Sunday, August 29, 2010

Help! I'm bleeding....

I've been  stabbed in the hubris!

Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but it does smart a bit. I just read at the critique group for the first time and I've got to say, it was hard.  I already knew most of the things they mentioned:  Don't use an -ly words just choose better verbs, stay away from 'was', create more tension, and get to the main action quickly (yeah, I know I just used an  -ly word- $@#$ ). 

Before I began reading, I thought I'd receive at least a few more 'I liked xxx part' or the humor kept me reading.  Of course, I hated the whole thing myself by the end.  Nervousness made my voice pitchy, I fumbled words and ruined the tone/pace by speeding through it.  I stopped reading before the timer to save us all from the agony.

Whew.  It's done though.  It'll never be my first public reading again.  I'm a bit daunted, but ready to work on making my story something people would want to keep listening to or reading.

Now the hard part...more writing!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hello, my name is Cinnamon and I'm an...

author.  Or, someday I will be. 

In an effort to make someday sooner rather than later, I attended my first writers group meeting on Wednesday.

I'd avoided joining one because, well, I'm not a joiner.  And, I thought I needed to be a better, stronger, faster, (starting to sound a bit like the bionic woman about now, right?), and all around cooler writer before I went. But, time is not my friend, so I need to commit despite all my shortcomings. 

So, you know those 'group meeting' movie scenes where the heroine shows up at the basement of an old church to drink bad coffee out of styrofoam cups and sit on old metal chairs?  At some point, she stands in front of a large group of strangers and says 'Hello, my name is Heroine and I'm a (fill in the blank with suitable personal failing)'.

 I was really afraid it would be like that....and, of course, it was. Exactly like that. Except that there are no basements in Texas, the cups were paper, the chairs were plastic and the coffee wasn't bad (actually all coffee that's not Starbucks is pretty bad, but I'm trying to be kind). 

Anyway, the craziest part was that even though I was purposely sitting in the back row trying to hide, the moderator took about two seconds to hone in on fact that I was visiting and single me out.  ACK!  I was so ready to sprint for the exit after having to stand up and admit my love for science fiction and paranormal YA books.  Lemme tell you, if I hadn't thrown a fit at home about taking time to do something for myself for once (three kids, three dogs, one husband, ya know how it is), I would have done it too.

But, for the record, I am so, so glad I didn't run. 

What I learned:  These people can write. They take it seriously.  They also like to laugh.  I want to fit here. So, I joined.