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So, I jest in the title of this blog.

I’m sure there were those attending the writer’s slush fest sessions I attended this weekend who thought it was a flush fest.  Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the other submissions. It made me feel like I didn’t belong.

I submitted the first two pages of my novels to various editors and agents to critique in front of a room full of other aspiring writers.

I’ve been writing for several years now and have racked up enough rejections to not feel the pain of criticism as strongly as I used to.

Here were some of the comments on my books:

Title: Absalom’s Beauty

From a mainstream literary agency: Great opening sentence. Too much narrative. I would keep reading because it appears to be a romance.

Christian book publisher/agent: Tightening can be done. Lightness is good. I would keep reading

Title: Golden Band

From a mainstream book publisher: Opening sentence was cinematic. Intriguing. Maybe a little overly dramatic

Christian Book publisher: Didn’t like the word “Plopped” in the first sentence. Didn’t like the jumping stories. Main character was whiny. Delete the whole first scene to create mystery about the ring.

Title:  Sweet Sixteen

Christian book publisher/agent team: remove some adjectives on the first page — “when you catch an adjective, kill it.” Concept good but start in a different place.

Title: It’s a Good Thing

Christian book publisher/agent team: Cut opening scene–changes POV too quickly. Make details work for you. We know more about the main character’s furniture than him. Add a third part to a bit of humorous dialogue. Too much concentration on movements.

All great advice that I intend to incorporate into my stories.

I have developed a simple new diet concept which I think just might work.

  1. Chop everything (and I mean everything) into bite sized pieces. This is sure to burn calories as you chop and dice.
  2. Use toothpicks to pick up the pieces and put them in your mouth. The stabbing motion of the toothpick burns more calories. You should only need to use 1 toothpick per sitting. If the toothpick frays or falls apart, then it is time to quit eating.
  3. If the toothpick can’t hold the morsel of food, don’t eat it.

If you try this (I haven’t–I don’t like wooden popsicle sticks or wooden spoons), let me know. I’m curious how it works.

This quote was in a financial e-newsletter I received today.

“October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The other are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”

— Mark Twain.

I bet you think I’m going to talk about the pitiful economy and the terrible downward trend of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (down 678 points today to fall below the 9000 mark).

Well, I’m not.

Instead I’m going to talk about a writing “guideline” embodied in the acronym RUE–Resist the Urge to Explain.

Within that guideline is the  implied message to trust your reader to “get it”. We writers sometimes want to make sure our readers understand what we’re trying to get across. In doing so, we engage in needless repetitions.

I didn’t need to explain to you that in that Twain quote, he was actually saying that the stock market is risky every month of the year. If I did, the humor in his statement would be lost, don’t you think?

Sometimes it is best not to be so worried that our readers are not as smart as ourselves. If they aren’t then they are probably blissfully ignorant and oblivious to what they don’t “get”.

So, leave it alone. Let your statement speak for itself. Don’t try to explain everything. Trust your reader.

You might be a redneck if you use duct tape for medical purposes.

I just completed a medical regiment using duct tape. I had a small round piece of it on my forehead(my son, when he was small, called his forehead a fivehead. My husband says my forehead qualifies as a fivehead.)

Why do I have duct tape on my head?

I’m glad you asked, because I was going to tell you anyway.

I had a mole removed from my fivehead way back in high school.

At least, I thought it was a mole.

Now, I believe it was a wart. An ugly wart.

Imagine my displeasure some 23 years later when another appeared in roughly the same spot.

I decided to try the home remedy of sealing it with duct tape. I put a small piece of duct tape directly on top of it and went to work for about 2 weeks before anyone noticed it and the only reason it was noticed then was because my hair was blown by the wind.

This remedy did work. The size has shrunk to almost nothing.

Maybe I should re-name my blog from Put A Ruffle On It to Put a Piece of Duct Tape On It. What do you think about that?


Ruffles are more feminine than duct tape.

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