Back in the day

Next week, I’ll be gathering with a very important group of people.  When I first started writing, it wasn’t romance; it was SF/ST fanfiction.  These were the people who read my stuff and sent feedback.  This was in the days of LOC (Letters of Comment) through what SF fen called “connecting mailboxes”.  I’m not talking about email, but real honest-to-ghod letters.  (In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not misspelling words; I’m using the spellings SF fans use.)

These LOCs were extremely detailed.  They didn’t just cover “Your plot has no conflict.” Nor “What’s your heroine’s motivation?”  Oh, no!  A typical comment might be, “On page six, paragraph three, line nine, you have a colon where you should have a semi-colon.  And that letter might be seven pages, front to back.  Yeah, nothing like an SF fan for detail.

But they taught me.  They taught me GMC though I didn’t know it.  I learned to take critique and to learn from it.  I sharpened up my English skills.  But most of all, I learned the joy of someone reading my work and letting me know they enjoyed it. 

So, these are the people I’m meeting with this next weekend.  Most of them have read at least some of my writing.  A lot of them are voracious readers as well as writers on their own.  And all of them believe in me and my talent.  They don’t read my romances.  I have to admit that they are waiting for me to write a “real” book, which to them is SF or fantasy.  But, they’re there for me when I sell a book or win a contest just as they are there for me when I get rejected or bad reviews.

Just like my sisters in RWI, they fill my well.

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10 thoughts on “Back in the day

  1. Jackie,

    I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time this weekend. Just because they don’t write romance, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from them!! Have a good time and be careful on the drive up. spw

    • One of the best things about this weekend is we usually don’t do anything that active. Except Collette who is a walker. And we have a Scrabble table going all the time. Other than that, we circle all the chairs around the fireplace and talk, drink coffee, and eat Kamp chocolate chip cookies.

  2. We’ll miss you this weekend, Jackie. But I know you’re going to have a fantastic time. How can you not? After all, they ARE writers, regardless of the genre.

    See you next month.

    • I’ll miss you all, too, Lynn. But I’ll for sure be at next month’s meeting/party. I already have my ornament for the Dirty Santa.

  3. SF has a long time tradition of snailmail networking. Newletters, fanzines, letterzines, etc. I got into it when I ran into another ST fan and she introduced me to fanzines. One was all it took. Other zines advertized in the first one. I subscribed to letterzines which passed news of fandom. It turned into a big snowball. I still have all the letters I got from fellow fans for about 15 years. God help my kids when I die and they have to figure out what all that crap is!

    • I’ll have a great time, but trust me…bringing back chocolate chip cookies is not a happening thing. We usually have about 10 dozen eaten by Saturday night. 🙂

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