The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, December 16, 2011

What a Writer Needs

          A couple of days ago was my twice-monthly WWWP meeting. The evening where a group of writers share their writing and get it critiqued. As I was thinking about how fortunate I am to be a part of this group, I was also contemplating what a writer needs from their critique group...And here is my list of a few requirements (at this moment):

  • Safety. Writing is a risky business. Even if it's fiction, you leave pieces of yourself between the lines. When you put yourself out there, vulnerable, it's crucial that you feel safe as you're doing it.

  • Crap detectors. If the dialogue sounds hokey, the other writers need to feel empowered enough to shout out, "That sounds like a Lifetime Movie script! Crapola!" If the writing gets boring and petty, the critique members need to feel comfortable saying, "That's pure drivel. I'm falling asleep here."

  • Laughter. Writing squeezes so much out of us. When you write something humorous, you definitely want genuine laughter from your audience. If you can make someone wet their pantyliner as they read your story, you've scored. And if you can poke fun at each other, if you can't help but laugh at the cute blonde who's snorting, you're in a great group.

        I hope--as many of us celebrate various holidays this season--that we are all able to count the gifts we enjoy. The gift of family, the gift of friends, the gift of words... 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Signing For a Cause

        Yesterday a couple of writing friends had a book signing at Main Street Books in St. Charles, Missouri. It was a food drive as well; if you brought in a canned food item, you got a discount--everyone was a winner.

      Linda O'Connell was there, looking lovely as usual, with her pen ready (and busy). Tammy Goodsell was right next to her, looking quite professional (and thin, the b@#ch!). Also there was Cathi LaMarche and Theresa Sanders. I ran into Lynn Obermoeller who got a trailer-full of books signed, as well as Dianna Graveman. A late lunch after the signing was over gave us more time to chat.

      Linda is working on a book-length memoir, along with her  17 weekly submissions (and 95% of them get published). Tammy is compiling a collection of her Senior Sex(less) in the City stories, and Lynn is working on a novel with letters at the core of the story. Dianna is busy with her  new writing and editing business that is now booming.

      Sadly, I did not have my camera with me (and no, I don't have one of those new-fangled phones that does those kind of fancy things), so I will have to pull up a couple of older photos I have of Linda and Tammy.

This is Linda O'Connell, circa 1995. She and her husband vacationed at the beach this summer;
apparently, she's always loved the ocean and embraced life by the sea...
This is Tammy a few years ago. Okay, so she had hair extensions during that phase of her life.
You can't blame a girl for wanting to feel "glamorous" once in  a while...

         If you have not gotten a gift for someone, a Chicken Soup for the Soul book would be a wonderful present. (And if you're sneaky like me, you'll read it first--carefully--and then wrap it up for the giftee.)