I just tore through what Anne Lamott would call a “shitty first draft” of my short story. It’s shitty, indeed, but at least it’s a complete first draft. I have a plot with a beginning, middle and end. I have some interesting characters. I have punctuation. But that’s all I have. So yes, it’s a shitty first draft. I hope to have a decent second draft later this week.

In the meantime, I’m coming up for air and rewarding myself by posting a few links I found interesting today:

I just posted this essay by Amy Sohn on Facebook about scary parenthood. It made me laugh so hard I spit out food. Here’s a passage:

When “Girls” hit this spring, I was shocked by how true the show rang to my life—not my old life as a post-collegiate single girl but my new one, as a married, monogamous, home-owning mother. My generation of moms isn’t getting shocking HPV news (we’re so old we’ve cleared it), or having anal sex with near-strangers, or smoking crack in Bushwick. But we’re masturbating excessively, cheating on good people, doing coke in newly price-inflated townhouses, and sexting compulsively—though rarely with our partners. Our children now school-aged, our marriages entering their second decade, we are avoiding the big questions—Should I quit my job? Have another child? Divorce?—by behaving like a bunch of crazy twentysomething hipsters. Call us the Regressives.

Despite the fact that I rarely pick up “mommy-lit,” I read Amy Sohn’s novel Prospect Park West a few years ago and loved it. It was my guilty pleasure, and what a pleasure it was. (Though with Fifty Shades of Grey all the rage, I suppose the standard for guilty pleasures has really changed). I’ve already downloaded Sohn’s next novel Motherland to my Kindle with the hope that her witty prose and dripping sarcasm continue.

These two posts made me think a lot of what we consider “the best” in all forms of art– from movies, to television, to books, to fine art. In the age of the internet, how much do professional critics matter anymore? Why do we still care about stuff that is “critically acclaimed”? Is professional criticism itself a lost art with Facebook, blogs, and Twitter a means for anyone to review anything?

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I’m so excited to bring WHEN DO YOU WRITE? back next week. I’m not sticking to the Tuesday/Thursday schedule I had before, but it’ll be back with all new authors answering just that one question. Stay tuned!


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