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Hell Yes: I have time for a Critique

I’ve been asked to CRITIQUE someone’s work before, and my answer has always been a polite version of 30819-Sweet-Brown-funny-gif-j2gJ

(Because I’m a writer)
(which means I’m very busy writing my own crap)


But recently when I heard about a fundraiser for author Julie Butcher (whose husband damn-near took off his leg with CHAINSAW). And so, now I’m all, hell yeah–



 (Times Roman/12 point/double-spaced/normal margins)

If you claim my critique as your perk over at Evil For Julie’s Indigogo campaign, I promise to:
1) Read your work slowly and thoroughly.
2) More than once.
3) Make editorial notes about what you did wonderfully and what you might want to work on
4) And if you think it will be useful, I will call you (providing you live in Canada or the US) to discuss your work.

Date of delivery: June

There are other hugely useful perks there–both my agent, Deidre Knight, and my editor, Holly Ingraham, have offered private one-on-one sessions. Who could resist?



I have friend named Julie Butcher. You might have read her hugely entertaining column over at BuzzyMag. This weekend, Julie’s husband lost his grip on the chainsaw and damn-near sawed through his leg. He’s in the hospital and is looking at his third surgery in five days and months of PT.julie

The medical bills will be daunting.
Julie’s blog-pals over at Evil Writers are putting together a fund-raiser that will go live April 1st. It will be Kickstarter styled campaign, and they’re looking for donations from writers that could be used as perks or incentives for the public to contribute. Later, once the fundraiser goes live, they’ll be looking for money too, but right now, this is about what we writers can donate.  I know I have some writer pals who read this blog. This post if for you.
Type of things that Evil Writers would find useful:
1) signed books or swag (bookmarks, you name it)
2) time with you (coffee at a conference etc)
3) critiques of a query letter or wip
4) name in short story or book

Hopefully, the campaign will get good traction. Jim Butcher (Julie’s bro) will be participating and other high profile writers and publishing people have already generous donated AMAZING things (imagine getting a critique of your manuscript from a best-selling author or having a one-on-one pitch session with a top agent!)  Julie’s done a lot of good in her life–her kindness overflows. If you’re looking for a way to a balance your Karma, this would be a good shot:-)

Head over here, to Evil Writer’s Kerry’s blog ( or Skyla’s at ( and scroll down to the donation box.

Go on. Fill out the box. You know you want to.

Vacation, vacation

I haven’t had a proper vacation for three years. That doesn’t mean that I’ve worked every single day, it simply means that I haven’t scheduled a premeditated sloth week for thirty-six months.

florida bedroom

Which is nuts, because dear husband and I have a place in Florida. Except we never get there, at least not at the same time. (It’s been 15 mos for me). But enough is enough. It’s time. Me and Mr. E decided to TAKE A VACATION. Yup, one week wherein all laziness is acceptable.

There’s one minor hiccup in the plan. Mr. E. came down with the plague. Strep-like throat, muscle aches, general malaise etc, etc. Now, Mr. E. has many vast accomplishments. He’s the brightest man I’ve ever met (and I dated an astro-physicist back in the day), he can fix anything, he’s good looking, he can make me laugh…  All round, swell guy.

Except he doesn’t do sick that well.

So, we agreed. Yesterday was NOT a holiday. Thus, I worked, and he did what he does when he’s on the slow mend: he puttered and muttered. As there’s no office here, I worked from a desk in one of the bedrooms. From my chair, I got some words down and I watched a storm roll in. (Sudden and black).  All together, it wasn’t a bad day. I fixed that scene that bugged me. I ate potato chips for lunch (he couldn’t eat). Later I went for a walk around the town, observing that the Pottery Barn had been replaced by an H&M; and Ann Taylor had been swapped for a store filled with costume jewelry.  I’ll miss the Pottery Barn but I’m delighted by the sparkly cheap jewelry boutique.

This morning, Mr. E.  was up before me.  I watched him putter, trying to gauge by his frown if his throat still felt like glass splinters.

Me: You still sick?
Him: mumble, mumble
Me: You’re still sick.
Him, with a wince: Maybe we can do a movie in the afternoon.
Me: So you’re going to putter?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Maybe I’ll trying puttering…

Day two of my vacation: It’s 9:55 a.m. I have made peace with total sloth. Which means, I’ve only just finished my FIRST coffee of the day. I’ve read all my emails and spent a good 15 minutes deleting stuff that needed to be put into the trash (280 messages deleted, 2,212 to go).  And I’ve spent a delightful half an hour stalking Wally the squirrel on youtube and the web. From what I gather, Wally fell from a tree when he was a furless baby and was promptly rescued by THE BEST SQUIRREL OWNERS IN THE WORLD.

I found Wally through this youtube link posted by Shannon Apple:

But if you want to see how sweet his life is, check out Wally’s room!

Yup, I can do this vacation thing…