Saturday, August 30, 2008


There is a hole in the world where our dear friend and fellow writer once was.

It still doesn't seem real to me. I want to go to his house, hug all the staff, and see his room. Is it really empty?

I didn't realize how difficult it was going to be to have writer's group without him. On the way to the mall, I listened to the radio on scan. The walk from the parking lot was long. I was so obviously alone, with no one on my arm telling me stories.

The smells of the mall, the arctic temp, and the never ending 80's mix blaring from the speakers were all the same. But it wasn't the same. It was hollow and empty.

I wanted to tell everyone that he's gone. The people at McDonald's who sold us a Coke every Thursday. The people who work at Nordstom Cafe. The sweet Asian couple who walk by our table every week. I guess I want them to care that he was here at all.

My heart is screaming, "Please don't be gone! Come back!"

He was supposed to come over last week for a movie. He was going to come with me to the D.C. Awakening in Oct. We had plans. God, you get him for the rest of eternity, couldn't we have had him for a few more decades?

Who am I to question You? You said that you would rescue and protect those who love You. Jeff has been rescued and he is protected. Could you please give him a really big hug for me? Tell him I love him and I'll see him soon.

Anyone else need to vent?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Man, I Feel Like a Writer

What are the silly (or not so silly) quirky (or not so quirky) things that you do to make yourself feel like a writer?

I love to buy pens and notebooks - it might be considered an addiction. The pens I actually use, the notebooks, um, well, I'm going to fill them up - really.

My desk is piled with books, papers, pens, notebooks, etc. I used to be a neat freak, but now I'm embracing my cluttered habits (thank you Shae). It's creative clutter to inspire me and help me feel like I'm actually working.

Going to a coffee shop to write makes me feel like a writer. Sitting outside b/c a writer loves the fresh air, drinking an iced mocha with no whip b/c that's what a writer would drink. Slouching in a not so comfortable, but looks comfortable position b/c that's what a writer looks like when she is really into her work. Letting my emotions pour into my writing so that I don't mind if people stare at me when I laugh out loud or begin to cry as I write.

I talk to myself constantly. Sometimes I answer too. And, I like it.

Right now I'm drinking tea from a mason jar b/c I think it's weird and fun and something that only a very eccentric writer would do. Is it redundant to say eccentric writer ? Are there normal ones out there?

Anyone else care to share?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Introducing Me

Hello Everyone!

I'm Jen Waddell - facilitator of Scribe's Alley Writer's Group.
I've been journaling since 3rd grade, but have just recently begun to focus on my writing as more than a hobby.

For almost 5 years, I was a member of the creative team for Cross Current Ministries. I was part of the writing team that wrote dramas for Sunday Morning worship services.

Now, I am working on a young adult novel called, Letters to Edward. I'm currently stuck on chapter 5. I'm sure it would help to sit down and actually work through it instead of finding ways to procrastinate.

I'm the kind of writer who can't seem to just sit down and write. Once I get going, I love it, but getting started is my problem. Anyone else?

The Difference between Critique and Criticism

  • Criticism finds fault/Critique looks at structure
  • Criticism looks for what's lacking/Critique finds what's working
  • Criticism condemns what it doesn't understand/Critique asks for clarification
  • Criticism is spoken with a cruel wit and sarcastic tongue/Critique's voice is kind, honest, and objective
  • Criticism is negative/Critique is positive (even about what isn't working)
  • Criticism is vague and general/Critique is concrete and specific
  • Criticism has no sense of humor/Critique insists on laughter, too
  • Criticism looks for flaws in the writer as well as the writing/Critique addresses only what is on the page

Taken from Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups by Judy Reeves

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome to Scribe's Alley!

Mission Statement:
We are a community that seeks to foster authentic and creative expression through the written word. To explore and expand the craft of writing in a safe environment that glorifies God.

To demolish the stronghold lie that "I can't" and to adopt the truth that says not only "I can" but "I should". No one in this world can say it exactly like I can.

We are a read and critique group made up of writers from all different backgrounds, focused on many different genres. This group is open to anyone who would like to join in the writing adventure with us. No experience is necessary. It is an ultra casual and fun atmosphere where anything can happen.

Currently, we meet every Thursday night at Dulles Town Center in front of the Nordstrom Cafe on the 1st floor from 7:30 - 9:30pm. We arrive and chat from 7:30 - 8:00. Read and Critique begins at 8:00.

To submit your work, please e-mail it to me ( by Tuesday evening (7ish). I will then e-mail it to the group. Each member is responsible to read the submissions for the week, print out a copy if they wish, and bring it to the meeting.

If you would like others to read your work, but don't want it to be critiqued, just let me know. I will indicate that it is a 'read only' piece. It can be scary to put your stuff out there.

You may submit your comments via e-mail, but you must ask the person if it's okay for you to talk about their piece. Sometimes, it's hard to chat one on one and sometimes, the person is not ready to talk about that particular piece.

I look forward to seeing you online or in person. Happy writing!
Jen Waddell