Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
“Remember you are critiquing the overall craft, not mechanics like punctuation and misspellings.
You’re not reading as a copyeditor, but as a fellow writer looking at the bigger picture. When you hyper-focus on the minutia, it helps the writer improve as a practitioner, but not as an artist.”-Kimberly Coyle
I would agree that especially when writers are starting out it is better not to nit pick their writing unless you are asked to edit. I have been a Beta reader a few times. The first time I did it I was pretty insensitive in a remark I made about a character. It is a learning process to be able to give a critique. I am still learning and hope that in the Beta reading I have done since there is improvement. Another point from Kimberly’s post:
“If a critique doesn’t resonate with you in any way, you’re not compelled to make the recommended changes. You decide how far and how many of the changes will make their way into your work.Trust your instincts. You, the writer, have the final say.”
This is something I know I would struggle with because I am a new writer. This is where the art comes in too because when you are creating it may not be recognized or accepted. We do have to have the final say about our own work.
In regards to first point about catching my own errors, it makes me aware of the necessity of a good editor if I were to publish a short story or book. I have noticed, in recent years, more errors in published books and articles. I have read this is due to publishers cutting back on live editors for spell check type editing. It is annoying to find errors in published articles and books.
Featured image of Woman from Pompeii fresco via Wikimedia.
I am very excited to win the WEP (Write..Edit..Publish) Bridges 2017 Writing Challenge Blog Hop with my short fiction post The Final Transition!
There are so many talented writers who participate in the WEP challenges and everyone is welcome to join in. The next challenge will be in August so come over and check it out.
The Final Transition Ceremony was planned for the first full moon of August. This was the law of the New Order. Anyone above the age of 55 was considered a detriment to society. It was thought The Olders no longer had anything to contribute and we unable to adapt to the new ways. The Olders gathered at the stadium that led to The Great Bridge. Those who crossed it were never seen in this world again. Sarah found herself thinking how quickly her time had passed. She was an artist and had created many unique pieces of sculpture. It was her 55th birthday and she was in her studio when the patrol came to get her.
“It is your time, they said, you must come with us.”
The Olders walked silently down the road that led to the bridge. They appeared resigned to their fate. Sarah walked with them but her feelings were not of resignation. What was the matter? She knew her transition time had come and what was expected of her. As she continued on silently she also knew she was not ready. As the group walked on she slipped out of line and down a small gully at the side of the road. She quickly hid behind a large boulder waiting for the procession to pass. She remained there, afraid to move for what must have been hours, until she drifted off into an exhausted sleep. When she woke up she realized she had to get moving or risk capture. She saw a small trail that wound up into the mountain and felt compelled to follow it, not sure where she was going but knowing she was running away from the end that was planned for her.
Sarah climbed higher and higher along the narrow winding mountain path. She was grateful for the full moon’s light that kept her from stumbling over rocks or veering too close to the edge. When she glanced over the side, she saw the steep mountain side dropping away into darkness. Looking down made her light-headed and her legs wobble a bit, so she kept her eyes trained on the path ahead. She did not know how long she had been walking when it started to get light.
The trail forked, with a smaller branch curving off to the left into a craggy opening. She decided to explore it to see where it led. She needed to find a place to hide and rest. The opening led into a passage. She could hear water running somewhere. As she walked toward the sound it became louder. The passage opened behind a wall of water. Sarah stepped through and found a small path along a ledge behind the falls. She picked her way carefully along the slippery ground until she came to a wide outcropping. The falls thundered down into a river gorge that ran under a bridge.
“No, it can’t be….. The Great Bridge?” Sarah said, her spirits falling rapidly like the water. Did I come all this way for nothing?, she thought to herself.
Sarah realized she could not remain where she was and she couldn’t go back either. So she climbed down the path at the side of the falls. She froze when she saw some people approaching.
A woman approached first and spoke, “Don’t be afraid, you are not in any danger here.”
“I don’t believe you. I can see The Great Bridge,” Sarah spoke with voice rising.
“You are mistaken. We are helping The Olders to escape to our world.”
Sarah, feeling her apprehension growing, said, “What did you say? Escape to your world? Where do you come from and why do you want to help The Olders?”
“We come from another galaxy but our planet is similar to yours. Some of our ancient explorers discovered Earth.”
“Another galaxy, ancient explorers….,” Sarah mumbled not understanding.
“Let me explain,” replied the woman.
“We discovered your planet when life was just beginning and planted our seeds, our genetic material. We have continued to visit over the years to watch your development. Our societies have shared a similar value. We valued youth over age. Several years ago we were conducting experiments on prolonging youth. We developed an anti-aging vaccine. We thought it was successful until it went terribly wrong. It altered our genome so that our people die in early adulthood. When we lost our ability to age our culture lost its perspective and wisdom. We have learned that true wisdom is only gained with life experience. We share a genetic ancestry with you and hope we can repair our genome with part of yours. The Olders can contribute greatly to our society.”
As Sarah listened she found herself questioning the motives of the strangers. “You would not need to relocate all of the Olders to obtain their genome,”she said.
“The Olders would help persuade our people that we need to repair our genome so we can age. They would bring a living example of the gifts of ageing to our people and the perspective that is missing from our society. They could mentor our youth who have lost their parents and never experienced the benefit of grandparents,” the woman replied.
Sarah noticed a beam of light coming down behind the strangers. “What is that golden light?” she said.
“What you see is the gateway between our galaxies,” the woman replied.
Sarah was startled awake by the knocking on her front door. She must have fallen asleep in her studio. What a strange dream, she mumbled to herself as she opened the door.
“Your time has come,” the patrolman said. They escorted Sarah to the bus that would transport her and other Olders to the stadium for The Final Transition.
The Olders walked silently down the road to The Great Bridge. “I can see a bright light ahead, ” a woman shouted. ” It is the end of us, ” another woman cried out. Sarah smiled and said, “No, it is just the beginning.”
Featured image ‘Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland by Thomas Wolf on Wikimedia. Image ‘Multnomah Falls’ by Jake DeGroot on Wikimedia.
Word count: 998
“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”
― Margaret Atwood
I enjoy writing on my blog. But is it something tangible and am I a real writer? What is a real writer? It is someone who produces a tangible product like a book or published article. I am writing therefore I am a writer even if I never sell or publish any of it. Writing on my blog or anywhere else is not a job or career and I don’t think I want it to be just now. It is a form of creative expression and sometimes I get on My Soapbox about an issue. A description of my blog writing matches these synonyms for hobby:
Amusement, relaxation, divertissement (ooh, cool French), play, interest, leisure activity, sometimes whimsy, but also art, craft. It is way of being creative for me. Fun.
Harper Lee died Thursday February 18, 2016. Sad news. Here’s a post from Smithsonian with a few interesting facts about the author. I can never forget “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
I wrote this post last year and decided it was a good one for today’s Stream of Consciousness on the word “miss.” When you don’t check into WordPress or Facebook each day, do you feel like you are missing something? There is a popular phrase for that called “the Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO. This whole week, I feel like I have been recovering from the Thanksgiving weekend activities or maybe it is because the weather is getting colder here in Southern California. At least colder at night and in the mornings. Puts me into a sleepy, hibernating kind of mood. The leaves are falling off the trees, except for the palm trees. I feel like bundling up with a good book or movie. And I think my old post, with a bit of editing, from last winter will be new to many people so here it goes:
I know this is true but I had forgotten. When you are wrestling with an issue information will start popping up about it all around you.
Today I opened my email from Idealist Careers and here was a post about something I had been thinking and writing about myself. The post was called Embrace JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out by Allison Jones. In it she linked to another blogger Anil Dash who had written on this topic as well. JOMO is a response to FOMO or Fear of Missing Out.
I get a little crazy with all the acronyms. Believe me, it is not that I have never seen an acronym before because in my work life there were plenty of them. It just seems like, with all the frenzied communication, we are all talking in acronyms. When I first saw FLOTUS it reminded me of flatus and I thought of gas. POTUS, a potted plant. Well maybe these acronyms are a lot of hot air after all. But I digress.
The gist of the blogs about JOMO and mine is that we can be selective about all the social activities and interactions that are asking for our participation these days. We need to be in touch with ourselves and what our needs and priorities are. There is great JOY in taking time for our private lives and quiet pastimes alone or with our friends and families.
Other bloggers commented on my post with similar sentiments. The need to find a balance and find the JOMO.
Now to curl up with that good book and I have a nice cup of coffee right here.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by LindaGHill