A Review of my Critique

Okay, I must admit, I'm glowing today. Another writer said wonderful things about a read I did for him.

Sharing my work is hard. I like to edit my own work until my eyes bleed. But! I did lay it lovingly in the hands of other writers. Several times this year. And! Guess what? The best part about letting other writers read my work is that they might let me read theirs. Now that is fun.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful writers who let me read their WIP this year and who returned the expertise and read mine. I worked with some incredible talent, and each time it brought me, as a writer to reach new levels, to push myself a little further. 

I really enjoy reading the drafts of other writers, more than this, I enjoy studying their work and how they saw mine! Studying a finished, published novel is one thing, studying a WIP is another. How and why they wrote things, where the plot was going, and how these word choices made me feel.

I got to get inside the wonderful minds of Liz, Robert, Reece, Richard, Torrie, Vicki, and Valentina. Each one is very different from the other and each one taught me something incredible about my own writing. So yup, it's been a busy year, but as part of the journey it wasn't only fun, I was lucky enough to pull a couple crit partners out of the deal and a few great friendships emerged. So next year will be just as interesting, I'm sure.

You get any useful feedback this year? Do you like getting a critique back or giving them out? Feel free to share, thank your posse, or just vent about how you can't let your work go until your eyes bleed.

Need a crit partner? Need a reader? If you don't write, do you want to be a reader? Everyone can play this game!

Storytelling Magic

I'm told stories are everywhere, and since I've never been lacking a good story, I believe this saying to be fact. Life is one big story, and just because writers find a creative way to tell them, doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t a storyteller.

I’ve had a busy month which is why I haven’t been blogging lately. Not only did I attend a funeral of someone very dear and close to me, I spent a few days in the hospital.
What amazed me was the storytelling going on. At the funeral, everyone wanted to share stories; colourful, bold, funny, and moving ones. It was endless and it felt wonderful to share these magical anecdotes about our loved one. Most of the storytellers held my hand while they talked, and they’d get a dreamy look in their eyes as if reliving it right in front of me. These stories made us laugh, cry, but most importantly, they brought us together.
At the hospital it was almost a competition to see whose stories were the most out there or got the most chuckles. I was practically climbing on that stupid rolling table I was so excited by what I was hearing and learning. These storytellers paced the room around my bed and used their entire face and body to make their stories come alive. They forgot where they were supposed to be or where they were and just relished in the captive audience that was me, and sometimes a few others. They told tales about fairies and gnomes. They told real stories about their life and people or places we had in common. All were magical tales that brought us closer.
I learnt so much about total strangers; how their stories are told, and how they hold an impact on my life. I met people who knew my loved ones-- at both places. I met people who love life-- at both places.

I always say we need to write every day, but sometimes we need to listen to stories too. Magic like that brings us back to our childhood and our roots. It teaches us something that other art forms lack.

After all, storytelling is the first magical craft we all master. Before we could draw, before we learnt to write or read, we told stories about our day, about how we saw the world. Snuggled in bed at night, my daughter and I used to rewrite her favourite movies. She rewrote The Lion King so Mufasa didn't die. It was a wonderful tale. My son is six and tells me magical stories about how he saved the world today. Not one word of it is true (I hope he doesn't own a jet pack anyway) but they are pretty fun stories to listen to, sci-fi at their best. 

Was it the first craft our ancestors mastered too? What more could they do but sit around the fire at night and share stories about their day? Learn from each other in a magical way? Storytelling is a tool to entertain, bond, grieve, and teach. Somehow this craft loses weight in the social media world I've suddenly tumbled into, but my experiences this month brought me back to the basics of my beliefs; 

I believe we all have a story to tell 
and we each have a way of telling it 
that brings it to life in a magical way.

It's not in the audience that the storyteller finds the purpose behind their stories.
It's not from the storyteller that the audience will get the entire truth.
There is a magic that happens between the two that makes storytelling powerful nonetheless,
and both are left with a sense of truth that brings purpose to their life.
You hear any good stories lately? Where were you? What makes a good storyteller? Is it the plot, the characters, the way the story is told? Or is it the audience listening with their entire body that makes a great storyteller?
Have you told a story today? Stop reading, stop drawing, stop writing, and tap into your storytelling skills. Make someone laugh, cry, or just stare at you in awe. Just share the magic. It’s a blessing to be able to remember your tale, and no one will share it quite like you. Before you know it, you'll be the audience. amazing.
Have fun storytelling today.

What Does Toothfairy Do With Those Teeth? The Truth. Finally.

Well, Toothfairy has been eagerly waiting to come by our place for a few days now. But! The tooth in question was just holding on for dear life.

Then suddenly it was gone. Gone without a trace.

Oh no. My first flash was back to my childhood. I did not believe in Toothfairy. No. Way. In fact, I was dead set on proving my storytelling dad wrong. So I shoved my freshly fallen tooth under my pillow without a word to anyone, then I sat on the steps in front of my room, watching Dad work on the wood stove, determined to catch him sneaking upstairs to exchange monies for the tooth. Finally, he slumped into the recliner and said, “Huh. If I’m not mistaken, that sounds like Toothfairy to me.”

Rolling my eyes, I made my way to my room. Nope, no Toothfairy, but under my pillow was a shiny quarter. Magic.

I wanted to give my son that magic, but without a tooth, it just felt... impossible.

Well, all sorts of other things went wrong, not only were we missing a tooth, someone told my son that he might have swallowed it. Well... the idea horrified him. “No,” he said, trying to convince himself more than anyone, “I probably lost it in the sand at the playground.” I quickly went hunting for it, seeing how important this was to him. To us.

A few others suggested we write a note for Toothfairy, but that wasn’t really the problem (and let’s be honest, if Toothfairy gives monies for letters, that’s just not... magical.) He wanted his tooth. He waited for that sucker to fall out all week and now he didn’t have anything to show off. All he had was anxiety that he might have swallowed it. It really wasn’t fair, and it definitely didn’t feel magical.

Now, as I checked the sand, I got thinking about how Toothfairy left me the first tooth he lost after she exchanged it for monies. I never told anyone I had this tooth. To me, it was a gift from Toothfairy. One I had no idea what to do with it ... but I had it in safe keeping, just because I’m weird that way.

You see where I’m going with this, right?
When I produced a tooth *clears throat*, his eyes lit up and I was the hero! He showed it off proudly to everyone, telling them a magical tale about how he lost it by the red slide and I found it in all that sand, because, well ... his mom is that magical. Huh. I hadn’t said a word. But! The boy is a great storyteller and he absolutely believes in Toothfairy-- no test required. He gets both qualities from my dad.

Anyway, he did ask me if there was a way we could make sure it was in fact his tooth and not a rock. (Ah yes, the paranoia he gets from me. Which is fine, all things magical should be questioned, then accepted as such. Right?) I told him to take a good look. He announced it was for sure his tooth, (and it was) then he flashed me his adorable grin, (ya know the one with the missing front teeth... aww...).

Everyone says you can’t pull a fast one on Toothfairy, yet he got two bucks for that sucker. Makes me think that Toothfairy knows these things happen. Why else would she leave me that tooth, right?

You got a tooth fairy story to share? Tell us the truth.