Critiquing #2: Writer Bashing (or, What Good is a Bad Critique?)

This is a second of two posts from the archives, revisiting the topic of bad critiques. A critique can be either a beneficial or a devastating experience, and the difference doesn’t always depend on the person giving it. The attitude of the writer on the receiving end also has an effect. Last Friday I bloggedContinue reading “Critiquing #2: Writer Bashing (or, What Good is a Bad Critique?)”

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Critiquing: #1 – Getting Punched in the Gut

In past years I’ve written a few posts on the topic of critiquing which generated several comments. Now that I’m back in another critique group, I am reminded of how difficult it can be to adjust to the critiquing styles of a new group of writers. It takes time to get to know and trust each other…Continue reading “Critiquing: #1 – Getting Punched in the Gut”

When is a piano like a story?

The grand piano at our church ended up on its side today. I watched with sweaty hands as the two men detached the lyre and a leg, tipped the piano over and removed its brass wheels. There’s a good reason for what they were doing. The nearly-700 pound instrument needs to be moved occasionally andContinue reading “When is a piano like a story?”

Baseboards and Oversights

Our house has baseboards, and today my hubby is taping above them in preparation for repainting. Baseboards are one of those things I’ve always taken for granted. Don’t they just run around rooms in straight lines to tidy up where walls meet flooring? Who knew they have to fit around so many corners and intoContinue reading “Baseboards and Oversights”

#WIPMADNESS WEEK #3 – Basics of the Craft

Welcome back for our Week #3 check-in, Wipsters. “I’ve had a story rattling around in my head for years, waiting to be told. Maybe it’s time I wrote it.” If you’ve been a writer for very long, you’ve likely encountered similar comments. Whether you’re having lunch in the cafeteria at work, chatting over coffee afterContinue reading “#WIPMADNESS WEEK #3 – Basics of the Craft”

Why crocodile skin may not be the best defense for writers

Did you ever wish you had the skin of alligators or crocodiles? You know, a thick protective layer that is virtually impenetrable? Their bodies are covered with scales composed of the same material that is found in hooves, horns and nails. Wikipedia says “On the head the skin is actually fused to the bones ofContinue reading “Why crocodile skin may not be the best defense for writers”

New beginnings… or, please not another revision!

. Now that spring is officially underway, I think most of us are wishing for signs that winter is giving in and retreating. We all realize that where we live has a bearing on how soon we can expect to see buds bursting, but we’re more than ready for the return of springtime with itsContinue reading “New beginnings… or, please not another revision!”

‘Show Me the Voice’ Blogfest

. I could use some help here. . Brenda Drake has a “Show Me Your Voice” Blogfest happening right now. It’s an opportunity to get critiques from fellow bloggers of the opening 250 words of a finished novel, and then submit them for judging. Twenty finalists will be chosen to be judged by agent Natalie Fischer ofContinue reading “‘Show Me the Voice’ Blogfest”

Paralyzed by Fear

. The fabric has well-defined folds and wrinkles from being squashed under a stack of tablecloths and placemats. It’s a batik I created somewhere around 1985. I’ve kept it because I enjoyed the experience of making it and love its colours, but it has resided in a drawer hidden under table linens for all theseContinue reading “Paralyzed by Fear”

When things get a little rough…

A few days ago an agent wrote on her blog about how a disgruntled writer had sent an e-mail and then, before the agent had a chance to reply, had sent a follow-up e-mail lambasting her for not responding, and labeling her as a bad agent. She concluded with, “We know we’re supposed to brushContinue reading “When things get a little rough…”