saturday, september 1, 2001
and keepin' on
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now..on to our entry of the day! ;)
it is so hard to believe that september is already here. tuesday the kids, saxy and des'tynie all go back to school. i have about 3 weeks before my quarter from hell starts. the summer seems like it was both too long and too short at the same time. either way, it wasn't one of the most enjoyable summers
i've ever had. if anything, it came close to one of the worst.
but life goes on. one more bump in the road.
i have a new design for domynoes.com that i hope to get up before classes start in 3 weeks (this ought to be entertaining..lol), although i am having a color problem that i haven't quite figured out how to fix. i really haven't been happy with much since i had to pull the one design i loved because the
slightest mistake sent the whole dang thing out of wack..that and it was waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too graphic heavy. but the biggest problem as the actual html was way too easy to break. the current design is ok, but just not quite right. it works..i suppose. :P but i think i like the new one. i better...won't
have much a chance to change it once classes start!
today though is editing and writing. because i was struggling with depression and illness last week, nothing got written, so today i am starting my edits and plan to move on in my writing. i just deleted everything off of del rey so i can post fresh once i get through the editing process (ok, well, you
never get done with editing it seems), not that i was getting much notice over there of late anyway.
del rey is good and bad.
the good points:
* you do get something of a feel for your work overall. consistent reviews one way or another do point out if a piece really needs work (well, of course, they all need work, but i am sure you get my drift).
* you do find some very good authors who you respect and who are there to help others, as well as themselves, grow as writers. i have made 2 very good friends out of del rey, women who's judgments i value highly.
* it gives a viewpoint other than your own, which is valuable since an author can be far too close to their own work.
* preps you for the real workshops.
which leads into the bad of del rey:
* too many people there seem to be there just to tear anyone who is a good writer up. i am a good writer. oh i make mistakes, but some of these people floor me.
* too many people "read" but their reviews show they only "skimmed" as they miss the obvious and claim it was never there. for example, in my short story, it's our world too, the three characters detailed all actually state their motivations in one way or another, but i have had a
reviewer claim he had no idea what their motivations are. uh...duh! lol
* 30 views but only 2 reviews???? ok, i know i am not the absolute BEST read..but dang, i ain't THAT boring! i understand being selective, but jeeeeeze!
so i am trying to pay attention to the comments that are repeated (i see a similar comment 2 or 3 times and i figure there's something there i need to look at), pay attention to those i highly respect (of which there are maybe 3 or 4 total), and try to ignore the comments that are so useless that they
might as well not have been made. most reviews over there are so lame it's not even funny. they review purely for points, so putting up a 2-line useless comment gets them the review point(s) they want with little effort.
i have pet peeves though: i am in my last year of my english b.a. and have carried a 4.0 gpa except when i got sick; do you really think i need grammar and punctuation corrections? i had a high schooler try to correct me when i specifically asked for my grammar punctuation to be left alone, and almost
all her corrections were wrong (not all of them, and she did have some good comments in her wonderfully detailed review, but most the grammar stuff was plain wrong). and if someone seems to have fairly reasonable control over tense and punctuation, don't you think that just maybe the one
comma you find out of place, or the tense that changes and is consistently changed in the entire paragraph where it is changed, may be on purpose?
no, i'm not perfect (as i am sure this entry will prove). but, when it comes down to it, when i am ready for the grammar and punctuation to be addressed, i have more than enough people who can look at it, including my muse whome i highly respect, and at least one
other friend who used to do it all the time when we worked on seryn at tsf. ;) (they also catch all my fumble fingered typos, but i usually ask for help on spelling or word choice problems anyway.)
if you are going to read to review, then READ. i do mention a character is a mage in chapter 1, she casts spells in chapter 2. if you haven't caught on by chapter 3, it isn't my fault.
the long and short of it is that i write for adults. better, i write for adults with some level of education. i don't mean you have to have a b.a., and i understand if you never read fantasy before and need to know if a mage is a wizard is a sorcerer. but my new (as in, just going into high school this
week!) high schooler is doing better than some of the college graduates at the del rey site, and that is truly frightening.
i admit i write poetically without writing poetry. in other words, i write by sound. so, yes, my phrasing can be odd, i admit that. but when reviewing, don't destroy my poetry. don't take what is me out of my writing. don't decide you know my characters so well that you can decide how they would behave
and what they would say. they are my characters and all anyone needs to say is that it seems out of character for them to behave this way or that or to be saying what they are saying. simple.
i honestly didn't mean to make this personal. nor do i seem to sound like i don't appreciate comments on my work, i love comments on my work. but i love informed comments that show you have read the work, not comments that have their answers in the writing. and what it comes down to is that i have
to learn not to take things so personally. hard enough on a good day, i have been utterly devastated on a bad day. the day my cat died ended with a review coming in that was horrid, and i cried. i am sure the review wasn't the entire reason, but in that moment i realized i just couldn't deal with the
del rey selfishness and tearing up, that i just needed to walk away and ignore it all.
and maybe that's something to do more often.
not everyone will like my writing. not everyone will be fair in their reviews either before or after it is published, but i am a good writer. i make people feel. people want to read my stuff. many of them want to see me grow as a writer and gear their comments accordingly.
for the rest, i can just walk away.