Wednesday’s What I Learned (in Three Days or Less)

So, I spent a glorious weekend day, spring-cleaning in the yard. And then off I went to spend a few days watching a Junior Hall gloriously smacking a golf ball around. I did not take Precious The Laptop with me, figuring it would just be a few days. I did, however, take a book called The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide along for the ride. Upon my return, I learned a few things.

Thing One:

Even if you have a critique group (or maybe more than one critique group), you can still learn a thing or two from The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide. And by a thing or two, I mean LOTS of things or two. This little gem of a book is full of helpful tips and information, worksheets and samples. Which is fabulous for me, because I’m the kind of person who learns best with samples and examples. Sure, I could sit and ponder it all out but it’s so much clearer when I have someone like Becky Levine (the author) spelling it out for me. Best of all, it’s for every kind of writer/critique group–magazine articles, memoirs, children’s picture books or cozy mysteries– you’ll find something to improve your writing and your critiquing.

I happened to win this book at a recent SCBWI event, but I think I’ll get another one to keep as a critique group copy. Then, when we get off track or have a problem, we can just open the book to such-and-such page and pass it around. So much better than having to tell Betty Sue (or um, Cathy C.) to get with the program.

Thing Two:

Sometimes, it’s nice to leave the material world behind. And by material world, I mean Precious The Laptop. You might be surprised at the things you’ll find when you leave material things behind (which makes me think of one of my favorite songs by Michael Card: Things We Leave Behind). However, what you’ll find when you come back to the real world is a bit of catching up to do, especially in things like newsletter emails and blogs and social networking news. Sometimes, it’s best to just move on rather than try to catch up. (I’ll be visiting blogs and posting, soon!)

Thing Three:

Even if a day is glorious, and it’s the very first day that one works in the yard, and even if one takes all kinds of precautions, one can STILL find a patch of poison ivy popping out on a forehead. In that case, one must just be grateful for the little things in life. Like bangs.

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17 thoughts on “Wednesday’s What I Learned (in Three Days or Less)

  1. Cathy,I just spent two days away, sans laptop, as well. Sometimes we just need that quiet time.And, I'm a huge fan of Becky's book — loved it! Every writer should have a copy.

  2. Thanks for dropping in, y'all! Agreed, Madeline!Clara, hope you like the book- And Becky, you're welcome for the mention. Every once in a while, when I find (or win!) a wonderful book, I like to share the wealth of writing wisdom.Um, that was an awful lot of W's, wasn't it? :-)And yes, Gail-clear calamine is a good thing! Thanks, Megg, it only itches when I laugh! šŸ˜‰

  3. Looking forward to reading it. šŸ™‚ Sorry you got PI. That can be some nasty stuff, and it can spread, so be careful! Caladryl Clear works pretty well…it did for my daughter when she got it. We dragged her out fishing and she ended up with the whole side of her face covered. Ugh. She left her hair long and hanging over her face for days. I did the old mom thing, "Honey, it doesn't look that bad." But it did. It really did. Poor kid. And now poor you! Feel better!

  4. Christi, so true! Just needed to be unplugged for awhile.Lisa, I can feel for your daughter. My whole face was covered several years back-eye swelled, oozing, itching-UGGH. No amount of mother's love can make that go away-:-)But this time, it's just a patch, barely peeking out from my bangs. But honestly, Sally, I'll be back outside tomorrow. Because you're right–dinking around in the yard is worth it.Um, is dinking around the same as piddling around? šŸ™‚

  5. Ugh! Thank goodness you found a book about critique groups. I need to borrow it because you wouldn't believe how awful my group is. I mean the other women are just…oh wait. Um…I thought I was commenting on a different post. Um…my critique group is GREAT. Really. THE BEST. ahem. šŸ™‚

  6. I love the name of your laptop. Precious is how I feel about mine.I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Writing and Critique Group Survival Group. Smart move buying one for your group. Looks like someone in your group named tanyavalentine needs it. Oh wait -is she going to read this? What I meant to say is – she sounds like a GREAT critique group member.(Really she does sound fun.)

  7. Oh, Joyce, not to worry. Tanya will be the FIRST one in the critique group to get the copy! ;-)(P.S. She's TONS of fun. Just in case she comes back to read comments. Er, I mean, I'd say that even if she didn't come back to check. Really. šŸ™‚

  8. I feel for you with the poison ivy. Early in my career, I brought these beautiful red leaves to school in September, then complained that I caught poison ivy, SOMEPLACE! Duh, bangs don't cover your hands.

  9. I hear ya, Cathy. I've been off laptop for a week with family visiting. I'm a little disoriented, but happy to be spending time with them. šŸ™‚ I can't wait to read the critique book – I might just have to put it on my wish list. Hope the poison ivy clears up SOON!

  10. Linda, I'm sorry for your PI adventure, but I know you wrote a funny story about it. And probably made some money!And Deb, MY PI is just about cleared up. I'm reading the book as fast as I can, but yeah. I think I'm going to have to buy another one.

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