Here's a scary thought...MAJOR HOTSAUCE, the bug, our myriad pets and I are moving in less than two weeks! LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!! Have we packed? Um, not really. Luckily we're not going TOO far, so we can take a couple trips if necessary, but even so this move thing is going to be hectic, sweaty (NC in July, people!), and stressful.
I actually love living in new places, which is fortunate being an Army wife, but the moving bit is SO not fun. And neither is saying goodbye to wonderful new friends.
When you move every couple of years, making friends can be difficult. Especially if you're a shy work-from-home writer who gets hives at the thought of the mall on a Saturday afternoon. That's why, when MAJOR HOTSAUCE and I moved to the Winston Salem area two summers ago, I thanked my lucky stars when I found "The Critters" critique group through the SCBWI Carolinas website.
Over the past couple of years, I've met with this incredible group of women every two weeks (more or less) to discuss our writing, our publishing journeys, and life in general. The group was pretty tight and had been working together for years before I came along, and still they welcomed me with warmth, humor, and some wonderfully insightful critiques!
Tomorrow is the last official meeting I'll be able to attend. I know I'll see them after that - at SCBWI functions, a beach writing weekend we're planning for the fall, etc - but it's still painful knowing I won't be part of the bi-weekly gatherings anymore. I've learned so much from these ladies...I really can't imagine my writing life without them!
So I just wanted to take a minute to thank Bonnie, Bernie, Maggie, and Laurie. You are all incredible writers, both diligent and creative...and I look forward to watching - and reading - as your successes grow!
If you'd like to check out these talented chicks, here are links to their Web sites:
Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting & Stake Out, acclaimed middle grade novels that stradle the line between fascinating fiction and environmental education and awareness
Laurie J. Edwards, author of many non-fiction titles, including the UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. She also writes incredible fiction!
McKenna Darby (aka Bernie), author of wonderfully complex romantic dramas
Maggie Moe, who is writing one of the most complicated, compelling stories I've read, and also owns her own business!
The critters are welcoming a new member, Laura Renegar, who is equally awesome at both the writing and the critiquing, and I'm so sorry I won't get more time to work with her.
I firmly believe that good critique partners make good writers...I have writer friends both online and in person who are kind enough to read my work and give me feedback...and I know without a doubt that they've made me a better writer...I'm so very grateful to them all. :-)
Later this week, I'll be talking about how and where to find great critique partners, along with tips to help figure out if you're a good match!