Becoming Real

IMG_20181107_103920387_BURST000_COVERSo in between the constant robo-calls and the ceiling cracks and the flooding on the floor AND the non-stop barking because ringing phones and working folks in the house call for non-stop Libs patrol, I have managed to come up with something over at the Muffin.

And considering that as I’m typing this post, Libs is cowered behind me, in my office chair, because the YARD MAN IS HERE WITH TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION (leaf blower at the moment), it’s kinda amazing.

Um…just to be clear, the blog post itself is not that amazing. It’s just me, speaking my truth in “This I Know 2.0.” But after I read it this morning, I realized that I’d left out something very important that I know. Which is not too surprising, all things considered (see above).

And so I’m glad I have this spot here to add another truth, to share this I know as well:

That writers appreciate their readers. Not because they need reviews or want people to buy their books, though of course, either of those are nice. And not even because of lovely comments or the occasional thank-you note or email, though those are certainly swell, too. But mostly, writers appreciate readers because…well, I guess it’s sort of like this quote from The Velveteen Rabbit:

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

Readers give writers validation. Readers make us real. And so thank you to all the readers who make me a real writer. Even when my efforts are less than stellar due to extenuating circumstances (see above).

Critique Group Nostalgia

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Yeah, I was looking for my Inklets pic, but Libs in her Howl O Weenie shirt is much cuter.

I’m sprinting into the finish line on my latest middle grade masterpiece and so I’m thinking of critique groups.

Specifically, I’m thinking of my once wonderful critique group, The Inklets. We met regularly and we wrote and we critiqued and…well, you never appreciate what you have until you don’t have it, right? When several members moved on, both literally and figuratively, we didn’t have a group anymore.

I tried another group, eventually, but it was such a trek to get to the meetings. And they met on Sunday afternoons which, if I’m being honest, conflicted horribly with my football watching. So I had to give them up. (I know. Football, right? But all work and no play makes Cathy a dull writer.)

Now, I have a group of writers I reach out to online when I have something that needs a look-see. And they’re great, but I miss that human contact of the critique group that meets in person: the bickering, the defensiveness, the sulking! But mostly, I miss the laughter and fun, so when I have an opportunity to meet up with writers, at a workshop, a conference, a book-signing, I try to go. I need that writer camaraderie, don’t you?

Anyway, that’s a long introduction to let you know about my post over at The Muffin today: On Taking Advice From Your Critique Group. I hope you find something of value there, and if you have something to share about your experience, I’d love to hear it!

D-D-D-Doggie Writer Wisdom

2014-02-13 09.03.01I am not going to lie. Baby, it’s teeth-chattering COLD outside.

And not just Hey-I’m-from-the-South-So-50-Is-Cold cold. It’s for reals cold, and that old Polar Vortex is freezing the rest of the world, too. So you need something to warm you right down to your t-t-t-t-tippy toes.

Cutie-pie Libby Hall can do that. And she’ll even give you a couple writing lessons.

A dog who can impart writer wisdom and bring a toasty warm feeling to your heart (and the rest of your chilly self)–how is that possible, you ask?

Go read all about it at The M-M-M-Muffin: Writing Lessons I Learned From My Dog. I’m too cold to t-t-t-t-type any more!

Friday’s Fun Find: The Secret to Going Viral (A Case In Point)

Allow me to present Exhibit A:

Libs and Cathy


And now, Exhibit B: 59 Likes and counting with this image used as Profile picture on FB.

And so, people of the jury, it is my definitive conclusion that in order to go viral, you’ve got to be super cute.

But holding a tiny little puppy helps a lot, too. (Happy Birthday to Libs!)

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Friday’s Fun Find: FREE Monthly Planner (And Why I Need It)

2014-01-03 10.05.00Happy New Year, y’all!

I’d just like to say that 2014 is going to be bigger, brighter, and better than ever!

I’d like to say that, but honestly, it’s only January 3rd and I’m flat wore out. Thank goodness I found these nifty 2014 planning tools over at Literautus, and thank double goodness that they’re free.

Admittedly, I’ve always printed out calendar pages in the beginning of the year and posted markets, deadlines, and events. But I really like the set-up of Literautus’ monthly planner with its resolutions for the month and weekly planning. It’s an easy way for me to look up from the desk and see where I stand on any given day of the month.

Still, I’m not sure that all the organization tools in the world would make a difference when a ball of boundless energy shows up on Christmas morning.

Libby Hall the Tiny Terror

Libby Hall the Tiny Terror