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Here’s To My Winter Crew

A few years ago, we started going to Florida during the winter. Arkansas winters aren’t that bad but let’s face it…Florida winters are SOOO much better! One of the first years I was there, I went into Orlando to the Central Florida Romance Writer’s monthly meeting. I had met Roxanne St. Claire the previous year and she was giving a talk on setting goals and priorities. An excellent talk. I met a really cool woman at that talk…Leigh Duncan.  Here we are at Corky Bell’s having lunch for the first time in February 2007.

We  exchanged phone numbers, talked, began to email and before I knew it, we had a wonderful friendship.

Leigh is lucky enough to have an AWESOME critique group she meets with every Thursday (or most Thursdays!) I gave her a real sob story about how much support I needed while I was in Florida, how I really missed my writing buds from home, how much I could use some critiques, and to seal the deal, I gave her the big puppy eyes. She gave in and invited me to her critique group. So every Thursday while I was in Florida, I was adopted by this crew. On the last Thursday I was there, I made them settle down long enough for pictures!

Carrie Hensley, Rachel McNeely, Lara Santiago

Kristen Painter, Leigh Duncan

Here is the whole crew. (See Kristen’s maturity? Horns behind my head. C’mon Kristen!  lol)

But we were a little late getting to lunch that day. Why? Because Kristen showed up with her “birthday present” from HotRod. Yummy, isn’t it?So I was adopted by this wonderful group for a couple of months. And I have to admit, I do miss our Thursdays!
So how about you? Do you have a regular group you meet with? Or are your critique buddies only online? Do you think if you had to face your critique group in person, would you be more likely to work harder than if you just had to send your stuff online?
Two more pieces of business…Winner/Winner
The winner of the Michelle Hauf post did not claim the prize, so if Chelsea B would contact me, you are now the winner.
The winner of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s CHICK WITH A CHARM is Liz Talley!
So if these two would contact me at Arkansascyndi at sbcglobal.net
Can’t to hear about your critique groups!
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9 Responses

  1. We have a great group of readers in Arkansas and we usually meet monthly. We have so much fun when we get together and usually run everyone off at Starbucks.

    We haven’t been able to meet regularly since before Christmas and I miss our get togethers so I understand you missing your Thursday group.

  2. I love my critique group! We try to meet once a week at a cozy little coffee shop. Their support and advice is what keeps me going. 🙂

    Sounds like a wonderful group in Florida as well.

  3. Sorry about the horns. Not really. lol Love you! See you in Orlando!

  4. Kristen – you are NOT sorry about the horns…at all! Love you too. Can’t wait for Orlando. Might be there early. Am missing the Thursday BAM group!

    Heather – I’ve got to get to one of your book clubs. Be sure to keep me up to date on when you’re meeting again.

    You are very lucky Melissa! I am envious

  5. Hey, Cyndi! Can’t wait to see you in Orlando.

  6. Wow, thanks so much! I’m about to email you now!

  7. Oh, that looks like so much fun. I have a hybrid version of a critique support system.

    Keri is my go-to girl. She’s fast and had an editor’s pen.

    I have a writing sprints partner who guides me as I write. I check off motivations and goal stuff with her. She’s good at that. And we keep each other accountable.

    Then I have my Thursday lunch bunch. There are about seven of us who meet for lunch every Thursday to talk writing. They usually are my plotting group. We always have eavesdroppers on our kooky conversations.

    So I have great support. Nice to see you have it also.

    And I am happy to win that book. I picked it up just two weeks ago and set it back down because I realized I didn’t have time to wait in line because I was late to pick up the kids. So , YAY!

  8. My crit group is a strange one. It’s been going for many years — I think now we’re down to one or two of the original members — and at present there are six of us, sort of. (One of the original members is not well, and hasn’t been there for a couple of months — he’s been in and out of the hospital, which is worrying.) We have three men — well, two now — one of whom writes comic suspense and one who’s writing a strange novel about a woman, using only her last name, who’s taken over management of a sex magazine. Three women: me, writing romance, another who has written romance but is now writing an amazing historical novel about the court of Peter the Great and an Englishman who was there, and another who’s writing a suspense about girls being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. I have a feeling that’s going to be a hard one to listen to.

    It was hard at first, because one of the men kept insisting I was writing about nothing. He’s gradually getting the drift, and complimented me by saying that I’m making him realize that his characters are almost emotionless and he should improve that. The best thing is that a lot of the stuff romance writers agonize over (how soon the h/h meet, that sort of thing) doesn’t come up. On the other hand, one of the women has been impressed by Donald Maas, and I sometimes want to throttle her for her constant demand for conflict. But she’s probably right!

    The downside is that you only get to read one chapter a week, and at the moment I’m writing much faster than that, so they’re back at ch. 3 and I’m working on ch. 22. Don’t know how to get around that problem!

  9. I am about to start meeting once a week with one of my critique partners and my writing buddy, Cora. I go to her for questions on everything in my story, and she’s a great friend too. 🙂 I think we motivate each other. It’s awesome to give each other that motivation and support.

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