Saturday, May 18, 2013

Today we have a guest blog by the Seriously Awesome Marianne Spitzer.  Don't miss the excerpt and contest too!

Criticism and Creativity by Marianne Spitzer

     How do we accept criticism? We are taught to accept it with grace and say “thank you.” That may work for outwardly appearances, but what about inside?

      We’ve been doing it since kindergarten, first grade or whenever we first learned the lesson. Sometimes we really do appreciate the criticism and sometimes we think “just consider the source” and blow it off.

     Now, we’re writers or aspiring writers and we cling to every word of that criticism. We join writer’s groups. We have beta readers and critique partners. Some are family or friends and some are complete strangers. Some may offer a free sample edit to introduce their services.

      Usually the feedback we receive is constructive. It may not all be positive, but even the negative is peppered with some positive insights. We see what we need to improve and usually agree with the person critiquing our work.

      We’ve worked hard on our WIP, whether it is a short story or an epic novel. Maybe we outlined, did character studies, developed time lines or wrote by the seat of our pants. Whatever way we chose to write our story, it’s important to us. We may have written a children’s book, a romantic novel, a frightening suspense, a horror tale, or a comedic piece.

       Whatever it was, it’s ours. We nurtured it. We thought about it when we were driving or trying to fall asleep. It was a big part of our life and still is. We have hopes and dreams wrapped into our WIP. It has been fun, a headache, frustrating, and wonderful to write.

      We’re expecting our latest critique and open the e-mail with excitement building. Then we read words we’ve never read before and we wonder if this person has even read the same piece we sent them. The critique is so negative you think the e-mail will burst into flame.

      There is absolutely no way this person read the entire chapter or section you sent. There couldn’t be. How can one person’s opinion differ from the eight or ten you‘ve already received? Now comes the hard part. Each time you received a critique of any kind, written or verbal, you made changes. You improved your work and it shows. Or does it?


     You begin to doubt yourself. You forget about the “consider the source” option. You let one person you have never met throw a curve ball into your work. You’re ready to toss your laptop out the window.  You’re a failure. What were you thinking? A writer? Yea right. You’re lost. Your creativity is gone.

      STOP! You are the same person you were when you began to write your WIP. You may be a better writer after all the criticism, but you’re still the same person who wrote the first word. You have the same hopes and dreams. Did you begin your piece with the idea of deleting it after all the work you put into it? Of course not, you want people to read it and enjoy it. Don’t give up. Never let one terribly negative opinion shut you down. Read it again and see if there is something you can learn from it. Then delete it from your e-mail and your mind.

      In writing as in life, negativity can destroy creativity, spirit, and hope. Don’t let it happen to you. Go back to the first paragraph you wrote and remember what it felt like to begin your WIP. You will find yourself again. 

Happy writing,




Author: Marianne Spitzer

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: April 2012

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery



Synopsis: Spirits? Madness? Which haunts Daniel? His teenage bride, Annamarie, must answer the question while she deals with her husband’s controlling behavior and abnormal fear of spirits he believes exist in the surrounding woods near their home. During an argument, her anger erupts and she yells a few odd words at her husband, Daniel, which she explains is her Gypsy curse. A bad day at work convinces him the curse is real, but after the brutal death of his best friend, his belief in the curse and his terror of the spirits escalates. Annamarie begins to have foreshadowing dreams of a young Gypsy girl who resembles her in every way. As the dreams become more vivid and frequent, Annamarie begins to fear her utterance of a Gypsy curse may have brought spirits into their lives. When they both have the same dream, she believes Daniel’s fears may be real. They feel they may be close to answers when a human killer enters their lives. With two battles to wage they must stand strong together. Frightening events spiral out of control and Annamarie must fight for her husband’s safety, his sanity, and her own.


“…the characters immediately grabbed my attention. People were dying and mysterious things were occurring. This kindled my curiosity. As I got deeper into the book, the plot became more and more twisted. Then the story wouldn't let go of me. I'm normally pretty good at figuring out how stories are going to end, but this time I wasn't. I congratulate the author for having me completely fooled as to how the book was going to end. Not many can do that, so I look forward to reading more from this author.” – Lisa on Amazon

 Highly recommend this book. Excellent story mixing love, family matters, mystery and spirits. The end will really surprise you as it did me.” – Carolyn on Amazon

About the Author:

              I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.

Marianne Spitzer’s Books



The camp-fire cast shadows on the old wagons parked nearby.  An elderly man sat on a barrel, playing a violin. Other men and women sat near the fire clapping to the music floating on the night air. A dark haired young girl danced around the flames, her bright green eyes sparkling in the firelight. She was clad in a long dress of many colors, sewn by hand, colored ribbons pulled up her hair. She smiled and held her hand out to Annamarie. 

Annamarie woke screaming.

Jolted from his sleep, Daniel jumped out of bed. “What the hell’s the matter with you?”

She sat up in the middle of the bed, her voice anxious, “I had a nightmare. I saw myself dancing, but I also saw myself watching me dance. Then the one dancing held out her hand to me.” 

“Creepy!” Daniel started to laugh, “Serves you right for putting a curse on me.” 

“I didn’t put a curse on you. It was just gibberish because you had me so upset. I’m not a Gypsy, so how could I do that? I only wanted to get your attention.”

“You’re going crazy. Don’t I have enough trouble with the spirits without you bringing a new one? What if the spirits here don’t like you summoning Gypsy spirits?”

“I don’t understand why you’re acting this way. You were so different last night. Why have you changed again? You’re the one losing your mind. There are no spirits in the woods, and I certainly didn’t conjure up any.”

Purchase Links:

Amazon – Print and Kindle

Giveaway Code:

1 comment :