Critics Cringe: It’s Good If You Say So

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Spoiler Alert: I am married to the man that wrote this book. I published the book; The New York Times did the editing. (Big shoutout! Less work for me.) None of that is interesting. What is of note is that I was sitting next to him as he listened to so many of the performances in this book.  I also watched as the world of classical music reacted to his reviews. Most days, they wanted to kill him. And that, folks, is a critic doing a job well. He or she is not there to make a bunch of friends.

Despite the ill will in the business, audience members often came up to him after a performance and wanted to know what he thought. He’d grunt a bit and say “what did YOU think?” When they responded, I never heard him put them down. He always said the same thing, “it’s good if you think it is.”

That is the point. Nothing matters but the individual having a reaction to the material and performer on stage. A “review” can tell you what happened, connect that moment to a longer continuum and give you a vague idea if it’s something you might like. Beyond that, critics really can’t do much for you because it’s about you.Your experience, in the end, is the only one that matters.

Because of him, I often traded in the soul-shattering work on Hendrix for the soul-shattering work of Wagner. My husband’s reaction? Made perfect sense to him because, as he said, “they are both great.” I got him to deconstruct the opening  chords of Baba O’Reilly. He taught the mean beauty of the opera Wozzeck, Lulu and Otello. I still remember Rusalka singing to the moon.  He wrote a piece comparing a Schubert song cycle to Bob Dylan’s 2001 masterpiece, “Ain’t Talkin.” I like to think I had a hand in that.

Like Alex Ross, the New Yorker critic who worked under Holland, these critics jump around, writing about classical as well as all the other music forms, though I’d say Holland is a boob when it comes to rap. These critics attach classical music to a larger world and that matters, that keeps it alive and moving. Holland, in particular, is always searching and reading about history, context, source material. It’s not a commitment to anything, it’s just his curious mind at work.

With Something I Heard, he put a long career of listening to music in one place so that an arc would appear. You’ll have to read it to see. (The ebook is in a promotion and available on amazon for coffee change.)

Is there a future for classical music? What a stupid question. If it’s good, there is. Even this aging rocker feels that Marta Argerich is as good as Tina Turner. Yeah, this is a divided house that stands.

To order: Something I Heard, click on the title.

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THE GIRLS OF SUMMER: Fiction on Sale

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FAST FURIOUS FICTION ON SALE
TO FUEL THOSE POOLSIDE AFTERNOONS

 

The only time we get to read for pleasure is a long-haul plane flight or a summer weekend when the world is just a little bit slower. Oh, and those 8 minutes before we fall asleep at night, exhausted but determined to read a page or two to keep our heads alive. Below we offer the reader a range of rapid reads, all meant to entertain at a really low cost – say $2.99 – or less than the price of an iced latte. Lasts longer too.

Happy summer.

 

All she wanted was some donuts…a sugar rush to drown out her loveless suburban life and cheating bald husband. What she got was her true self back, with the help of two really young, really hot gang bangers. You’ll be done reading in 2 hours and you won’t know what hit you. But you’ll be smiling, that we can promise.

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Kindle is on sale for 2.99, paperback is 12.99

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“This is the most insane fun I’ve ever had reading a book in my life.

I called in sick so I could finish it.”

– T. Beckett Scotland, Film Producer, The Devil of Blue Mountain

 

If you like a Quentin Tarantino movie crossed with aliens and drug cartels, this is your book.  It’s so much fun, you just might snort out loud, alarming your seat mates.

KINDLE ON SALE 2.99

Paperback    10.00

 

 

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White Deer of Autumn, author Gabriel Horn, has created an beautiful portrait of a young girl coming to grips with her heritage, her community, and a world where her highest ideals – those of the natural world – are being destroyed by seemingly unstoppable evil – the British Petroleum oil spill.

This beautiful young adult novel won the 2016 International Book Award winner, 2016 Indie Excellence Book Award winner, 2016 Paris Book Festival Award winner, the 2016 Award for Literary Excellence from the Friends of the Florida Library and a winner of the 2015 Florida Book Award.

 

 

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41sJGzMvtlL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg“Johanna Baldwin is a magical and original writer whose unique voice has a gift for making allegory and fantasy surprising and emotionally plausible. Her delicate touch brings freshness to unexpected themes and opens a door to worlds hidden within the every day world.”

— Naomi Wolf,
The Beauty Myth

Kindle:  2.99    Paperback  15.00

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Raising 21st Century Writers

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When you first see your baby across the room, you’ll know instantly if he or she is a writer. This one is. Pick the right writer name for your baby: Thomas King, Bob Dickens, Jill Grisham, Margaret anything. Lofty, yet accessible. Short for tweets, yet holds some gravitas.

Next, your writer baby will need some deprivation, some hardship that makes good story. This kid won’t soon forget his empty shoe box of pacifiers, a recurring thread in his fiction 25 years later. img_0021-1

Let your baby begin programming their own publishing platform IMMEDIATELY upon birth. They will be born just knowing how to do this. Provide tools and support. Unknown-2

Get your baby used to the tools of a writer. Public readings,images-4 filming book trailers, the works.
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Your baby should be encouraged to stay up writing all night until the book is done. images-6 They can grow and play on their own time.

A baby writer also needs a writer “look.” This one is taken.images-7

Now your baby has a book and is ready to cut a deal. Find the right agent for your baby, one that listens and believes in the art form. Make sure the chemistry is right.
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Meet with as many publishing companies as you, your baby and your baby’s agent can stand. People will look at you blankly. But a baby is marketing gold and don’t you let anyone tell you otherwise. Let them know you’ve been building your baby’s twitter followers since birth. Cite Facebook numbers. Say Reddit and StumbledUpon just to keep your hand in the big game. Unknown-3

The publishing companies turn your baby down.

Then, just when all believe that your baby’s career as a great writer is lost, here comes AT, AMAZON TERRESTRIAL, who, for a few Skittles, will publish your child’s book. images-9

Money is made. It’s dumped directly into the family account. The 21st Century famous writer buys his family a car and they drive off, a happy writing 21st Century family. images-10

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Reviews and books on http://www.shadowteams.com