WEbooker of the WEek Finds Inspiration in the Bathtub02:07
There are those of us who come to writing late in life, like John Milton, who published Paradise Lost at the age of 59 -- which, in the 17th century, was basically equivalent to 112. Then there are those who start early, like this WEek's WEbooker, Rebecca_Grey. Rebecca wrote her first poem when she was only six years old. According to her, "It came to me while I was in the bathtub, and I was so excited to get the words down that I waddled out of the bathroom naked and grabbed a pen from my Nana's purse, then wrote down the first few lines on a piece of toilet paper. The poem is still around somewhere, although no longer on toilet paper."
Following that auspicious start, Rebecca was encouraged to continue writing by her mother -- also a writer, and fellow WEbooker cindi_greene -- and by her grandmother, who Rebecca says, "was not a writer, but was a phenomenal cook, which is just as important."
Rebecca_Grey spent her childhood in a small resort town in South Carolina, moved to Sacramento, California as a teenager, and attended college in Kansas City, Missouri, where she now lives with her boyfriend, three cats, and a pair of twins expected to arrive any day now.
As WEbooker of the WEek, Rebecca exemplifies everything that is great about the WEbook community. She has started and led six projects, including the phenomonally successful Open Letters, a collaborative project that Rebecca says "seems to have taken on a life of its own." Open Letters was so popular, Rebecca started a sequel, Open Letters, Volume II. Rebecca has written for many other projects -- see the complete list here.
But Rebecca is perhaps most notable for the quality of her feedback. She loves giving feedback, and if you ask her to read and comment on your work, she says, "It's like asking your English professor to give you feedback. I'll compliment the good and take a red pen to the rest. No sugarcoating, no coddling -- I'm just as inclined to tell you I like something as I am to point out that which needs to be fixed, tewaked, or adjusted."
To find out more about this fantastic feedbacker, I asked a few probing questions:
Q: Do you owe anyone an apology? If so, what would you like to say to them?
A: I'm sure there are lots of people in the world who think I owe them an apology, but all the people I've wronged whom I should have apologized to...I have. My conscience is pretty clear.
Q: Does someone owe you an apology? If so, what would you like them to say to you?
A. An old friend of mine from college. It wouldn't even have to be a long, drawn out, emotional sort of thing. I don't do well with those kinds of scenes anyway. A simple, "Hey, you know how I wasn't such a good friend and blew you off with no explanation? I'm sorry. That wasn't cool," would do. And that would be that.
Q: What's the most important thing you've learned on WEbook?
A: It's okay to write something that sucks. Figure out why it sucks and try to filter out the suckage next time. None of us are perfect writers, despite what our delicate writer egos want to think. We're only trying to be perfect, and the fact that we're trying means we're already halfway there.
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