Jennifer Lyon

Monday, November 6th, 2017
Weekend Roundup

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was good :-)

Today is our anniversary of 35 years! I would marry Wizard all over again. We’re going out to dinner tonight to celebrate. I just want to say: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WIZARD!

Youngest son (BLB) came by unannounced on Saturday. Wizard and I had a vague plan to go to the movies, but thought we’d skip it when youngest son showed up. But he strongly encouraged us to go while he stayed with Maggie. (It’d been a tough two week’s finding out bad news, then having it confirmed, about a family member and youngest was helping in a big way.) Wizard and I went to see Bad Mom’s Christmas. We both laughed until we cried! It was exactly what we needed–a relief from life. If you like totally inappropriate humor, I highly recommend the movie.

Maggie is an awesome dog who is a “work in progress.” She’s timid and skittish, and has strongly bonded to me, but it’s taking more time with Wizard and everyone else. I’m taking a wait and see approach. If she and Wizard build a bond, we’ll keep her. If it doesn’t work out that way, we’ll work to find her a fantastic forever home. Since we’re dealing with a family illness, I’m not making any decisions, but rather enjoying the gift of Maggie for the moment.

Wizard, by the way, is working at it with her too. One moment she will be great with him, then she’ll suddenly skittish again. Also, she cries and is anxious when I leave. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out she’s had some trauma, but I won’t let anyone feel sorry for her. The goal is to build her confidence into the best Maggie can be :-)

Also this weekend, I got my book back from my critique partner, Marianne. I LOVE her notes. She put comments in the manuscript, and wrote out 22 points of concerns and suggestions, and then she answered all my questions on going forward.  I’m both grateful and excited. We also talked on the phone for about an hour as I worked out what to keep in the pages and what to toss out. I know it’s not always easy to hear critiques (criticism of your beloved book), but this is why I wait until I’m not only ready to hear it, but actually desperate for direction.

That’s the moral of the story — don’t ask for a critique until you’re truly ready to listen and appreciate the words of wisdom. Marianne put in untold hours and many days worth of work into this critique, and it’s all invaluable to me. But if I hadn’t been ready to hear it, it would all have been wasted time and effort. So here’s my unasked for advice on critiques for writers:

–Find a critique partner you trust and respect.

–Don’t ask until you’re ready, maybe even desperate, for valuable feedback and guidance.

–Be appreciative!  You don’t have to use everything, but it’s a talent and skill to critique pages, and a hell of a lot of work.  Treat that with the respect it deserves.

–Don’t be afraid to ask respectful questions and really listen to the answers.

That was my weekend. How was your weekend?

8 comments to “Weekend Roundup”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    November 6th, 2017 at 8:06 am · Link

    Happy Anniversary!! You two are awesome. So sorry to hear about your family member :hugs: Maggie will get there. I’ve met a lot of dogs who are shy around men or who don’t like men, and you’re right, it’s probably due to trauma of some kind at the hands of a man. So sad. She’ll learn how awesome Wizard is eventually. YAY for an awesome critique. You’re so right about critting.

    The weekend here was quiet. Did some fishing. It’s finally getting to the point where it’s cool enough for the fish to get active. Did some reading. Silver’s new book – The Sound of Silence – is made of awesome. Mostly, though, I was working on genealogy stuff.

  2. Silver James
    November 6th, 2017 at 8:25 am · Link

    Those are great points for working with a critique partner! I don’t always agree with the notes mine gives me on some of the “very fine tuning.” Partly because she doesn’t have quite as much experience–life or writing–as I do, but she’s usually dead on when it comes to dangling plot threads, inconsistent character actions (unless I’ve put something in there on purpose for plot), and continuity goofs. When I have time before deadlines, I also have a couple of beta readers that know some of my series better than I do. :lol:

    Still holding good thoughts for your family. BLB is such a good “kid” and spending time with Maggie with you and Wiz gone is really beneficial for the puppers. She’ll get there because y’all love so unconditionally.

    Now go write! Me too. *sigh*

  3. Marianne Donley
    November 6th, 2017 at 10:47 am · Link

    1. Happy Anniversary!
    2. You have great kids.
    3. Sorry about the bad news.
    4. Maggie seems pretty smart. She’ll learn.
    4. WOW, Jen. Thanks on the critique. I’m glad I could help.

  4. Jenn
    November 6th, 2017 at 12:36 pm · Link

    B.E. thank you on our anniversary and the sympathy. I really think that skittishness will diminish over time.

    Great to hear the fish are more active. I didn’t know temperature mattered. Interesting! And I bought Silver’s book, it’s sitting on my Kindle in my reading queue now.

    Happy Monday!

  5. Jenn
    November 6th, 2017 at 12:41 pm · Link

    Silver, there’s nothing wrong with ignoring the parts that don’t work for you. Very often, I save those items for last then go back and check again to see if I should reconsider. But that’s just me :-) It sounds like you have a really solid system that works for you.

    Thanks on BLB, and on Maggie. I think she’ll get there too. She just spends the bulk of her time with me and I work with her a lot.

    Hope you had a good weekend!

  6. Jenn
    November 6th, 2017 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Marianne, thanks on the first 3. I agree on Maggie, I just hope Wizard can be patient. And I meant every word about the critique. I hope I can take the great advice and make this book shine. Thank you again!

  7. Viki S.
    November 6th, 2017 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Happy Anniversary!!!! I hope you have a really lovely night out. Wizard and you look so beautiful in your wedding photos .

    Our anniversary is Thursday :).

    I’m sure Maggie is going to come around. But, what happened to fostering ;). Had a feeling you would fall in love with her.

    BLB is a great guy coming over and spending time with Maggie. I bet that helps with her anxiety. Glad you got to enjoy the movie too.

    You have a great relationship with your critique partner and that’s fantastic.

    Have a really nice time tonight :)!

  8. Jenn
    November 6th, 2017 at 5:26 pm · Link

    Viki, Happy Early Anniversary to you too! And thank you.

    Not sure if we’re going out now, Maggie got sick and we had her into the vet tech at the shelter. We’ll see how she does. It’s been a long day. Anyway, we are “fostering” right now. We’ll see what happens.

    I’m very lucky on my critique partner (and we’re friends too!)

    Hope your week is off to a great start!

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