I’ve also heard people make this idiotic claim (writers shouldn’t read). For me, one of the perks of becoming a writer, was an excuse to spend countless hours reading. Research! So what if I’m sitting on a plane, reading a middle grade novel? Research! A Victorian romance? Research! Do I need to clean the house? So sorry. Too busy doing research!
So one of my two partners in my last critique group (which I loved) had the nerve to have a baby. So much for that group, which especially distressed me because a group (which I also loved) from a couple of years prior fell apart because both my partners had the nerve to prioritize their families and work over our meetings. I was bereft.**
Low and behold, a partner in one group suggested exchanging pages and a partner from the older group said “Hey kids. Let’s put on a show!” Or as we writers say it, “Put together a new critique group.” And everyone’s great and they better not have the nerve to find something more essential they have to do.***
*So are cute little puppies, kittens, and adorable granddaughters but they’re not a whole lot of help revising a novel.
**That may be a slight overstatement. I just like the word.
***Just kidding, but you knew that.
The new name will be “No Writing or Querying Day.” To make sure I don’t succumb to temptation, we’re going to drive to Frederick, walk through the amazing Carroll Creek Park, and have tea* and a bran muffins.
*When I have tea instead of a latté, you know I’m serious about taking a writing break.
Definitive proof that I’ve done a good job as a mother. My son is Mr. January in the Nice Jewish Guys calendar. My work is done here.
I’ve spent the last 90 minutes finding ways of cutting down the gazillion times I use the word, “if” in my manuscript.* To reward myself, I’m going to spend the next 5 minutes looking at this.
*Don’t get me started on the “ands, ors, buts,”
I can’t believe I managed to do three wine tastings and still sit on the porch at the b&b in Canada and write for two hours today.
And look what a great start I’m off to!
I was reunited with my manuscript at the Highlights Foundation Summer Camp, where I had my very own cabin to write as much as I wanted. Thanks to my fabulous mentor, Kathy Erskine, I also finished my last set of revisions. I managed to acquire more words than ounces, despite the incredibly fantastic food they served us.* That, in of itself, was a singular accomplishment. Just ask anyone who’s been there.
*Imagine a writers workshop where the chef announces that night’s menu before dinner.
I’m going to the Highlights Summer Camp next week and I’m suffering from severe separation anxiety. Sorry husband, it’s not about you*
I’m suffering from separation anxiety, because part of the deal is once you turn in the first 20 pages of your manuscript (June 1), you’re supposed to put it away and not touch it until you get to camp. And my manuscript and I have been a thing since last year, and I miss it. I hope it doesn’t think I don’t care anymore.
So I’ve been filling the void by editing another novel. Writers, raise your hands if you think you can fill a void with editing. Anybody? Anybody?
*Not really sorry. It would be very neurotic to be anxious anytime I didn’t see my husband for 6 days, don’t you think?**
**That’s a rhetorical question. No need to ponder it.
If you will be in DC anytime between now and January, you must see the David Best installation at the Renwick. In fact, let me put it this way: you must come to DC or find another David Best’s Temple installations somewhere. Below you’ll see a very small portion (it fills an entire huge gallery) of the work with people writing memories of lost loved ones on pieces of balsa wood and on the work itself. They also leave photos. Prepare to cry.