Having a Genius

I was so tired yesterday that I couldn’t write a blog post! Instead, I fell asleep. And then of course I woke up late and still had a lot of work to do . . .

I have some more interviews and reviews to post here, and then, yes, there will be an actual (if short) thought on having a genius at the end of this post.

First, I recently did an interview with Library Thing.

And here are some more reviews:

Dialect Magazine: Destined, unstoppable true love is a theme I tend to avoid in my reading, but Goss expertly blends the all-encompassing passion, and the literary love story, with the history and myth of Arthurian legend, layered like the accordion folds of the novella. The beautiful craftsmanship and slightly awkward form of this novel is a perfect format for the love story within. It is just inconvenient and fragile enough to prohibit one-handed subway reading, making reading The Thorn and The Blossom into a more mindful activity. In Goss’ The Thorn And The Blossom, fairies and witches’ curses and true love are real, but so is catching the bus and marking papers. This is magical realism at its best, a blend of epic love story and subtle affection. This story is for readers who believe in magic and true love, but not in lovers pining away, blandly waiting for a match to turn up and transform life.

The Charlotte Geeks: Goss has written a complete tragic love story and done so in 82 pages, the amount for each character to tell his and her tale. [ . . . ] If you are a book collector this is a great buy for your collection. It is unique in its design and construction. If you enjoy a tragic romance, then this is an excellent novel to buy. It is a quick read, and well worth reading twice in order to better piece their stories together.

The Bookaholic: I did not hesitate to review The Thorn and the Blossom after reading the premise and seeing the unusual binding of the novella, and in the end I was not disappointed. While it was a quick read, short and sweet, I adored the accordion style binding and romantic backdrop for the characters. [ . . . ] Sometimes whenever I finish a novel, I’ll wonder what the story would be like in the other character’s POV. I loved how The Thorn and the Blossom gives you this vision.

Daemon’s Books: I had a lot of fun reading The Thorn and the Blossom, it’s really well crafted and it was a different reading experience not just in the story, but also physically in holding the book, which is like an accordion. So if you’re looking for something new and exciting and quick to read (did I mention each side is only about 40 pages long), you should definitely get yourself a copy of The Thorn and the Blossom.

Beneath the Bracken: The bookbinder in me, was taken by the book itself. It’s constructed in accordion style with a slipcase and gorgeous illustrations. The reader in me, was taken by the story. Two stories, actually. It’s a love story which weaves the lives of Evelyn and Brendan, their past and their present; with a tale of wonder and enchantment. It’s a quietly beautiful story that, with its clarity and charm, stayed with me in the days after I’d read it. One to read again.

Journey of a Bookseller: One of the most fascinating things about this book is that it is accordion paged and comes in a slipcase. His story on one side of the pages, hers on the other. There is no right or wrong way to read it. Read her story first, or his if you prefer. And it’s a tantalizing tale. [ . . . ] Why not get a copy of this book for yourself and read about the secrets these two lovers hold? Happy reading.

Now, to what I was saying about having a genius. This comes from a talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

I recommend this video for anyone who does creative work. I very much like the idea of having a genius (rather than trying to be one, which seems like an exhausting sort of task). And you know, it helps when I face the fact that not all reviews are as positive as the ones I’ve posted above. Anytime you create a work of art, some people won’t like it. That’s simply a fact of the creative life (and one Gilbert herself learned, I’m sure, when Eat, Pray, Love was published, despite the fact that it was a best-seller.)

So what do you do then? Well, what I’ve done is looked back at The Thorn and the Blossom, which I wrote more than six months before its publication date, and thought about what I would change now, if I could. And you know what? There is one thing I would change: I would add a particular paragraph. But that’s it. I know that the story is what it was meant to be – that in a sense, I wasn’t simply sitting down and writing it. I was also channeling the story. And whatever happens to it, however people respond to it, I’m confident that I wrote the story I was supposed to.

I like the idea of having a genius, a spirit that tells the story through you, so that in a sense you become a conduit for it. An educated and trained conduit, of course. But a conduit nevertheless.

And now, you know what? It’s time to move on to the next project, tell the next story.

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3 Responses to Having a Genius

  1. I love this! I actually listened to an excerpt of this on an audiobook version of All Things Shining: reading the classics to find meaning in a secular age.

    The author was trying to outline both David Foster Wallace’s and Elizabeth Gilbert’s approach to their art, and how one one of them could very well be a life-saver.

  2. Gilbert’s talk is fantastic. I also love the idea of having a genius; it takes a lot of pressure off the writer to create a perfect work.

  3. Jon Awbrey says:

    Genius loci and Genius loco — ever the Twain shall Mark …

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