Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting started

It seemed a good idea at the time.  A friend asked if we could start a writer's critique group.  I'd read some of her writing and had asked when she was going to publish something.  Her writing was witty and full of Mississippi folkways. My writing has been technical: scientific journals, government reports, a book on the likely environmental consequences of a certain accident scenario.  Boring!!  OK, I did write some short stories a long time ago, but they weren't published and were lost somewhere along the way.  But I do read constantly.  Surely that counts for something.

We had a couple of critique sessions where I showed up with nothing to contribute.  No one seemed to notice, much less mind, but I still felt guilty.  It doesn't seem fair to criticize without giving others an opportunity to have back at you.  Those on the receiving end of criticism also need a metric to evaluate the criticism they're getting.  Surely the value of the criticism is related to the abilities of the critic.  I really need to produce some writing, but what?

I spend much of my time now taking pictures, and wandering around these mountains that are home. My wife likes to quilt, attend quilt shows, and visit quilt shops. We trade off.  She sits patiently while I point my camera at everything that catches my eye; I pretend to sit patiently while she rummages through fabric. We both enjoy barn-quilt trails and cultural tourism sites.  So I guess that's what it will be.  I'll write about the places we go and the things we see.  Maybe I'll even throw in some genealogy along the way.