Wake up, Polly Parrot.


Chronicles of the Garden Variety Writers -- Week #13

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The Garden Variety Writers meet tonight, but I am not there. I have reclaimed a chunk of my Wednesday nights for now, although I'm not especially happy about it.

Over the past week, I've traded e-mails with many of the members of the GVW members. I want to learn how that vote really went down, the one where they kicked me out of the group. Who really hates my guts and who just went along to keep from rocking the boat?

Fabian, it is safe to say, truly hates me. This chronicle was indeed unkind to him quite often, so it's not hard to understand why. He replies to my query telling me never to e-mail him again. Fair enough. Have a nice life, Fabian. Good luck with that writing class you're teaching.

Pamela, responds to my query, and says last week's vote was not really unanimous as I was told. I apparently had a few supporters, but the group was convinced by Larry that they should just tell me it was unanimous, to make things easier and avoid any chance for an argument. As if that would have been a bad thing.

I send another e-mail to Pamela asking what's the deal with Larry? It seemed like he was calling the shots at that last meeting rather than Fabian, the nominal leader of the group. Pamela is herself confused about what's going on with Larry. The two new guys I saw at the last meeting are apparently his own cheering section, and it sounds like Larry is taking over the running of the group. As much as she dislikes Fabian, Pamela is unsure whether she wants to remain in the group under this new leadership, and feels me out about starting up a brand new group.

I'm not sure, at this point, that I'm ready to jump right into another face-to-face group, even one that is essentially built around me. I tell Pamela to be patient -- I may decide to start such a group later, but right now I need a break from the grind of doing critiques weekly.

Peter answers my email, essentially corroborating what Pamela has said. I was booted out by Larry's kangaroo court, and some very fishy things are going on in the group now. He is getting pretty disgusted.

Kasim replies that he did vote to kick me out of the group. He felt betrayed by this blog, and said Larry and his henchmen didn't really sway his opinion. Good luck with your writing career, Kasim, and don't pay too much attention to what Fabian says in his critiques. You are already a much better writer than he will ever be.

Hachi, I'm sorry you went along with the bunch to kick me out. I've seen signs that you were not altogether happy with Fabian's leadership, and knew better than to blindly follow his writing "advice." Maybe Larry will be more helpful. I'll miss reading your stories, for now, but it's only a matter of time before I start seeing your work turning up in professional markets.

Caprice, you have reason to hate me for what I wrote about you, don't you (although you were not present for the meeting where I was voted out)? If you and I were in another group, though, I'd still feel exactly the same. I can't deny you are a good writer, and may very well succeed at it, but as a workshop member you are too selfish. You expect everyone to help you polish your own gems, but give little in return. Unless you respect other's work as much as your own, I'm not likely to want to work with you again. Sorry, but that's just how I feel. See if Larry doesn't have something to say about pulling your weight.

Nettie, keep writing your poetry, if that's where your heart leads you. As I've said, I don't get it, but I don't get most poetry. That's just me. But you should send your work to real markets that pay you, instead of you paying them. There are probably markets out there who want what you write; you just have to be persistent in finding them. You were absent from the group that voted me out, so maybe you don't quite hate me, either. Of course, you're much too polite to say.

Sapphire, it sounds like you were bullied into voting me out. Keep writing. If the GVW doesn't beat you down, you'll make out OK. Sorry you agreed with Fabian about this blog. If you ever need another opinion on a story, drop me a line. I still wouldn't mind doing a critique for you, if you think you need another pair of eyes.

Larry, I just don't get it. You've been in the group only a couple of weeks and it sounds like you're running the show now. Jeez, can the GVW members be so dazzled by your pro sales that they just roll over and turn control of the group to you? Let me say, several of the people who replied to my emails are indeed looking up to you to lead the group, but some others are ready to walk. You may be coming on too strong; back off a bit.

After I e-mailed you, Larry, saying I was in contact with some of the other members, one of them (I won't say who) told me how you e-mailed the whole group with a gag order telling them not to reply to me. You're treating the GVW members like children, don't you think? I believe they are all adult enough to decide whether they can talk to me or not. Where do you come off telling them they cannot respond to my e-mail? I'm amazed that they don't kick you out of the group for something like that. What is it that makes them follow you? I've read some of your stories, and they're OK, but that's not good enough reason to make you king of the hill.

This blog is not over. I have a couple of people still in the GVW that will talk to me. I'm still curious about how the group is evolving. There's something weird going on there. I'll be back next week with another update. I may have a surprise, although I can't say much about it just yet.

Copyright © 2002 Brian Plante Count=6669

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