Saturday, February 28, 2009

Week of highs and lows

First off, I have to say how very sad I am that the Rocky Mountain News is no longer publishing. It seemed so wrong to open up the not-Rocky Saturday newspaper over breakfast. OTOH, this isn't horrible news for me professionally. The one newspaper in town now, The Denver Post, (which I happen to work for) now has a much better chance at long-term survival. That means I have a better chance at keeping my job. It's one of those scenarios when I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

In a highlight for the week, I just got back from lunch with three very good friends from elementary school. I see Tina occasionally, but Deidre and Christie I haven't seen in 15 or 20 years. We caught up, shared some stories, ate some good food, took photos and promised to get back together again soon. I hope we do because I had a lot of fun.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two things

(1) I have a great idea for a mystery short story. Yes, mystery. Probably that's an extension of my recent reading of Ellery Queen magazine and the novels of Janet Evanovich. So it's time to do some outlining and character development.

(2) The family dog decided today would be a great day to start shedding his winter coat. Every time I touch him, a blizzard of hairs flies into the air. I brushed about two pounds of fur off of him this afternoon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The critiquing process

I have to take a moment here to rant. I hate, hate, hate getting my stories critiqued. From a logical standpoint, I know that if I sit on what's said for a few days, then come back for the rewrite, that I can fix the flaws and make the story better. From an emotional standpoint, it's like volunteering to stand naked in front of a firing squad.

I'm part of an online critique group, and I have a story up for bashing this week. I've received two critiques today -- one was extremely harsh and the other completely misread the intent of the story. It's almost enough to make me throw up my hands and throw the story in the paper shredder. However, I've received other critiques in the past week that have been positive for the most part. I guess not everyone has the same tastes or reads a story in the same way.

Sometimes I wonder whether my skin is thick enough for this writing thing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Not a great week for writing

I've been laid flat the past couple of days by a cold I picked up from my kids (it's a rule of thumb that any time the kids get sick, I get sick), so I haven't done much writing. I've been tweaking what I hope will become the first chapter of a novel and revisions there are done now at least for the time being.

Also, the Tor website currently has up the first chapter of Ken Scholes' "Lamentation," which will be coming out sometime this month. I have never heard so much buzz about a new author, and it looks like it might be justified. After reading that first chapter, I sat back from my computer screen and thought, "Damn, I wish I could write like that."