Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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on writing groups

So my time is just about up with the writer's group I've been with for about a year. And this is probably a good thing. I wasn't necessarily getting a lot that was useful to me and then the group changed dynamics (some members left, some new ones came in). I hung out just a bit longer to see if the new members and I meshed in terms of writing and critiquing. Overall, they're good writers, they give a good critique, etc., but it's still not right for me.

But it has me wondering if any group I could find would completely satisfy me? Of course, my experience is minimal. Most, though not all, of the people I've worked with in groups either tend to be literary (which means most of what I write, if not everything, doesn't quite mesh with what they're doing in their minds) or they're strict sci-fi/fantasy and are writing about elves and dwarves and conquering the aliens or hooking up with them ala Captain Kirk. That's not what I write, so there's been a decent portion of the time in the past where I leave groups a little lost. But it's Southeast Idaho, so there hasn't been a lot of options in terms of spec-fic friendly writing groups.

So I joined an online writing group, the one mentioned above. My last submission was a piece that I think is slipstream. (Though it's not like I'm brilliant and experienced, so I could just be smoking something here). I had a real-life sort of situation and then something "fantastical" happens. So far, the group has had really good things to say, except a couple of them think that there needs to be magical things happening throughout the entire story for the fantastical thing that does occur to fit in. I asked how it functioned in terms of slipstream and not just straight fantasy. The general response has been "Slip what?"

Which is okay. And those who would like more magic throughout the story could very well be right. The thing is, I don't know. And I don't know where to look to find guidance.

I've been invited to join another group in August. It looks like the members are shaping up to be more dedicated and serious writers than the group I have now, so that is nice. But I wonder if they're experiencd in terms of those things that will help me as a writer. Would they say, "Slip what?"

And I'm no sure where else to find first readers or a group who would be helpful, who I could have a productive relationship with, both for me and them.

But these are things I can worry about another time, after the baby's come, and it's start to jump back in the saddle again. Still, I don't know that it hurts to mull these things over for when the time to start up again does come.

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