Time to Put on the Big Girl Panties

7 05 2012

I like writing. Like finding these imaginary friends I never knew about. Like inviting readers to take a peak inside my head – it’s fun in there 🙂

As much as I like to see how these characters and stories come together, as much as I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish, there are some necessary evils. Like opening up a critique.

For those who don’t know what a crit is, it’s where you ask someone to go through your manuscript/chapter/whatever and give their opinion on what works and what doesn’t. I’m basically asking them to show me, in their opinion, how to make it better, which means they’re looking for problems.

Sci-fi book 1 – Deceived – is 312 pages. I’m looking at 312 pages of negatives and hopefully some positives. Just as people write differently, they critique differently. Some throw in lots of praise. Others have a balance of praise and constructive criticism. Others go with the understanding that if there’s no comment, they liked it.

The key, and what I’m still working on, is finding people you trust to do the crit. People who want you to succeed, and can be constructive.

I’ve received some harsh critiques in the past. That’s okay, I’m still learning. But when they’re not constructive, it can destroy a new writer. It almost did for me. My friend Kathy (she’s on my blog roll – you should visit her) wouldn’t let me quit. I learned a valuable lesson. Not every critique partner is going to work, and that’s okay, too. I’m learning who to invite into that trusted circle.

So. Today I open those crits, swallow my pride, and get to work. I’ve got a nice hot shower to look forward to, as well as a good bike ride tonight, both of which will help me process the negatives that are sure to be there and figure out how to make Deceived better. It really is a fun book and I want it to shine.

Happy Monday! Hope your day is great!

Shout Out to the Garmin Guys, My 5K, and Writing

6 05 2012

A month or so ago my husband surprised me with a Garmin training watch. I can use it for runs and bike rides. And, if I was crazy enough, swimming – yikes! That last one isn’t likely to happen. The other two – yup.

A couple weeks ago, we got together with some friends of ours for the Garmin Marathon. This is the run I designed the team t-shirt logo for not too long ago.

Because I’m not crazy, like my husband who ran the marathon, I did the 5K with my friend. It was called the Dorothy Dash – great name, right?

It was a FANTASTIC day! I felt like a runner for the first time since I tried this running thing in the fall. Set a couple personal records for myself.

Now, back to the watch. I’d been having problems with the mode button. Because the race was sponsored by Garmin, they had tech people on site. They looked at my watch, and determined there was a problem. They were quick getting me the information to take care of it.

Because I live close to the Garmin headquarters, I have the enviable ability to walk the watch into the customer service center. So happy I can do that. When I did, they promptly replaced the watch with a new one.

I promptly went home and set it up. I did a pretty good job remembering the settings, too! Except something must have been wrong somewhere, because I couldn’t get the website to send information to my watch. But I could send things to the website.

The next day I called customer service. I stumped the poor guy. He was very apologetic when he told me it was probably the watch, and I’d need to take it back in.

I did. And I had these poor guys stumped for a while too. But in the end, they found the problem. Unfortunately, my watch didn’t respond like it should have, so they retired it and gave me another new one. The last one on the shelf.

And it works 😀 I spent last week testing it out! I went all over the place, and that mode button came in handy, as did the ability to send mapped out rides to myself.

The second day, I was at the customer service center for a few hours. We became friends. I knew what they did for a living, so they asked me. I explained that I was an aspiring author. The pronouncement was well received 🙂

One of the guys pulled out a book his dad wrote. It was great to see the pride on his face. I hope my kids carry around my books to show off.

In what could have been a frustrating situation, they were nothing but nice, and they made it a fun experience instead.

I now have the names of the service center guys – even the one I didn’t meet. I needed names for soldiers in Sacrificed, sci-fi book two, so I asked if I could use theirs. They readily agreed. I did explain they might end up being bad guys, and whether they were or not, they would likely die. They were okay with that, except one, who really wanted to be a good guy. I’ll see what I can do about that 😉

Cade, Cushman, Sharp, and Brothers THANK YOU for being awesome. I’ve already used two of your names, I’d tell you which, but your characters are already dead, and I’d hate to ruin the surprise.