Mar 6, 2010

SAMS and stuffs <<< ha, never.

Please follow up with your own answers in the comments!!

For being considered dark and introverted people, I have been feeling very well reached out to these past two months of blogging by you writer people. Here's the thing, as writers, we are wildly emotional people. How many pages have your very own tears on them? How many times have you hid an expressive writing session from your family because you're already the 'weird writer'? I am leading into something we all get, the feedback blues. If you don't, well, then just go away or share your secret. But, actually don't. I think the feedback blues are a vital part of our writing experience. I really do. So, yesterday I received my very first YA critique EVER. I'm not going to say whose it was, but she's a fellow blogger of ours. Okay, so I prepare myself. Not just for the bad, but let's be honest who wants to open it up and see, "I liked it." That would be worse than, "Wtf? is this crap?" (secret anonymous blogger critter, I was not referring to my own writing there, just hypothetics.) Okay, so this critter blogger person told me that I keep referring to my writing as crap on here and that she wants to reach through the screen and strangle me or something. She might've said make out...but... Anyhoosiers, so she was like, "You are a freakishly amazing writer and I forgot that I was reading an unpublished book." Well, that's not what she said, I paraphrased a little. A lot. But it was along those lines. So, I'm sitting there, wine glass in hand, it was full btw, and I didn't even take a sip, I kept reading and inhaling and exhaling and I realized something - I can do this. Her "bad" stuff wasn't even bad, it was things to work on or improve and it was like, I love your voice, just be careful of yanking the reader out of the story and other cool advice. I am still reeling. I am just elated. I think I'm in love with Holden Caulfield.

Uh, anyway, on to more stuff about me; less deep, more useful.

Terry Johnson asked:
If you woke up tomorrow with a new skill, what would it be? Now, Terry, what would it be leaves this wide open. Like, is it 1. what do I want it to be or 2. what would it most likely be, given the complete lack of luck in my life? 1. I'd love to wake up with the tennis skills of a world-class professional, that would be awesome! 2. I'd most likely wake up with the innate skill to whittle a miniature Eiffel Tower out of driftwood from our beach, I'd die from starvation.

Heather Kelly asked:
Who's your favorite superhero? My favorite superhero is the dark knight AKA Christian Bale. Holla. What superhero does the world need now? WordGirl!

482 words...crap.
Granny May made me.


  1. First, let me say, congrats on the awesome first crit on your YA. Sweet! You'll be flying off of those words for a while.
    And, those crit blues--oh man. Why oh why do I think that thick skin is based on how thoroughly I can bash my own writing before hearing what someone else thinks. "He's going to say I'm wasting paper and should never pick up a pen again in my life..." Somehow that is what thick skin looks like to me. So, I say those things to myself to prepare for the worst. And, lo and behold, it's never like that.

    And now, I can predict a bit of what my crit partners will say--which I guess means that I know what needs to be fixed with my writing. But I still don my "thick skin" (self derogatory sayings) before receiving feedback. If I can say it first, you know...

  2. If I woke up with a new skill, I hope it would be cooking. I mean, I think I could do it, but it falls in the category of take time to learn how to do stuff that takes more than three steps. More than three steps for anything these days, and I find a reason not to do it. It's just more effort than I can allow for any one task. Like, if there was one extra word veri on this comment right now, that would put me over the edge.

  3. Okay--the word girl thing was fun. If I could be a superhero, I would be...a woman superman. Because Superwoman can't fly, and supergirl is a girl. But, I think I'd dress like Catwoman. She had a sweet set-up. But she's a bit too shady for me to actually be her. I'm having my own little party here in your comment section. I don't know who the world needs right now. Hope Hon? Peace Polly? Wake-Up-and-Help-Others-Wendy?

  4. Heather - Bringing down da house!

    So if thick skin is what we put on, do we ever molt? Do we get to be free of the thick skin and just suck and write and have fun? Once the thick skin is on, I want to be able to take it off.

    Cooking...I am actually good at cooking because I am meticulous as hell, but I don't like cooking. The moment before someone eats my food I have stage anxiety.

    So, you want to be SuperFrankenGirl?

  5. YAY for your first YA critique! You ARE a brilliant writer!

    I'm one of those people who LOVES critiques. I used to be nervous, but I've had weekly critiques since the summer, and am pretty used to people reading my fiction and going, "uh... what?" Okay, they don't really say that, but I do find my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th drafts are one million times better than my first, so when it comes to critiques BRING IT ON!

    And YES to Word Girl. Haha, I love that show. Which is saying a lot because I hate kid shows.

    And if I woke up with a new skill, I'd want it to be guitar playing. I got a guitar for Christmas, and I still haven't learned to play it. Lame.

  6. Congrats on the crit! Thick skin is a way of looking at it - it's also a kind of wisdom: knowing that the feedback isn't everything, that it comes from that particular person's experience and that it's just part of what's becoming the whole of your story.

    Superhero - I think we need "Authentic Man". Just 5 minutes with him & we become the person we're supposed to be; and, person by person, the world becomes what it's supposed to be, a place filled with people being joyously themselves with all their different gifts.

    Um, now I know why you felt strongly about taking the Holden Caufield slam out of Romeo, Romeo. I still Holden is the phony.

  7. Robert--I think that both you and Jonathon are Authentic Men. Showing Truth and Clarity to Others one word at a time. Hopefully your books will reach big audiences.

  8. *whew* I'm so glad the crit was encouraging!

  9. Marisa - Brilliant is so overstated, but thanks. Yes, Lame. Pick up the geetar and write me a song about the Feedback Blues.

  10. Robert - Good points! After you got my crit you didn't kill yourself, so I totally trust your words here. AuthenticMan, very cool. I like the superhero from Lee Wind's site too.
    Re: Holden, well, I made my comments on your MS well before I even knew who he was, so...there. Also, you didn't have a Holden slam, I see your points. Like with Noah, I'll be over Holden in a few days.

  11. Heather - *Hugs* I hope Robert's becomes so well-known that people compare mine to his.

  12. December - It almost sounds like you're saying it was your crit that I read...are you a spy? Hehe, yes, I am glad it was too.

  13. Yes, good to have a positive critique and even better to have suggestions to go along with it!!
    I like the idea of Authentic Man.
    My superhero powers are that I'm able to leap to the front row of a concert in a single bound. It's a mom! What's her name? It's Rockergirl!

  14. Awesome! I'm glad you were encouraged by the critique, Jon!

  15. Critter blogger, funny. Critics build, without it you'll float aimlessly.

    Can you tell me how to get to YA. Is it a website?

  16. Congrats on your YA critique!!! Yahoo! (or is that Google?)

    Critters can say whatever they want to me. Regardless of whether I agree, I want to hear it. Well, most of the time.

    Love Robert's AuthenticMan, but because I'm superficial, I think the world needs LitAgentBoy. He would fly from agent to agent, skim slush piles and eliminate the wankers, leaving literary agents with only the viable queries. This would give serious writers a leg-up and allow agents more time to ponder queries: win-win. My hero.

  17. OMG word girl is the shiz!!!!!

    That's awesome about your critique by the way, I felt that way when you read one of my secretive short stories and liked it :-)

  18. Nothing like a good critique! I always find that preparing myself for the worst makes any critique that much better. My ideal superhero skill would have the ability to play fast and loose with time and add extra hours to the day, but if I didn't have say in the matter my superhero skill would probably be something more like the ability to always perfectly parallel park a vehicle. Which is, I am convinced, a superhero skill.

    Oh, and though it isn't an awesome critique or a superhero skill, I do have an award for you today at my blog.

  19. Congrats on the critique! I think we're all wanting to hear someone with power say "You're awesome. Don't change a thing." But I also want to wake up with Julia Roberts-like legs and it's just not gonna happen. Take the good and the bad together and be your best self, I say.

    I had a martini the other night (your wine reminded me) and it did not agree with me. I may be off all alcohol forever.

  20. Congratulations!!! That sounds like a really awesome critique. Nice critiques always make me feel good too.

    And Word Girl rocks. :)

  21. that sounds like a great crit. I'm lucky I have an editor that tells me the parts she likes as well as the other crap. It's nice to hear what sucks, but also nice to hear what your critter said. Well done!

    And I did think I asked if you could pick any skill - no matter, very interesting pick. Tennis. I would probably say mechanical skills so I can fix anything - but in secret I'd wish for singing or dancing skills.

    My fav. superhero - is man from atlantis super? that was an awesome book.

  22. Congrats on the critique!!! That's got to be the best feeling.

    Hmm...if I woke up with a skill I think it would be to feel 100% rested on 4 hours of sleep if I wanted to. And then on days where I felt like sleeping longer, I totally could. How awesome would that be?