I really wanted to love Blackbirds because I’m a fan of your Terribleminds website. Your advice to writers — your brass knuckled advice to writers — is great stuff. You’re a no-nonsense kind of writer.
But I have to say “Sorry Chuck, I liked it but I didn’t love it.” I’ll give you an “A” for originality because I haven’t read anything like it before. It had a nice twist at the end, and I was really curious about how Miriam could possibly extricate herself from her predicament. But overall I had to grade you down in the language department. And I just wasn’t wrapped up the characters. I wasn’t sucked into their shoes, and I think that goes back to the language (but I could be wrong).
Blackbirds has a sweaty-balled kind of beauty. Like a rusty diamond plate bumper on a big rig, you slam the reader down the road and into the guardrail of literature. You are a true artist in the realm of swearing. But for me, this was Italian food. There’s nothing wrong with Italian food. Millions of people love it. But me, I’m just not a fan of pasta. I prefer pretty language. I’m a sucker for it. The Catcher in the Rye is raw, there’s sex and swearing, but it’s beautiful to read.
But I suppose we can’t all be Salinger, and you aren’t trying to be, so that’s not a fair thing to expect from you. It’s a solid book, fun and fast-paced. I’ll give you a “B.” Not that you give a flying frick through a rolling doughnut what I think, of course.
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig over at Terribleminds came in the mail from Alibris last week and I’m about 60 pages in. Exciting, plot-driven stuff so far, with a protagonist you love in print but would probably steer clear of in real life (if you knew what was good for you).
(Footnote: If the IOC permitted Swearing as an Olympic event, Chuck Wendig would be its Michael Phelps. I pity the grocery clerk who puts his bread on the bottom. Ears will melt. Parents will hold their children close and shield their faces from the shattering glass of nearby shop windows. My boy Chuck cusses like a Thompson gun.)
When Blackbirds is done I’ll dig into Lady Go Die by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. R.I.P. Mickey, you are missed. Can’t wait to see what Collins has done with Mickey’s signature character. I’m a huge fan of Spillane and I’ve read probably 30 of his books, so Max, this is not a pop quiz for zero credit. This will be for 50% of your final grade.
This morning I decided to take Chuck’s 100 word flash fiction challenge over at Terribleminds. Hope you like it.
Still groggy, he checked the stats. Over thirty million website visitors overnight.
At work six months ago, trying to win a how-many-marbles-in-the-jar contest, Ergie had eavesdropped, probed, spied over shoulders, and averaged every guess he could steal. He won.
The larger the pool, the more accurate the average, he had thought.
Inspired, Ergie applied his technique to his Big Question. This site had cost him his raffle winnings and his savings. Shakily he clicked the link.
His mind raced to make sense of the results.
If we know that’s how it ends, why aren’t we doing anything to stop it?