Critique Groups

After many query rejections and some positive feedback, I’ve just finished my latest revision of the story I ‘finished’ (ha, ha, ha) in August. There’s no doubt I’ve revised this thing at least ten times, and have edited it to death, edited in fact from 113,000 words down to 72,000. I can do no more, and I think it is finally time for a critique partner, or group.

Do all of you have them? I fear commitments like this, which is why I haven’t sought anyone out before. But I think I need it, and I don’t want to ask hubby to read it again, even though he is brutally honest.

Anyway, if you have a second, please let me know how you went about this process, and whether you and your critique partners do a line-by-line edit, or a global, big picture view.  Also, do you all write the same genre? Any feedback would be awesome!  Thanks!


More Contests!

I am addicted to contests!  Even though I never win anything, I keep on trying!  I’ve wasted nearly two hours this morning, Tweeting, Following, and scouring the web for dang contests!  Just full of energy from my breakfast of bacon, and Valentine chocolates one of my little kindergartners gave me.  Anyway, here are two great contests you can benefit from.  The first one, from author Shelli (who I was so excited to learn has written a MG book with angels!  Out on submission now!) has week long prizes with an awesome grand prize whether you are agented yet or not!

The other is from author Elana Johnson
Both offer critiquing prizes!  Speaking of, you still have a couple days to bid on the manuscript critique auction from new agent  !

Good luck!!!

Thank a Fire Fighter

Someone smiled on me, I guess for putting that five bucks in the firefighter’s boot when they were out in traffic collecting donations for charity about two weeks ago.

Last week we had a small chimney fire at my house.

I knew something was wrong, but hubby gave me his usual ‘it’s fine’. Ten minutes later, while I pointed out to hubby that I just knew something was wrong, as the neighbors were gawking at our house, an off-duty fire fighter spotted the smoke and called in the engines.

Our house is fine, just smoky from hubby opening the woodstove doors too many times, and the fire fighters putting out the fire. Actually, the house was so smoky (before the firefighters came) that I couldn’t stop coughing and told hubby I was headed to Target, because I couldn’t breathe. Plus I was tired of him not listening to my nagging that something wasn’t right.

The off-duty guy arrived first, hollering into our house to GET OUT NOW. I grabbed my purse, and panicked, wanting to grab something else (kids were still at school), so I grabbed my story flash drives, since I was standing by the computer and they were right there. I almost grabbed my laptop, but feared being yelled at. What would you have grabbed, if you had about 5 more seconds before a fire fighter yelled at you again to get out?

My in-laws just bought one of those huge safes, the kind where you could fit a person or two inside. I sort of snickered, thinking it kind of silly of them, but after this incident, I can see the value in it. I’d be stuffing all of my kids’ scrapbooks in there, along with their photo albums, memory boxes, and the journals I’ve written to them since they were crammed inside me, dancing on my bladder. And my flash drives.

Kind of a weird feeling to stand outside your house, your sanctuary, and safe place, and feel afraid of it. Spooky feeling. But really the spookiest part wasn’t the smoke, or knowing there was a fire where there shouldn’t be one, it was watching the fire truck race down the street with sirens blaring, knowing they were coming for our house. It was also spooky to hear my address repeated, over and over, on the fire fighters’ radios.

I think even spookier was my memory of the dream I had in December, the one where I came home from school to find the house filled with smoke. This is already too long a post, but this was another argument with hubby over our woodstove, and he finally listened to me after that dream. If he hadn’t, our little chimney fire could’ve happened while we were asleep or gone all day at work and school.

Anyway, everything’s great, we were blessed, and yesterday me and the kids took brownies down to the fire station, where we recieved a tour, and the kids got to climb inside the trucks and the ambulance. So if you pass by a fire fighter, please smile and tell them thanks for protecting all of us. If they come up to your car window with a boot, please stick at least buck in there.

Speaking of donations and charity,   is hosting a manuscript critique auction to benefit breast cancer research in honor of my beautiful sister  and her battle with this horrible disease. Check it out,check out Tara’s story, bid, bid, bid, but please don’t bid more than me, as I want to win!