• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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You Turned Out to Be the Best Thing I Never Had

Where do you go for feedback? Who is your best reader? Is it the person who likes your work the most or the one who gets up in your grill? Are the comments you hate the ones that are the most important to heed? (Hint: YES) Why is that most writers I know feel like arsenic has been thrown in their face when met with criticism. It’s a little like telling a parent his or her child is ugly. Of course some comments are off base, but when someone doesn’t get what’s going on it’s incumbent on you to address it.

Or what?

11 Responses

  1. My best reader is my editor, hands down. He is honest and direct, but not brutal. It doesn’t hurt that it’s not too hard for me to let go of those words on paper.

  2. Please tell me if I have a piece of spinach in my teeth, my deodorant isn’t working, you can tell I had onions in my salad, I have a split in my jeans, my slip is showing, my husband cheated and that my kid does drugs. Also tell me I am beautiful when I am.

  3. Carolynn, you are beautiful. No to the other stuff.

    • Awe Frank, ya made my day ragman.

    • I’ve been thinking about my comment and realized that I seldom eat spinach, I shower and don’t sweat much, my jeans are too big, I haven’t worn a dress (with a slip) since my daughter’s wedding 6 years ago), my awesome husband is faithful, and my kids never did drugs (yes, I believe them, our family does linguini).
      Onions? Love them. Altoids save the day.
      Beautiful ? If we are kind we all are beautiful.
      I try to be kind.
      My first reader, a librarian. She brutal. I love her.

  4. “Where do you go for feedback? Who is your best reader?”

    I have no such person. There were two, whom I met here some years ago, who read a drafted and still unpublished novel of mine and who offered their stinging and helpful feedback — like stepping into a cold Chicago wind, it doesn’t hate you or like you but it has something you need to know. But they’ve moved on, with and in their lives.

    Occasionally an editor will offer something almost always helpful, but for the most part, I’m now an old man, alone in a boat far out on the waters, being pulled along on the line of the big one I won’t let go.

  5. Or not.

  6. I don’t mind the feedback that shows a reader was confused by something in the book. It might be bad news, but it’s fixable. It’s easy for authors to write drafts that confuse readers, because we know everything about the world and the characters but don’t always remember to make it clear.

    I DO mind feedback of the “I just can’t connect with it” kind, or suggested changes that make it obvious the person does not get where you are going with this.

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