The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just About Everything I Know I Learned From My Critique Group

          It's amazing. When you're part of a writing critique group, you can drink from the fountain of knowledge, and get your thirst quenched every time.

       Last night we met, and here are just a few things I learned:

  • Sometimes gold is unearthed when you're digging for potatoes.
       One member ("Cammy"* Her name is changed to protect the guilty) has pulled the same prank twice in a row. She professes to "have nothing" and then the most brilliant thing in the world reveals itself on the pages of her piece. Sometimes an older piece that we've set aside--for whatever reason--is a true gem. (ELynn and I didn't fall for it this time; we're too savvy. Galinda took Cammy's bait--hook, line and sinker. We're now calling them Cammy's POOB stories--"Pull Out Of Butt" pieces, because it's as if she reaches down and pulls them out of her rear end...)

       Scour your files and folders. You just might have something that's a true gem. 

  • Five wheels are better than four. One of our members had a "business dinner" (wink wink) last night, and was MIA. The night was quieter, no police were called due to excessive laughter, and substitute snorters were called into action.
     In a great group, each person has something different to offer, and is integral.

  • If one member is of the same "age" as you, and informs the group that apricots make her explosively gassy, it is not a good idea to take the leftover dried apricots and gobble them on the drive home to test her claim.  Blast off!
    • Along with the pajama jeans I already ordered, I am also going to order a "gut-butt dickey." One of the WWWP's lives in pajama jeans in the evening hours; her endorsement of them made my fingers do the dialing right away (before they ran out). Now I'm going to order a gut-butt dickey (and a few for my friends).
           ("What is it?" It's a band of elasticized fabric that fits around your middle, making it appear as if you have a different-colored t-shirt under your other shirt. It's real purpose: to hide your "muffin top" and any cracks that might appear.)

          I think all of the commuters that ride Pearl's bus should get one of these. However, from the sounds of it, they might wear nothing but the gut-butt dickey. 

             More lessons and tidbits will be shared after our next meeting. Stay tuned...



    1. Oh crap! I have to get my class picture taken today, and this made me laugh so hard, my wrinkles are craters. Apricots ha-ha-ha-ha=ha-ha

    2. You're such a riot. Let me know how those apricots are working. I'll definitely stay tuned.

    3. Reading about your "gut-butt dickey" reminded me....I saw the inventor of Spanx on TV this morning. She is now a BILLIONAIRE. She started with the idea of wanting to "look better in white pants," and the rest is history! What I love about her story is how her dad "taught" her and her siblings, to "try to fail" because that meant they were at least "trying" to do things...which of course, I compared to our writing. If we don't fail...once in a while...or A LOT...then we'll never achieve success, either. I always love your critique posts! You're such a hoot!

    4. Linda--The apricot-effect is not something to laugh about. (On class picture day, I tell them I am in the witness protection program.)

      Lynn--Can't you hear the tooting from Ferguson?

      Becky--I agree. When you're "green" (growing better at something/making mistakes), you're growing. And thanks.

    5. I just saw a commercial for those last night on the TV :o) I love my critique group, too. We have fun, but I don't think we are quite as 'lively' as yours.

    6. The gut-butt dickey. Now why didn't I think of that?!

      And you're right: they should dispense some of these on the bus. I'm tired of looking at undisciplined flesh. :-)


    7. But (or butt), will the gut-butt dicky act like those slimming jeans I bought? Face it, the fat has to squish out somewhere. When I put the jeans on, I suddenly had two levels of cleavage to deal with. I would think that the gut-butt dickey will want to roll up when faced with a certain amount of gut and butt .... Maybe I am over thinking all this ....

      1. Pearl--If you had thought of it, you would probably be a billionaire right now...

        Kathy--I'm with you. The flab has to go somewhere. And even if the material is made by NASA to hold rocket parts in place, it's no match for cellulite.

    8. I've always been group-averse, but I'd probably reconsider that perspective if I lived near you and your WWWP peeps.

    9. And Katie, we'd love to have you living here in this part of the country. Doesn't St. Louis sound irresistable, compared to California? (Not!)

    10. Hi, Sioux! I'm a friend of Linda O'Connell and Cathy Hall and just stopped by to see what I could learn from your critique group. Wow - there's so much I didn't know. :) I am blessed to have a great critique group, too, and there's no shortage of things to learn. And P.S. I've got a story in the Here's Comes the Bride CSS book, too! I was excited to see that picture on your blog! I look forward to reading your story.

    11. You left out that one multi-talented member taught us to say "Fork You" to rejection in a sculpture which is already cherished. This was...a gas!

    12. Sometimes, I suspect you might be drinking from something a little stronger than the fountain of knowledge. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

    13. Debra--I look forward to reading your story. Yes, your critique group must be a good one.

      Tammy--It's better to give that message than to receive.

      Val--Moi? Non.


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