Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful for Crit Partners Day

In honor of Thanksgiving this month, every Tuesday is going to be devoted to spreading a little love and thanks for those who help make my writing life not only bearable, but successful and enjoyable. Today is spreading some thankful love for CPs day (a la Christine Fonseca) :)

I have been trying to come up with adequate words for a couple days now, and I just don't think it's going to happen. My crit partners aren't just helpful readers who give my manuscripts the shredding they deserve. They have all become very dear friends.

I couldn't have a "Thanks to CPs" day without thanking Jeannie Ruesch, the very first writer to really take me under her wing. I met Jeannie in my first formal critiquing group quite a few years ago. She took my very first novel and spent an incredible amount of time showing me the ropes, letting me in on all the little "rules" I'd never heard of (like killing adverbs, keeping to one POV instead of jumping between four or five in the same scene...or paragraph (no joke...4 in ONE paragraph...I was THAT bad), showing instead of telling, and all the other little intricacies that come along). Though we no longer crit each other's work, I will be forever grateful that she took so much time from her own writing to really set my feet firmly on the right path.

My new group, the incredible ladies at Operation Awesome - I've only been with you a few weeks (though Kristal has been a long time CP and very good friend of mine for years - I am so thankful for all your help and support), but I already feel like I've known you forever. You welcomed me into the group with open arms and made me feel right at home. You are an amazing ensemble and I am honored to be a part of your blogging and critting group. I look forward to reading your stories and to everything I'll learn from you as you read mine.

My YA partners, Christine Fonseca and Elana Johnson - Both of these ladies have been more than CPs for me - they are dear friends. I can't even begin to tell the two of you how much I've learned from you. Not only do you work tirelessly to help me find the exact right words for my stories, you are always there with a comforting shoulder and willing ear to laugh and cry and angst and vent with me. I don't know what I'd do without either of you. Christine pulls double duty as she crits both my fiction and my non-fiction. Being a writer who does both is a bit of an interesting twist, and brings its own barrel of fun. I don't know what I'd do without having someone to share that strange journey with. I spend a good part of every day chatting with Christine about every - not only writing, but about life. She supports me in every way and is truly one of the best friends I've ever had.

Toni and Cole - you ladies are always ALWAYS there for me, at the drop of a hat, to read everything and anything I have, no matter how many times I've sent it to you :) Not to mention being there for everything else. I don't know how many times I've whined to you over the years, about everything under the sun, but you are always there with comforting words and steel toed boots to give me a swift kick in the right direction :) You are both crazy, talented writers and my life would be seriously bleak without you. Toni is another dear friend with whom I talk every day - we check in with each other several times a day and I think she knows every single deep dark secret about me :) And she likes me anyway :D

My QT family - what an amazing group of writers I have the privilege of knowing. It's been incredible watching everyone grow and succeed and it's been a true honor to have been a part of your journey.

I'm starting to get all misty-eyed LOL My crit partners are so much more to me than just a group of people who look over my work. Each and every one of them holds a special place in my heart and I look forward to many more years of red ink and shredded manuscripts :)

I am more thankful than I will ever be able to express :) Muaaah! Love you all :)

As for NaNo - after some first day jitters, I pulled myself together and actually managed to go a little over my goal for the day! Which will be helpful because I have no doubt there will be days (and many of them) when I'll fall short :)

How is everyone else doing? And while we're at it, have you spread any CP love today? :)


Christine Fonseca said...

Ahhh hugs! I LOVE THIS POST!!! Things like this always remind me how amazing this community of writers is. And yea, you mean the absolute world to me too. HUGS.

Jan Markley said...

That's so nice to honour your critique partners like that!

lbdiamond said...

CP's and betas are awesome!

Looks like you've got a nice start to Nano! :D

Kristal Shaff said...


I am soooo happy you are a part of OA now, if not jsut so I can connect with you frequently again. :o)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

And now we know why those acknowledgement pages are so darn long! Hee hee.

It's so awesome that we can connect with other writers this way, and I know I really appreciate your help with my writing. I hope I can return the favor (though from what I've seen, you turn out pretty polished stuff already!).


Mary said...

Good job yesterday. Keep it up.
Loved the post btw.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Beautiful praise, Michelle! Hooray for the treasure of good CPs. :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, I so missed the bandwagon on this one. I am so lame. And I could've really used this post today because then I could've moved today's to tomorrow and not have to come up with something equally lame for then.

Okay, I'm confused by my own comment.

But yay for CP's!

Cole Gibsen said...

Aw, Michelle! This was exactly what I needed to brighten my day :) Thanks for being, not only my crit buddy, but my real life friend, too!

Steena Holmes said...

Awww ;) Now that was a nice post!

Elaine AM Smith said...

This was a great idea: thanking those who who help, turn support into improvement. You are lucky to have such a great bunch of writing buddies. I bet they feel the same about you.

Emsky said...

Such sweet acknowledgments, Michelle! You're an amazingly dear friend, no matter the deep dark secrets ;-). But also, you have such a wonderfully bright way with words-- in your writing and critiquing. I'm honored to be your friend!