Thursday, March 13, 2008


I recently joined an online community of writers. This week I started submitting blurbs, wanting so badly for my work to be read that I picked out a scene of action from my completed fantasy novel. This particular scene comes late in the book and made little sense without the knowledge that comes from having read the preceding 7/8 of the work.

I am such a dork.

Last night, as I tried to go to sleep, I realized that the reason I had posted was to get the "attagirls" from other professional writers... I needed some justification for the hours (1 year+) spent creating that manuscript in my little cave of an office. Guess I should have hit my knees instead of my keys. Lesson learned... I hope. I have a track record with God of being a repeat offender in the area of "glory" seeking... sigh.

What I got from my community--from writers whose opinions I respect-- resembled nothing remotely like a pat on the back, although one guy worked really hard to make his critique sound "nice." (He may be my new best friend...) Instead of "attagirl", I got the reactions of some very confused readers who had no idea why this scene should be considered a good example of my writing ability. Ouch.

So... I went back, detached myself, and tried to read the post as if I knew nothing about the characters other than was included in the little blurb of action posted. Turns out, I agree with the critics. Double ouch with an "I'd better nuke this off before a publisher reads it and remembers my name as a future member of the slush pile!"

The moral of the story? Well, if you go fishing for compliments, you might just catch a smelly old shoe. Healthy, lowfat salmon swim upstream--I guess I need to look UP a little more before I put my writing out there in the big river.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My very strange sense of humor was on full tilt this week.

While perusing, I saw an ad which I'd seen countless times before but, for some reason, this time it tickled my funny bone. This was an advertisement for the wonderful technological advancement called the Amazon Kindle. I had to laugh at the brilliant marketing verbage that went into the ad copy, toting the selling point of the Kindle as a wireless, portable reading device.

Does anyone else see the irony here? A wireless, portable reading device; hmm... what a novel idea!

I have shelves and shelves of wireless, portable reading devices and, while they work very well to kindle my imagination, they bear no Amazon logo. All this time I had no idea I was so cutting-edge, technologically savvy!

It brought to mind a line from The Princess Bride, spoken by Peter Falk's character. I will paraphrase, "When I was a kid, Kindle was called books!"

Another funny happened at church which, quite often, is the breeding ground for some sort of overheard, unintentional wit. This particular dose of humor came my way during a rehearsal for our Easter cantata.

We were beginning to block scenes, going through the stage directions with our drama guy (affectionately referred to as "The Snaver") and he was giving individual direction to the actor playing Jesus. They had just paged through the crucifixion scene when Mike (the actor) asked, "So, does Jesus come back?" To which The Snaver replied, "Uh... no."

Of course, Mike meant "back on stage" and The Snaver meant that this particular dramatization did not contain a resurrection scene for the actor, but it was, instead, played out in song and on the big screens; but, the q&a exchange, out of context, was such a direct antithesis to the Easter message, I found it utterly delightful in a sick-sort-of-way. Again, I was the only one who caught it, but I laughed my tail off. When I shared my take on the exchange later with The Snaver, he thought it was pretty funny, too.

So there's your pre-Palm Sunday dose of humor. Hope it cures your blues for a moment or two. And, by the way, He does come back.... and He's coming again.