thing I think I can speak for all addicts on is that we’re more impatient than the non addict. Our filters work differently.

I can see why you’d feel like you were reading my diary. That’s how what it felt like I was writing through much of my story. I left some things out for numerous reasons, but I chose to add a couple parts
that were real hard to have to relive. So – in a way, now that my story is out there I feel it’s not such a heavy weight to carry around.

I don’t see you or any reader with questions as a prying stranger. Anybody can ask me anything they want. Maybe I’ll answer and maybe I won’t. I encourage curiosity.

I’m sure it may seem weird that I’d share so much of myself in a book and then possibly not answer someone’s question, but it’s important to remember I wrote each word and left other’s out for a reason – hence boundaries. Believe it or not I’m a pretty private person. A little goofy too.

“Maybe my first question is, how hard is it to deal with readers who feel connected to you after reading your book, and who want to know how you are in this continuing journey? Does it feel intrusive, awkward?”

It doesn’t feel intrusive because I’m very giving until I decide I’ve given enough and then I might say something like – “I heard you – the answer is No. Ask me something else.” I’m very comfortable
being direct.

Several of my readers have wondered about a sequel. I’ll probably start working on it in during the summer of 2013. That’s when my youngest graduates HS and I return to Seattle.

Best,
Jennifer

 

Why Was This Nebula Named Cat’s Eye?

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I’ve had cats before and not one of them had eyes that looked anything like this.  Two separate images.  Pretty! I want one.