Christmas shopping

Christmas shopping 2004 is officially complete! Oh, wait, almost officially complete. One more item to buy, but I know exactly what that prezzie is, and it’s just a matter of going to the store and getting it.

Braved the totally insane crowds yesterday. My God! Every single shopping center in the Metro Atlanta area was a teeming, foaming-at-the-mouth mob of holiday shoppers. Madness and insanity galore. But reasonably jolly insanity, as far as these things go. Didn’t see any egregious acts of outrage or temper. We did, however, end up standing in many, many lines.

Prezzie wrapping is 90% done, too.

Watched The Long Kiss Goodnight, a very under-appreciated Christmas action flick starring Geena Davis, while polishing off a bag of moose munch. Then had an extended soak in the hot tub. These nippy temperatures are perfect hot tubbing weather.

Ho ho ho. And the holiday season progresseth.

Writing Stuff:

Up to twelve critiques on the current Critters offering. I’ve been with this workshop for so long that the majority of the crits I receive are from folks I know–either I’ve read and critiqued their stuff, or they’ve critiqued me before, or both. There are a few critters who I keep wondering if it would be better for everyone concerned if I just write them a polite note telling them not to bother critiquing me anymore. It’s not that I don’t like them or are offended by their comments; it’s that they, well, suck as critiquers. For me at least. Maybe they’re a font of wisdom for other writers, but the comments they give me (I use too many big words, they don’t understand my similes, my sentences are longer than six words, etc.) are utterly worthless.

There’s especially this one guy who’s copiously published in semi-pro markets (the pays $1 or $5/story, no-circulation-and-no-one’s-heard-of-them variety), but in the years that he’s been with Critters (longer than me, even), his writing hasn’t improved an iota. And from the comments I get from him, it’s obvious why. He’s just not a good judge of writing–either of his own work or anyone else’s. I barely even bother reading his critiques when I get them. Would it be more honest of me to tell him he’s wasting his time, or to just sigh and keep getting his useless critiques? I’ve stopped reading his stories in the queue, because I think it unlikely that he will progress beyond the level he’s been hovering at for the last several years. It’s a waste of my time. It’s not that he’s a bad writer; it’s that I don’t think he’ll ever become a good one and any feedback I give appears to be utterly futile.

I dunno.

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14 Responses to Christmas shopping

  1. chance88088 says:

    Personally I would just keep sucking it up and ignoring his crits (I’m not a member of critters, but I assume you have no obligation to crit him back?)

    I know I wouldn’t like someone telling me my input has no value, so I would hesitate to tell that to another person when it would be just as easy for me to ignore his crits.

  2. britzkrieg says:

    I’m dying of morbid curiosity. Do I know any of these folks, or the chief knave?

    Hey, it might snow today.

  3. gardenwaltz says:

    i’d just crit him back, a lot, and with copious amounts of unemotional honesty.

  4. sdowens says:

    Maybe you can send an email to the guy saying that it’d be best if he started submitting more regularly to larger markets and to stop submitting to the lower ones. Probably the reason he isn’t improving is because he’s reached a medium that he can easily get into and so he doesn’t have to try to improve.

    There’s one guy at the rumormill who seems to only submit to lower paying markets. His name is Frederick Obermyer or something like that. That’s not your guy, is it?

  5. alc2i says:

    Deb and I both LOVE “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” I really like movies with strong women. Her going from PTA mom to hired gun is great. I was hoping that someone would come up with a good script for a sequel. Heck, they could have made that into a TV series.

  6. Long Kiss Goodnight is one of my favorite movies.

    About Critters…if it was me, I’d want to know that my critiques weren’t helping somebody. Either so that I could improve the critique, if the person gave reasons for why my critiques weren’t helpful, or so that I wouldn’t waste my effort, if the person just said that my critique style and their writing style were incompatible, or words to that effect.

  7. dionycheaus says:

    it sounds like this guy has firmly entrenched himself in his way of writing and critiquing, tho. I think having someone tell him that his crits aren’t helpful and he should submit to more ‘difficult’ markets won’t do much more than set off fireworks. I mean. if one was really devoted to the idea of this guy improving his writing and critting, they could try and find some interesting way of getting his attention and getting past his ego. but since most people have their own lives….

  8. mtfay says:

    Got the first Paradox Saturday! Thanks! I’ll be reading it over the coming tribulation of travels.

    As for the critter, it can’t be me cause I haven’t had time to crit anything for months! Thinking about dropping out again, but I don’t remember what email I’m registered under…But critters doesn’t critique scripts and I’m not doing any short fiction right now.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Glad it came in time for the holidays! And of course it’s not you, silly. And hey, are you a member of That’s Kevin Spacey’s workshop for screenplays/scripts.

      • mtfay says:

        I’m actually a member of both Trigger Street and Zeotrope. And if I get it finished in time for the next one, I might submit my script about blowing up bad drivers on LA freeways to Greenlight:)…

  9. Wow, now you’ve got all us closet Critters sitting on our hands wondering if we’re gonna get let down easy 😉 At least I’m pretty sure it’s not me – I’ve only published one piece, and that one wasn’t even semi-pro!

    Seriously, I’ve gotten crits that were not only useless but were bordering on the condescending – I just send off a boilerplate one-liner “thanks for reading my work” and then trash the crit. Yeah, it’s weak of me, but I can’t be expected to save the _whole_ world 😉


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