Their eagle eyes have helped me improve my writing in so many ways, they encourage me, they prod me, and they have allowed me to feel more confident in my writing skills. Sometimes I can sit down with an idea and it will just flow - beautiful, succinct, and with prose-like clarity. Other times it is slogging through a swamp to get the words onto paper. I always revise numerous times before I release my work for critique, but there are rare times when I can't do that and it causes problems.
The current story I'm working on which is due on Monday is one of those times. I can't post it for critique because one of my best friends on the crit board is also a moderator of this particular monthly contest. Usually my DH looks at my work and scratches his head - it makes no sense to him because he doesn't understand the framework that I used for the background history. But this latest story has piqued his imagination and he volunteered to beta the piece for me. I haven't looked through what he did yet, but he did spend a good amount of time on it and he wants to take my idea and rewrite it in his own words also. I'll take a look through his suggestions/corrections this morning, apply many of them and ignore a few others, and I'll submit the story on time. I won't do this very often, though. All I got from him was "I wouldn't do it this way..." stuff. When I beta I am very careful to allow the author's voice to come through. I'm not so sure he is doing that, so I'll have to be careful that my voice still rings out through the story.
And Vive Le Tour de France! What a race it has been. It will all end tomorrow on the streets of Paris, but I've been glued to the TV every day watching everything I could. Congratulations to Tommy Voeckler, Frank and Andy Schleck, and Cadel Evans. You've made this year's race outstanding!
Every so often I fall across a piece of music that is perfect for a particular story or character. Last night I heard EMI 64123, a six-disc compilation of the violin works of Michael Rabin, a prodigy who died when he was 36 years old. He was playing Niccolo Paganini's Violin Concerto #1. It wasn't the composition as much as the delivery that reminded me of Richard St Vier. And all I could see while listening to this was the incomparable swordsman practicing in the old rooms in Riverside with Alec reading in a corner. The economy of movement, the precision of each stroke were played through the music. If you love Swordspoint and love Richard St Vier, you might want to consider listening to Michael Rabin's interpretation of Paganini - it's brilliant!