Monday, September 21, 2009

So Don't Read My F***ing Blog!

Ready for some controversy this fine Monday morning?

This may seem like a topic geared more toward the writers amongst our readers, but I’m curious about what everyone has to say, readers as well as writers, both published and yet-to-be-published.

There’s been a lot of buzz on some writer loops about an article screenwriter Josh Olson (The History of Violence) wrote for the Village Voice about strangers/acquaintances asking published authors/working screenwriters to read their writing. You don’t have to read the article to get the drift of his opinion. The title pretty much speaks for itself. He’s not going to read your script. A follow up article was written by David Gerrold, another screenwriter, a few days later.

While I agree with both articles, I probably would’ve found a more tactful way to express my opinion. I guess it shows how frustrated Mr. Olson was over the situation he described. As my dad says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

What I find amazing about this issue is the range of opinions on a subject that seems so clear cut to me. Normally I wouldn't step out there on this kind of a topic, but people have written some of the nastiest comments I’ve ever read on the Internet and it bothers me.

Last time I checked, none of us had a right to expect another person to help us with anything, especially someone we don’t or hardly know. Suppose a person does ask. Is he/she at all justified in getting angry at being turned down? That justification would imply that we are somehow entitled to another person’s time, energy or expertise. Are we entitled?

Let’s say I see Gerard Butler (hehehe) sitting quietly on a bench in Central Park. I ask him for his autograph and he politely explains he prefers to be left alone. (I saw a YouTube video of some folks running into him for real in Central Park and he spent a long while not only signing autographs, but also visiting with them and posing for pictures. Of course, I’m insanely jealous and have been wanting to go to NYC and hang out in Central Park ever since then, but that’s beside the point.) Do I have a right to expect Gerry to spend time with me? And if he refuses, is it okay to think he’s a jerk? Does the fact that he’s an actor somehow make him public property?

Let’s say you’re a writer and someone you either don’t know at all or know casually asks you to read something they’ve written. What then? Are published writers public property?

I’ve been asked to read things a couple of times by people I have just met, never met, or know casually. Although I wasn't the slightest offended by the question (I might have been if they'd gotten upset) I’ve said no every time. And while I sincerely hope I’ve not hurt anyone’s feeling, the crazy thing is that I’ve think I’ve done them a favor. For a lot of reasons.

I am not a cheerleader. And I don’t mean that in a snarky way. I really do not have a positive, look-on-the-bright-side personality. If I try to blow sunshine up anyone’s *** it’ll be immediately apparent. You’ll bum out. I’ll bum out for bumming you out, and no one will be happy.

A critique worth getting is very likely a critique that took a lot of time away from the work that earns a writer his/her living (assuming he/she doesn’t have to work another job just to pay the bills). Every writer who offers a critique – as long as it’s a person with a conscience – understands how difficult criticism can be and will try to do his/her best to frame things properly. And that’s extremely time-consuming and emotional business. I’ve donated a couple critiques to my local RWA chapter and have not only sweated over what to say and how to say it, I’ve lost sleep over those critiques, and I'm not sure my advice is worth precious sleep.

Simply because I’m published does not necessarily mean I know anything more than you do about writing and getting published. I know lots of wonderful writers who are not published. A contract does not make me an expert. I get rejected, too. And edited. A lot!

Having a published author read and critique your work might be helpful, but it is no substitute for hard work. The best thing you can do for yourself and your writing is to join a critique group and learn the craft. There’s no easy route to publication. But you will learn how to edit your own work by critiquing the works of others.

Published writers are not harboring any secrets. I’ve never met a published author who was not willing to share her knowledge with others. Through the proper channels. Workshops, Q and A sessions at conferences or local events. Even emails work, if the expectations aren’t too high.

Bottom line? I can not sell your work for you. And neither can any other published author I know. I can not get you a contract/editor. I can not get you an agent. My agent and editor make up their own minds. I have no influence over them. They might be a little more polite in their rejection of your work, but it you’re going to get a rejection you’ll get one whether you are my best friend, my sister, or my mom. And if you’re going to get an offer, knowing me won’t make a difference. I’m a nobody. (So is Josh Olson, in the scheme of things.) I’m not even sure Nora Roberts could coerce an editor to buy someone.

This is not to say that a referral from a published author means nothing. I once had a published author, who I didn’t know from Adam, read my work in the Georgia Romance Writer’s Maggie contest for unpublished authors. She enjoyed my story enough that she sent it to her agent, a biggie in the industry. Later, her agent called me and spent a good half an hour on the phone with me, but the end result was the same. She very politely told me that while she enjoyed my writing, she could not represent me. She didn’t think the story would sell.

The only thing that experience did for me was tell me I was getting closer. But I didn’t ask for it. My work did the asking for me.

If you think a published author’s input is going to do you some good, given where you are in your writing career, then there are a couple things you can do. Enter contests that feature published authors as judges. Buy critiques from published authors through your local chapter’s fund raising efforts, through contests writers offer themselves, or through auctions like Brenda Novak’s annual diabetes fundraiser. There’s one going on right now to benefit Janice Reams Hudson a past RWA president. Our own Cindy Gerard has donated a critique plus. The opportunities are out there. I swear.

For various reasons this topic brings out intensely emotional and quite varied opinions. Writing is an intensely personal experience. We’re putting a piece of ourselves out there and to have someone reject it, either by refusing to read it or saying it sucks, hurts. It can’t not feel personal because our writing is so personal.

Getting published – hell, these days getting read—is so damned difficult. But, honestly—and this is going to sound harsh—if you can’t handle the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.

I used to envy those writers who sold the first book they ever wrote. After being in this business for only a few years, I don’t envy those first timers anymore. Selling that first book is a big hurdle, but the road to making this a career is a rough and rocky road and the more ready you are for that journey, the better your chances of survival.

So what do you think about this issue? Josh Olson’s article? Gerry in Central Park?

And if you're interested in a thought-provoking counter-point to my post check out Franzine Kafka's blog. She sheds light on this topic from the perspective of someone who's been trying to make a go at a writing career in Hollywood. And we thought we had it bad in the world of book publishing!

44 comments:

Terry Odell said...

The late mystery author, Barbara Parker, was a phenomenal mentor to many budding writers. However, one didn't approach her on a park bench (or slide manuscript pages under the restroom stall). She offered critiques and workshops through writing conferences, notably SleuthFest in Florida, and if your pages were fortunate enough to make the cut (or you bid for a critique at the conference fund-raising auction), she would evaluate them. Honestly, and without pulling any punches. And in the workshops, it was in front of your peers.

The first time I submitted, I didn't make her cut, but she wrote a note on my submission and said she'd like to discuss it. She told me I was a good writer, but knew nothing about crafting a story. I'm not sure that would have been the answer the kind of person you're talking about here would accept.

I think people who expect an author to read their work expect only glowing praise and an inside track to the magical world of "published author." They don't want the truth, which is that there is no magic inside track.

Both my RWA chapter and MWA chapter have mentoring programs. That's a way to find someone to look at your work--but there's a lot of heat in that kitchen.

lois greiman said...

This is always such a tricky situation. As authors we know how hard it is to get published and want to help others. But critiquing someone else's work is always a double edged sword. Feeling get hurt. People get mad or expect more or... There are a lot of pitfalls. That being said, I had friends who gave me a helping hand...and it still took me...well...let's just say it took me a 'few' rejections before that first acceptance.

lois greiman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cindy Gerard said...

This is a difficult topic, Helen, for all the reasons you states. We DO like to help fellow writers when we can but, truly, reading someone else's work does open up us to a minefield of potential problems.
I must admit, I'm a sucker to help a friend, especially if they're serious about their work. I also offer up critiques for charity but I sweat bullets every time for fear that I'll end up with a ms that would be better used for bird cage lining. How do you tell someone that they suck at writing when they have put their heart and soul into a project? When that's happened to me in the past I try to be honest without being brutal and suggest possible fixes that might get them on the right path but still, as you said, it's up to them.
Thanks for mentioning both the Brenda Novak and the Janis Reams Hudson auctions. I've contributed to both and have found that writers who pay for a critique are generally very serious about the craft. It's great.
Speaking of which, my critique offer is still up for bidding for the Janis Reams Hudson benefet. Only 2 1/2 days left and it's going for a rock bottom bargain price right now if anyone out there is interested. Here's the url that you'll have to cut and past to access the site:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Janis-Reams-Hudson-Fundraiser-Cindy-Gerard-Items_W0QQitemZ230378647478QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Fiction_Books?hash=item35a3a32fb6&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Helen Brenna said...

Terry, one of the best pieces of advice that I ever received was from one of the published authors in my local RWA chapter. She pretty much said the same thing that you heard from Barbara. I could write, but there was no zing to the story.

I bought that critique at a fundraiser and never regretted it.

Helen Brenna said...

If there's ever a definition for a double edged sword, Lois, this situation is it.

GunDiva said...

Glenna McReynolds (Tara Janzen) is a very near and dear friend of mine (and fellow Gun Diva); I knew her for a couple of years before I even mentioned that I wanted to write. She was very gracious and offered to read some of what I had written. She was wonderful, but honest, I had written crap. However, I took her pointers to heart and have become a better writer for it. Recently, she read a couple more pieces and again was brutally honest (this time it wasn't crap, just some tense issues). I knew Glenna for YEARS before I ever even thought of talking writing with her because I didn't want to put her in a bad spot; I didn't want her to feel like I was using her for a jump into the publishing world. She's a dear friend and I wouldn't consider putting her in such a position - why would anyone else think it's ever okay to do so?

It boggles my mind that anyone would ask a virtual stranger to critique their work and get angry with the rejection or the results. Got news for all of those people - just because your friends and family think you're the next NYT bestseller doesn't actually mean you are.

Doing this, to me, is the equivalent of "curbsiding" a doctor for free medical advice. You want medical advice? Go see your own doctor or make an appointment.

UGH! The audacity of some people really sets me off. Great post :)

Terry Odell said...

Helen, one of the greatest compliments I got was at Barbara's final SleuthFest (although we didn't know it at the time), when she looked at the first page of a mystery short story I'd written, and told me how impressed she was at how far I'd come. She offered to read the whole thing and called me about a week later to discuss it at length. I try to pay it forward through mentoring programs with the chapters I belong to.

Helen Brenna said...

Cindy, if someone's put their heart and soul into a project and they still suck at writing, how can we not tell them?

When I was at the stage that I could only handle platitudes, my only readers were family. Gradually, as my skin thickened, I joined critique groups.

IMO, people shouldn't be asking for critiques from working writers unless they want the truth.

Helen Brenna said...

GunDiva, I think because you are friends with Glenna is why you tread so lightly. For some reason, some people can be so rude to people they don't know. Personally, I don't get it.

Helen Brenna said...

Very cool, Terry. And you knew you could trust the compliment because she'd been honest with you from the beginning!

Michele Hauf said...

Helen, I agree with you. Just because we're published doesn't make us better critiquers than the upubbed writer who has been honing her craft as long as we have.

Myself, I stopped judging contests because I just don't have that 'compassion gene'. (Ask Lois; she'll verify.) If I like something I rave about it, but if not, I have a hard time keeping myself from saying something harsh, so I just don't do it, because I am smart enough to realize a harsh word is not going to help anyone.

And really. Who knows what sells? How many times have we said 'I didn't like that' and the book turned out to be a bestseller and have rave reviews? Or we've loved something and it seemed to slip under the radar and not get the attention it deserved?

GunDiva said...

Helen, maybe it's because I'm friends with Glenna, maybe it's because I've worked in medicine a long time (I'm not a doctor) and I get curbsided all the time. It's annoying at the very least and infuriating at the worst. I just don't get the rudeness of people - didn't their mothers teach them to respect other people's space and take "no" for an answer graciously? Maybe it's because no one tells their children no anymore, we've got a heck of an entitlement society going.

Candace said...

Interesting subject! I used to try to help out anyone who asked, writing wise. I thought it was my duty as a published writer to pay back to the profession by mentoring new writers. The thing is (at least in my experience), the writers who are serious about learning their craft already know the drill. They go to conferences. They join critique groups. They enter contests. And, maybe, if they know you really well or if you have indicated interest, they may ask for help.

It’s the daughter of a friend of my mother’s or the woman who works in my doctor’s office or the guy I see casually once a week at a professional networking luncheon who ask for writing help who are the problem. Used to be, I’d say yes because, hey, it was my duty. If I couldn’t help (or really, really didn’t want to), I felt like I had to explain why I couldn’t. And then I’d feel bad because I’d said no.

I’ve grown a much thicker skin. And I’ve learned that “No, I’m sorry I can’t” is as much of an explanation as the request deserves.

amy kennedy said...

I'm just glad my Momma taught me right and I've never asked you guys to read anything of mine...but I did bid on a critique by Lois, didn't win. Dammit.

I have won other critiques though. Two different authors same 3 chapters...one highlighted potential problems while still making me joyous, the other not so much so. But, after thinking about both it led me in a new (better?) direction. But, I paid for these critiques.

I do have a friend who reads my stuff, but she wants to -- gosh, at least, I think she does.

Playground Monitor said...

IMO, people shouldn't be asking for critiques from working writers unless they want the truth.

How very true, but unfortunately too many want you to believe they are the next Nora just like they do. Or they believe you know the secret handshake or have the golden password that will clear the path for them and take them straight to the top of the NY Times list. I had a pubbed author in my RWA chapter offer to read my manuscript before I subbed it. I took every word of criticism to heart and worked to improve it. It was rejected but I learned a lot from the process. And I'd never, ever, ever dare to ask Author X to read it again and tell me why she thought the editor said the pacing was off and the characters inconsistent.

I teach an online class on writing for the confessions magazines and a critique of your first 3 pages is part of the class. I try to praise the good parts and carefully craft the criticisms. But some folks just can't take the heat.

I recently had someone ask if I would be willing to edit and critique some things she wanted to submit to a weekly magazine. I took a deep breath and said I'd do it for $X per hour. If she declined, I'd lost nothing. If she accepted, I'd make a little money. And since my muse left for Bali the day I filed for divorce, I have the time to edit and crit. She accepted the terms and my bank balance is about a hundred dollars richer as a result.

This is a great topic and thanks for sharing what is a delicate situation. I'm going to pass this along to friends. I was particularly interested in the "compromising his ability to earn a living" suit.

Marilyn

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen, the funniest request I ever got came in a call from someone I'd never met (I lived in ND and my phone number was listed) asking me to advise her on selling her book. She hadn't written anything yet. Well, she didn't exactly know what it was going to be--fiction? non-fiction? book? script? I was fairly newly published, had gotten some kind of media, which was how the woman got my name. I asked her what the piece was or would be about. She wouldn't tell me. It was an idea, never been done before, so good she couldn't tell me anything about it because I might steal it. So what should she do?

I laughed. It was too funny. Told her, "You keep your secrets and I'll keep mine."

Keri Ford said...

I wouldn't have the nerve to ask anyone to crit my work unless they were already doing it. I don't care if we were best friends and home buddies from elementary, I still wouldn't ask.

Asking someone to put my work in front of their agent or editor seems on the triple-decker side of rude as well. that's a super hard place to be putting the author.


How do you feel about getting asked for cover quotes? I've always been unsure about having to ask one day, because that does take a lot of time. and then how weird would it be if you didn't connect with the writing?

Kathleen Eagle said...

I was a teacher for many years. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but it does pay. And I do love teaching.

I teach off and on at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I team teach with a good friend, and our classes last 6 weeks, once a week. We get paid for it. Again, not much, but we enjoy doing it, and the Loft is a terrific program. Nationally known and respected, so we're working for feathers for the cap, too. And for personal enjoyment.

So my input is available to the local writer, for what it's worth. At the end of the class you even get to evaluate me.

My teaching cohort offers to critique synopsis and one chapter, but I don't do that. I give lots of feedback in class, but I have the same experience Helen described when I agree to critique. I almost never do it anymore. But I'm going to donate a critique to the Janis Reams Hudson fundraiser. Janis was RWA president when I was on the Board as PAN Liaison years ago. She's a lovely person, and my heart goes out to her.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, did anyone see "Mad Men" last night? In one scene Conrad Hilton invites hero ad man Don Draper to the Waldorf, show him a mock-up of an ad and asks for his opinion. Don tells Conrad ("call me Connie") that this is what he does for a living.

Kylie said...

This post resonates on so many levels, Helen. I once read a post on a loop where a reader said, in effect, that pubbed authors 'owed' it to 'pass it on' to the aspiring writers because the pubbeds had gotten help too to get published.

Uh, no. I had no help. What I had was a ton of ignorance, perseverance and some luck. I didn't know any published authors to ask. There was no email. I didn't belong to any writing groups. And I did sell my first book.

It was an uphill battle but then every author encounters obstacles to getting published. What I see as a society as a whole, and with aspiring writers, as well--is the more you do for people the more they expect.

I don't know how many times I read something on a loop where someone is complaining that the pubbeds won't share the 'secrets to getting published'. Seriously? Do they realize how many published authors are struggling to stay published? Do they not know that a first contract isn't a guarantee for the rest of their lives?

I have done two full manuscript critiques (I offered). Both times were brutal. The works were no where close to publishable. I pointed out the strengths and then focused on two major things to correct and sort of glossed over the other weaknesses, because I think people can only absorb so much at once. I judge tons of contests. I try to be as diplomatic as possible but I have a problem judging an area a 3--average when it is not average,it's a weakness. I inflate the scores, always, because I feel pressure from the contest coordinators to 'not discourage the entrants'. And every time I'm still the judge with the lowest scores.

As a teacher, I understand the importance of pointing out strengths as well as weaknesses and wording things diplomatically. But I do resent the expectation that I owe people a score I really don't feel they deserve. And that feeling is making me opt out of judging some contests.

In my experience, people who 'think' they are ready for honesty truly aren't. And no matter how nicely I'm wording things, if I'm not telling them what they want to hear, they aren't very happy with me. And I'm getting increasingly cautious about antagonizing people with the truth--even when they ask for it.

amy kennedy said...

Marilyn. I'm so sorry.

Michele Hauf said...

Keri, interesting you bring up being asked about cover quotes. I was asked years ago and I thought it odd because I'm not a big name.

But right now I'm in the position to have to ask authors for quotes on my April book. It's a very delicate process and you know, going in, that they don't have time to read your book, and what if they don't like it? Then they've wasted their time. Anyway, I sent out three requests for quotes and my fingers are crossed!

Kylie said...

Asking for cover quotes makes me squirm in embarrassment. Really. Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing but it is really really hard to to ask people--most of whom I don't really have a relationship with--to give me a quote.

Of course I had no such compunction from leaning on Cindy, LOL! But I'm already sweating bullets just thinking of approaching someone on the next book. My editor asks. My agent asks. I ask. But knowing what a huge imposition it is, I wish the publishers would stop expecting it. You'd think they'd want their own authors to write, not read for giving quotes. But quotes are a publisher driven expectation and that's put pressure on all of us.

Cindy Gerard said...

I've been in both positions - having to ask authors for a quotes and having been asked for quotes.
It's not fun asking. For that reason, when someone asks me, I always WANT to do it. Of course, when it turns out the book is fantastic - like Kylie's - I'm thrilled.
but now, my agent has threatened any number of bad things if I agree to give a quote without consulting her first. For one thing, I'm swamped, for another, she recognizes the pressure it puts on me - especially if I don't happen to like the book. So unless it's a good friend and I KNOW the book is going to be fabulous, I defer to my agent to make the decision. Kind of nice having someone to play good cop bad cop with :o)

Helen Brenna said...

Marilyn, I'm sorry, too, for the shake up in your life. I hope it's for the best.

Helen Brenna said...

I feel the need to clarify something. I'm not offended by people *asking* me to read their stuff. I don't think it's entirely appropriate if they don't know me at all, but it doesn't offend me.

What offends me is people angered by my refusal. That's just wrong. As many of the comments to Josh Olson's blog are just wrong.

Amy, I've gone to see the Chippendales with you, baby. You know several of us here, well enough to ask.

The cover quote issue is a perfect example of another very similar situation. My editor asked me for quotes for this Mirabelle series and I was squeamish about asking.

I asked Christina Dodd for a quote, but only because I knew she'd already read my first book and I could do the asking through a mutual friend. She graciously agreed, but I wouldn't have for one second been upset if she refused.

Franzine Kafka said...

hi there. i wrote up my response to this piece on my blog here:

http://www.halfcute.com/2009/09/i-will-not-read-your-f-ing-script-why.html

Jill Sorenson said...

I liked Olson's article. I was amazed by the number of (disgruntled?) screenwriters in the comments thread who said the only way to get ahead in the business was by asking a professional for help. That kind of attitude baffles me. Have we become a culture that expects to succeed through luck, shortcuts, and knowing the right people?

I also feel conflicted about doing critiques. More than once, I've suspected that I'm the first person to point out a serious flaw (or maybe just ANY flaw) in the project. A flattening experience for them, not much fun for me. And, who am I to judge, anyway? It's not like my stuff is perfect!

Pamela Keener said...

From a readers perspective this is an interesting topic. I agree that if I were a writer I wouldn't expect anyone to critique my book just because I asked. I like this tiny peak at what goes on behind the scenes so to speak as to the quotes etc.
Thanks for an eye opening post.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Helen Brenna said...

Jill, you and someone else brought up this point about "who am I to judge." I feel the same way.

Helen Brenna said...

Hey Pamela - thanks for a reader perspective!

Helen Brenna said...

BTW, I checked out Francine's post and she has some very interesting things to say about this issue. Definitely, another perspective. I'll try to post her link, if she's okay with it!

Franzine Kafka said...

Hi Helen,

Sure, go ahead and post a link. One reason I have switched to my original love of fiction is that it IS merit-based. Being a writer in Hollywood is very frustrating. Living here, you know there are plenty of hard-working smart people who just don't have the connections to make it. Thanks for reading.

catslady said...

Personally I think too many people feel entitled to everything anymore. Freedom of speech is a big one nowadays - yes, you have a right to be heard but no, you do not have a right to be rude and to prevent others from being heard. Yes, you can ask someone for help but no, you are not entitled to it or entited to get enraged because you were turned down. Manners people!

amy kennedy said...

So Helen, are you saying that if you've seen nekkid men together you can ask? JK. I still would never ask. I'd bid, but never ask.

Helen Brenna said...

Catslady - yes. Manners.

Yep, Amy. I'm going out on a limb here for Lois. You've heard her scream, "Yeah, baby, take it ALL off!" So I'm thinking you know her well enough to impose.

Oh, wait. That was Cindy, wasn't it?

LOL!

Christie Ridgway said...

There are so many ways to get opinions and reads (maybe not from the exact caliber of these guys, good feedback) that I don't understand why people would turn that way. I suppose because they don't =know= there are ways to get good feedback through contests and seminars (where you pay for the help).

In my experience, when I'm contacted out of the blue from writers, it's writers who haven't even done enough research to know the rudiments of the publication process. Not a good sign.

Debra Dixon said...

I'm chiming in really late, but I loved his blog.

The vast majority of writers I know were not raised in a barn. Their parents instilled common sense and manners in them.

But there are folks out there who have no social sensors. They behave inappropriately. And they haven't done their homework. They assume they don't have to do the work or wait in line. Or listen.

They assume the rules don't apply to them.

This isn't limited to the field of writing.

Paula R said...

Hi Helen, I know I am late to the discussion of this topic, but this is the second one I have encountered this week, and I wanted to share my two cents...

As a reader, it really boggles my mind to see the goings on behind the scenes in the lifes of some of the authors I like. I am amazed at the audacity of people who feel entitled to your critique. Is this a generational thing? There are so many people around, that I have noticed, nowadays, who walk around with an air of entitlement. They want things done for them, and now. What happened to the value of hard work?

From a writer's perspective, I would never ask any one of my author friends to crit my work. I understand the kind of toll it will take on them as a person and as a friend. Gosh, as a reading teacher, I had a difficult time critiquing some of my students's work because I am tell it straight out. I have learned to soften my criticism, since I don't want to curb their desire for writing. I don't know what I would do if I was faced with a similar situation as you described...I think I would get mad if the person who asked me for a critique got mad if I said no. I know myself well enough for that, at least. So, I would stay away from it. I struggle just as much as anyone else and my word is definitely not gospel. There is so much that comes into play as well. You don't want to ruin relationships. You don't want to deter someone from following their dream. I am pretty thick skinned, and I feel that others need to be as well, but I know that everyone isn't, so it steers me away from offering my serves. I agonize over every little detail, and it can incapacitate me for days. So, now I just don't do it...

Great blog topic, and a wonderful discussion. Sorry, I got here so late. I hope that what I said makes some sense. Gotta go to bed now. I am starting to see double.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Helen Brenna said...

Christie, I think that's very true. It's a lot easier to ask someone to tell you how to do something than do the research yourself.

Deb, you're absolutely right. Impolite people put their fingers in all kinds of pies!

Paula, I'm not sure it is a generational thing. I think a lot of people like the idea of writing a book and don't realize how much work is involved. I know I was one of those people when I first started on this journey! Clueless!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey - I blink and the next thing I know my very moral fiber is being challenged.
Helen - I did NOT yell: "Yeah, baby, take it all off!"

ALL was NOT in the sentence. I'm the kind of gal who likes to unwrap the, um, main package myself. So I wanted them to keep THAT part on.

So I expect a retraction. Once again, there was no ALL in my yellage!

Helen Brenna said...

I retract. I retract. Lois did the yelling. Cindy did the, um, snuggling.

Cindy Gerard said...

Thank you. Thank you very much.

I feel redeemed.