It is one thing to have a memory. Crafting that memory in order to bring it to life for you, the reader, is what great authors do. I am literally swimming in a pool of talent, each writer an Olympic swimmer. The gold medals displayed around their necks were earned through countless hours of training in the art of writing. Their pen strokes glide effortlessly to the manuscripts while I dog paddle on the sidelines.
I listened intently as Pete critiqued the first chapter of "God's Black Sheep Squadron." Like a surgeon, he made incisions in the opening sentence and proceeded to do open heart surgery on the remaining paragraphs. With my heart fully exposed on the operating table, Byron stepped in to complete the review.
Goosebumps covered my body. These two award-winning writers demonstrated how my first chapter could become a work of art with careful rewriting and diligent editing. They breathed new life into my favorite childhood memory.
I couldn't wait to fire up my laptop and begin the rewriting process while their critiques were still fresh in my mind. In two weeks, I will return to the group with chapter one transformed from a caterpillar into a magnificent butterfly. The memories in my book may be my own, however, without Dr. Peter Zindler, Dr. Byron Mettler and the rest of the Christian Writer's Critique Group to do the necessary operation on my heart, this writer would have flat-lined on the operating table before this book ever made it to the bookstores. These wordsmiths have given me a new heart and I will use it to bring passion to my memories.
Thank you, team, for teaching this dog paddler to swim with champions. Even the greatest writers of all times had to learn to wade in the shallow end before going for the gold. There are many laps to swim before I can take my place in the company of those who crossed the finished line with a completed book to give to the world. I thank God that they are with me.