Why I Love my Critique Group

My friends cluster around me at the coffee shop every Thursday morning.  They lean their heads in close and wait for me to say something, anything, as though I’m harboring golden nuggets of insight for their lives (or hiding chocolate in my pocket).  A sweet component is that we’ve circulated in the same community for many years, and have a long history of shared relationships and memories.

OCW summer conf. board lunch 6-2015

They’re wonderful listeners, and that’s what makes them valuable critiquers. They kindly sharpen me, humbly correct me, and thoroughly encourage me.  With them my writing has improved and my goals are being reached.  It’s just plain fun to experience their gentle admonitions and raucous exultations.

It’s been more than a month since my last blog post.  I’ve been taxed with working on my novel and my home commitments – and honestly, I’ve allowed Facebook to pull me away.  I was prepared to announce today that I’m not going to work on my novel for the month of December, and call it something clever like NoWriNoMoFoNow.  (Instead of NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month). But I don’t think that’ll stick.  My friends are waiting to see what’s in my pocket.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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After the Election

I’m sure there are many bloggers blogging their bloggiest (and posting their postiest, tweeting their tweetiest, pinning their pinningest) about the election a few days ago. How strange that I cannot find words to express my thoughts or feelings about it.  Maybe I have nothing to add to what’s already being said.  Maybe I just have no desire to add to the already heated arguments.

I know there are believers in Jesus who choose not to vote, and those who struggle with anger because of that choice.  I know there are many who are politically active, as well as others who cannot dream of the possibility of a true believer serving in the political realm at all.

My bottom line is I will do my best to love God and follow where he leads, and show love to my neighbor as I would want it for myself.  Yes, it’s simplistic, but I can’t think of doing any better than that.

Keeping on Track with my Writing – Hebrews 12:1-2

After attending the Oregon Christian Writers conference I knew I had the information I needed to keep my focus on the goal, but a phone call derailed my best intentions. To be honest, it wasn’t the caller or my phone’s fault I got off track. I did it to myself.

Discussing publishing and fiction with author Jane Kirkpatrick at Corvallis book signing
With author Jane Kirkpatrick

Why do I still listen to my cranky inner child that resists when I chose to go a new direction?  In the depths of me I believe developing my writing is the right path, but I end up running away. My goodness.

I came up with a plan to remedy that. I cut off my distractions, the activities that though they may be good and profitable and enjoyable, they’re not best for now.  I stuffed them in a box and put them in storage.

I don’t think the kid in me will even notice they’re gone.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . . ” .


Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

I need to keep doing my homework, perfecting how I communicate. I’m a follower of Jesus, and I believe he is pleased with me working on my writing. It reminds me of Olympic runner Eric Liddell, who is quoted in Chariots of Fire as saying, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.” That’s what I feel when I write with my eyes fixed on Jesus.

Meanwhile, my inner child is on her way to the bedroom. She seriously needs a nap.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis