Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stick to Level Ground

This past week was a ride from the earth's highest peak to its darkest deepest crevice. I've been honing my latest manuscript...and getting opinions from friends, relatives, critique members, and professionals. I went from having a fine author offer to give a pre-publication blurb to a fine critique member tell me there are way too many Points of View. From a colleague saying it was one of a few books she'd remember the rest of her life to an editor confessing confusion. What to do with so many valuable opinions? As my spirits spiraled up then down, then up then down, down, down my husband reminded, "It's your story. Listen to the words of others--both praise and critique--but remember it's your story."
I know this.
Of course I know this.
But it was good to be reminded--and that's why I'm passing it on. Now I'm back on level ground. It's boring--there aren't any peaks or valleys. But on level ground I can still see the highs and lows from afar. More importantly I can still see where I--and my story--are headed.

Books of the Week/Blogspots: A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson. This is a quick read on life and living. Joan Anderson, while walking on the beach, met a lively old woman who happened to be the wife of Erik Erikson, the psychoanalyst. Joan discovered, through their friendship, new ways to look at life, new ways to be. She shares those gems of wisdom in this book.
Check out the Killer Hobbies blog. This week is a Writing Workshop with a different writing topic every day. One commenter from the week wins a copy of The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine.


Lynn said...

So now you've gotta start calling your husband "Oh Wise One." That's great feedback he gave you.

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

I thought so, too.:) I should call him Oh Wise One, huh? But that seems like a mouthful for every day life. "Oh, Wise One, can you pass the rice?" Maybe Owo:)

What People Are Saying About My Half of the Sky

My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010

"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review November, 2008

“It is a rare women’s novel that sensitively describes the life of a young educated woman in modern-day China in its full complexity, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism. Jana’s deep knowledge of the realities of life in China and Singapore makes the reading extra rewarding. In fact, with every new page the novel gets harder to put down and you find yourself gobbling it up before you know it. Finally, the author has given a voice to the Li Hui in all of us, as we struggle for the golden middle between tradition and the modern momentum of our world.”
Isabella Sluzek
Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008

You'll be rooting all the way for Li Hui as she struggles, ahead of the curve, to be her own woman in an emerging, modern China. Jana McBurney-Lin's My half of the Sky is a beautiful, witty, touching debut novel.
Thomas B. Sawyer
Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
Author - The Sixteenth Man

A complex and mesmerizingly original tale of a young Chinese woman caught between the modern world and the pull of her ancient culture. McBurney-Lin’s intimate portrait of China sparks with insights and is peopled with characters so rich and alive, they seem to breathe on the page. Dazzling and unforgettable.
Caroline Leavitt,
Author - Girls in Trouble

McBurney-Lin's debut novel is a gift. Li Hui is a memorable heroine, a young woman torn between her heart and her culture.Her daunting journey is a trip into China's complicated soul, and a deeply moving exploration of love, honor, duty, and loss." Frank Baldwin, Author - Balling the Jack

My Half of the Sky is a wonderfully-crafted story that was obviously written with a piece of McBurney-Lin's heart. A masterpiece."
Lee Lofland, Author - Howdunit: Police Procedure and Investigation

My Half of the Sky heralds the arrival of a fantastic new storyteller. With artistry and precision, Jana McBurney-Lin's clear-eyed prose takes the reader on a new journey into a past world that speaks to a modern sensibility, a modern world, a modern woman. This is a book to be treasured.
Emily Rapp, Author - The Poster Child

Through vivid descriptions of sights and smells, Jana McBurney-Lin's My Half of the Sky is a haunting, emotional journey of what it means to be an honorable female in modern China. Jill Ferguson, Author - Sometimes Art Can't Save You