Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looking For That Special Someone

Hey all,

It's time for another guest blogger. Today I have the honor of introducing Selena Robins, a fellow Samhain author. This is what it says about her on her website...

Unable to stay focused in school—science and math didn’t equate to happily ever after—Selena excelled in Daydreaming 101 and Creative Writing. Her entrepreneurial skills became evident in the latter part of Junior High when she found herself penning essays and short stories for five bucks a pop. Her future as a writer was foreshadowed by winning first prize in a contest run by the Humane Society—a romance about two race horses who fell in love (the filly won the race and the stud).

And the rest is history. LOL So let's get to know her a bit better, shall we? Please join me in welcoming, Selena Robins!!!


Looking for that Special Someone...

Only those who possess a wicked sense of humor and a sense of the absurd need apply.

Do you have the following qualifications?

Willing to take field trips (may include stalking) to observe and interview police, hookers, military personnel, farmers, morticians, mobsters, mechanics, Walmart greeters, nuns and prison guards—if you own a pair of night vision goggles even better.

Please note: Some of the above personnel may take exception to inquiring minds and we would therefore venture into Googleland instead. After all, our partnership would be hindered by broken bones or head injuries.

Do you enjoy leisurely lunches, brainstorming ways to dispose of dead bodies, discussing angst, heartbreak, emotional baggage and new and improved ways where a couple could make love? At the same time not feel intimidated or embarrassed if by chance the luncheon conversation is overheard by bystanders?

Deal Breakers:

This is not the partnership for you if:
A. You won’t share your stash of chocolate.
B. You suffer indigestion while sharing a bottle of whine with a side order of well done rant.
C. You take yourself (or me) too seriously.

If there was such a thing as the above could be an ad for a writer in search of their vocational partner.

For a writer, finding a critique partner could be as daunting as finding a spouse, throw in the requirements that your critique partner must be creative, critical yet compassionate, be as passionate about your work as they are of theirs, be on call twenty-four-seven for a shoulder when a bad reviews or rejections come in, be non-judgmental, understand your quirks and accept your swinging lifestyle (I’m talking about mood swings of course).

I’ve been fortunate to partner with two writers; Nancy Darryl and Denise Agnew. We brainstorm, laugh and cry together on our writing journey.

Although we differ in our outward personalities—Nancy and Denise being the extroverts and me being the shy, demure and very serious one (admittedly, tongue is planted firmly inside cheek)—our differences have strengthened our friendship and working relationship.

Our writing strengths and weaknesses complement each other, helping us to learn from one another with the goal of producing a stronger work of fiction. Our similarities—love of family, books, laughter and chocolate are the added elements that have turned our working relationship into a strong friendship.

The main ingredient when working with a critique partner is to have one-hundred-percent trust in each other and give and take suggestions and opinions with respect for your partner’s work.

There are times when we don’t take each other’s advice, and that’s okay, as with any partnership you’re not always going to agree with everything. Every writer has their own unique voice and perceives the world differently, and that’s a good thing—vive la difference. What is needed in a good critique partnership is the ability to embrace those differences and make them work for the team.

The literary world can be harsh and ruthless and can wreak havoc on your writing confidence at times. A writer not only has to be her harshest critic when looking at her work objectively before submitting, but needs to believe and know that her critique partner has her back and is assured that her partner wouldn’t let her send a manuscript out that isn’t polished enough for submission.

A critique partner is someone who is willing to slay the “I suck at this” dragon when it rears its ugly head. As with writing, the main thing is to enjoy your partnership and having someone who understands the journey, celebrate each step of the way, even something like finishing a chapter or writing your first blog.

Selena Robins

Mischief is Maddie’s business....and business is BOOMING
Samhain Publishing


Thanks Selena for that amusing look at finding crit partners. A lot of writers swear by them and it's great to see when it works so well. Check her out at the links above and please make sure you leave a comment to let her know how well you liked her blog!!!

I'll be back on Friday with a look at my favorite places to eat in Singapore!!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Mary Hughes said...

Great blog, Selena! A wonderful look into the intricacies of the author-crit partner relationship!

Selena Robins said...

Thanks, Mary, glad you enjoyed my first blog.

Thank you for the invitation, CJ.

Phylis said...

Great insight into critique partners. I like your humor.

Denise A. Agnew said...

Awesome blog good buddy!! You know how to make us laugh. :)

Denise A. Agnew

Brandi Evans said...

So true, Selena! My husband just doesn't understand that finding the perfect crit partner IS so much like dating. :-)

Fedora said...

LOL! Hey, I guess finding good partners of any kind is a special blessing! :)

Selena Robins said...

Thanks, everyone, especially for taking it so easy on this novice blogger. LOL Glad you got my sense of humor. :)

If you're looking for a writing partner, wishing you the same experience I have with my two.

Happy writing and reading.

Anonymous said...

Hi and LOL Selena,
I love your sense of humor. Sounds like you have a great trio gathered. Lucky you and lucky them too!
So “brainstorming ways to dispose of dead bodies”, huh? Not a deal breaker but I’d prefer cheese with the whine [and/or rant] giggle .
The rest sounds like good times! And a fun recipe for life.
Take that, you “I~Suck~At~This~Dragons”!!!
BTW, the Macromedia Flash presentation of your website is positively Awesome!
Best Wishes,
Sara J. ~ : - ]

Selena Robins said...

Thank you, sjrlive, I so glad you enjoyed it...and sometimes we don't discuss where to dispose of dead bodies, most times it's what to do with live "hot" bodies. LOL

Thank you for visiting my website, I will pass on the compliment to my webmaster who I drove and still drive crazy with my suggestions for the design. LOL It's a first for him, but I wanted a book type of site, and you know us writers, we can get a little drama-like. LOL