Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kosher for Passover Lesson

This being Passover, or Pesach of the Jewish year 5776, I find myself munching on a matza while ruminating over my manuscript and the excellent feedback I got from a discerning Beta reader.
Working to polish and repair the gaping holes in a manuscript is painful. After all, this is a manuscript that only a short time ago seemed to be a glowing jewel. A good Beta will quickly tap that illusion out of it, and this is neither easy nor fun for a writer.
But here comes the good part. Once I overcome the denial (“Beta is wrong!”) and the crushing sense of defeat (“Beta is right, and it’s hopeless…”) comes the moment of glory.
It's the realization that I was given a map to a treasure.

I was thinking about this Passover joke, so apropos—

What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable explanation for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place for forty years before they finally got to the Promised Land?
   a. He was being tested.
   b. He wanted them to really appreciate the Promised Land when they finally got there.
   c. He refused to ask directions.


Here is the good news: I asked for the directions. Now that I have them, I know I don’t have to wander in the dessert for forty years.

Back to work.


  1. P.S.
    I was notified by a would-be commentator that the blog is not allowing comments. I checked the settings, but can find no reason for this. I hope it resolves soon.

  2. I enjoyed your post and especially your joke. I've heard a similar Christian one about why it took the wise men so long to get to Bethlehem.

  3. Can't those pesky beta readers just say we're wonderful and be done with it!

  4. Ha! Great joke, Mirka! Glad you have such a wonderful beta, even if it's painful at times.

  5. There's nothing better than an honest critique. And it's a wonderful sign of writerly maturity to be able humbly take and then make great use of criticisms and comments of others. Thanks for the fun reminder. Loved the joke. =)

  6. There have been times when I simply could not take the advice of my critiquers. But most of the time, once the dust settles, I realize they are right and I strive to make the piece better using the good advice I get. I might go off in a totally different direction or take the advice literally. Thanks, Mirka. I also loved the joke.

  7. Funny joke and so true about the value of a good beta reader!

  8. Funny joke. ;)

    I think your reaction to your beta is very normal. I've been there.

  9. Funny. The joke, and also our love/hate relationship with criticism, no matter how good it is, or well-intentioned...

  10. That's a funny one, and whoo-hoo on your asking for direction, Mirka!