I love it when I can economize and knock off two subjects in one post and this indeed is going to be one of those posts. I’ll be able to let you in on the background of some of the artwork in the title banner and hopefully give a word of encouragement as well. Here we go:
Invariably I will be asked by other writers; “You get a lot of reviews and attention and feedback. How come I don’t?” Actually, it’s not that blunt but you get the idea. My reply is usually the same: “You have no control over that. It’s strictly up to the readers if they want to inform you about how your work made them feel. All you can do is continue to produce the best work you can and continue to put it out there. One day it’ll be appreciated.”
Now I realize that isn’t very helpful to writers anxious to know what others think about their writing. I freely admit that. And believe me; I was once in those very shoes. I was writing in Internet Years about 10 years before anybody outside of other writers contacted me to tell me; “Hey, I really like what you’re doing.”
Yeah, you read that right. 10 mollyfoggin’ years. I was fortunate that I had guys like Russ Anderson, Tom Deja, Tim Hartin, Barry Reese and Tommy Hancock who recognized my alleged talent and were generous enough to provide me with their criticism and feedback. But yeah, comments from Plain Ol’ Reader Dan or Dora weren’t comin’. And let’s be honest, every writer gets a thrill out of hearing from a total stranger who took a chance and picked up a book or read a story of theirs and was excited enough by that book or story to take the time and let that writer know.
Now, one day I get this email from somebody I’d never heard of. A Belgian artist named Alain Valet. This gentleman informed me that he had read my Sebastian Red story; “Of All the Plagues A Lover Bears” and was inspired by some of the imagery in the story to go ahead and create pieces of art based on the story and here they are:
The two pieces are incorporated into the title banner but they deserve to be seen in entirety so that they can properly be appreciated. The one at the top is my favorite of the two as it’s actually from the story. Sebastian Red needs some information from a demon and plays a game of poker with it in order to do so. But believe me, I love and adore them both. Mr. Valet and I communicated for a while after that and even briefly discussed the possibility of him illustrating a Sebastian Red story. But as it happens so often on The Internet, folks fall out of touch. I haven’t heard from him in a number of years but he has made an indelible impression on me in my development as a writer.
So I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: you just never know who’s going to read your books, your plays or look at your artwork or listen to your music and be moved enough to not only respond and reply to what you did but to create something of their own. And isn’t that why we all strive to create? Because somebody wrote, drew, sang or said something that ignited our own creative fire?
If you come away from this post with anything (besides my typical shameless huckstering) I hope it’s this: continue to write, paint, draw, sing, speak, and dance…whatever it is you do. Because your own Alain Valet is out there. But he or she can’t speak to you unless you speak to them first.