Monday, July 23, 2012

In Which I Stop Ignoring My Blog

You may have noticed I haven't been around for a while.  Maybe you didn't.  I don't know but today, I am easing back into things.  I even commented on someone's blog today.  And once I've completed my scheduled yoga and aerobic workout, I just may comment on more. 

Oh boy.  Things are getting crazy around here, I know.

So you may have been asking yourself what I've been doing since I've been gone (bonus points if you now have a Kelly Clarkson song stuck in your head).  All right, so you probably haven't been asking yourself that but you're about to find out because I don't have anything else to write about.

And the fun just keeps on leaving, I know (and bonus points for anyone who can Name!  That!  Reference!)...

First of all, I've spent some time precision folding denim at The Store.  That's right.  Management finally got desperate enough to put me on the schedule.  Wanna know why?  It wasn't just because all the denim in the building needed to be refolded and I am, sadly, the only one on staff with the skill set to do it.  It was also because more than half the staff has quit.  They couldn't take it anymore so they skedaddled.  The only people left are the long time employees, the ones who can't afford to quit because doing so will mean taking a serious pay cut.

And while things at The Store have been less fun than usual, we're still managing to amuse ourselves.  Management's recently hired two new girls so the rest of us have started a pool as to when they're going to quit.  I have two weeks.  That's how long the last new girl lasted.

I hope I win.

Second of all, I attended my monthly writers group meeting.  The one with my new arch-nemesises-ses (Name!  That!  Reference!), Ego Man.  Ego Man, our resident expert on everything, particularly things about which he knows nothing.  Ego man, who joined our group saying he was both unwilling to give or receive feedback.  Ego man, who always follows my readings by making "jokes" about wanting to steal my work.

I don't know if that comes with a cape.  If it did, I'd probably strangle him with it.

But I'm really a very nice person.  I swear.

Anyway, Ego Man left the latest meeting a little early and it was then that I realized the most beautiful thing.  I am not alone in my Ego Man irritation.  Everyone else in the group is in that same boat.  They're just as annoyed with him as I am.  They're just as pissed off at him as I am for dismissing my book as a failure solely based on its length.  And for planning to steal what I've written.

I feel a revolution in the air.  Change is gonna come!  Or maybe we'll just change the date and time of the meeting and forget to tell him.

Well, I'm running out of time here this morning so I'll close out today's come back blog with one funny short story from that same meeting.  I read an excerpt from my WIP (after Ego Man had left.  I don't read anymore when Ego Man's in the room) and one member had this to say about it:

"Oh, M.J., I really enjoyed this.  It reminded me of The Hunger Games.  I didn't think that was very well written."

Uh... thank you?

And thank you for stopping by today.  If I haven't been to your blog in a while, I'll get out there soon.  I promise!

37 comments:

  1. You should write a short piece with reference to "Ego Man". Set it in a completely different setting but with strong similarities to the real guy. Talk about how irritating he is and how he suffers a horrid and painful death, read it to the group, and see if he's smart enough to realize who you're actually writing about....or maybe I'm just a bit wicked. (;

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    1. Hey,I agree with Alise here.

      Shelly

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    2. That would be funny. He probably wouldn't realize I was talking about him though.

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  2. Change the date and don't tell him! Yeah, that would be mean. Otherwise, you'll have to ban together and tell him as a group he's not welcome. Bummer one negative jerk has to ruin it for everyone.

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    1. He has been a drain on the group. A lot of people come for one meeting, experience him and then never return. I keep hoping he'll move on to something else.

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  3. Welcome back!

    Erm, I have to ask, what is the point of Ego Man joining the group if he doesn't plan to give or receive feedback?!

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    1. That's what we want to know too. And boy, does he get mad when you do give him feedback. It's really all the more reason to do that...

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  4. "Oh, M.J., I really enjoyed this. It reminded me of The Hunger Games. I didn't think that was very well written."

    That reminds me of when people ask, "Did you get a haircut?" and you say," Yes, I did." And then all that follows is...silence. Why even bring it up if you're not going to say something nice. Sheesh.

    Welcome back. :)

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  5. You know, you could always invite me to your meeting, and, I would bet, I'll intimidate him away. Not really joking. I was in a group like that for a while, and we had this guy like you describe, but the guy in my group was actually willing to read his own stuff. So this one day he read this thing from this huge project that he was working on, something that he claimed was written in 2nd person... except that it wasn't actually written in 2nd person. I pointed that out, there was a huge discussion about what 2nd person is, and he never came back to another meeting.

    And, um, as for that Hunger Games comment, I don't know what to say. My writing comment would be >blink<

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    1. Oh yeah, Ego Man read a piece in our last meeting and a couple people offered him their thoughts and when those thoughts weren't "Wow, you're a genius!" he was so mad. I'm kind of hoping he'll be so mad, he won't come back.

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  6. Interestingly enough, all of your posts that have never updated to my reader just did a little while ago, so I have a huge list of your posts showing now.
    Maybe it will keep working now.

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    1. I guess all it needed was for me to disappear off the face of the earth for a few weeks.

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  7. I'll never understand how someone new can join a long-standing group and not sit quietly to assimilate before they start being &^%& (add own expletive - several jumped to my mind!!) :-)

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    1. Oooh! I love "add your own expletive" opportunities. The problem is, I can never choose just one...

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  8. Aw, I don't get any bonus points this week.

    Ego Man may be unwilling to receive feedback, but that shouldn't keep you from giving it. By which I mean: Place an amplifier beneath his chair, and hand out earplugs to everyone else. Whenever he starts to speak, send a bunch of feedback to the amp.

    As for the other member's comment, maybe later on you can have her reword her quote and then remove the word "written" to get a stellar cover blurb: "Better ... than the The Hunger Games."

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    1. Love the feedback idea. =)

      I'll see what I can do about that quote. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  9. We all have someone in our Critique groups that rub us totally the wrong way. Crazy and Confused sat in on ours a coouple years ago for a year. She left for a while and when she decided she wanted back in we voted 'No'.

    Now we Jealousy who sits in on our group. She's been published several times but seems to take digs at my work ONLY. 'I'd never read such a book'. ***shrugs*** Whatever.

    I really like the first commentor's comment.

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    1. I'm really just glad to find out that I'm not the only one Ego Man rubs the wrong way. I guess that means I'm a little less of a horrible person than I thought...

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  10. Can't you just kick Ego Man out? Although I vote for changing the meeting time and not telling him.

    I say take the Hunger Games comparison as a compliment.

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    1. It's an open group so anyone can come. Maybe we could add "egomaniacs need not apply" but we're all writers so really, we'd have to kick ourselves out too.

      What I really don't understand about the Hunger Games thing is why my excerpt reminded me of that. I'm writing epic Lord of the Rings/ Game of Thrones type fantasy. I don't consider the Hunger Games to be anything like that.

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  11. Glad you're posting again!

    Start talking about girlie things like menses and menopause and childbirth and whatnot (advise any other fellas in the group ahead of time this is coming so they can either not go to that meeting or craft some gross stories of their own to tell), maybe that'll turn Ego Man off enough to not return. Or, you know, talk about shoe shopping. One of those should do it. ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Oh, I like that idea. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

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    2. That dude sounds like a real tool. If I were there, I'd tell him so to his face.

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  12. The Hunger Games comment is hilarious.

    Good to have you back. What will you do with yourself now that you aren't folding denim? :)

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    1. I'll go back to working hard on my edits. Of course, it'll look like me staring blankly at my monitor with my chin in my hand...

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  13. good times! glad to hear you're still enjoying life =)

    ego man needs the boot all right.
    and the comment was probably meant well, right? i like what i've read!

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  14. Welcome back!! The writer group I used to belong to had an Ego man. Seems like every group does. :)

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    1. I guess egos and writers go hand in hand.

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  15. Sounds like you've been busy lately. I don't know how you deal with craziness both at work and at your crit group. You really must be a nice person if you're not telling Ego Man off. Loudly. And with great malice.

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    1. I space out a lot. That seems to help...

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  16. Welcome back! Maybe you can plan a coup against Ego Man (the nemesises reference was Mystery Men, yes?)

    It's good that, despite Ego Man being there, your group seems like a goof bunch of people :)

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    1. The nemesis reference was from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

      My group (with the exception of Ego Man) is made of a great bunch of people. I honestly enjoy them very much.

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  17. What a jerk! I love that you called him Ego Man though. I actually had an aborted laugh-turned-snort at your comment about strangling him with his cape. Oh, and also when you said you hope you win the bet about how long the new girl will stay at The Store. I truly adore reading your posts.

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  18. I think it's really sad when an entire group of employees quit basically en masse and management still doesn't get that there's a problem.

    As for Ego Man, I'd change the dates and times and not tell him, but that's only because I don't have the guts enough to tell him he's not welcome because he's a butt head and probably attempted plagiarizer.

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