I almost decided that I'd just wipe out all the previous entries because, quite frankly, it has been so loooooong since the last one that it just looked pathetic. But I kept them, and here I am, trying to make a fresh start.
Had a meeting of our local writers' group tonight, and it was a good one. Small town, so an attendance of seven is a pretty good thing! We have some experienced writers and some pretty green newbies in the bunch, but we all contribute and I think it's an enjoyable time for all.
Do you belong to a writers' group? Or a critique group? If so, is it online or "real-world"? (Boy, THAT line is blurring, isn't it?) What are the strengths of your group? How about its weaknesses?
I'll tell you what I think our biggest weaknesses are: politeness and lack of self-confidence of some members. You see, we're in the South and most of us were reared to be "nice" to people. It's hard to give an honest critique sometimes, and remain nice. Sometimes you just have to say, "Wow, you really have an ugly baby there!"
The lack of self-confidence is a killer, too. We have some members who really have some wonderful stories inside them, because they can tell them and/or write them to bring to meetings. The problem is, they shy away from submitting them to any markets.
And here's a new market for you, if you write crime or mystery stories. It's a minimally paying market, quarterly ezine, and it's called Mouth Full of Bullets.
One of my very, very FAVORITE print markets for mystery and suspense stories is Great Mystery and Suspense. (I have a short story featured in their inaugural issue, by the way!) They, too, are a quarterly publication, although they publish both hardcopy and in electronic format.