Hello, my name is Traci, and I'm a walking cliche.
I'm at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference today and tomorrow. There are several smart people here, including Michael Palmer (he's a physician and a writer with 16 best-sellers). From his keynote speech alone, I knew my first chapter was in trouble. Then Chuck Sambuchino (Writer's Digest editor) and Marisa Corvisiero (literary agent) and a number of other speakers gave advice...it's officially done-for.
I was a little upset about this at first, but then I remembered: I already knew it needed a lot of work. This is not exactly news to me, just a little more than I'd expected. I did manage to avoid a number of the more obvious cliches, but there are still quite a few that need to be cut.
The other thing I'm happy about is that this whole writing conference thing is making my muse rather happy; she's quite talkative right now. That little pen and pad of paper they give you at conferences? Seriously come in handy today. I'm not sure yet which ones are workable, but it should be fun!