Monday, November 14, 2022

Open Book Blog Hop: Negative Feedback


Image by JL G from Pixabay

This week's questions for the Open Book Blog Hop:

How do you deal with negative feedback? Do you have tips for critiquing other writers’ work?

How do I deal with negative feedback?
Not very well, because I tend to take everything personally. 

I don't read reviews of my work because I could get ten good ones and the eleventh bad one will be the one that sticks with me. I'll be nearly nonfunctional for weeks. It isn't a good idea. 

When critiquing another writer's work, the team at the Write-Edit-Publish blog ( suggests using the Hamburger Method, which means sandwiching any CONSTRUCTIVE criticism between two positive statements. I can usually find at least one positive thing about any work, unless it has pissed me off to the point where the only thing I can think to say is "oh, just fuck off!" 

I rarely give one-star reviews. I recall a two-star review I felt really bad about giving because the author seemed like such a nice person. The story was tremendously convoluted. The narrative switched from one character to another to yet another with no clear point of change. There were sudden switches from past to present and between first person and third person. There was simply too much going on all at once.

I stated that although the story was interesting the above issues negatively impacted the readability. I suggested the author find a good editor and expressed my hope that she would republish the story after doing so. She was very gracious, and I felt like a complete asshole. 

There was one author who I truly believe published their unedited NaNoWriMo manuscript. It was nonstop (bad) dialogue with hardly any scene or action descriptions. Reading it literally gave me a headache. My review boiled down to "an interesting idea, but it needs to be edited."

So, yeah, I do my best to avoid negative feedback. There was a writing coach who advised her students to "develop a thick skin." I'm nearly 60 years old. I doubt that will be happening in this lifetime. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Therapy Frog

Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday Book Blog Hop: Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss


Content warning: Suicide ideation, adult situations, profanity

Autobiography, Memoir, Music

Buy Link


I will earn a small commission from Amazon for every book purchased through the above link.


LEGENDARY founding KISS drummer Peter “Catman” Criss has lived an incredible life in music, from the streets of Brooklyn to the social clubs of New York City to the ultimate heights of rock ’n’ roll success and excess.

KISS formed in 1973 and broke new ground with their elaborate makeup, live theatrics, and powerful sound. The band emerged as one of the most iconic hard rock acts in music history. Peter Criss, the Catman, was the heartbeat of the group. From an elevated perch on his pyrotechnic drum riser, he had a unique vantage point on the greatest rock show of all time, with the KISS Army looking back at him night after night.

Peter Criscuola had come a long way from the homemade drum set he pounded on nonstop as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the fifties. He endured lean years, street violence, and the rollercoaster music scene of the sixties, but he always knew he’d make it. Makeup to Breakup is Peter Criss’s eye-opening journey from the pledge to his ma that he’d one day play Madison Square Garden to doing just that. He conquered the rock world—composing and singing his band’s all-time biggest hit, “Beth” (1976)—but he also faced the perils of stardom and his own mortality, including drug abuse, treatment in 1982, near-suicides, two broken marriages, and a hard-won battle with breast cancer.

Criss opens up with a level of honesty and emotion previously unseen in any musician’s memoir. Makeup to Breakup is the definitive and heartfelt account of one of rock’s most iconic figures, and the importance of faith and family. Rock ’n’ roll has been chronicled many times, but never quite like this.

Ornery Owl's Mini Review

Rating: Five out of five stars

The book is easy to read and, oddly enough, Peter is a very down-to-earth guy. It was interesting reading about his time with Kiss, but what I really enjoyed was learning about him as a person. I'm not a fast reader, but I tore through this book in three days.

The First Line/Book Beginnings

Have you ever tasted the barrel of a .357 Magnum that’s halfway down your throat?

The Friday 56

The three of them were probably fucking each other in Jamaica.

Book Blogger Hop

10th -16th - Do you consider yourself a bookworm or a reader? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

I used to be a definite bookworm. Oddly enough, I feel like doing book reviews and being a writer myself has turned me into more of a reader. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Fat Friday Review: Sweatin' to the Oldies


Four out of Five Stars

Buy Link:

Sweatin' to the Oldies may have been the first workout tape I ever bought. After my son was born via emergency c-section in May 1990 with mucho complications for Yours Truly, I was having a lot of trouble getting my strength back. I couldn't push the pedals on the exercise bike at the fitness center hard enough or rapidly enough to keep the LED counter going. 

I felt ashamed of myself. From my current vantage point, I wish to say a hardy FUCK YOU to a society that thinks it's okay to tell anyone they should be ashamed of their body, particularly when that body has been through major trauma or illness, and again I say, fuck you very much.

I reasoned that I might have better luck with low-impact aerobics, so I purchased Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies.

Now that I'm an Oldie myself, trying to rebuild my strength, endurance, and flexibility, this workout series mostly holds up. It would be even better if they approached the routines from a Health at Every Size perspective, encouraging joyful movement for all bodies rather than encouraging weight loss. 

Richard is a genuinely nice person, and he means well. He was severely bullied for his own weight. I read his autobiography and my heart broke for him. His heart is in the right place, but his approach is flawed. If you're an ornery old bat (or owl) like me, you can probably ignore the moments when Richard is encouraging participants to get their groove on for Teh Wate Looze. If you're in a vulnerable place regarding your body image, choosing a different workout program would be better.

The workout itself is great. It requires no special equipment and does not include any high-impact maneuvers. People of most fitness levels can do it with the caveat that participants have to be able to stand. If you like old-time rock music, you'll enjoy the soundtrack. These are the kind of songs that are fun to sing along to and the beat makes you want to move your feet.

Overall, this series is a lot of fun and at only two bucks per episode, it's a real bargain!

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
"How do you like my workout headband, Hangry?"

Free use image from Pixabay
"I like it just fine, Ornery. What are we gonna eat after we get done with this sweating business?"

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Insecure Writers Support Group 2 November 2022


Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

If you know me, you know that this post stands a good chance of containing heavy profanity and snark. Guess what--it does!

If you aren't an official or unofficial member of the Profanity and Snark Appreciation Society, you are welcome to give this post a miss. 

November 2 question - November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

So, what's going on in the picture at the top of the post?

Well, the pathetic mortal is me, and the big demanding jerk is the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. Or, as I call it, NaNoHellMo. And our conversation is going a little bit something like this.

"You there, Pathetic Human Scribe!" rumbles the voice of the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. "Write me a complete novel in thirty days, or else!"

"Hold up right there, Buttface!" I retort boldly. "You know every time I've tried to write a novel in 30 days it's sucked so much ass that I can't bear to go back and edit it. Well, I refuse to waste my time writing anything suck-ass again, and nothing you can say will make me change my mind."

"So the great C.L. Hart/Lil DeVille/Ornery Owl is actually a pathetic coward," sneers the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. "I knew it all along. Brawk! Brawk! Brawwwwwk!"

"Enough of the chicken dance!" I protest. "My belly ain't yella! I accept your challenge. Now, remind me, how many words do you want in this novel?"

"The requisite number of words is 50,000 and you can't just type 50,000 random words or cut and paste 50,000 words that someone else wrote."

"Perish the thought. So, 50,000 original words. Well, I'll be working with the November PAD (Poem a Day) prompts from Writer's Digest. I'm going to be working on a novelette or novella to submit to Dragon Soul Press. And I'm going to be writing in my crappy journal most days. By the end of the month, I'll have a document with 50,000 original words and some of it will be publishable. Challenge accepted!"

"Wait a minute! That's not how it works!"

"It is when you're a NaNoWriMo Rebel. Which I have been for the past three years, or I would have stopped taking part altogether. Checkmate, Sonofabitch! Now, I'm off to eat some leftover Halloween candy."

My theme song plays and I strut (okay, limp) away smugly, knowing I'm still a legitimate participant in NaNoHellMo, and there ain't nothing the imperious phantom can do about it.

Did you know that there are multiple iterations of NaNoWriMo? There's NaNoHellMo in November and two Camp NaNoWriMos: one in April and one in July. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I greatly prefer Camp NaNoWriMo to regular NaNoWriMo because it's more flexible, but since I've discovered being a NaNoWriMo Rebel, NaNoWriMo is no longer NaNoHellNo. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

"My stories, my way."
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

"Owl, what is this mess that blinds mine eyes and scars my sanity"
"Oh, that's the novel I tried to write during NaNoHellMo 2011. Put it down before you suffer permanent ill effects."
"I'm a ghost, Owl. I cannot suffer permanent ill effects."
"You never read one of those novels I tried to write during NaNoWriMos past. They were very, very bad."

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

25 Years After


Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay

It’s time to get revenge on the fucker who assaulted me in the wee hours of November 1st 1997.


By making November 1st a day to enjoy!

You didn’t manage to destroy me, you entitled bastard. I’m still alive. I may be broken. I’m not “more beautiful for having been broken,” whatever the fuck that means. I doubt there is a single person in this world who would find me beautiful. I’m old, I’m fat, and I have a face like the back end of a bus. I have a myriad of health problems. But I’m still here, and I plan to keep kicking until I can get what I call a win. You may have fucked me up mentally for years but I win anyway.

Ornery Owl has fucking spoken.

Image by Jim Cooper from Pixabay

Armored on the outside, me

The owl's my spirit flying free