A new post up on The Nervous Breakdown…

One of my favorite rejections to date came from an editor who knocked back my submission but told me by way of consolation that one of my colleagues—an enviable Irish wunderkind—got in instead, and how proud I must be. The editor went on to say that my story (which has since been published elsewhere) was ‘a little too dry, a little airless.’

‘She talking about your story,’ said a supportive friend, ‘or her vag?’

Bend Down Over and What??

‘Why’n’t you just bend down over and suck,’ he says. Then he kangaroo kicks me in the stomach. His Keds against my gut. Hard. I buckle, suck in air or try to, images searing my eleven-year-old brain. Bend down over and—oh, the horror! He stands aside, fists clenched, and somehow I make it past him and the hulking albino driver that we call Shorty and off the bus, half falling on to the snow.

Writing Life: Criticism – Constructive or Destructive?

Almost every writer can vouch for the value of writers groups and workshops. For many, a weekly or monthly session with your group, whether online or in the flesh, can provide a welcome respite from the solitude that comes with the writing life. In addition to sharing ideas and experiences with fellow travelers, deadlines can be surprisingly galvanizing: being forced to prepare your piece for workshopping can provide that much needed motivation and focus.

But along with the benefits of writers groups is the danger of losing your mojo because of some ill-judged feedback on your work in progress. Being able to tell the difference between constructive and destructive criticism is crucial to going the distance in this game…read more here.