I said to my critique partner this morning, The whole project is stinky it stinks it’s just nothing no hope. She read chapter 13 and said, But it’s so good so funny Molly is so funny it’s not stinky. I said, Yes, the first part of chapter 13 and the last part of chapter … Continue reading Why I Still Go to Critique Group and Can’t Afford to Stop
If you haven't read the preceding post, "Disregard 15 Pages," please do so before reading on. That post isn't very long, but if you read it first, you'll get more out of this very short one. * So finally, after revising and revising and revising, you give in, and give up, and stop, because you … Continue reading Then the Real Critics Come In . . .
You know how even when you know what you've written isn't as good as it ought to be, you think you've gone as far as you can go with it, but you also know you haven't, and your deadline is tomorrow, about 18 months after your original deadline, so you give it one more going-over, … Continue reading Disregard 15 Pages . . .
As a beginning blogger, I wanted to be serious. I intended to write about the writing process, to quote famous authors, and to record my progress toward publication (or toward the satisfaction of having written). I wanted to write about Literature and Life. Halfway through my first post, I discarded that notion. Once upon a … Continue reading Truth and Embroidery
At my office/coffee shop/bookstore, sitting at the computer bar at the side of the room, laptop plugged into an outlet beneath, iced Atzec mocha against the wall where I hope it won't spill, two industrious critique partners on my right. I am scrimshanking. The spell checker says scrimshanking isn't a word. That's what it knows. … Continue reading Scrimshanking
I am so tired I ever could. Because last night I waltzed up to the watermelon buffet and chose Complete the edit the AMW story for its (I hope) final major critique If I'd been taking naps, #1 would be only a memory. But there's more to do. Weeks ago, I edited out a couple of … Continue reading Tampering with perfection & #ROW80 Report
What if soy milk is just milk introducing itself in Spanish?* *** To Write, etc., has been dormant for a while because I've been (a) playing spider solitaire, and (b) working on two pieces of literature: (1) a story entitled "When Cheese Is Love," which needs to be 5,000 words but is currently 6,200 words, necessitating … Continue reading What I Learned from Ernest Hemingway, Plus a Photo of Gregory Peck, Plus Snakes
You have to put on your pants in the morning and go somewhere. ~ Frank Conroy
Here's my progress report for the first week of January: On Tuesday, I attended Austin Mystery Writers. I had not submitted anything for critique, but I took a bit of the newsletter I was editing for CP to proof. My printer had cut off an inch or two on the right side of the document, … Continue reading ROW80 01.08.12 and Excuses
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" ~ Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto My reach last week exceeded my grasp. I followed Tuesday's stellar 1000 Molly words (or 921, depending on who's counting) with 0 Molly words for the rest of the week. But I was so pleased … Continue reading #ROW80 & Symboling
I am a pantser. I wish I could say that isn't as bad as it sounds, but I can't. Pantser is one of the words I've learned since starting work on my novel. It means someone who writes by the seat of his pants, without an outline or other planning tools. It's the opposite of … Continue reading Pantsing
Writing about his college years, James Thurber tells the story of Haskins, an agriculture student who takes up journalism, "possibly on the ground that when farming went to hell he could fall back on newspaper work." Haskins is assigned the animal husbandry beat, which comprises cows, sheep, and over two hundred horses. Unfortunately, he is … Continue reading Sores on the tops of the horses
I never quite know when I'm not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, "Damnit, Thurber, stop writing." She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph. Or my daughter will look up from the dinner table and ask, "Is he sick?" "No," my wife says, "he's writing … Continue reading Day 17: Perpetual writing
Austin Mystery Writers met tonight. I was prepared. I bought frozen stuffed peppers Sunday evening and at 4:40 this afternoon turned the oven on to 350. David took it from there. Frozen stuffed peppers is our Tuesday night default. David is the default preparer of frozen dinners and cleaner-upper of kitchen. For all this … Continue reading Day 9: Emoting
I received a phone call last week from Lucia Zimmitti, an editor who spoke at the Texas Trail Writers Roundup this spring. In mid-July, I'd sent her the first five pages of my manuscript. She reported that she'd read them and that they're ready for query. She said she believes agents who read them will … Continue reading Move over, Cyd Charisse