Glimmers of Hope

February 23, 2005
I’ve been obsessing about the writer’s group again. Should I go – should I not go? I forgot to mention the last meeting’s experience- was really in the process of blocking it out.

The meeting was . . . similar to a visit to the gynecologist. Uncomfortable. Slightly embarrassing. Yet- not so bad you wouldn’t go back – if you know what’s good for you.

First of all – I wasn’t happy with what I wrote and got stuck with writer’s block – but sent my story to everyone anyway. This is the one I’ve been writing about my grandparents. Two Men Stumbled, it’s called.

Then on the way over there, I had a series of small panic attacks and spent the entire time driving trying to convince myself that I just needed to grow up and go and get it over with. Then I would tell myself – okay – if I see a red car in the next 3 seconds, I’m going to take the next exit and go shopping. Or – okay, if I see roadkill and it’s a raccoon, then I am definitely not going. That’s how silly and crazy I am.

Well – I went.

It was okay. Some of the reviews were painful – I mean- someone said it was “written lazily” – but some were good – overall it was okay. I mean – I knew it wasn’t where it needed to be. I just felt burned out. I don’t know – throughout the whole meeting I just kept thinking “too many cooks spoil the broth, too many cooks spoil the broth” – but at the end, one of the ladies said, “Keep writing- you’re good and I’d like to know what happens in your story.”

Then I kept thinking “Did Leo F-ING Tolstoy go to writing workshops and groups? Was Leo F-ING Tolstoy ever scolded for using the word suddenly? Did the great writers of our time go to all these conferences and subscribe to these stupid writer’s magazines?”

Yeah – they said you should never use the word suddenly. Only in the most urgent of moments.

I was thinking, “How about if I suddenly shower all of you people with this scalding hot venti white chocolate mocha?!?”

Oh yeah – they said I was in LOVE with adverbs. So, scratch the word “scalding” in that last sentence.

(Rolling eyes)

Okay – so . . . I know- I know – that even if you were born with a talent, like a great voice, lessons never hurt anyone.

I’m just stubborn.

Well – yesterday afternoon, I received this in my inbox:

If someone in the group nay-sayed this piece, DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. This is beautifully written. It really is. Believe me, I have been very honest with these people in the group - I've told people "nothing happens in this chapter" or "I can't visualize this" but THIS is very, very moving. There IS a novel in here. For one thing, you could start off with an ancestor who did go to Canada and who did have to relocate. I found that part interesting and you could probably make a really good story out of it - even if fictionalized if you don't have info on those ancestors. For another, you could delve into Claude's adventures in the War and Ellie's experiences holding down the fort. The way you've written about these people, they are interesting and I want to know more. I'm kind of angry in a way that someone nay-sayed this piece because there is a poetic quality about your writing that is difficult to master for most people. For example, your description of the mother putting the baby to sleep. Beautifully written. "The familiar waltz mothers do to calm their babies." Lovely! I want to know who Nick is. (Sorry if I missed it.) Ginger, writing like this can't be accomplished by someone without natural talent. You need to go for it! There are many areas of interest in this story that could be elaborated to create a novella, or even a novel. I really didn't see any typos or anything of that sort, so I'm just giving you my overall impression. I wish I could've been there at that meeting to refute whatever it was that guy said. Oh well, I'm sure you realize you should disregard his negative sentiments.


I immediately had to call her and let her know that she had saved the day!!!

I went home and got to work again. I decided that I needed an opener poem to peak interest – to let people know that the story is about my own origins – not just these people.

Here it is:

Through fate or through folly
We dare not to guess
The reasons our hearts beat
But I must confess

I’ve traced out my destiny
By angels, twas kissed
Two men stumbled
And thus, I exist.

Not bad, not bad.

Also – I got an email from the PR lady at church asking if I would be willing do work on the pastor’s powerpoints since I’m such the “expert” at it. Pretty cool! Not only will that give me more experience in the semi-professional realm, but it will help to keep me going to church (we’ve been skipping a bit too much, I must confess.)

THEN last night I got an email from a potential customer for my calligraphy!!! 100 invitations needing addressing! I was thrilled. She had stumbled across my website.

Things are looking up.

OH – but Mr. B is sick or something!!! I forgot about that. Please say a little prayer for him. He’s been coughing a ton. He coughed all night. I called the emergency vet, but they said that if he was breathing okay and not vomiting, then I could wait until today. I dropped him off at my sister’s this morning and she’s going to take him later. I’m so worried about him!

Tonight is pokeno. Perhaps I will win!

9:19 a.m. ::
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