Monday, June 27, 2011

How Do You Know?

How do you know when you're good enough?  When your voice is distinctive?  When you have an original plot or a new twist on an old one?  When people other than your mom, sister, spouse, or best friend like what you write?  Honestly, I don't have a clear-cut answer.

Some days I read what I write and think it's good stuff.  Other days, I'm sure I'm deluding myself.  Clearly, I'm not the go-to-girl to judge good enough.

Is a contract a validation?  For most, yes.  But there's always a bigger, better publisher to net.  Maybe it's the number of contracts that counts.  If that's true, the more prolific, the more successful, right?

Then there's the indie authors.  I know indie authors who are some of the most successful writers I've seen.  How do they know they're good enough?  Number of downloads?  Money earned?  Number of POD books sold?

The reality is there's no such thing as good enough.  Craft and skill only get you so far.  In my very humble opinion, you're good enough when you're brave enough to put yourself out there, whether it's to a crit partner or an actual submission.  Every step brings you closer to your goal, and if you get a publisher's nod or not, you're working toward your dream, and that's good enough for me.

Happy Writing!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Well, I went back into the contest arena, but this time, I went as a judge--again.  I feel a little more confident than the first time I judged, but it's still difficult to try to give constructive criticism without stepping on someone's dreams.  If I could, I would tell the writers who were brave enough to enter to never give up, no matter where they are in the writing journey.  Even if they don't final this time around, they're one step closer just by getting some feedback from people who aren't friends or family.  But, instead, I give them as many positive comments as I can, mixed with some constructive criticisms that I hope are helpful and not hurtful.

Anyway, I'll do my best to encourage these brave writers to continue to create.

Happy Writing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not the Best of Times Lately

I am so locking all my windows and doors and staying home for at least a day to try my best to hunker down until my luck changes.  Things have not been great this week.

I learned last month that due to my history with cancer, I would need to have a colonoscopy to investigate some concerns.  I wasn't looking forward to it, to say the least, but when the time came I ate my clear, liquid diet and drank the horrible colon scrubber they gave me and followed it all to a T.

The morning came and all was going well as my husband drove me to the office where the procedure would take place.  Out of nowhere, a barely-more-than-a-kid plowed into the back of our car when traffic stopped.  We careened into the car in front of us, but thankfully no one needed medical attention.  I was sore for a few days, but overall I'm thankful it wasn't worse.  Needless to say, I was late for the colonoscopy.  We still went through with the procedure because I was not going through that prep again, and the doctor found that everything inside was as it should be.  Yay, for another clean bill of health.

I was happy that my hubs got a chance to hang with the guys on a four day golf trip two states away starting the next day, but I had no idea just how jinxed I was going to be this week.

I thought my bad luck was over and ventured forth to play a little tennis with my  It was their first time, but I played a little in college, so I was the on-site expert, much to their misfortune.

The kids did wonderfully for their first time playing.  They had a good time and might have learned a little too.  Toward the end, the teen kiddo and I were volleying just a few more when I chased a wild one until I lost my balance, regained it, then lost it again.  Heads don't mix well with concrete.  Next thing I knew, I was on the ground, my head was hurting and my legs were numb.  Scary, scary, freakin' scary.  Fortunately, my teen jumped into quick action and grabbed her phone out of the nearby car.  She desperately wanted to call 911, but I desperately didn't want to pay for an ambulance, so I opted for my sister instead.

She was there within twenty minutes, and we rushed off to the hospital.  By this time, I was feeling dizzy and nauseous, but my legs were no longer numb, so I could slack off of the panic button a little.  One examination and CT scan later, the doctor decided it was a concussion, but there was no internal bleeding in my brain, so I could go home.

Now, my hubby is on his way home.  It was the final day of his trip, so he didn't have to cut it short for me.  And I'm feeling happy things are not as bad as they could have been.

One bit of amazing news that helped brighten the whole situation:  I finally took my comprehensive exam for school counseling.  It was tough, but in about two to four weeks, I'll know my score.  Cross your fingers and your toes, my long, long journey to becoming a school counselor is finally over.

Hope your luck has been better than mine lately.

Happy Writing!