Another red-letter day has been and gone! Yesterday, Goodreads member Mark posted a review of my third book, ‘The Essence Of Life and Love in Australia’.
‘Margaret Lynette Sharp untangle small knots in our emotional constitution, of hesitancy, of love and affection, of wistful regret and of loss acknowledged, but not without hope.’ These are Mark’s words: his interpretation of the content of this work.
He goes on to say: ‘So read these for diversion and emotional resolution of the sort that our unconscious minds try to give us in sleep, but the stories are in no way sleepy. They’re hyper-alert, they’re aware of the intricacies, and they’re uplifting.’
He rated ‘The Essence of Life and Love in Australia’, 5 stars out of 5. This now means that ’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’ (rated 5 stars on Amazon), ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’, given two, 5 star ratings on Goodreads, have now been joined by ‘The Essence of Life and Love in Australia’, (a 5 star rating on Goodreads).
With this track record, I now have some idea how Black Caviar feels! But somehow, I think I’ll come a cropper before she does!
What do I love about writing?
It’s the feeling of accomplishment that comes at the end of each section, compounded when the book somehow merges into an entity, and becomes itself.
It’s the glow of achievement when I hold each new edition in my hands, and peruse the brand new pages. The recognition that it’s mine: my words, my ideas; a part of me that, through the mysterious process of writing, has, almost by magic, materialized into something tangible.
It’s the cherished hope that, some day, many people throughout the universe may read and relate to my concepts, and decide that they want to seek out more.
It’s the potential for fulfillment of all my early promise that somehow was swept away by fate.
It’s the chance for acceptance: of me.
Oh happy day! ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ has been reviewed for the second time.
Today’s reviewer spoke of its “Lovely, spare, melodic prose that simply exuded warmth”, and “quietly satisfying” outcomes.
I hope you will not think me egotistical by quoting: “Sharp is delicately poetic yet linguistically precise”, and “crafts her sentences with meticulous attention to metric contour that reflects a mood.”
My previous review, furnished by Australian author Jenny Schwartz, pointed to the book’s humanity and compassion.
Both reviewers gave ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ a 5 star out of 5 rating. It’s available on Amazon and through other internet sellers.
Overwhelmed as I am by all these heartening words, sadly I need even more to make this book known and accepted by society. I need people :people like you, my blog readers: to spread the word.
Will those of you looking for a gentle volume of vignettes, either for yourself or for others, please take a look at ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’? In the process, you’ll be helping me along, an Australian women writer, and will hopefully find this book to be all that you believed it would be.
If, as some suggest, praise has the power to heal, then what then of criticism?
There are two main types of criticism; constructive, where perceived faults are gently pointed out and suggestions for improvements are offered; and destructive criticism, whereby negative connotations, innuendos or remarks are made, and are followed by a general aura of hopelessness.
The beauty of constructive criticism lies in its underlying thread of positivity and the hope, even likelihood, of ultimate success; perhaps even success at a level one never even dared to imagine. If well applied, and accepted in the spirit of genuine helpfulness, this sort of criticism can in fact be energising. The vibes are good: you are capable of success, and all you need is a little fine tuning. In all likelihood, this is attainable.
On the other hand, destructive criticism can be crippling. The seeds of insecurity can grow and spread like wildfire, destroying your self-belief and enthusiasm. What once seemed possible, even if it involved hard work, now often seems absolutely out of the question. At its worst, destructive criticism can crush an individual, and destroy what may well have been their motivation for a marvellous outcome.
Of course, the value of criticism is totally linked to the credentials of the person delivering it. Negative criticism may stem entirely from the critic’s inability to perceive the meaning or qualities of what they are analysing. There can also be other factors in play.
There will always be critics, and there will always be criticism. The art of the onlooker is to be able to discern the value of the critic’s opinion.
What determines taste in literature?
I suppose out there are texts written by learned folk, backed up by research on this subject. Without easy access to such sources, I can only offer suggestions.
My gut feeling is that taste: in literature or in many other things: is determined by the personality of the individual. Sure, there may be other influences such as peers , teaching, or the media, but a strong person who is true to their own beliefs is likely to shun these factors, at least to some degree, and like what they like because it appeals to them, and not because their liking seems to help them fit in with the crowd.
Good taste in literature is fostered by wide exposure to many styles of writing. Even small doses can be enough to sway a person one way or another. Isn’t the appreciation of what is perceived as ‘good’ heightened by exposure to what is perceived as ‘bad’?
Parents have a huge role in steering kids into a love and appreciation of reading. Choose well and wisely, and hopefully your offspring will carry a love of reading with them throughout their lives.
‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ by Margaret Lynette Sharp, that’s me, is scheduled for review in late July at Shelleyrae at Book’dout.
Thanks so much to Shelleyrae for accepting it! A wonderful opportunity!
Here’s hoping for a favourable review!