Tag Archives: musing

In Defense

The writing world is full of haters.

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Author: Mohylek 16:38, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Before I became serious about turning my writing into publishable works, I was one of many armchair critics. As I sat behind my glowing computer screen, writing reviews on Facebook and Goodreads (that – honestly – no one besides my two best friends would really ever read), I found it easy to dismiss a story as trite, pretentious, boring, vapid, or amateurish. The words would vomit into a hastily written post that would reiterate my own selfish belief that the consumer was the ultimate judge of literature.

And while I still believe that the reader is a key component to the complex relationships between author, agent, editor, publisher, and fan, I believe we all need to take a deep breath, step back, and learn when to shut up. Let’s reevaluate ourselves for a moment.

 1. Have you ever written a novel?

If no, shut up.

2. Have you ever edited your finished novel?

If no, shut up.

3. Have you ever rewritten entire sections of your novel?

If no, shut up.

4. Have you ever shared your novel with a group of friends?

If no, shut up.

5. Have you ever written a query letter?

If no, shut up.

6. Have you ever written a synopsis?

If no, shut up.

7. Have you had an agent invite you to be a client?

If no, shut up.

8. Has your agent managed to sign your book to a major publisher?

If no, shut up.

9. Has your novel survived the editing process and made it to the press?

If no, shut up.

10. Have you received an advance for your book series–an advance in the realm of $750,000?

If no, shut up.

11. Has your series appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list for 142 weeks? How about for even one week?

If no, shut up.

12. Have you signed a movie deal for your novels?

If no, shut up.

13. Have those movies based on your books made millions of dollars?

If no, shut up.

14. Is your estimated worth around $125 million?

If no, shut up.

 

Stephenie Meyer is constantly bashed on, ripped apart, and mocked for her success. And I have to admit that I have ridiculed her work from time to time, but I sometimes have to get my own reality check. I can’t answer yes to very many of those questions, but Mrs. Meyer can say yes to every single one.

Stephen King and other professional writers can critique all they wants – how many of the previous questions could those individuals answer with a resounding, “Yes”?

And before anyone jumps on me for making this about money and notoriety, it’s not. That’s not why most writers write. But let’s be honest. All of the money and notoriety helps. And it’s oftentimes how authors are judged.

Do I write despite not being able to answer yes to very many of those questions? Absolutely.

Do I still critique other writers’ works? Yes.

But I take those few seconds to take a breath, think of the person behind the words, and keep my reactions in perspective. There is no use adding more hate to the writing world. It’s a cutthroat enough industry as it is.

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Writing Fairies and Hobgoblins

Sometimes when I go back months later and read my stories I’m surprised by what I find.

At some moments I think,

“Good night. That’s some great material. Did someone break into my house and write a chapter to my novel when I wasn’t looking?”

And yet other times I think,

“Good night. That’s some crappy material. Did someone break into my house and write a chapter to my novel when I wasn’t looking?”

Sometimes the muse is a beautiful, sparkling fairy, and sometimes it’s a hairy, three-toed hobgoblin.

Illustration from book The Goblins’ Christmas by Elizabeth Anderson.

English: Goblin 19th illustration

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Toddler Troubles and Treasures #4: Time for a little fun.

If I were to rip off my shirt,

stick my finger in my bellybutton,

and strut around dancing to my favorite fun. song,

my husband would be the only enthusiastic audience member.

fun.

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Toddler Troubles and Treasures #3: Pooping in My Pantry

No one would find it cute, humorous, or rational if I hid in the pantry, shoving handfuls of Goldfish crackers in my mouth while pooping my pants. They call that being drunk.

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Toddler Troubles and Treasures #2: Butting the Table

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Toddler Trouble:

Even if my fat butt could fit, I don’t think I would push myself backwards while sitting in my walker. I would also see the table looming overhead before the stand up, bonk, and cry. But I’m not a fearless toddler. 

C.G. Thomas

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Toddler Troubles and Treasures #1: Tiny Bubbles… and Butt Cheeks.

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Toddler Treasure:

After I’m done taking a long, relaxing bubble bath, why isn’t it acceptable for me to run around the house naked and cackle like a mad-woman while everyone chases me across the family room and behind the couches?

Also, I don’t think anyone would laugh when I left a pee puddle on the linoleum.

– C.G. Thomas 

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The elusive albino m&m… has been spotted.

The elusive albino m&m... has been spotted.

I found her lost, surrounded by colors of the rainbow + dirt; the albino m&m and I are long-lost twins of sweetness and bumpy, pale skin.

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December 22, 2013 · 8:26 pm

Oddball

I would love to be the lady with the shiny red sweater who insists upon wearing her watch on the outside of her sleeve and cinches her waistline with a fannypack loaded with prescription painkillers. However, I cannot bring myself to smell of mothballs and Chanel.

I would love to be the man who speaks with full bravado while sporting a curly mullet and, what I like to call, a molestache. But I suppose I was fortunate to be born a female so I wouldn’t have to make complicated facial-hair decisions. I simply have to wax.

Wouldn’t it be exciting to be the crazy lady in the front row of every meeting who shouts like people three rows back seem to care about the memoir she is writing about her life with thirty cats? If only my teeth were a little less straight and my hair was artificially dyed raspberry.

As I sit in the back row, packed in with amusing eccentricities, I contemplate the crazy old lady I will become in thirty years and if I’ll dye my hair, wear the skin of a plush animal stolen from my grandkid’s room, or smear lipstick around the fading lines of my youth.

I hope to God – yes.

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