Well, I went to bed last night and realized I’d forgotten to write here! I’m sure that might happen now and again.

I decided to join the on-line critique group I used to belong to a few years back.  So I went to the website (I put a link up) and joined their novels list and young adult/children’s list.  I read all the information they sent me on their rules and how to format.  Then their critiques and submissions started pouring into my email.  I read some crits and dove into a submission.  I hit reply in my email account and told them my comments and then line by line I added my comments between // //.

Now keep in mind, I used to belong to this group and I haven’t changed my settings on my computer.  I have my email set for plain text and my word set for plain text with no smart quotes, etc. like they suggested.    So after rereading several times I hit “send”.

In this group you get your critiques back through their list server.  It came back with strange markings like ==A20.

So the next submission, I copy and paste into my word file, do my critiquing and copy and paste into my email account, that says I’m sending in plain text like they want.  It too comes back with the strange markings which  says it’s unformatted.

So I ask for help with the formatting.  They tell me I have to be in plain text.

I look through my email account, which I have never changed, but with a thorough search I find a place that says messages in plain text.  It is unmarked, so I mark it and save it.  Maybe that will make a difference.  The staff also told me to go to a “cleaner site” that will clean my stuff up for me before I send it.  That sounds scary, but not wanting to have all the problems, I’ll give it a try.

I got a thank you from one of the submissions that I’d critiqued, and he said it was unformatted, but he thought he could read it.  I had to apologize to him, but I’m working on the problem.  Never had it before and didn’t change a thing on my computer, but there ya go–always something!

However, this on-line critique site is great.  You get to be teacher and student and will learn so much by reading and giving your comments.  If you give a comment like “I like your writing” that doesn’t count.  You have to do two submissions or critiques per month to stay on the list, failure to do that two consecutive months in a row,  you will be removed from the list.   I have pages of greetings, welcoming and rules for the group and I read every one.  A very helpful and friendly group with good moderators.

Anyway, hopefully today I will figure out how to get everything formatted correctly and have no more problems, so that I can submit one of my chapters.  Looking forward to having people critique my work.  I’ve read some of the critiques and they are very in-depth and helpful.  Some of the people on this site are teachers, professional writers, etc.

I will try not to get caught up in critiquing only and continue to write on my own stuff.  This morning I had 38 emails.  I remember in the past I’d have up to 50 or more, just from the on-line critique group and at that time I was only on the novels list.  It will definitely keep me busy.

But I will remember to write something here too!

Keep on writing and enjoying the process.