Tuesday, August 24, 2010

not a book review: The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide


"Urban Petroglyph" by Dot Hearn. From the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt collection.

Yesterday I received a book in the mail from a friend. She ended up with an extra copy and wanted to share her spare - which I greatly appreciate. She and I have never met in person; we met through an online writing workshop a couple years ago - Ariel Gore's Lit Star Training for Wayward Writers. We also discovered that we are in the same pay-the-bills profession. Then later, that we both work part-time for the same company, in addition to the post-secondary and freelance work we do. Our small world grew smaller - although we still live nearly 2000 miles apart.

The book she sent me is, "The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide" by Becky Levine. I have a stack of writing books - truly a stack - ranging from the traditional and new style & grammar guides, several perspectives on writing memoir (including Judith Barrington & Natalie Goldberg), general writing advice (Ariel Gore, Peter Brooks, 826, Sage Cohen), publishing (Bonnie Hearn HIll, Gotham Writers), and so on. Some partially read, some completely unread as of yet, a few completed. I thought I'd take a quick glance through the book and then add it to the 'nuts and bolts' section of my pile. (See, my bookshelves are all full. Yes, all of them - there are bookshelves in every room of the house except the bathrooms - and they are all full.)

I had an appointment this morning, after which I planned a treat of Morroccan Oatmeal and a latte afterwards at a nearby restaurant. So I took the new book with me for glancing. Much to my delight and surprise, I'm a couple chapters into the book. And I did not put it on my pile when I returned home to change and get ready for work; I put it in my take-to-work bag. I am already mulling over information from the beginning of the book and it is building on an idea I had last week about setting up a manuscript/book-length project group (which may start with 2 or 3 people).

It looks like my latest addition will be one of the "done" books before too long. I haven't read enough to give a review - but in my fast-paced life, I think it is a good testament that it's my carry-with-me book and that the author hooked me in right away.

Thank you, Christi, for sending me the book. Thank you, Becky, for writing the book!