Sunday, May 11, 2014

Horrible Bosses; We've All Had Them by Margo Hoornstra

You can't do that!

This will never sell!

Why bother?

She's so much better than you are!

That's not good enough!

Will you/this ever measure up?

Like everyone else, I've had my share of horrible bosses. The managers (there are two who come to mind) who sat back and let their staff (me) do all the work while they grabbed all the glory.

The supervisors, even an occasional college professor who, using a lifted brow, sly wink and Snidely Whiplash smirk indicated the job and or class would run so much more smoothly for me if only I'd open up and show them a little more 'friendship'.


Those anecdotes aside, since the bulk of my adult work life was spent in public relations, I had no real bosses per se. Only the public whom I endeavored to persuade to view my client favorably.

But that's not what I'm about today. Today, I'd like to discuss the very worst of horrible bosses in existence - our own inner critic. Which, in my opinion, probably takes up more space in a writer's psychological make up than the psyche of, say, someone from the general population.

I'm getting a huge, huge dose of my own internal horrible boss as I shop my latest effort, STOLEN TRUST.

This is the tag line: A parolee hides her past from a bounty hunter set on revenge.

Here's an excerpt:

At a rumbling sound out by the road, she glanced over then let out a strangled gasp as the Bridges for Hire truck stopped out front. Brad Collins opened the door and jumped down from the cab.

What on earth are you doing here? The shriek inside her head startled out a different response. “I didn’t expect you here today.”

He hit the ground at the same time a stray gust of wind found its way into the yard to circle into a mini vortex—exactly where she stood.

“I tried calling on my way over but got your machine.”

The crunching of work boots on gravel mingled with the rustle of tree leaves blown by a strengthening breeze. Frantically working her hands, she did her best to smooth down her yet to be combed bed hair.

So much for just this once. “I must have missed it.” She made the inane observation as the bottom of her nightgown fluttered upward. Palms pressed against her thighs, she edged backward.

“All I need are some porch measurements. I didn’t figure you’d mind if I came ahead.”

“Of course not.” She gingerly reached one foot behind her in a blind search for the first step.

“It shouldn’t take me long to get what I need.”

“No. No. Take your time.” Step number one attained, she planted her foot on its top as the heel of her other foot sought step number two. A swirling wind was not cutting her any breaks. Arms straight down in front to preserve her dignity, she maneuvered onto the narrow surface.

Brad continued to advance. “Nice day.”

“Yes it is.” She nodded in agreement as her sole landed on step number three.

One more to go. Then, with a little bit of luck and unfailing coordination, she’d have both feet planted firmly on top of the rickety porch. Then what? Spin around and risk giving him an unobstructed view of my naked rear end as I scoot into the house? Or worse, walk backward and trip over one of many loose and jutting boards. Then fall, spread eagle, flat on my back.

Not the most attractive of possibilities.

And so begins the romance between bounty hunter, Brad Collins and parolee turned bed and breakfast owner, Jenny Reynolds. And, in the spirit of positive thinking, here's my take on the above quotes, transformed.

You can't do that!

I'm certainly going to try!

This will never sell!

It may. I think it will!

Why bother?

Why not try?

She's so much better than you are!

Bet she wasn't all the time either! I'll improve!

That's not good enough!

So I'll work very hard until it is!

Will you/this ever measure up?

If I do my best it will!

Horrible Bosses. We've all had them. Don't let yours get you down.

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more information about me and my writing, please visit my WEBSITE



Jannine Gallant said...

Think positive! Despite setbacks, things usually do work out for the best, and I have complete faith in you and this book! Happy Mother's Day!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I was enjoying the excerpt to much, I was hoping for an entire chapter. *Darn...heaves a sigh* I do agree though. We are our worst bosses. I yell at myself all the time. This stuff stinks. This makes no sense. No one will like this. What do you say we fire the bosses? Great post, hon.

Susan Coryell said...

Yep, I'm right there with you. My sequel to my last cozy is too much like a history lesson says my publisher. What? You don't think our readers are intellectual enough to digest the history when it involves a Civil War ghost? Well, DUH. Makes me want to give up, too, but I know I won't and I know you won't either! Thanks for a post that resonates with so many writers.

MJ Schiller said...

I hear you, girl! Especially the comparison part. It's hard not to do it. Especially when you feel you are doing all you can, getting the reviews, blogging, working hard on improving, and you don't seem to be getting anywhere! But I know your boss. She's a very nice lady. Maybe you should cut her some slack. ;)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jannine. Only you, and it means so much. Positive it is. Thanks and happy mother's day to you!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Vonnie. You wanted an entire chapter? Music to my ears and bless your heart for what I interpreted as an 'atta, girl'. We do tend to do numbers on ourselves, don't we?

Margo Hoornstra said...

Susan. My thoughts exactly. Glad I could help.

Margo Hoornstra said...

MJ. You made me laugh out loud! Now that's gotta be worth something. I will try to cut her some slack, but it's not easy. Take care.

Leah St. James said...

Great post, Margo. Reminds me to not be so hard on myself too. :-) Loved the excerpt! Great visuals!

Alicia Dean said...

Your boss does NOT know what she's talking about! Of course the book will sell, if the excerpt is anything to go by. Wa to go with the positive attitude and best of luck!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Leah. Thanks. It's good to know I'm not alone in being 'horrible'. I'm pleased you enjoyed the excerpt.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alicia. More music to my ears. Thanks for the words of encouragement. If I do say so myself, I think this is a good book I have to offer.

Diane Burton said...

Think positive? Easy to say, hard to do. I agree, Margo, we're our own worse boss. Sometimes. We're also our own cheering section. Sometimes. Need to make sure the cheering section wins. :) Best wishes with your book.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful excerpt! I'm my own worst critic. I agree that we are horrible with our inner critic. I wish there was some way to fix that...

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Diane. It is more difficult to be positive than negative. Sometimes. I, for one, need to work on that.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Melissa. Glad you liked the excerpt. Thank you. Guess being easier on ourselves is something we all could stand to work on.

Unknown said...

To think, I believed my inner critic was harsh. All mine does is tell me I'm writing crap. Your inner critic is downright nasty! Get out the duct tape and muzzle that little stinker. :)

Jana Richards said...

I echo everyone's comments about a writer being her own worst critic. It's certainly true for me. I think the trick is to muzzle that critic and just keep on writing, though that's easier said than done. Thoroughly enjoyed your excerpt.

KatB said...

Great excerpt! I'm left wanting to know whether she made it into the house without flashing her lady bits. ;) And definitely keep a muzzle on that critic of yours, like the previous commentor said - we have to be kindest to ourselves, first.