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Cathy: I can’t even peek.

In my travels over a week ago, I retrieved one well inked copy of my first manuscript draft I had sent to a dear friend in the Boston area for critique and suggested edits.

Many moons ago, I lived in a 2nd floor walk-up on Newbury Street dubbed the shoebox, and he rented a room in the former servants’ quarters on the fourth floor (even more stairs, I had to take them two at a time at a momentum run to survive the ascent) of an old Commonwealth Avenue townhouse that had been broken into condos. We regularly spent entire days walking around Copley Square, sitting on benches on Comm Ave, in the BPL Courtyard, a few regular cafes, Newbury Pizza or each other’s humble abodes, discussing Literature, Art, listening to Mozart, Schubert, old time Rockabilly, Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours, and critiquing poetry and plays each wrote. We really dissected each other’s work, at times taking personal affronts, at others, able to make useful and take useful suggestions. Sometimes another friend joined us, but mostly it was just the two of us, picking apart each other’s work in order to build it back up again into something better. That was fifteen and then some years ago.

When he handed back my baby, er, first draft in Cambridge, he very kindly told me it was a great story and excellent characterizations. He gave a few verbal points of interest. But mostly, I noticed just how much ink he laid on each page in my quick thumb through in the dark of the rainy night under a street light.

How very film noir.

I still can’t look at it.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. oh, go ahead and take a peek. from the sounds of things, i bet there are lots of wonderfully helpful and encouraging comments in there. 🙂 you are just the opposite of me here. i would have been reading it the minute i got in the car.

    August 20, 2009
  2. thanks for the encouragement, kelly.

    i am somewhat waiting to see it next to other critique copies that i sent out. once is enough to go through that process! it can be heartbreaking, as brittany commented on her post, no matter how well-meaning the critique may be.

    and i’m familiar with his approach, which can be a lot like a sibling saying, ‘you’re going out in public like that?!”

    August 20, 2009

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