Monday, September 10, 2012

Close encounters of the critique group kind

I always talk about meeting up with my online friends, but it rarely happens. This is probably due to my inability to drive on highways or pretty much anywhere that requires me to know directions. It does put a damper on my social life, such as it is. Good thing I'm not that social.

However, I'm happy to host and feed the brave (or crazy) souls who'll make their way out to our house.

One such brave/crazy soul is my sci-fi critique group buddy, Russell James. After spending the weekend signing autographs for his novels, Dark Inspiration and Sacrifice, at the Horrorhound in Indianapolis, he stopped by our humble abode and spent a most excellent morning with us.

Russell and I met at the Gotham Writer's Workshop Science Fiction writing class (taught by Michaela Roessner who is an amazing instructor) about a year and a half ago. Due to his foresight and vision, he e-mailed a handful of us after class ended to see if we'd be interested in forming a critique group. We lucky chosen few formed The Minnows Literary Group, with Russell as our intrepid Skipper, and have achieve various levels of success due to his whip cracking leadership.

I still have poor writing habits, but what improvements I've seen in my writing this past year is due to being with The Minnows and to Russell. So I was thrilled to be able to finally meet the man who has no hesitation about kicking my butt to get me to write better and write more.

I expected Russell to be stern and serious and look like the Germans on Hogan's Heroes; instead, he's cute and charming and has a killer self-deprecating wit. Plus, he graciously put up with my Asian quirk of asking people to take off their shoes by the door, which makes him my friend for life.

To top off a perfect visit, he gave me an signed copy of his most recent novel Sacrifice:
If you like horror, you won't want to miss this book! I read it as an e-book and loved it. Now hubby and Son1 can fight over who gets to read this paperback copy next (because neither of them will read e-books, odd ducks that they are).

p.s. I'm closing up my writer's blog and will use this as my one and only blog from now on, so be prepared for more writing talk in between pictures of chickens and recipes. :)

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams