Skip to main content

Sunday Morning Groove: "Hey Soul Sister" and thinky thoughts on the vagaries of publishing

Yesterday, I smiled at Scott D. Parker's post on Do Some Damage. (Blog updates in the Author section of our FeedMe bar.) In The Anatomy of a Hit, he pondered the popularity of the song "Hey Soul Sister" and compared it to the unknowable chemistry of the publishing industry:
Why did Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code strike such a magnificent chord where Angels and Demons (before) and The Lost Symbol (after) didn't? Why did John Grisham's The Firm take off and carve out a new sub-genre (Scott Turow aside)? Ditto for the Twilight Saga. Is it the vicissitudes of the buying public? Is it timing?
Most of the time, I can only shake my head, thinking A) hand of God or B) deal with Satan. But if there was a formula for success, if any of the people who pretend to have it figured out actually could figure it out, if the bat-s#*t industry climate became predictable and rote, I think a lot of energy would bleed out of the art. The high risks and rewards of the writing life in combination with the vagaries of the publishing biz leave only one prudent way forward: To thine own self be true.

Go with the groove and have a lovely Sunday.


How do you do it, Joni? How do you keep stealing into my psyche and posting my most meaningful songs? First the Bangles, now this. Fie on you (in a good way). :)

Popular posts from this blog

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button": Did you love it or hate it?

Earlier this week, Colleen and I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the extraordinary movie based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved it. Colleen not s'much. (I was sitting there choked in tears at the end of the three hour film, so I only vaguely remember her saying something about "watching paint dry.") I want to see it again, so I'm trying to get the Gare Bear to go with me this weekend, but I won't be surprised if he reacts the same way Colleen did. The movie is long. And odd. It requires patience and a complete suspension of disbelief that modern audiences simply aren't trained for, so you've got to be in the right mood for it. The same is true of the short story, though the story and script have very little in common -- at least superficially. The story is very Fitzgerald (though it's not an example of his best writing, IMHO), and the setting -- Baltimore during the industrial revolution, Spanish Americ

APATHY AND OTHER SMALL VICTORIES by Paul Neilan is only good if you enjoy things like laughter

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist. When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.