The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, March 31, 2014

Honesty...Such a Gift

         My daughter is honest about how she feels about my shoes. They're atrocious. She has tried to get me to buy some cute(r) Crocs--ones that are fleece-lined--but I stand firm. Crocs--the basic ones--are perfect because if they get muddy, you just hose 'em off and they're good to go...over and over and over again.

      My dog is honest about anything that falls onto the floor. It's delicious (and is gone instantly).

      My husband is honest about my hair. He'd like me to get it styled like Olivia Wilde--and then we'd look exactly alike...                   

         Almost a year ago, I dragged what I thought was a manuscript to Conception, Missouri. The occasion? A writing retreat, led by Britton Gildersleeve. (I know--what a fabulous name, right?) Britton is not only a director of a National Writing Project in Oklahoma, she is also a voracious reader, can talk faster than a speeding bullet and knows exactly what questions to ask in order to get a writer onto the right track.

     What I learned quickly from Britton was that my story lacked meat. Or rather, it lacked a thread--a thread that would connect the "layers."

        (Why couldn't I have just written a straight-forward story? It's my first--and perhaps my last--novel. Why did I have to complicate things?)

     By Wednesday evening, five people will have my manuscript. (Whether they read it or not is a different story.) I'm incredibly curious and will have trouble reining in my pestering questions. Dothelayersmakesense? Doyoucareaboutthecharacters? Isitanicemixofhumorandseriousness? Doesitflowsmoothly? 

      Why do you have ants in your pants these days? or  When did you have trouble either delivering honesty of receiving it?









  

18 comments:

  1. Sioux, you've completed a manuscript. In and of itself that's an awesome accomplishment. Sounds like all you need to do now is gather your feedback, consider the suggestions, and tweak where needed. I'm impressed (and jealous).

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--Well, if the stench it puts out is too awful, there's not much reason to be jealous.

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  2. Oh, so glad you have seen the "first" end! I understand about the layers, thread...I think I am missing it too. So exciting you are ready to move into feedback and rewrite time!

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    1. Claudia--It is indeed exciting...and scary. I may be too close to it to see that it's just a bunch of drivel...

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  3. So, to sum up. You've completed a novel, gone on a retreat...and it was not only held at an actual abbey, but led by a woman whose name alone sounds like the girl who is swooning in the hunky guy's arms on the cover of a romance novel. What's a little meat and a few threads? I hope your comment about Wednesday means what I think it does! P.S. You rock.

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    1. Tammy--I will probably see Britton again this summer. I will have to tell her that. She would get a huge kick out of your comment.

      And yes...Be careful what you wish/hope for.

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  4. I am assuming that your vegetarian manuscript has been beefed up and tied together over the last year. CONGRATS on its completion! Here's a non-alcoholic toast to it needing only minor seasoning.

    As for as those questions you posed above...I can honestly say that I share your opinion of Crocs, that I share your dog's appreciation of floor food, and as for your hair, I believe it probably cleans up well in a faculty bathroom sink.

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    1. Val--Minor seasoning? It will probably need to be made into hash by the time I get some feedback.

      (And yes, we Croc-lovers need to stick together.)

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  5. As a word weaver we are forever pulling new threads. You completed a NOVEL. Celebrate! And share? you and Tammy are rocking it!

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    1. Linda--Word weavers? Linda, I think that--even in your comments--you produce enough kernels to result in a poetry or creative nonfiction submission.

      It is Tammy and Beth's YA books that I'm waiting on...Along with Lynn's "Dear Soldier" and...YOUR memoir.

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  6. If you don't quit sounding like me when it comes to your writing, I'm going to.... ummm... do something drastic. Just have to think of something. Holy cow, you are finished. And I'm dragging mine on and on and on... Congratulations and I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Oh, Lynn...You don't have to wait long..

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  7. You finished your book! That's a HUGE accomplishment. Most of the people who say they want to write a book never come close to finishing. That's just freaking awesome.

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  8. Lisa--Yes, the manuscript is freaky...That's what I'm afraid of. ;)

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  9. Congrats on finishing your novel. I love the way you write, and Crocs! My daughter and son try to hide mine, but they are GREAT for yard work, which will be here soon enough.

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    1. Mary--I say the same thing--they're wonderful when you have to do things in the yard. Sadly, I also think they're great to wear to work, to wear when you go shopping, and so on...

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  10. Excellent, Sioux. You can always improve a manuscript--as long as you HAVE a manuscript!

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    1. Cathy--That is true. However, if the manuscript is a pile of poop, improvement is not really a possibility...is it? ;)

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...