Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Giving Thanks...

Giving Thanks for---

^Friends who stop by^

^Felines who hang out^

^Family, Always^

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


You may know the brilliant children’s book series IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. This post is not about that if, but about the inevitable creative friends you have (I sure do) whose output you are aware of.

My personal experience is on both sides of this aisle. I’m one who writes and the mother of a performer and the sister of another. I’m an audience member and art-lover. I’ve read plenty on writers and illustrators’ chat boards and heard even more in personal interactions.

This post is about how well-meaning friends and relations manage to inadvertently stick daggers into the creative bubbles. It’s one thing if they intend to, but this is about the unintended insults born of (let’s be generous here) ignorance.

The most common ones are going into the list below. Feel free, in the service of enlightenment, to add in the comments.

The first one is the biggiest of biggies.

*Don’t ask to read/see/listen to your friends’ creative work and then say nothing. If you can give constructive criticism, that is helpful. You can always couch it with what you genuinely thought worked. But saying nothing is the worst. If you really thought it was not good, say something, and don’t ask again. One writer I know said a relative walked over to tell him she had read his book. Then, you guessed it, nothing. Relative changed the subject.
Don’t. Do. That.

*Don’t offer advice about something you know less than little about. A writer on a chat-board lamented her husband told her she should “storm the acquisitions meeting” at a publisher, after her agent told her the manuscript was going to acquisitions that Tuesday. Maybe in husband’s business this is done, (doubtful) but a more likely explanation for this sort of advice came from seeing movies or reading “take charge of your life” silly how-to books. Similar nonsense advice is to pester published writers for “their connections.” This is how corporate America works, but not fine publishing.

*Be fair and accept that if you don’t like something, someone else might like it. Creative output appreciation is subjective. Professional reviewers ignore this stance, as they must convey confidence and the illusion their assessments are objective. They are paid to believe this and make us believe. Don’t. Be. That.

Reading the above, it is tempting to never ask to see or hear others’ work. But if you’re genuinely interested and your creative asked for your advice, be a good friend and do the best you can. If you know you can’t, be a good friend and say you can’t.
My Beta readers are the bestest and I try to be half as good to my friends as they are to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Are You Tired of CORONA Yet?

Beware of branding, for it may come back to burn you.

CORONA, once just a Latin word for crown and a nice sounding one at that, is now *the global enemy* to be vanquished. But remnants of its old glory branding days are everywhere.



Seltzer water^



And in case writers, ever sensitive to words, want to forget about it~~~
Hemingway’s old typewriter.^

Oh, brothers and sisters-- I need cake...

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Revival of the Telephone Conversation

The Skype/Zoom form of communication was once a novelty, and then a secondary way of conducting business. COVID-19 made it the primary way.

My kids, generation Z/ Millennial, use text for “not in the mood or place to be seen” exchanges, and faceTime/Skype/Zoom for “let’s hang out” times.  It never seems a consideration to use the phone the way we did, for voice only. To be fair, until Email that’s all we had for instant exchanges.

But having to stare at a screen and having it stare back at you for hours on end during these times of minimized in-person connectivity has brought about a kind of screen fatigue.

Young’uns, as well as us old fogies, are using the phone to call and talk, no screens. I didn’t think I’d see that again.

Other strange rollback is the minimization of using public transportation. That was the hip/environmentally correct way to go only a year ago. Now it’s best to drive the family car and better be in it alone, sans family. One car to a person? The horror. 

And remember the reusable grocery bag? That was the conscientious way to go. Now it isn’t allowed. So if you walked to the store, just let them give you those darned disposables to take your food back home.

But of all these things, it’s the sight of young adults using the phone in voice-only mode, which makes me think I went to sleep and woke up in 1990.

I wonder how to reflect all of these^ in my current WIP.