Silk’s Post #40 — Hey, here we are! The 5 Writers’ big Whistler Mountain adventure has begun. Don’t we look like happy tourists? This was our first night, Saturday. We’re going out to dinner. We just drank a bottle of wine. No one has been critiqued yet. No wonder we look so happy.
We have nutritious, healthy snacks, courtesy of Helga and Karalee. The fridge in our suite is filled with wholesome raw veggies, fruit, hummus, cheeses and sparkling water. Just in case we wear ourselves out talking and really need some vitamins, minerals and fibre.
We have delicious, unhealthy snacks, courtesy of Paula and Silk. A gigantic bowl of candy looms on the table, just in case a recently-critiqued writer needs a high-calorie hug after a hard day on the hotseat. And we have a homemade apple pie from Silk’s orchard, ready to be baked as a last-night reward for our bravery.
We have champagne for a wind-up toast courtesy of Joe, and the loyal and uncritical companionship of our critique week pooch, Vegas.
We have our critiques and margin notes written, printed out and ready to go. Mostly. Well, some of us do. There’s a rumour that one of the critiques runs to 44 pages, which is more than 10% of the length of the novel itself.
Oh, yes. We are sooo prepared.
Today, Sunday, was our first critique day. Paula the Lionhearted was the first to step up and offer herself for judgement. Not that she actually did that willingly. We drew straws. But still, you have to give her full credit for showing up, all dressed in orange (a courageous colour), and sticking it out all day without ever locking herself in the bathroom. She’ll be telling you about her special day in her post tomorrow.
Tomorrow is my day for rotten tomatoes. I take courage from the fact that Shakespeare himself (or at least the long-suffering actors performing his plays) apparently had all manner of no-longer-edible foodstuffs pitched at them onstage, as was the jolly practice during Elizabethan times. Having no one else to push into the footlights in my stead, I will be forced to play myself tomorrow. I look forward to raiding the candy dish afterwards.
One thing we have already learned, and are happy to share with all our writer friends and followers: if you want to elevate your critiquing, one sure approach is to simply increase your altitude. Pack your laptops and get thee to a mountain retreat, where you can breathe in the clean, evergreen-scented air and commune with nature.