Idea for Teachers, Reviews, The Girl on the Mountain, Wordle Art

Ah, vanity.

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I love wordle. Today I randomly copied some Amazon reviews of The Girl on the Mountain into a “wordle” maker. Just for fun. Well, really to see what words reviewers used a lot. (Frequency is indicated by word size).

If I’d selected only opinion and analysis words from reviews instead of full passages, the image above would be more revealing. Words like “however” and “much” wouldn’t be included, and some very nice words would stand out (thank you, reviewers). But that would seem like vanity. You say you don’t care, you want to see the analysis and judgment anyway? Click here.

To make your own wordle art, got to www.wordle.net. Wordle is a cool idea for children’s writing exercises, Christmas cards (wordle your year’s events instead of writing that letter), and more. Have fun!

A Reader Writes, Cass Scenic Railroad, Reviews, The Girl on the Mountain, West Virginia Scenery

When a reader ‘gets it’

CassHeaderIt helps to know when you’re doing something right, but indie authors can be completely in the dark until the reviews come in. Now more than a year since I got brave and published The Girl on the Mountain, reviews and comments are good and growing. It’s all right that not everybody loves or “gets” it. Readers have many different tastes and expectations.

Thirty-eight Amazon customer  reviews have mainly commented on the characters and the story. Today I was especially gratified to receive an email from a reader who shared his appreciation for the book’s West Virginia setting. It’s wonderful to know that someone else shares my response to this land and the industry of its people.

Here’s the email, reprinted with permission.

Hi Carol,

I am a clinical psychologist living in southwestern Virginia.

This past June I visited Cass, WV for the very first time. In so doing, The Girl on the Mountain came alive for me. I grew up in the mountains of sw Pennsylvania and spent much of my life in the southern Appalachian mountains. I appreciated your efforts to make the area come alive in a very compelling way.

I have family in sw Pennsylvania and travel through WV on a regular basis. My next visit through WV will be extra special because I will look at the surroundings through the eyes of May Rose.

Warm regards,
Jim Moon

NOTE: For readers in other countries who may not be familiar with our state names, West Virginia was once part of (western) Virginia, but formed as a new state at the outset of the War between the States. The fact that many Americans still think West Virginia is part of Virginia sets off rage in West Virginia University football fans!

An old-time logging railroad with Shay engines  is preserved at Cass State Park in West Virginia. http://www.cassrailroad.com/