Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Writer's Weekend -- Yea!

I'm here this weekend at the novel workshop here at Vermont College. It was GREAT!
I've been working on several things and really needed a professional eye to take a look at them.

Since I don't have a critique group to correct my thinking when I think my work can't be improved anymore, this weekend is exactly what I needed. A novel workshop run by people who know what they're doing and can zero in on major problems.
Yes, they sliced and diced what I brought.
However, I also got new insights about the manuscript.

Besides the fact that working full time makes it practically impossible for me to attend a critique group, I had advanced to the point where I was the person giving most of the advice in local writing groups. (SCBWI, etc.) and that wasn't letting me grow my own writing skills.

The editor critique showed me where things weren't working and the critique with the writer (Emily Jenkins who writes middle grade under this name and YA under a pen name) gave me suggestions that solved some writing problems I had been struggling with. I'm glad I paid extra for these things.

The warm weather earlier in the weekend (plus gobs of pollen in the air) ended today here at Vermont -- with a snow storm. (they called it a snow shower .)
That pollen really affected a lot of us, causing our eyes and noses to run.
It's very embarrasing to walk on campus after having a critique done on your ms. by an editor / author/ or advisor -- and there you are crying buckets of tears. You want to say, NO, I AM NOT CRYING about the critique. REALLY!

The college food, which I have liked in the last 2 residencies, was NOT that good this time. Not enough variety. If it was fish -- it was several versions of fish, plus liguini with clam sauce. (no thanks/ where's the beef?) If it was pasta -- it was both rigitoni which had absorbed its red sauce and Mac & cheese. Broccoli in a variety of ways -- all good but some with too much garlic.
We ate a lot of the salad bar stuff.

My roomate is watching a TV show with streaming video. I'm missing the Amazing Race, but I can't watch the video of it until tomorrow. For some reason they don't want it available until after you guys on the west coast have seen it. (g)
hmmmm. I think I saw a TV set in the dorm lounge. I'll see if I can get it to work by 8 pm.

Monday we get on the train for the 12 hour trip back to Maryland. This time we'll be able to see the Vermont scenery. It was dark when the train began traveling that part of the route.

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