The mythical, fabled ‘writing group’

This is a magical, fantastical thing that I’ve been searching for for quite some time.  And in the ‘Short and Not So Sweet Stories’ panel, Eugie Foster and several other panelists kept stressing the need to find a good critique group.

I really have tried.  I looked online, and mostly found writing communities where you post your work for free and buy critiques for points, or critique the work of others for points.  While that sounds fine, the communities were large, and it seems like the potential to have my work stolen was too much of a risk.  (I’m NOT suffering under any illusions that my work is good enough to steal, but I do think my ideas are interesting, and would rather not take that chance just the same, thankyouverymuch.)

So I raised my hand.  I asked the question that had been driving me absolutely crazy.  “Do you have any suggestions for how to find a good critique group?”

Immediately, 2 of the panelists suggested critters.org, and I have since checked it out.  It looks good.  However, what I was really excited about was a small piece of paper that a woman slipped me for another, private critique group.  HOLY SHIT!  Apparently this is how it’s done.  I felt like I had FINALLY been let in on the big secret club.

So I’m trying to finish a short story that I had mostly already finished to send it in.  I’m a little nervous for several reasons. 

A. Short stories are not my forte. 
B. It’s basically erotica.  In the context of the collection, it will just be one of many stories with different focuses, but as a stand-alone it’s just erotica. 
C. I really have trouble sending my work out for critique.  It happened quite a lot when I was more focused on visual arts.  I do get protective of my babies.  And I know I need to grow a thick skin, but it just takes some courage the first few times.

I’m really hoping that this works out, since I know that I will definitely need beta readers, editors, and just someone to tear my stuff apart so that I can finish with a product that I can be proud of.  It will also hold me accountable for getting so much writing done per week, and I need that challenge.

So, this is me, crossing my fingers and hoping that I’ll be taking this next step soon.  🙂

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On the home front, did I mention that I got married at Dragon*Con?  It was a super-secret, stealth wedding, and we managed to pull it off without a hitch.  Well, there was a ‘hitch’, but, you know.. 

My Bear and I have been through SO much over the past 2 years.  We’ve had 2 parents pass away, 3 other family members pass away, health issues (he had a heart attack in May), and some pretty severe financial issues. 

It was SO nice to be able to have a wedding.  We truly didn’t think it would be possible.  And we had SUCH big plans for one too.  It was going to be whimsical Victorian, complete with tophats and octopi and a tattoo artist at the reception to tattoo our rings.

There’s no way that was going to happen.  So what’s the next best thing?  What makes a geek in love’s heart go pitter pat?  Getting married at Dragon*Con.  It was pretty fabulous.

We owe a lot of friends a huge debt of gratitude for helping us make it happen.  We’re very lucky to have so many amazing people around us.

Also, that’s my (really good) excuse for not finishing Camp NaNoWriMo in August.  I didn’t finish in June because of the aforementioned heart attack, and in August, I was planning a stealth wedding. 

November is MINE, however.  I’ve been writing every single day, no matter how crazy my work day.  Even if it’s 300 words, I’m doing it.  So hopefully November won’t be so chaotic.

Also, in preparation, THIS.

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