"Heh," said Wenton Delaney, munching on a hoagie. "Don't read reviews, Greg, it'll just make you neurotic. Or more neurotic, anyway. The only feedback that counts comes from your readers, and at least half of that is going to be nonsensical junk, too." He quaffed some beer, and added, "What's more important, is how do you feel about your book."
"Well, I must admit I wasn't as pleased with Funny Looks, myself. Retrograde Maneuvers came fairly quick and easy once I got into it; Funny Looks had to be rewritten almost from scratch twice and I still thought it could use a better ending."
"Which is why the reviews are bugging you," said Delaney with a nod. "You agree with them."
"Yeah, I guess so," said Greg. "Part of the problem is the book kept trying to be all serious. Stuff about my parents kept creeping in and I had to pull it back out again."
"We all do that," said Delaney. "It's just a writer thing. It's part of why we do it, self-therapy. Maybe the book you wrote, isn't the book you needed to write."
"I don't want to turn the world into my therapist," said Greg. "I can't stand that kind of self-indulgence."
"Are you kidding? The world laps it up. You just need to change names and identities to protect the innocent. Hell, my wife and I went through a ten-year divorce. Ten years, can you believe it? So what did I do? I wrote a book about it. I shuffled all the participants' ages, genders, and in one case sexual orientation, turned it into a murder mystery and added a subplot about South American drug-runners — but under all that makeup it was still about my wife and me."
"Gah!" said Greg. "Don't tell me things like that! Now I'll never be able to read another of your books without wondering if that's the one and trying to guess who's who."
"Have no fear," said Delaney. "Once I was done, I shredded the only copy."
"Whew, thank goodness," said Greg.
Delaney shot him a dirty look. "Shut up! That was eight months of hard work down the drain!"
"Sorry," said Greg. "But you know what I mean."
"Yeah, that's the bitch of it, I do. Why do you think I shredded the damn thing?"
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