Throwing the Brakes

(This post is brought to you by six hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yahoo!)
I got food poisoning on Monday. It was no bueno. So when I started my three-mile jaunt with my double stroller this morning, I felt a little shakey. I had no intention of wimping out, no matter how blasted heavy the stroller felt.

At one point after a particularly steep hill (read: slight incline) I wondered if my three-year-old had been eating bricks or hid dumbbells in the baby seat. By time I made it home, sweat dripped down my back and my pony tail curled into a frizzy mess. I parked the stroller and started to shuffle into the house.

That was when I noticed one of the front breaks was pushed down just a little bit. The other three wheels rolled along nicely, but that last wheel caused enough friction to make my easy walk into a sweat-drenched exertion. If only someone would have stopped me and said, “Hey, you’ve got a little bit of a problem here.”
Luckily when it comes to writing, I have a group of great critique partners that stop me before I get too far down the road of sucky manuscript.  They point out rough patches of dialogue and plot-holes.  They help me map out paths and identify tangential detours.  They’ve even jumped on the breaks and shouted, “No way!  You’re not going down there!” 

But more than anything, I’m grateful that I have a group of cheerleaders who dust me off when I get rejection road rash and jog alongside me till I’m confident I can move forward alone. 

Thanks ladies!  You are awesome!

Since I can’t be everyone’s beta reader, I’m going to start critiquing queries/first pages every other Friday and post the results here.  Then other people can read your work and post additional ideas and suggestions in the comments section. If you’re interested in participating, send me an email at becky underscore vallett at hotmail dot com and we can work out the details! 

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