Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Weekend Update

Well, that felt good.

Yesterday I went to my writer’s group for the first time in three weeks. Three weeks! I can’t believe it was so long. Things just seemed to keep coming up that kept me away, and you know how slippery time can be. I missed it, a lot. We have a nice group of people, and even when I write poorly, it’s always a lot of fun to be around them, chatting about writing, sharing ideas, having a few laughs over…anything, really.

I surprised myself a bit yesterday. I feared it might be a pen day because I’m rusty, having not written all that much lately. Instead, I churned out about four handwritten pages of something that, if I can get it under control, could be good, could maybe be a mid-sized short story that can go somewhere. It was one of those things that I actually had a glimmer of an idea for, but once I started writing, kind of went in its own direction and meandered a bit. The next task is to type it up and see if I can take it (or, perhaps, if it can take me) somewhere worthwhile. Regardless, it was nice to spend the writing time doing something other than staring out the window or spinning my pen around like a majorette.

Elsewhere on the writing front, I think I may have gotten BARTON’S WOMEN ready to be looked at by other people again (I suppose I’ll have to actually read it again, all the way through, before I know; I have a tendency to get to a point where I say, “I’m done, get it away!” and shove it off, full of typos and orphan sentences and paragraphs. After reading someone else’s manuscript, I’m embarrassed at how ‘unclean’ my work is when I send it out.). It was a slog. I had chapters that took a full week to revise, though these are long chapters. I also spent time last week re-cleaning up a short story that at least two of you know, Last Man Standing, and sent it out for consideration for an anthology. There’s still time for this one, if you’ve got something ready.

What else? I don’t know. I woke on yesterday morning to a light coating of snow on the roof of my car. Par for the course, I suppose. I think I mentioned it a month ago or so, in this part of the world, we’re about a month behind in the arrival of spring, so it’s really April that arrives with unsettled weather of the ‘lion’ variety. The good news is in the last week or so I’ve heard Wood frogs and Spring peepers, sounds which always make me feel good.

How about you? What’s going on?

8 Responses

  1. I don't think I could handle the idea of missing out on one of my Writing Craft workshops, they're so much fun, even though it's more like 'do the writing BEFORE you come' rather than when we're in there. Great to hear you're getting back in the zone. Sometimes I find that it's easier to write if you've been on a break for a while, whether it was intentional or not. Best of luck with the short stories and BARTON'S WOMEN 😀

  2. I LOVED Last Man Standing!!! And when BW is ready, send it to me again.

    Except for the A to Z, I have only one book I'm reviewing for a tour company which I have to post on the 28th. So I'm ready. I know edits will come in, but if they do, I'll still give it a couple hours a day. I'm so excited!

  3. Thanks. We'll see how 'in the zone' I am; I should have some good writing time this morning. Our writer's group is not a crit group, though we do some critting. In terms of useful feedback, you probably get a lot more in your university classes. When I want heavy feedback, I have one or two members I go to directly, outside of normal group hours.

  4. There are lots of things beginning to grow here–hopefully we won't have any more snow, which doesn't look likely given recent temperatures (40s-60s).

  5. Why are you delaying the arrival of Spring? Here is Israel we're in short sleeves and enjoying the beaches. Well this morning was a bit of an exception to this, but still…

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