So the last thing I've wanted to do this month is edit, but slow page by page, I've slogged back through the first 50 pages of Dante's Inferno. I entered a few more contests, some for Hell to Pay, but more for Dante's Inferno, mostly because I really appreciate the feedback. I'd love to get the book as strong as possible before going out to agents/publishers.
I was feeling pretty good about my efforts. Until I got a critique back I had forgotten I'd requested. I had sent in 10 pages or so to PN Elrod who is doing professional level critiques and in return the author donates to her dog's vet bills. Sounded like a good cause. (If you're interested, the website is: http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm) Well, I sent in an admittedly rough early version of The Lesser Evil and she called it out in no uncertain terms. And I deserved it. Even though I'd already fixed many of her concerns (I'd sent it a few months ago and just figured it was so rough she declined to even look at it), the insight into the characters' motivation really got some creative juices flowing again, despite the birthing-baby fatigue.
So even though it was the last thing I thought I wanted to do, this critique re-energized me this weekend. I've worked on The Lesser Evil all day today and got excited about it again! PN Elrod said the critique would be a "brick in the face" and she did not lie. But it did get my proverbial butt off the chair (or IN the chair as the case might be) in the best possible way!