Any artist, musician, or writer will tell you their best work comes from their most frustrating, often most gut-wrenching endeavors. As my fellow contributor, Marcy wrote, “ripping the scab off” is when the genuine writing begins.
Working with a critique group exposes a writer’s most intense work to an intimate group of people, and it can be a scary thing. But a writer’s critique group can also be an inspiration, a solace, and place of celebration.
When I first began meeting with my present critique group I was quite intimidated. I had met a number of the members before, but that didn’t help my jitters because I knew them all to be dedicated, professional writers. And, not only was I new to this already functioning, proliferate group, but I was smack in the middle of a manuscript and almost immediately had to start sending them chapters to read.
Yet, I knew I needed more eyes on my writing, so I gave them my trust and they came through for me. Their comments weren’t always what I wanted to hear, but that’s why a writer works with a critique group. If I wanted only positive feedback, I’d have asked only my family and BFFs read my work.
For all the above reasons, I want to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful colleagues for all their great advise and their unstinted friendship and inclusion in their group. Trust works both ways and even as the butterflies danced in my stomach I knew they also had to adjust to a new member joining their warm, loving circle.
Now, lest we get overly sentimental, let’s celebrate with rum balls! My family found this recipe more than ten years ago and it’s been a Christmas hit ever since. But caution! They tend to dry out if left for more than a week. So they must be consumed almost as soon as they are prepared! This, however, never presented much of a problem for my family!
2 cups either vanilla wafers or graham crackers
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped nuts
2 tablespoons white corn syrup or honey
¼ to 1/3 cup rum or brandy
Roll the crumbs fine, add sugar, cocoa, salt and nuts. Combine liquid ingredients and slowly add to dry mixture. Use just enough liquid to hold the ingredients together nicely. Shape by teaspoons into firm one-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar or cocoa and store in tightly sealed box 24 hours.
*** I like to roll them in granulated sugar to give them a sparkly look.