Learning to review depends largely on how well you’ve learned to read. When readers read a story, they bring along their own experiences and understanding. The author tries to guide the responses, but inevitably each reader will perceive it in their own individual way. Ethnic background, education and life experience all contribute to the images they see and their response to the story.
As reviewers, we can and should make an effort to understand what an author seems to be getting at. Writers can tell a great deal, but they cannot and should
You’ve decided to join a writing workshop to show your work and hone your skills. You’ve read in the ad’s that, ‘members read and give constructive reviews,’ and you definitely want to be read! But did you quit reading before the end of the sentence?
With excitement you think: “Will anybody read it? Will they like it?” Then, you take the plunge and, Merry Christmas! It was read! And it was critiqued. Oops.
Instead of a daily post, it becomes a whenever I can post. I’ve been busy though. I’ve new stacks of yardage to turn into patchwork quilts. I think I’ll try a patchwork table cover this time. I have a breakfast room that would look nice with a bright new cover on the table. I’ve actually covered my dining table with a quilt just for the color, and I liked the look.
It’s been a tiring year, emotionally. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. I’ve been going over some of my early writings and found peace in the memories. I’ve remembered that I love dirt roads. Where can one find a quiet dirt road anymore? I need one now. Walking a simple dirt road gives the mind time to think and wonder. There is so much to see, such as lizard tracks in the powdery dirt. I’d forgotten how beautiful they are in their precision.
Looking up into the sky exercises the imagination. There’s no one to watch and question your every move or word. Such freedom! Being alone on a dirt road is being one with nature. Wildflowers scattered here and there blend their color among the brown and green weeds, and they are compatible. There is no one to look at the weeds and say, “No, no! You don’t belong in my back yard.”
I’ve felt much as I imagine a weed must feel lately. A nuisance in the wrong place, wrong neighborhood, wrong back yard. I can’t fit in among the planned, landscaped beauty of flowers rooted in a greenhouse. I’ve tried my best to disguise my roughness, but the flowers know and delicately turn their faces away. I feel I’m being pulled up by my roots from my favorite place, and there’s nothing I can do.
To remember the serene quietness of walking a long, dirt road is my inspiration. Being alone is not lonely there. Where can one find such a place now?
By being quiet and setting my mind free,
it’ll find the place I yearn to be.