I took last week off. Six glorious days of vacation. I did not go to work. I wrote very little. In fact, I slept a lot. A whole lot.

That all ended with Monday’s dreary commute back to the office. All the stress and tension left behind rolled right back in. One of these days, I’ll figure out how to relax and stay that way.

So Monday also brought me back to hours in front of the computer screen where I use my day job to work on my dream job. I finally have a beta reader who was generous with her time and insight in reading The Dragon Wore a Kilt. Per her comments, I am now revising.

Well, we all know that no book is good on the first try. Revision is ALWAYS necessary.

She had a few compliments mixed in with the critique, which lessened the sting. I always like compliments: who doesn’t? But the honest sting of criticism spurs reflection and consideration. In some cases, the reader’s insight does indeed result in change–sometimes major change–to the manuscript. In others, I’ll acknowledge it as honest and decline to act because that’s what I want it to say, damn it.

Overall, honest criticism isn’t comfortable, but it always results in improvement of the story. For that reason alone, I welcome the sting. It keeps me from being complacent. (Is that spelled correctly?)

Back in the saddle … or, more accurately, on the keyboard. I hope to finish DWK this week and get the cover and book summary finalized. Then we will upload and return to other unfinished works. The Dragon Wears a Kilt should be published by the end of August. Fingers are crossed.