Editing on my novel has been proceeding more slowly than I’d like, so to motivate myself I returned to my writers’ group for a critique night. To get myself back in the spirit of things, I submitted “Misconquest,” a short story that you’ve seen on this site.
It was a good way to remember why I stopped going to critique nights.
Continue reading “How Not to Attend a Writers’ Group, Part 2”
A writer friend of mine was fretting about a children’s story she was developing. It was about a squirrel named Whiskie, which I thought was a fine name, but she worried that parents would reject the story because the name sounded like alcohol. That got me thinking, and here’s the result. (Profanity warning.)
The Adventures of Absinthe the Squirrel
Continue reading “Bad Squirrel”
I got a book through Amazon Prime called “The Good Neighbor,” by A. J. Banner. It was billed as a suspense novel from “a phenomenal new voice,” and it was praised to the heavens. It would, they promised, “forever change the way you look at the people closest to you.”
Big promises, right? And based on all this hype, the book quickly became a bestseller. But I’m not convinced that those things were written by conscious human beings—because this book is godawful bad. By the time I was only a couple chapters in, I was already angry at them (the publisher and promoters, not the poor inept author) for tricking me into choosing it. So I annotated my copy with all the things that made me roll my eyes, grumble frustratedly, or laugh out loud. Then, based on my notes, I went back to Amazon and wrote the following review (which leaves out a lot):
Continue reading “The Angry Reviewer”
Today I did something that will make every writer want to be me.
As part of the job, I’m always submitting my beautiful words here and there, and the inevitable rejections have a way of toughening the skin. But last night I got whacked in the face by a whole new level of rejection. A place that had already rejected me apparently lost track of their place in the process, and sent me a second rejection notice, months after the first one. You know, just in case I had forgotten that I wasn’t good enough for them.
I could have been dejected, but I realized they had handed me a stunning opportunity. I wrote back, and I rejected their rejection. Here’s what I sent:
Continue reading “How to Reject Rejection”
There are two kinds of groups for writers. There are collaboration groups, where people get together to write and occasionally seek advice (see my previous post). Then there are critique groups/workshops, which … well, I’ve heard that good ones exist, but I’ve yet to find one. Here’s a little story about why I no longer attend any.
Continue reading “How NOT to attend a writers’ group”
I’m sitting in a writers’ group right now, and I’ll be honest, it makes me want to lash out at the very concept of being in a writers’ group. But I’m not going to do that! I won’t even ridicule the guy who just told us all how easy it is to write science fiction (“All I have to do is make stuff up”). Instead, I’m going to tell you about the first writers’ group I ever attended, a few years back.
It was November. Non-writers might not realize it, but there’s nothing quite like a gathering of writers in November. It’s a rare and special time to be a people-watcher, because you’ll meet people who are seldom seen during the other eleven months. It felt like being in a Daniel Pinkwater novel. Fortunately, I was there, like an urban David Attenborough, to bring this experience to you.
Continue reading “How to attend a writers’ group”
I’ve decided to start posting a little of my short fiction, because why not? I’ll start with an old story that’s been popular with my readers. It isn’t long. Enjoy!
In a dimly lit basement room, Agent Zaimonev pulled on his cigarette and gazed at the unnamed prisoner before him. The chance of a lifetime had come to him, and he was in danger of letting it slip away. The secrets this man held could make his career.
Continue reading “Agent Zaimonev”