So, I spent a glorious weekend day, spring-cleaning in the yard. And then off I went to spend a few days watching a Junior Hall gloriously smacking a golf ball around. I did not take Precious The Laptop with me, figuring it would just be a few days. I did, however, take a book called The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide along for the ride. Upon my return, I learned a few things.
Even if you have a critique group (or maybe more than one critique group), you can still learn a thing or two from The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide. And by a thing or two, I mean LOTS of things or two. This little gem of a book is full of helpful tips and information, worksheets and samples. Which is fabulous for me, because I'm the kind of person who learns best with samples and examples. Sure, I could sit and ponder it all out but it's so much clearer when I have someone like Becky Levine (the author) spelling it out for me. Best of all, it's for every kind of writer/critique group--magazine articles, memoirs, children's picture books or cozy mysteries-- you'll find something to improve your writing and your critiquing.
I happened to win this book at a recent SCBWI event, but I think I'll get another one to keep as a critique group copy. Then, when we get off track or have a problem, we can just open the book to such-and-such page and pass it around. So much better than having to tell Betty Sue (or um, Cathy C.) to get with the program.
Sometimes, it's nice to leave the material world behind. And by material world, I mean Precious The Laptop. You might be surprised at the things you'll find when you leave material things behind (which makes me think of one of my favorite songs by Michael Card: Things We Leave Behind). However, what you'll find when you come back to the real world is a bit of catching up to do, especially in things like newsletter emails and blogs and social networking news. Sometimes, it's best to just move on rather than try to catch up. (I'll be visiting blogs and posting, soon!)
Even if a day is glorious, and it's the very first day that one works in the yard, and even if one takes all kinds of precautions, one can STILL find a patch of poison ivy popping out on a forehead. In that case, one must just be grateful for the little things in life. Like bangs.