For some time (years?) we’ve been trying to leash train Panther because she was young and we thought that would work best. She has remained skittish and unhappy on leash no matter how many reassuring pets and treats she gets. While decluttering I stumbled onto a larger harness I’d forgotten we had. Wouldn’t it be funny we said to each other if we took Meeko out to the back yard as well.
Turns out the joke was on us. He loves it. He rolls around and soaks up the sun and he actually hissed at my daughter when she tried to bring him back inside. While that kind of sass wasn’t and won’t be tolerated, I’ve taken him out several more times to sit with me as I write or crochet in the afternoons. Who knew the old man would like it so much. Even big truck driving past the wall that separates our patio from the stores on the other side didn’t bother him. A dart toward a passing squirrel just means he won’t ever be trusted off leash. We adopted him from the pound at 8 months old and he’s turning 10 this year. He has been indoors all that time. There might be a reason that saying wasn’t about teaching things to old cats.
I had an almost finished short story for several months now. At last I got over my procrastination, finished my edits and gave it to my husband who is my alpha reader. He gives useful feedback and the stories he likes the most are the stories I’ve been able to sell, so he has good taste too.
The ‘Now what?” in the title is about critique groups for writers. I am a member of a couple, and I’ve given critiques. I enjoy doing it and like what I get to read more than not, but I’ve never submitted my own story for feedback. I wonder if I should. There is lots of contradictory advice on this topic (or on all writing related topics perhaps?) out there in the web spaces. Some writers say critique from other writers is a must, others say no, it’s a waste of time, just do your best and submit and keep going. I imagine that it depends. Doesn’t everything? I can completely see how a really good critique group could be super helpful, and a bad one would be worse than no critique group. That doesn’t help me decide if I want to trust my story to a group yet.
Obviously, I don’t love rejection, but so far the rejection letters I’ve received, even the form ones are mostly kind. I don’t think editors like being cruel in general. And I get that even good stories can be hard to place because there are more good stories written than there are places to print them. So just sending the stories out and getting rejections is something I’ve learned to handle. Yet the idea of someone I don’t know, or don’t know well picking apart my story in detail to my face, even if they’re nice about it, horrifies me. Is this something I need to get over, or is it something I can just skip without worrying overmuch about it?
I will stay a member of these group because the process of critiquing other’s work helps me think about a story and what helps it work, so It’s good for me. Plus, as I said before, I’ve gotten to read some gems either before they’re published, or that no one else has gotten to read at all. For now though, I think I’ll just keep going with my process. If I feel a story is ready, I’ll send it out to markets. Maybe when I have a story that I feel isn’t quite working but I don’t know why, or one that can’t seem to find a home when I send it out – maybe those are the stories that need to go to a critique group.
Other writers out there. Do you use a critique group? If so, do you send them everything, or do you have another system for what you share?
So at least one of the mystery plants in my garden has declared itself in a way I understand. It have three cauliflower plants, which means, have no broccoli. Kinda bummed because i like broccoli better, but I’m also super excited to see this happening. I’ve looked up a bunch of explanations of how to know when to harvest, so I hope I’m ready to make the right call on that when the time comes.
I checked my garden journal, and I planted these seeds on October 29th, so that’s how long it took from seed to now (not quite harvest time, but soon).
More growth has also make me more confident that the mystery herb is in fact lemon balm. I need some more of my other tea herbs to get bigger so I can make myself a tea blend. That will be fun.
And while I was briefly afraid my blueberry plant was dying this past winter, I think it’s actually okay. Not much new leaf growth, (a very little, but not much) but it is making flowers like a powerhouse right now.
Humm. . . . blueberries could be part of my tea too. . . .
So, not as much temperature variety this month is seems. A couple of warm days there at the top in light green and pink, otherwise we stayed in the light grey and dark green ranges. It has been beautiful out and I’ve worked a lot in the garden.
However, I’m nervous how little rain we’ve gotten. It should rain all of February. It didn’t. Barely any rain at all. Makes me afraid for the summer fire danger if we are starting off with things this dry months earlier than normal. My kids sometimes don’t even say summer, they say ‘fire season’. It’s sad.
Please, cold and rain – come play. We love pretty springtime, but we need you!