Beginnings and Endings

Yep, it’s been a minute since we’ve caught up but I have all kinds of good writing excuses.

“When You’d Rather Just Write” over at The Muffin comes to mind. But it probably started with “Right vs. Left Brain: What Do You Think, Writers?

So though I expected to send you to the new website by now, I’ve successfully dodged that task in order to have fun writing. But when I dipped in here to update (because the carpets are getting cleaned and writing here in starts and stops to answer carpet-cleaning questions is way easier than novel-writing when you’re on a tear and once interrupted, the brilliance is gone), I sort of took a spin around this website to review. And I had an epiphany.

I’m pretty fond of this website. Shoot, I’m downright crazy about it. So what I’m wondering is this: am I avoiding the new website because it’ll be time-consuming and tedious work or am I avoiding it because I don’t want to leave Cathy C. Hall Writes?

Honestly, I think it’s probably a little of both. And though I’m keeping this spot here for a while to come, I know that once I create the new website, Cathy C. Hall Writes will have a new purpose. It’ll be the signpost, directing readers to the new website. Very exciting, right? A new beginning! But it’s a little sad, too.

And that classic bittersweetness is what I’m suddenly realizing. Because with that new beginning comes an ending. I’ll be saying goodbye to children’s writing as I embrace adult cozy mystery writing. It reminds me of that morning when I watched Youngest Junior Hall at the preschool graduation. He was so excited to go to the “big school” where his siblings attended and I was excited for him, too! But I sat next to Mister Man, practically bawling (seriously, it was embarrassing) because the video camera had a faulty tape and I couldn’t record this last precious day.

Of course, I wasn’t crying because of a video camera (well, maybe a little bit). I was in a state because it was the end of those joyful preschool days. I’m getting a little flakempt right now, just remembering. Even though I know how wonderful his grade school years were and all the joyful times he’s had since.

So the new website will get done and it’ll be very exciting times. But hand me a hankie, ’cause I’ll probably be bawling.

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!