First thing in the morning and the last thing at night...my books, my friends.
We are back from our trip to Florida where I gave a short course at the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association's "Landscape Show." The event was wonderful and filled with great displays, products, and classes. Best of all though was getting a chance to visit with old friends landscape designers and authors Kristin and Stephen Pategas, ASLA. What a treat to wander their gardens, visit their personal nursery, explore the garden room, and linger over one of Kristin's great meals. Check them out on Hortus Oasis and you'll get a taste of their style.
I am bundled up to my earlobes although I am sitting INSIDE our cottage in front of a roaring fire. The skies are clear and star flecked, the moon is waxing, and the temperature is going to drop into the low 30s tonight. Not bad you say?? Well, this old cottage is not insulated and is often colder inside than out. We still eat breakfast and lunch on the porch, but I am usually wrapped in blankets when we're out there.
Low tide seen through our friend's windows.
We were so happy to attend the annual Pickle Contest and Judging at the River Grille in Damariscotta.
After the judging, the attendees were allowed to sample everything. Wonderful.
Activities like this are some of the true joys of living in a small town.
On Risk and Writing and Being Courageous About Putting Yourself Out There
"How quickly the minutes fly when you are writing to please your heart. I pity those who write for money or for fame. Money is debasing, and fame transitory and exacting. But for your own heart...Oh, what a difference!"
The Early Diaries of Anaïs Nin
by Anaïs Nin
Entry dated October 1921
My last posting about risk and writing has generated so many e-mails and questions. Since I haven't been home, I have not had the chance to answer everything, so allow me to post some answers here that may help you a bit.
Re: Writing Groups and Critiques
We do have rules, and then we also have simple rules of etiquette. Be kind, but be truthful. If you're not, the editors will be, and you will feel like someone ran you through a shredder. It is essential that you submit a polished piece. Don't expect the editors to clean up your grammar or figure out what is wrong with your plot.
Keep the size of your group small enough to allow at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted reading and 10 minutes of critiquing per person.
Choose a moderator for the meeting (usually the person hosting the meeting is the moderator). The moderator will keep the meeting on schedule and will time readings and ask for comments.
Provide hard copies of what you will be reading. Fellow members will be able to jot notes and suggestions on your copy. If you do not have the ability to make copies of your manuscript for everyone, then provide notepaper for critique notes.
Never interrupt a reader. Wait till the last word is uttered and the moderator asks for critique.
Stick with business. You're there to read from your work-in-progress, NOT to discuss personal problems.
Provide guidance, not personal opinions, about plot, characters, etc. You're acting as a friendly critic who wants to help a hopeful fellow writer get published.
Allow time in the middle of the meeting for refreshments, announcements about rejections and acceptance of manuscripts, and for marketing news and updates on the publishing industry.
When a member attends a writing conference, set aside some time to find out what was of most value to the attendee. What one learns will benefit you all.
Sign up for Publisher's Weekly Daily and Publisher's Lunch on the internet. They're invaluable sources of publishing information.
Join SCBWI if you are interested in writing for children. They're great and nationwide. You can attend conferences, network, meet editors, marketers, public relations people, and fellow authors and illustrators.
Those are the answers to some of the questions you've asked, but feel free to write if you have more.
THE LUCKY WINNER of The Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life is Suzanne of Privet and Holly! Hurrah! She really wanted to win this. Suzanne dear, Sellers Publishing will ship this directly to you.
The next few days will be consumed by the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, which I shared with you last year. I'll write about it and post photos next week. This year I will again be a judge at the pumpkin dessert contest. Just what I need! It is so much fun and the desserts are beautiful. See my old posting about the Pumpkinfest and contest to get a sample of its flavor.
Please stop by my newest Lowe's blog posting for a glimpse into my garden. I love your comments and appreciate your input. (P.S. I just checked my Lowe's blog and it still has my ideas for landscaping around hardscapes. They have just hired someone new to manage the blog and will post my newest writing on landscaping for BIRDS next week).
Thanks for the visit. This was a short one, but life is speeding past, and I am running to keep up. Our days are dwindling here, and I try to extract an hour and ten minutes out of every hour that passes.
Sending love and the image of some Maine grown Jacob's Cattle beans.
P.S. ESPECIALLY FOR GRIMY HANDS GIRLS' CLUB MEMBERS.
Leave one of your comments on this posting before October 15 and you will be eligible to win the new book, Planting the Dry Shade Garden (Timber Press), by great writer Graham Rice. It is a wonderful book and for those of you faced with the problem of dry shade gardening. You'll find lots of solutions in Graham's book. Grimy Hands members only.
A huge thank you to my dear friend Susan at My Mother's Apron Strings
My chickadee apron is PERFECT. I am such a slob when I cook...I promise to try and keep it clean. Susan dear, I will be thinking of you and your sweet Kelly on the 8th.