This month is my turn to submit to the critique group, a peer review.
Emotionally, it’s like preparing to go to the dentist or thinking about those horror flicks where strips of skin are torn off. I have three on-going manuscripts, but unfortunately, the ready-to-go twenty five crisp pages are in an in-progress piece the group members like the least. The working title is “Mavis and Helen,” a mystery, set in south Georgia. To be fair, my fellow writers aren’t from blue-collar country folk and some of the material doesn’t translate. I remember a comment about the word cattywampus. Paraphrasing: If I was going to use a word this member needed to look up, I should make it a word worth her trouble. One she could use. By the way according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cattywampus means: kitty corner, askew, or awry. Pretty darn classy–the word askew.
If you’re one of those people who write without angst and torment and follow your outline that came to you in a burst of inspiration, stop reading. If you’re an author who espouses while facilitating writing workshops you don’t believe in writer’s block, just laziness and undisciplined minds, stop reading now. If you received a three-book and six-figure deal based on your query letter—the only one you have ever written—sent to the top-pick on your agent list, for the love of God, stop reading.
My son is a trucker. The job might not sound dangerous hauling goods from point A to point B, but I am privy to the stories. His newest venture leads him to transport cattle in Missouri, the second largest producer of cattle in the United States. My son, the big-rig cowboy, says, “Cattlemen are a whole different breed,” and I would add a culture unto themselves. As an example, did you know cattle are paid for by the pound and sweat during transport losing weight? It is important to deliver cattle ASAP. “Outlaw Cattle Hauling” is a term used for the way truckers arrive at their destinations in record time.
My son loves risk. The adrenalin of man facing beast exhilarates him, and the money isn’t bad. According to my eldest, some of the unspoken cattlemen rules are: cussing is frowned upon, button-down shirts show respect in the sale barn, learn how to cattle whisper or sound like a horse, in case of an emergency, carry a cell phone in the stock yards, independence means going it alone while loading and unloading stock, don’t get trapped in a corner with three bulls blocking the exit, whooee, those beasts are big, and overalls ain’t pretty, but neither Continue reading “Writing Along With Risk: Big Rigs, Big Money, & Cowboys”
This is my new blog where I will be sharing my current writing projects primarily about strong female characters that persevere and thrive. Look for more news about Carly, a police recruit in Mobile, Alabama, Myra, a midwife living in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas in the1800s, Clara, a Roma grifter stranded in Atlanta, and Helen, a country gal that’s got herself in another fine mess trying to help a sister Pick’n Pay employee.-Lynn