I’m in the process of editing a short story that I plan to send out to some pro speculative fiction markets and I want to take a moment to say thank you to the critiquers in my life.

My critique group, unofficially dubbed the Smug Buttholes, is … well…these four are … the words fail here. Irreplaceable? Compassionate? Astute? Supportive? Insightful? Entertaining? Complete dicks? A single word to sum up might be friends or family. But both words are, curiously, too much and too little.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have this group of writers in my life. Every single story I’ve given them to review has come out better because of their involvement. I learned more craft by sitting around a table with them than a hundred writing guides could impart. Of equal importance is the emotional support. As I’ve discussed in other posts, a full-time creative endeavor can be a dark and lonely path. With their help, I’ve stayed on track both creatively and emotionally.

I can’t possibly leave Mrs. Blackwelder out here. I understand, based on conversations with a lot of other writers, how lucky I am. Not only is she much more than friend and family but my wife gives me honest, direct feedback on my work. She usually has the unenviable job of being my alpha reader. Love is far too small of a word to express my feelings for her.

A thousand thank yous to all of you. My world is a better place with you in it.


Leave a Reply