Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This post doesn't have a cool name, unless we call it "Octavia"

I am so very delighted. It's Tuesday evening. I spent tonight writing on my lap top next to my husband as he watched a military film on the tube. Our feet shared space on the ottoman I move back to its place in front of the chair fifty-million times a day and yell, "Stop rearranging the furniture!" Of course, we moved it in front of the couch for the evening, but that is so very far beyond the point, I'm not even sure why I brought it up.

Today is Tuesday and on this day I attend a fantabulous critique group. I know all my most recent blogs have been about critique groups, but I seem to have become addicted. In my addiction I am writing like crazy, and paying attention to call-outs I may have otherwise ignored,  just so that I will have something to receive critique advice on. It sounds so strange, but I love hearing what other people think of my work. It is simply -----educational. There is no other way to put it. I read something I've created, that did not exsist before I made it, then go around a room and let 9 or 10 people talk to me about what I just read and I get 9 or ten amazing opinions.  

I love it. I have a piece I want to submit to Not Your Mothers Books and I read it today at critique. I sat down this evening and after reviewing each critique I made changes to the piece. They all worked and they all improved it. Right now it has been set to breathe a bit while I move on to other things. I have so many stories and essays I want to write I may need to hire a babysitter to get through them all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Am I normal?

This is what I asked myself this afternoon. I've been writing a lot lately, more than I have before, I think. I have many projects taking place at once, which is exciting for so many different reasons.  A few weeks ago someone at a writing group told me about a contest with a deadline of June 10th. I started working on a short story for it and wrote about six drafts. Through a series of events I ended up sharing it at several writing groups in its various outlines over the last few weeks. Today, after slicing, dicing nearly trashing then resurrecting the piece I took it for it's final critique to my Tuesday critique group.

--Can I begin by saying what an awesome group of folks I have the pleasure of being with every Tuesday? So kind, honest and helpful.-- I passed out my piece and once again read it proudly (although it was suggested that I slow down a bit. I have no idea why I started out as the Speed Racer of Reading - read slowly at critique, they need time to absorb and critique at the same time.). This time instead of expecting everyone to find it fascinating, I only hoped they'd tell me what the heck was wrong with it! It didn't flow, I had obvious plot holes, was the suspense there, was the dialogue alright... They did tell me what was wrong. Once again, they delivered brilliantly.

I hurried home to look through all of their wonderful notes. I was excited to see what solutions they'd come up with for me. But, when I got there, instead of being excited to rewrite my piece using all the great advice I'd been given, (and get it submitted by the deadline), I found myself wanting to throw it away. Could it be that I'd written and rewritten it TOO many times? I feel like I am completely done looking at it. It doesn't help that I took another peek at the contest I'll be sending it off to and they mention they'd prefer something humorous. Nothing about my dark piece is humorous.  

Nevertheless, I think I've chopped the thing to bits too many times, I even resorted to using cliches! I'm afraid I simply need to rewrite the thing from scratch using all the advice from today, but I'm not sure I have it in me. Ugh. I do plan to pick it up again tomorrow and see if I can get back into it. I still have several more days to work on it, in fact. I've come this far with it, I owe it to the piece and to all the folks at critique (and the ones that critiqued it that aren't part of the group) to at least submit the thing.

Oddly, I'm in the mood to blow the dust off the novel I have stored away. Perhaps it needs to see the light of day again. -->I'm stumped on the first page. I suppose I should just skip it since it seems to be holding me back. (I'm all freaked out about the need to grab the reader right away...errgh) I'm thinking shorter, tighter chapters than the drawn-out chitchat I produced for Nano. Let's get moving! Let's all drag out an old Nano-novel and do some work to it! Then we can write a brand new Nano-novel this November! Weeeeeee! Let's catch up a bit. Ready? Go!