[Poll] With Friends Like These…

My weekend was lost to my friends, as usual. This time, it was a wedding of some dear friends of mine. The wedding was lovely and I had a great time.

My friends might fill a lot of my free time, but:

  • They encourage me.
  • They ask me how it’s going.
  • They beta-read for me.
  • They answer random grammar queries.
  • They let me bounce plot ideas off them, out of the blue.
  • They get excited and offer lots of suggestions when I mention my thoughts on world building.
  • They calm me down when I’m stressing over writing the perfect log-line, or cover letter, or query, or synopsis…
  • They give me copies of The Great Courses: Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques

Now, the question is, what to do now?

  • Do I finish another round of edits?
  • Do I start querying my picture book?
  • Or should I start on the course?

At 24 lectures of 30 minutes each, that’s 12 hours, not even counting the exercises/homework. I’ve already whined about my free time. I think I could manage 2 classes a week.

Friday, I got a very polite form letter regarding the short story for kids that I submitted. Not unexpected, but still disappointing.

What do you think? Should I start it now? Or finish up some stuff first?

Do you want me to review it as I go along and share my exercises with you?

Do you want to grade me?

To Know What’s Write…

This past weekend, I was wandering around Old Town Manassas, in Virginia, looking for dessert when I peeked in Grounds Central Station, a cute, independently owned coffee shop.

Two young men manned the coffee bar, while the back half was full. Tables were pushed together, to make a long table with a microphone on one end. A well-dressed middle-aged man talked, his booming voice and steady tones were reminiscent of a sermon. I turned to the baristas and asked,

“Is this a Bible study?”

“Poetry reading.”

I picked out my dessert and waited patiently, listening in as the speaker finished and a new one began. But, to my ear, it was prose, not poetry that I heard.

At the end of the counter sat several pamphlets. The one nearest me was from Write By The Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writer’s Club. In it, it told me that tonight, a 4th Friday, was Open Mic Night and Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm were write-ins. I assume the barista explained it as a poetry reading because it was faster. Everyone knows what a poetry reading is.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but I’ve never done a Writer’s Group. I’ve seen some writers swear by theirs, while others turn catty or stagnant.

Should I stick with my beta readers? Join this group? Or try and custom build my own private writing group?

What would you do?