A jury of my peers?

I've written a manuscript (you're not allowed to call it a book until it's published) for middle-graders (8-12 year olds) titled "Millicent Powers Picks A Pet."

I like it, and I can't say that about all my writing. But I'm on pins and needles at the moment. I met Ed, a writer friend of mine yesterday for lunch (http://www.freewebs.com/edmundrschubert/index.htm) and gave him the manuscript to read and critique. Actually, Ed has an 8 year old daughter who offered to read the manuscript, which is even better. (Sorry, Ed)

The reason I'm anxious though, is that after our lunch, Ed was heading to his daughters school to teach a workshop on creative writing to fourth and fifth graders. "Hey," he said, "If there's time, I'll read them the first couple chapters of your manuscript and see what they think."


Sending manuscripts and query letters to agents and publishers is hard, but having a group of 9 and 10 year olds critique my work may be brutal. I'm psyched he offered to do it, but I don't know that tact and constructive criticism is at the top of the list with this age group. So I'm waiting to hear back from him.

Small ice-storm here today. A friend is coming to visit and I'm picking her up from the airport later this morning. I've been burning candles and potpourri all morning, trying to make the house smell inviting. I want the scent to last as we won't be home for several hours after I blow everything out. So right now the cats are walking around gagging on the, I admit, overpowering stench of honeysuckle that's permeating the house.

I'm a big fan of scents. I love things that smell good. I apply either perfume or scented lotion to the pulse points on my wrists at night because I like curling up with my hands under my cheeks and smelling a light lavender scent. Other smells I really like:

  • Fires
  • Obsession for Men cologne (I will attack any man wearing it. Yum! I love it!)
  • Chocolate chip cookies or apple pies, while they're baking
  • Garlic (I know, but I still love it)
  • Musty basements. Just b/c it triggers the memory of the musty basement we had as a kid where I rode my tricycle around while Mom did the laundry.
  • The first sniff from a jar or bag of just-opened coffee
  • This lavender-pine kitchen soap and handlotion set we found
  • The smell of laundry fresh from the dryer
  • Babies. They have almost an absence of smell which is so pure and fresh. They haven't hit the years of lotions and creams and perfumes and hairspray and all the other crap we put on our bodies. They just have that newborn smell.
  • Citrus

Things other people like the smell of which I can't stand:

  • Newly cut grass
  • The smell right after a rainstorm
  • Pine-sol (Ha! That's a shout-out to my hubby)