Party at Sonya’s place!

The trip has gone well so far, which I’m afraid to type without jinxing myself, but there it is. Today is a day of rest and recovery, because yesterday’s writers group was an all-day affair, going on for well over twelve hours. I had a blast! So today we’re staying in, ‘cause Sonya has a lot to do, and I’m likely to take a nap. 

Mostly we sat around a table and wrote, so I blogged and worked on my NYC Midnight story. I sent my draft to my mentor, who also participates in NYC Midnight sometimes, and he thought it was crap. However, he was nicer about it than that. Actually, his exact words were, “Is it acceptable to say that it doesn’t really grab me?” which made me laugh because it was so tactful. And I was like, okay, I’m scrapping it. (It only had to be 250 words, and I can go back to the drawing board for anything shorter than novel-length.) 

So I wrote back to him and explained that I was in a great mood but socially overwhelmed, which prevented my writing from being at the level of literary masterpieces. (I was being a bit sarcastic there. I’m not sure I’ve ever written anything that could be called a literary masterpiece, but who knows?) 

Later in the evening, we had a discussion group with me, Sonya, and three men who’ve been reading my memoir and offering beta feedback on it from here in Prague, and I was able to meet them in person, which was awesome. Their names are: Mike, Max, and Georg. (The only Georg I’ve ever known was the dad in The Sound of Music.) 

Mike was sort of egotistical and sexually perverse. He explained the concept of rough… rough… rough something. I can’t recall, but it refers to having sex with someone of a lower class and degrading them because you’re of a higher social class. Yucks. It was hard to take him seriously. 

Max was a very nice man who had a huge head of curly brown hair which was adorable. Very good-looking, but his eyes never met mine, and I wondered if one eye was lazy, not that I’d judge. 

Georg was a total heartthrob, and I’m sort of into him. I felt bad, though, like things were awkward between us in ways that I didn’t intend. He was passionate about my memoir, which was great, and he suggested that I try to write for the market (i.e., write what’s selling) because I’m such a fast writer that I could try to get into whatever’s trendy at the time. It was thoughtful of him to make such great suggestions, but I had to tell him that I’ve tried it, and my books collapse (and never get finished) when I can’t put my heart into them. I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings, because great minds think alike, and I’ve tried it!

He also said it’s great that I have a huge author’s page with loads of books to choose from, saying that if someone were to discover and like one book, they’d have all my other books to buy. And I had to be a Negative Nancy and tell him that no one’s ever bought all my books except for one ne’er-do-well who bought each book in my middle-grade series, read them all quickly, and then returned them all, which made me so irate that I told off Amazon for allowing it. 

“People are assholes,” he said. We all agreed.

Georg is hot! And very sweet and sensitive. At the end of the meeting, he offered to bring us all food next week. I acted enthusiastic about this, but then he offered to bring lasagna, and I can’t lie—I hate cheese. I tried to verbalize this rather awkwardly without crushing his spirit, but I felt bad. 

So then Sonya and I walked home, and I was explaining to her how bad I felt about the cheese thing. I said, “And then it felt like any potential relationship fell apart because I don’t like cheese.” 

And someone who we were walking past on the street, a young woman, said with a perfect European accent, “No cheese.” 

And I was like, “Right! No cheese,” and then Sonya and I kept walking and then burst into laughter. No cheese. 

So then we got home late, and I’d gotten an email from my mentor saying, “I’m still backing you to write a gem,” which I appreciated. So even though it was 11:00 PM and close to bedtime, I wrote a hysterical historical piece that I’ll share later in the week, after NYC Midnight tabulates my entry. I emailed it to my mentor who hasn’t replied to it yet. Either he’s busy or he was appalled. Or both. We’ll find out. 

I was unable to edit the piece, which I normally spend several hours on (off and on) during these competitions. I just whipped it out and submitted it. That’s all I was capable of, but we’ll see how it does. Sonya helped me write it, and she thought it was hilarious. (You’re allowed to have more than one writer work on the assignments.) 

The men in the writers group were really validating about the abuse I experienced while growing up. That was nice. Sonya said she wants to hear my mom’s side of things, like what was stressing her out, and why did she act the way she did? I might call her later and ask. My goal for the memoir as far as portraying her is to make it quite clear that she’s a nicer mother once I’m an adult, but it’s hard for me to articulate what made her change, since it’s a mystery to me any which way I look at it. Yeah, I guess people mellow, and she’s less stressed now, which Sonya pointed out, but you still have to wonder. Huh. Lately she’s been a wonderful mother! And she keeps telling me how much she loves me. (She’s never claimed not to love me. Any verbal abuse was of some other sort.) 

So being here has been a great experience all around! I hope everyone out there is having a great day today! 

4 thoughts on “Party at Sonya’s place!

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