Barbara Ann mentioned a critique group the other day. Something I don't have. But most of the people I've come across online recently write YA, young adult, for non-writers. (They also use my initials to mean Middle Grade in their attempt to confuse me, which I think is slightly younger than YA.) But other then Harry Potter -- which I had to read because I was in London at the height of it's popularity and half the people on the Tube had a copy they were reading avidly -- I don't read YA.
I don't have anything against it, but it doesn't catch my attention like adult books do.
OK, I also read Artemis Fowl, and loved it, but I tried and tried to read that Golden Compass series a friend passed on, but never made it past the third chapter. And I had similar difficulties with Twilight. I made it through Powerless, but I didn't find it as amazing and groundbreaking as the reviews I've read seem to imply. So I have to admit that I just don't do YA. That's not a bad thing. I'm not against those who do. To each his own.
I can't ask to join a critique group in a field that I don't follow. At the very least my critiques would be useless because I don't have the experience to make them work and if I join a group it can't be only in the taking department.
I have to figure out how to meet people in my field.
And all the possibilities I've come up with cost money.
Though none of them cost anything near what going to a conference would cost.
There's the Online Writing Workshop. Or RWA has three chapters surrounding me, each 2 hours away in a different direction. Would I rather go to St. Augustine, to Orlando, or to Jacksonville for a meeting? I actually don't have any idea what else is in Jacksonville besides the airport, but the other two have stuff that could fill the rest of a day to make the drive feel less horrible. I can't join SFWA until I've had something published in an approved place (which Crossed Genres isn't -- they pay what is called "token amounts" rather than the required five cents per word).
(I write S/F Fantasy with a touch of romance or romance in the Future, Fantasy, Paranormal field so I could go either way :) -- oh, and -- See what drew me to Crossed Genres?)
Or I could keep handing things to Hubby and asking him if it's OK. That one doesn't work very well though because, despite his desire to support my love of writing, he doesn't actually have any interest in reading what I've written and gives me a look -- like I've asked him to try week-old seafood, knowing he hates seafood -- when I hand him my latest short story to see if it's missing anything.
Yes, I finished Red, finally. I think. Now I need to put it aside a few days then come back for edits. He says it's perfect, but when he starts off with that face, can I really believe him?
Really, I think I need to either start writing on the long stories again or learn how to get myself a critique group. A laid back, relaxed, critique group.
--Princess Froglips introduced me to a writing friend of hers and while I may have misjudged her, I saw her as terrifyingly driven. She started a local group, she makes people read aloud, and I think she was a driving force behind last years Anahinga Writer's Conference with Charlaine Harris. (Not sure of that last one, but she did sound very fierce when she spoke of it).
But I don't want to be driven. I don't like sharp sticks to prod me when I slow down. (I tend to stop moving altogether) I do better with encouragement and understanding.
Now I just need to figure out how to find that.